Members of the Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club in Toronto were startled to find their clubhouse had been targeted by vandals last weekend.
When they arrived at the soccer clubhouse last Saturday they found someone had thrown a brick through the front window and scrawled the Gaelic message “Tiocfiadh ar la” in black marker across a sign bearing the clubs name. Underneath that message was written “Dirty Orange Bastards”.
The meaning of the Gaelic saying is “our day will come”, and it remains a popular slogan of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Two great rivals in the Scottish Premier League are Rangers and Celtic football clubs. Their fans typically stem from opposing sides of Northern Ireland’s political and religious divide.
Rangers’ fans are predominantly loyalist’s protestants where as Celtic football club draws support from Catholic nationalists.
Police in Toronto are likely to question members of the Toronto Celtic supporters Club, which is a ten minute drive from the Rangers’ clubhouse.
Staff Sgt. Kevin Murrell said that police were still determining whether the incident can be considered a hate crime.
“There’s no evidence right now to link them, only a suspicion from Rangers’ club owners,” he told the Toronto Star.
“You can’t read too much into it, in certain terms, unless you determine who the suspects were and what their motives were in writing that,” he added.
The president of the Rangers club, Jim Maxwell said he suspects that someone from the Celtic club is responsible.
“You don’t know if it could happen again. Some silly person had something on their mind and acted on it, I guess,” he said.
“We deplore any action like that against the Rangers club or any other club, for that matter,” he told the Toronto Star.