Northern Ireland news

Police receive complaint about Tyrone GAA bus video and say it is being 'treated as a hate incident'

The video was taken in Aughnacloy on Saturday evening

POLICE have received a complaint about a video taken on a Tyrone GAA team bus and said is being "treated as a hate incident".

Senior football manager Mickey Harte has apologised for the "unnacceptable behaviour" of some players captured singing a rebel song as they passed a band parade in Aughnacloy after a victory over Cavan at Clones, Co Monaghan on Saturday.

The footage, which has been widely shared on social media, also appeared to reveal someone shouting a sectarian insult.

PSNI Superintendent Mike Baird said yesterday that officers are investigating.

"Police received a complaint this afternoon about a video circulating online," he said.

"This is being treated as a hate incident at this time and we will investigate to establish if any offences have been committed."

Some players can be heard on the video singing Come Out Ye Black And Tans, which includes the lines: "Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders/ Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away".

There have been calls for senior GAA figures to signal that such behaviour is unacceptable within the organisation.

Fermanagh & South Tyrone UUP assembly member Rosemary Barton claimed the actions of those on the bus "demonstrates why many people from the unionist community are not welcome within the ranks of the GAA".

She also said she has "written to the PSNI asking how they are treating this incident compared to other similar incidents" including footage of Northern Ireland football supporters singing a sectarian song in a Belfast bar earlier this year.

DUP leader Arlene Foster also described it as "a key test" of the GAA and said its leadership "must be seen to take meaningful action against those responsible".

She called for the person who shouted abuse to be "held responsible for their comments".

Both Ulster GAA and the association's central body in Dublin refused to comment when asked their views on the controversy and any steps they would be taking.

They said it is "a Tyrone County Committee matter" and referred questions to Monday's statement by Mickey Harte.

Come Out Ye Black And Tans refers to a notorious force of mainly ex-soldiers recruited to support the Royal Irish Constabulary during the 1920s and was written by Dominic Behan as a tribute to his father Stephen.

It was once sung by Amanda Knox, the US woman who was convicted and later cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, on RTÉ's The Ray D'Arcy Show.

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