RoI in armband tribute for Loughinisland (UTV)
The Republic of Ireland football team will wear black armbands during next month’s Euro 2012 game against Italy, to remember those killed in the Loughinisland atrocity 18 years ago.
In June 1994, patrons of Heights Bar in the Co Down village were watching the same two teams play in that year’s World Cup, when UVF gunmen burst in and opened fire.
Six men were killed and five others seriously wounded.
The decision to allow the poignant tribute was taken following an approach from the families to the Football Association of Ireland – who then turned to UEFA.
“It is going to be very, very emotional – there is no doubt about that,” Moira Casement, whose uncle was killed in the gun attack, told UTV.
“But we have tried to move on and you can only go so far. This is going to be like déjà vu – the match, the same teams … It is very emotional.”
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said the Loughinisland attack was “deeply moving for all football fans”.
“I would like to thank UEFA for assisting us in commemorating this atrocity and take the opportunity to remember all those who lost their lives in the troubles,” he added.
A UEFA spokesperson confirmed that the FAI’s request for the players to wear black armbands during the Republic’s game against Italy on 18 June had been accepted.
Relatives of the Loughinisland victims are currently taking court action over claims of security force collusion in the murders and this latest development will put their campaign on the world stage.

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