Last night I was shocked when Phil Mac Giolla Bhain broke the news that live letter bombs had been sent to Neil Lennon, Paul McBride QC and Trish Godman.
Throughout today as more details have emerged I, along with many others, have been feeling a growing sense of horror about the possible consequences of this cowardly act. And not just for the recipients of these potentially deadly packages, packages intended to “kill or maim“.
What if one of these packages had detonated whilst being handled by an employee of the Post Office? Or a member of staff at either the Faculty of Advocates offices in Edinburgh or at Trish Godman’s constituency office? Or someone at Celtic’s training ground in Lennoxtown?
In short, an innocent party could have been injured or killed. And why? Because there is at least one sick, twisted bastard out there with an axe to grind and no sense of proportion. Someone who probably parted company with reality a long time ago.
As reported on Celtic Quick News, these are “hate crimes“! Such actions have no place in any decent, right-minded society. They have no place in football or in any other sport. There is no circumstance in which your sporting allegiance, religious belief, nationality, or anything else justifies you being the target of such despicable and evil behaviour.
And it is against this appalling backdrop of sectarianism, bigotry and improvised explosive devices that the final Celtic v Rangers game of the season is due to be played this Sunday.
The potential for civil unrest on this occasion is staggering. Perhaps as some are suggesting it is a game that should be played behind closed doors. Maybe it should not be played at all. It sickens me to the core to have to say this but the once beautiful game has descended into a depraved quagmire where the lives of participants and supporters are being threatened. No match, no title, no trophy is worth that!
But perhaps some good will come from this. Indeed a tiny glimmer of light has already forced its way through the curtain of hate.
Today Berwick Rangers took prompt action by terminating the contract of a young player for commenting his wish that Neil Lennon had received and been killed by one of the letter bombs. Berwick Rangers must be applauded for setting such a good example. Let’s hope that similar action is also taken against the other folk who have seen fit to share their hatred on social networks – credit to the G40 Celtic Chat blog which has much more and better information on this and other such incidents.
Let’s also hope that the Scottish establishment – the press, football’s governing bodies, the government, etc. – will finally take their heads out of their collective butt and clean up the foul undercurrent of sectarianism and bigotry that runs through Scottish life.
As I finish this post, I’m glad to note that the Celtic fans delivered on the much twittered about show of support for Neil Lennon during this evening’s game against Kilmarnock. In the 18th minute they applauded and broke into a chant of “One Neil Lennon” in a rousing show of solidarity.
Celtic and its supporters are more united than ever and we thank them for their expressions of goodwill to Neil at this time. We appeal to our fans to remain calm and to respond only through positive support for Neil and the team.
Celtic Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell,
I am proud to be a Celtic supporter and that support remains strong no matter what!