European Championship bound soccer star James McClean has closed his Twitter account after a series of death threats were issued by angry Northern Ireland fans.
Police in Ulster are investigating the vile abuse and the threats sent to McClean after he was selected for the Republic’s Euro 2012 squa
Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni recruited Derry born McClean, a former Northern Ireland under 21 international, in March and called him into his Euros squad on Monday.
The depth of the sectarian abuse directed at McClean after his call-up, including two threats to shoot him the next time he arrived home, led the Sunderland winger to close his Twitter account.
The Irish Sun reports that one person tweeted: “F*** up your dirty fenian b****** il make sure you get shot when you set foot back into gods country.”
McClean had earlier acknowledged the first ‘judas’ attacks on him by telling his 50,000 followers he was enjoying the ‘dogs abuse’.
He also took a swipe at the Northern Ireland team and tweeted: ‘Just worry about watchin ur own country at the euros.... oh wait #mybad haha’.
The Sun reports on one sinister message - from ‘James W Magee’, with the profile of a 16-year-old from Belfast - said: ‘u deserve to be shot for that comment!! Your playing for Ireland and not the country you were born in (NI)’.
The hate messages have since been deleted.
Police in Northern Ireland stated: “We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk.”
Unionist politician Gregory Campbell said: “The threat against
James McClean is reprehensible.”