Friday, October 24, 2008

Celtic Death threats against Irishman

NORTHERN Ireland striker David Healy has told of his shock and disbelief after death threats against him were posted on a website.

The threats followed comments he made last week after the World Cup qualifying win over San Marino, when he said he was glad his "goal famine" was over.

This was interpreted as being sectarian by people posting messages on internet site YouTube.

It is understood the remarks were being seen as a reference to a Rangers fans' sectarian chant to Celtic fans at Old Firm matches, titled 'The famine is over, why don't you go home?'.

In the interview Healy said: "I am pleased the famine or the drought or whatever people would call it is over. I am pleased with the score sheet and pleased that we won."

At the time of the interview, Healy was getting back on track after three games without a goal.

In the build-up to the international game he had been taken to task in the media about a perceived lack of goals in World Cup qualifiers.

His remarks also follow on from former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland John Reid, a Celtic fan, saying the song sung by Rangers fans was racist and sectarian.

Rangers subsequently told their fans not to sing it.

But it appears one of the fans posted it on the internet claiming it was some sort of support from Healy.

In a statement issued yesterday, Healy said he was "shocked and angry" at the entire affair.

"I was asked the question if I was pleased we had scored and we had won.
"I made reference to famine and people have maliciously represented those comments. I am hugely disappointed in this. I am very angry.

"I am shocked and angry that my post-match comments have been twisted and misquoted in this way. They have been taken so completely out of context it would be laughable if it wasn't so offensive. I have asked my agent to request that UTV have their footage removed from YouTube, as the comments posted on this site are attempting to maliciously link me to this vile and offensive song.

"I am the innocent party. Any real football fan will see that there is absolutely no connection between my football-related comments and this song.

"Really I am hugely disappointed that anyone could even try to make a link. It makes you think is it really worth doing these interviews if this is where it gets you?"

Speaking last night on UTV Healy added: "I am usually one who brushes a few things off and am pretty cool about things, but I am very angry."
In recent months Healy was also at the centre of a storm when, in a warm-up game against Celtic, he pretended to play the flute. He subsequently apologised.

He says he hopes fans will understand and that he meant nothing sinister by the comments made after the international game.

"Hopefully that is the end of it," he said. "I don't want to be lifting papers and reading things people are saying about me.

"I was asked an honest question and I answered honestly. That is where I am at this moment."
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