ALLIANCE Party Sports Spokesperson Cllr Michael Long has said that he would support the playing of Danny Boy at Northern Ireland football matches as part of a co-ordinated strategy to make local soccer more inclusive.
Cllr Long also suggested the use of Danny Boy at GAA matches in the north, instead of the Soldier’s Song.
Cllr Long stated: “There is a huge need to tackle the problems of exclusion of large sections of the community from different sports. I believe that the use of Danny Boy would undoubtedly help encourage a more neutral environment at Windsor Park.
“Similarly, Alliance would welcome its use at GAA matches to encourage people from different backgrounds to participate in and enjoy watching those sports. I would hope that the SDLP and other parties would also back this move towards inclusiveness.”
“Dealing with the issues of flags, emblems and other symbols is only part of Alliance’s strategy to tackle sectarianism in sport. We also want to see a new national stadium in a neutral venue for soccer, rugby and GAA.
“This would help attract those from non-traditional backgrounds to enjoy these sports, and we are continuing to campaign for the extension of the Football Offences Act from England and Wales to tackle the problem of sectarianism and racist chanting at sports events here.”