Footballer James McClean has attacked the Belfast Telegraph in a series of tweets, calling it “a bitter sectarian paper” and describing its journalists as “bitter bigots”.
His comments were prompted by a friend’s tweet of a clipping from Saturday’s edition, which ran an article revisiting the infamous World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in Windsor Park 20 years ago.
Accompanying the tweet, the highlighted passage from the article referred to “the usual rebel Irish songs” being played on the Republic team bus en route to Windsor Park and, in response, McClean tweeted: “belfast telegraph is nothing but a bitter sectarian paper you expect anything less by now.”
And responding to another tweet, he said: “why would you even waste your time reading that toilet roll journalists are bitter bigots at it”.
After Northern Ireland international Daniel Lafferty interjected with an apparently good-humoured: “Haha. Sooo sectarian them guys in the south, shocking behaviour on a team bus. Hey the Belfast tele don’t lie lol,” McClean tweeted: “tried to many times to stitch me up shows how pathetic excuses they are”.
In Aug 2011, when McClean declined a senior Northern Ireland call-up in favour of declaring for the Republic, he was referred to in an article in the Belfast Telegraph as “a turncoat”.
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