The Northern Ireland soccer fans who were caught on video singing “we hate Catholics” will not be prosecuted for stirring up hatred.
The 20-second video was recorded in a bar in south Belfast earlier this year and featured a group of people dancing and singing “we hate Catholics” to the tune of Tiffany’s 1987 pop song “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
In the video, which was circulated online and widely condemned, Leah Finlay can be seen dancing on a chair leading the chanting with a smile on her face as fans around her join in.
Police questioned Finlay and two men in their 30s in regards to the video.
They were investigated for potential acts of using threatening, abusive, or insulting words towards a group of persons defined by religious belief intending to or being likely to stir up hatred or arouse fear contrary to Article 9 of the Public Order (NI) Order 1987.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that a file was sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) but after consideration by officials, no charges were brought against them.
The PPS said there was not enough evidence to prove one of the individuals had sung any offensive words, and regarding the other two, there was not enough evidence to prove they intended to stir up hatred or arouse fear through their actions.
Said a spokesperson: "We have given detailed consideration to the evidence provided by police in respect of the three individuals reported and have concluded that it is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction against any individual."
Killen Rangers FC in Castlederg, the club of which Finlay is a member, condemned the footage, calling it "despicable" and saying the hatred shown in the video had no place "in sport, society or life."
The trio, who are from the Castlederg area, were given a ban by the Irish Football Association from attending any future Northern Ireland games.