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Irish man of the people column: Whinge of the week: DUP show they still are a sour shower in the North.

Byline: JIM GALLAGHER

THE Northern party poopers were at it again this week.

Unionist politicians saw red white and blue when it was suggested that Ireland's football heroes should be welcomed to Derry for a civic reception.

The move was made by Sinn Fein, whose policies and rantings I wouldn't normally give the time of day to.

But the island has been swept along on a tidal wave of pride and euphoria for the Republic's battling team.

And who can blame people in Derry for wanting to be part of that?

The city has a huge contingent of Irish supporters, many of whom made their way to Japan and Korea.

Why shouldn't the city show its pride in the team's magnificent efforts?

The chance of the squad travelling to the city would have been slim.

After Tuesday night's homecoming celebrations in Dublin many players will spend time with their families.

But I'm sure they would've been thrilled to know Derry wanted to honour them with a civic reception.

But the DUP objected to any invite.

It's funny how football is breaking down barriers and uniting all nationalities away in the Far East.

But at home the same small-minded pettiness goes on day after day.

God help us if the North ever gets to host a major football championship.

Catholic Spain, Italy, Portugal Brazil - and the Republic - would probably be banned or boycotted.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2002
Words:232
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