Sinn Féin Culture, Arts and Sport spokesperson Sinead Ennis has called for respect to be given for the decision of any soccer player from the north who chooses to opt to play for Ireland.
The South Down MLA said:
“We have today seen confirmation that Mark Sykes has opted to seek selection for the Irish national football team as opposed to the North.
“Unfortunately, following this announcement, there has been a barrage of online abuse levelled at Mark Sykes.
“It is concerning that this abuse is happening yet again when a player from the North opts to seek selection for Ireland.
“The right of citizens from the North to Irish citizenship is a core component of the Good Friday Agreement.
“The decision by Mark Sykes to play for the Irish national side must be respected.”