Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said he is "embarrassed" of "a small number of idiots" who booed God Save the Queen at the Aviva Stadium last night. The Republic and Northern Ireland played out a tepid goalless draw, with the greatest intensity of feeling heard before the game when the visiting anthem was roundly booed by the home supporters. The same anthem was not booed when England played at the same ground in 2015.
Minister Coveney was at the game along with DUP leader Arlene Foster, and he reacted to the boos by tweeting "Embarrassed that a small number of idiots booed the National Anthem of @NorthernIreland tonight at Aviva. Competitive friendly, but Northern Ireland were our guests tonight in Dublin!"
Embarrassed that a small number of idiots booed the National Anthem of @NorthernIreland tonight at Aviva. Competitive friendly, but Northern Ireland were our guests tonight in Dublin! @FAIreland pic.twitter.com/j1jbsQSGH6
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) November 15, 2018
Elsewhere, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill condemned the booing of the anthem.
At the end of the day, I don't get involved in this kind of thing. At the end of the day, when people come to a football ground, and decide to boo an anthem, that's their decision.
I don't particularly agree with it, I would never condone anyone booing anyone's anthem, but that's not something I'm in control of. I don't want to dwell on that too much, I concentrate on football.
The game was played in a great spirit, there was great respect between both sets of players, it was very competitive and when tackles went in, you could see players picking each other up. You could see there was a great respect between both players, and that's the most important thing.