RoI in armband tribute for Loughinisland

Published Thursday, 17 May 2012
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The Republic of Ireland football team will wear black armbands during next month's Euro 2012 game against Italy, to remember those killed in the Loughinisland atrocity 18 years ago.

RoI in armband tribute for Loughinisland
The players will commemorate the 1994 killings. (© Getty)

In June 1994, patrons of Heights Bar in the Co Down village were watching the same two teams play in that year's World Cup, when UVF gunmen burst in and opened fire.

Six men were killed and five others seriously wounded.

The decision to allow the poignant tribute was taken following an approach from the families to the Football Association of Ireland - who then turned to UEFA.

"It is going to be very, very emotional - there is no doubt about that," Moira Casement, whose uncle was killed in the gun attack, told UTV.

"But we have tried to move on and you can only go so far. This is going to be like déjà vu - the match, the same teams ... It is very emotional."

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said the Loughinisland attack was "deeply moving for all football fans".

"I would like to thank UEFA for assisting us in commemorating this atrocity and take the opportunity to remember all those who lost their lives in the troubles," he added.

A UEFA spokesperson confirmed that the FAI's request for the players to wear black armbands during the Republic's game against Italy on 18 June had been accepted.

Relatives of the Loughinisland victims are currently taking court action over claims of security force collusion in the murders and this latest development will put their campaign on the world stage.

© UTV News
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37 Comments
John Heatherington in Aughnacloy wrote (858 days ago):
The republic of ireland should be more interested in playing football rather than sticking their noses into something that essentially, the IRA started.I have no time for politics in sport.
Co Antrim in N, Antrim wrote (885 days ago):
Did any of the begrudgers on here complain when the Ireland team wore black armbands for princess Diana? No? Thought not.
david in belfast wrote (886 days ago):
Armbands for 6 killed. And youse are going on about terrorism in our beautiful island. What about the omagh bombing, all the bombings and killings from the IRA. Do northern ireland get to wear armbands for all these occasions? i think not! ridiculous
Brian in Strabane wrote (886 days ago):
Cant believe the narrow small minded people in this 'wee country,' you are a joke, this atrocity was carried out 18 yrs ago to the day that an Irish team played Italy, the same team again while Irish people watched innocently the team they support, no more no less than that. Gives a bit of solace to the families to see their team thinking about them especially as 2 fellow countrymen will be playing for this 'foreign' team.
Glen in Portadown wrote (886 days ago):
Well I think what happened to the people during that period was a atrocity yes. However we are trying to get away from bringing Politics into Sport we seen enough of it with the player choosing The Irish team over N.Irish. Why does every element of our society have to always include politics?
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