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Alex Salmond has a new friend against sectarianism


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NORTHERN Ireland’s political leaders have warned sectarianism in Scotland must not be ignored if the problem is to be beaten.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and his deputy Martin McGuinness both condemned the bigotry surrounding football’s Old Firm.

They were speaking as the Scottish Cabinet met to discuss legislation expected to be in place before the next football season starts in July which will introduce sentences of up to five years for serious offences involving sectarianism associated with matches.

Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness made their comments at Bute House, First Minister Alex Salmond’s official residence in Edinburgh, after a tripartite meeting of the heads of government of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Mr Robinson said of sectarianism: “The one thing that won’t work is ignoring it.

“People need to be speaking out, they need to be identifying themselves very clearly with the fact that the worth of anybody on the pitch has nothing to do with their political or religious views. It is how skilful they are and the contribution that they make to the team.

“It is the very antithesis of sport to bring outside issues on to the playing surface and to the spectator stands.”

Mr McGuinness said: “It is not an issue that can be ignored.

“Our administration is totally and absolutely opposed to the sorts of people who would try to engage in those types of activities and we are absolutely pledged to work together to defeat sectarianism.”

He said anyone who had watched Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League Final on Saturday were watching a team who were “playing football from a planet we have never seen before, and ‘weren’t saying who’s the Catholic, who’s the Protestant, who’s the Methodist or who’s the Anglican?’”.

Mr McGuinness said people had to stop being offended when they saw others wearing either a Rangers or a Celtic jersey.

He added: “I believe that what we need to do is appreciate that people believe in different things, support different things. But let people do that without there being violence involved or threats or intimidation. There is no future for anybody in sectarianism.”

Mr Salmond said there were lessons to be learned from the changing nature of support for the Northern Ireland national team and reaffirmed his determination to see sectarianism “consigned to the dustbin of history”.

The leaders also discussed financial reforms including increased powers over tax and borrowing.

Mr Robinson said he hoped Northern Ireland would make progress on getting control over corporation tax, an area being pursued by the Scottish Government as part of the Scotland Bill.

Mr Salmond supports the measure for Northern Ireland because he believes it could set a precedent for the rest of the UK.

He said: “I think the success, the would-be success of Northern Ireland of pushing its claim for corporation tax will open up a very progressive agenda, which will have implications elsewhere.”

The First Minister wants new laws allowing courts to deal more harshly with football hooligans who repeatedly stir up trouble. The maximum sentence for those caught making sectarian rants and death threats over the internet will be extended from six months to five years.

Season tickets will also have to contain photographs of their holders.

Mr McGuinness said: “Sectarianism is not an issue that can be ignored. It is a curse, a scourge. There is no future in sectarianism.”

I really have seen it all now. Well done lads in voting this fat rancid bastard in. Wonder what Martin thinks about sectarian murders :rolleyes:

He talks about no one caring what religion a player on a football park is, well what about shoppers in the streets ya clatty fenian bastard.

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I really have seen it all now. Well done lads in voting this fat rancid bastard in. Wonder what Martin thinks about sectarian murders :rolleyes:

He talks about no one caring what religion a player on a football park is, well what about shoppers in the streets ya clatty fenian bastard.

He didn't care what religion they were either.

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Aaaah. Scotlands answer to Barney Rubble in both appearance and thinking.Wouldnt surprise me if he co-opted Gerry Adams into his war against sectarianism.Salmond is living in a different time zone and most outside of Scotland see him as little more than some misguided, flag waving patriot.

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Hate McGuiness with a passion BUT this section is correct

Mr McGuinness said people had to stop being offended when they saw others wearing either a Rangers or a Celtic jersey.

He added: “I believe that what we need to do is appreciate that people believe in different things, support different things. But let people do that without there being violence involved or threats or intimidation. There is no future for anybody in sectarianism.”

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Hate McGuiness with a passion BUT this section is correct

Mr McGuinness said people had to stop being offended when they saw others wearing either a Rangers or a Celtic jersey.

He added: “I believe that what we need to do is appreciate that people believe in different things, support different things. But let people do that without there being violence involved or threats or intimidation. There is no future for anybody in sectarianism.”

have to admit that i noticed this too.

maybe the permanently offended plastic paddys will take note from a fellow bomb thrower

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He added: “I believe that what we need to do is appreciate that people believe in different things, support different things. But let people do that without there being violence involved or threats or intimidation. There is no future for anybody in sectarianism.”

we'll be having you support to march through drumcree this year then?

Fhucking Rhat mouthpiece

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Hate McGuiness with a passion BUT this section is correct

Mr McGuinness said people had to stop being offended when they saw others wearing either a Rangers or a Celtic jersey.

He added: “I believe that what we need to do is appreciate that people believe in different things, support different things. But let people do that without there being violence involved or threats or intimidation. There is no future for anybody in sectarianism.”

The thing about that is this... I dislike seeing someone wear a Celtic top. I'm not going to assault them but I dislike the top. It's part of the rivalry.

What is isn't though is me thinking 'I don't like that top nor do I like the Catholic wearing it'. Because that wrongly assumes a religious affiliation that may not exist not to mention the fact that it's a backward view.

My fear is that what should be acceptable as part of a normal football rivalry is going to become outlawed or at least frowned upon.

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He never actually said anything wrong in that article. It is the height of hypocrisy however.

True that. I agree with the sentiment, but it's impossible to take seriously coming from that particular mouthpiece. I'll take these pleas seriously when all this rabbiting on about sectarianism isn't just a thinly veiled opportunity to sling dirt at one half (and one half only) of the OF.

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Hate McGuiness with a passion BUT this section is correct

Mr McGuinness said people had to stop being offended when they saw others wearing either a Rangers or a Celtic jersey.

He added: “I believe that what we need to do is appreciate that people believe in different things, support different things. But let people do that without there being violence involved or threats or intimidation. There is no future for anybody in sectarianism.”

Like the signature, how do you join the Ibrox athiest loyal? (tu)

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