Northern Ireland

Tyrone GAA apologises after players sing rebel song during band parade

TYRONE PLAYERS ON BUS

Tyrone senior football manager Mickey Harte has apologised after a video emerged of some players singing a rebel song as a band parade passed their bus.

The team was returning from a win over Cavan in Clones, County Monaghan on Saturday, and can be heard singing the song Come Out Ye Black And Tans.

The annual parade is organised to avoid disruption to mass-goers.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the singing did not represent many who supported the GAA.

The parade, organised by Lisgenny Flute Band, takes place after 20:30 BST, to avoid disruption to mass-goers.

The video was taken as the bus had stopped in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone.

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Media captionThis video has been removed for rights reasons.

It appears that someone on the bus shouts a sectarian phrase relating to Protestants.

In a statement Mr Harte apologised to "anyone who has been offended by the unacceptable behaviour of some of the panel on Saturday evening".

"The matter is being dealt with in-house and we won't be making any further comment," he added.

'Did not represent GAA'

The DUP leader said the singing and "particular offensive remark" did not represent many who supported the sport.

Mrs Foster said the parade was about "music and performance" and not about "offending".

"The Aughnacloy parade is an example of sharing where they don't start the parade until the Saturday evening Mass is over," she said.

"There must be respect on all sides if we are to build a shared future.

"I hope Tyrone GAA deal with this in a sensible way and we all move on."

Fourteen bands took part in the parade, which is organised by Lisgenny Flute Band and takes place at 20:30 BST after Mass.

A band member told BBC News NI that a conscious effort had been made over the years to create a shared space for Catholics and Protestants in the town.

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