By Phil Mac Giolla Bhain
Donegal TD Joe McHugh has welcomed news that the ‘Show racism the red card’ has indicated its intention to focus on stamping out anti-Irish racism, which is currently a feature of Scottish football.
“Last winter Hamilton FC player James McCarthy was a victim of anti-Irish abuse at a number of SPL football grounds, including at Ibrox where the famine song was directed at him during two Rangers v Hamilton FC fixtures.” Said Deputy McHugh who had raised the issue of the Irish international Aiden McGeady of Glasgow Celtic has also been a victim of some anti-Irish racism on the terraces. Deputy McHugh submitted a question to Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin TD and with Sports Minister Martin Cullen TD on a number of occasions over the course of this season.
“I am pleased that the charity ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ has decided to prioritise tackling anti-Irish racism on Scottish terraces.”
“Ged Grebby of ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ is to be commended for taking this courageous step. What is unfortunate, however, is that the Irish government did not see fit to act on this matter more promptly last winter.” Said the Donegal TD.
“Aiden McGeady is one of the important players on Giovanni Trappatoni’s Irish side, and he will be a key player for us in South Africa if we qualify for World Cup 2010. James McCarthy will be an important player for us in the coming years, and we have a duty to protect them”said McHugh.
The new campaign by SRTRC was also welcomed by the FAI.
A spokesman for the FAI stated today that “This is a very positive development and we commend Show Racism the Red Card for leading the way in combating anti-Irish racism in Scottish soccer. We have an excellent working relationship with the organisation and we have every confidence that they will be successful in this campaign.”
SRTRC national director Ged Grebby will be attending his first Old Firm match this Saturday at Ibrox to see the scale of the problem as first hand.