| 11.1°C Dublin

Former Northern Ireland boss Jim Boyce slams Deleaney over song

NORTHERN Ireland football official Jim Boyce, once of the most experienced and high-ranking administrators to come from this island has issued a strong condemnation of FAI CEO John Delaney over his singing of a ballad about a hunger striker.

Delaney, who next month hopes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his appointment as CEO, has since apologised for offence caused by a video clip of him singing the Wolfes Tones song Joe McDonnell in a Dublin bar last week.

But Belfast man Boyce, a vice-president of FIFA, has already expressed his unhappiness with Delaney over the matter.

"As someone who has always condemned bigotry and sectarianism over many years and has witnessed much improvement in the situation in Ireland, both north and south, this type of behaviour from the chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland has to be condemned," Boyce said.

For his part, the FAI CEO - whose legal advisers initially insisted that Delaney was not the person in the widely-circulated video clip - has made an apology.

"I'm not a violent person. My grandfather fought in the Civil War and he also fought in the War of Independence. I have always said I have a nationalist background. When you sing a song like that you don't believe in every word that is in the song," Delaney said on 2FM.

"I sing a large number of songs and it's normally done in a private way when there is a sing-song.

"Unfortunately on occasions people use camera phones in a sly way when they are not in your company and then they try to make something bigger out of it. If the song offends anyone of course I'm sorry, it's not in my nature to want to offend people."