Scrap RUC game, pleads victim's mother
A North Belfast mother whose 15-year-old son was shot dead by the RUC has called on a local soccer team, Newington FC, not to play against the RUC in a match due to take place this Saturday, 18 March.
Kathleen Duffy, whose son Seamus was killed by an RUC plastic bullet, told An Phoblacht: ``If they decide to play, they would be giving support to a force which not only killed my son but also one which has a long history of harassing, intimidating and murdering nationalists in their part of the city.
``It angers me to see continuing incidents of RUC harassment, particularly of young people, and yet these same nationalist youths are expected to play in a football match with the RUC.''
Although the majority Newington club members are said to be opposed to any game with the RUC, the Irish Football Association has threatened Newington FC with expulsion if they refuse to play the RUC, originally scheduled to take place before Christmas.
Before meeting with the Amateur Football League, Sinn Féin Assembly Member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly told An Phoblacht that ``Newington Football Club are coming under immense and unfair pressure to play this match.
``I have been advised that the league have threatened to penalise the club with possible expulsion should they fail to play on Saturday. It is my concern that the pressures being heaped upon the club will impact adversely on both players and management.''
A spokesperson for the club said: ``We are being torn apart. We don't want to play the RUC but if we choose to pull out, the Irish League is going to throw us out. We can't win!''