Conor McMenamin quits Northern Ireland squad after historic video leaks

Conor McMenamin has been dropped from the Northern Ireland squad for their Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece after historic video emerged that appeared to show the Glentoran winger allegedly singing a pro- IRA.

The decision came a day after Kyle Lafferty was sent home after his club Kilmarnock launched an investigation into a video that appeared to show the veteran striker allegedly using bigoted language.

The Irish FA announced the decision to drop McMenamin less than an hour before the start of Northern Ireland’s game against Kosovo at Windsor Park.

A statement said: “In light of a historic social media video that has emerged, Northern Ireland senior men’s player Conor McMenamin has been removed from the squad.”

McMenamin, 27, has three caps for Northern Ireland, all won in June after a stellar season with Glentoran that was rewarded with a first call-up this summer.

On Friday, Lafferty was sent home a day after Kilmarnock announced an investigation into a video that emerged earlier in the week showing Northern Ireland’s second top scorer reacting when a man posing for a photo with him said “Up the Celts”.

When Lafferty’s withdrawal was announced, the statement from the Irish FA also referred to a back injury which would have ruled him out of Saturday’s game anyway.

Manager Ian Baraclough told a press conference that injury was a factor in the decision – but there was no such ambiguity in the statement regarding McMenamin.

Kyle Lafferty was dropped from the squad on Friday after Kilmarnock launched an investigation into an alleged sectarian slur (Liam McBurney/PA)

At Friday’s press conference, Baraclough was asked if the controversy over Lafferty’s video threatens to undermine the cross-community work the IFA continues to do. Baraclough said he wanted football to continue to be part of the solution in Northern Ireland.

“Although I didn’t live here growing up and having lived with what happened during the Troubles and the way society deals with what happened, I hope that in the future, it’s a stronger and more united nation,” he said.

“For me, we play a part in that by bringing together a group of fans who like to support Northern Ireland and the football team. If you win football games, that makes everyone happy.

Previous Ireland joins EU hawks against Russia as outrage spreads
Next The homelessness crisis is worse than official figures show: 290,000 adults are now sleeping on sofas or staying with friends