'immediate effect' | 

Larne FC suspends player for wearing top that appears to show pro-IRA slogan

The top appeared to bear the slogan: “Tiocfaidh ar la, sing up the RA, ooh ah up the RA”

John Herron (pictured) has been told he should never play for Larne FC again by the UUP’s East Antrim MLA John Stewart.

Garrett HarganBelfast Telegraph

Larne FC has suspended player John Herron “with immediate effect” after a photo emerged of him wearing a top which appeared to show a pro-IRA slogan.

An image circulated on social media on Sunday showed the Larne midfielder wearing a top which appeared to bear the slogan: “Tiocfaidh ar la, sing up the RA, ooh ah up the RA”.

A club statement said: “For the period of his suspension, John will not represent the club in fixtures at any level. An investigation into this incident is now underway.

“We have shown that we are an inclusive football club for all, demonstrated not only in words but also by our extensive work in the local community.

“There is no room for behaviour which falls outside of this ethos and we fully expect members, players and anyone associated with the club to reflect these standards at all times.

“We will be making no further comment until the investigation has been completed.”

The UUP’s East Antrim MLA John Stewart said Mr Herron should never play for the club again.

John Stewart said: “The Larne player pictured with a pro IRA slogan on a shirt should never play for the club again.

“All Northern Ireland’s Irish league clubs are cross community including our local teams Larne FC and Carrick Rangers FC.

“The teams are made up of people who come from different backgrounds and will have different political outlooks. What people do in their spare time and what their religious and political allegiances are is nobody else’s business.

“However, there is a line that can never be crossed and that is showing support for any terrorist organisation of any political background.”

He added: “This society is coming out of three decades where bombings and shootings were used to cause untold misery and suffering.

“To be seen to be sympathetic to an IRA terrorist campaign where thousands of people were killed is beyond the pale.

“Both Irish league players in that photo - including the one who posted it on his social media account - need to search their consciences and realise they have questions to answer. As do their employers.

“The bottom line is John Herron should never play for Larne FC again.”

DUP MLA Gordon Lyons also responded to the image.

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