Derry boy James McClean
As always, lurking behind any silver lining, is a big old gloomy cloud. Most of us celebrated the news that young, level headed and talented Sunderland winger James McClean was called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for the 2012 European Championships. Sadly, there were a vocal minority in the north of the country who were somewhat less than elated. McClean announced how happy he was about the call-up on Twitter, and was subsequently subjected to a torrent of vile abuse from some knuckle-dragging, pathetic idiots who went as far as to make confirmed death threats.

McClean talked about the call-up by 'Tweeting' “Absolutely honoured and couldn't be happier to have been called up to represent my country at the euros no better feelin! #COYBIG #ireland #euro12,”

However, some moronic, cowardly Twitter users made threats on McClean's life shortly after. The 23-year-old was born in Derry and took the decision to declare for the Republic of Ireland after representing Northern Ireland as a youth.  He declined an invitation to join the senior Northern Ireland squad in July 2011 in the hope of being recognized south of the border and, despite the fact that nobody should second guess another adults decision on a matter like this, that decision provoked hostility among a minority of Northern Ireland football observers.

“F*** up your dirty fenian b****** il make sure you get shot when you set foot back into gods country #FTP,” one user tweeted.

Another said: “U deserve to be shot for that comment!! Your playing for Ireland and not the country you were born in (NI). #p****”

Cowards, we say? Yes, cowards. Both accounts have since been deleted.

McClean displayed a nice sense of humor when he responded to the threats against him later in the day, saying, “Love the dogs abuse am gettin of shock N.I fans, just worry about watchin ur own country at the euros... oh wait #mybad #awkward haha.”

A PSNI spokesperson told the BBC: "We don't discuss individual cases, however, if we receive information that a person's life may be at risk we will inform them accordingly. We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk."

McClean, who recently signed a new deal to keep him at Sunderland, gives both Mackem and Ireland supporters reason to hope for the future, with his honest work ethic, and swashbuckling runs down the left side.

Our advice to McClean on this whole sad affair? One of the simple beauties of Twitter is, if people don't have anything nice to say to you, just delete them! To quote the Jay-Z, brush that dirt off your shoulders, and then dip that same shoulder and whizz past an unsuspecting right-back at the Euros!