Northern Ireland Premiership champions Linfield have sacked one of their coaches from their girls' academy after his alleged involvement in a horrific video that circulated around social media on Friday morning. The video showed a group of men singing about the death of Michaela McAreavey, who was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius in 2011.
Michaela McAreavey is the daughter of former Tyrone gaelic football manager and current Louth Mickey Harte.
"Linfield FC has today been made aware of a deeply offensive video in circulation on social media in which the involvement of a coach at our girls’ Academy can be clearly identified.
The coach in question has been contacted and notified that his voluntary association with the club has been terminated with immediate effect.
Linfield FC condemns the offensive, sickening and deeply hurtful and insulting chanting that is taking place on the online video and this club wishes to disassociate itself totally from the unacceptable behaviour that has understandably caused major upset and offence to the Harte / McAreavey families who have suffered terribly since the loss of their daughter / wife several years ago.
Linfield FC will not tolerate behaviour among any of our personnel that falls short of the standards that the club expects and as has been illustrated on this occasion, the club will act swiftly and decisively against any individual whose conduct falls short of the standards that are required.
Linfield FC apologises to the Harte / McAreavey families for the hurt that has been caused to them by the offensive actions of one of our now former coaches.
Linfield FC is totally opposed to sectarianism, bigotry, racism, prejudice and all forms of discriminatory behaviour and there can be no place within this club for any of these forms of offensive and unacceptable behaviour."
The Orange Order have announced that they will investigate the video and two men have since apologised for their actions in the video.
In a statement John Bell and Andrew McDade, said it was a matter of "deep shame and regret" to have been involved in singing about the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Politicians from both sides have condemned the video
Many politicians from Northern Ireland have spoke out about the horrendous video with Patsy McGlone of the SDLP calling the footage "about as base humanity as you go."
Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill said she has spoken to both families and offered her solidarity to the Harte's and McAreavey's.
I have spoken with @john_mcareavey to offer solidarity to both the McAreavey and Harte families. Hate and sectarianism have no place in our society. People deserve better. Love over hate will always win out.
— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) June 3, 2022
DUP leader Doug Beattie said:
"I am sickened by the video of a centenary event being used to mock the murder of Michaela McAreavey. It is absolutely abhorrent, disgusting and shameful. Those involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves as should those who sat, listened and cheered. This must be investigated by the PSNI and also the Orange Order with action being taken against any of those responsible.
My thoughts are with the Harte and McAreavey families who should never ever have to put up with such sickening behaviour. I can assure them this is a minority and the overwhelming majority of Unionists will find this as deeply disgusting as I do."