Condemnation levelled at sectarian events and incidents in Northern Ireland over the weekend

Condemnation levelled at sectarian events and incidents in Northern Ireland over the weekend

There has been condemnation levelled at a number of events and incidents of a sectarian nature in Northern Ireland over the weekend .

One such incident led to the suspension of a Larne FC player after an image circulating online showed him wearing a t-shirt with a pro-IRA message at a Wolfe Tones concert.

"For the period of his suspension, John will not represent the club in fixtures at any level," a statement from the club read.

"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."

The club said it will not be making any further comments until the investigation has been completed.

Pro-IRA chanting also took place at the concert, with paramilitary and Parachute Regiment flags being sold at a separate Londonderry parade.

The events have been condemned by Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry.

"It is almost like we are seeing some form of casual sectarianism and it is particularly disturbing to see it manifesting through young people," he said on Good Morning Ulster.

"We have had a real spate of these incidents over the summer and particularly this weekend.

"It does point to the fact that 25 years on from the Good Friday Agreement we have to have that sober lesson that we as a society haven't done enough in terms of reconciliation and building integration.

"Divisions are very stark still in our society."

DUP MLA Gordon Lyons also condemned the wearing of the t-shirt by John Herron.

"The glorification of the IRA, or any other terrorist organisation, is utterly unacceptable," he said. "Sadly, this is something we have seen all too often lately and it must be condemned unequivocally.

"Many people have been in touch with me today following a picture that has been posted online showing a Larne FC player wearing an “Up the Ra” t-shirt. This will be abhorrent to all right thinking people in the town and beyond."

He welcomed the swift action by the football club in relation to the matter.