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MLA Maurice Bradley is to seek an urgent meeting with the PSNI to discuss the recent activity and arrests following the Larne v. Coleraine Irish Cup tie earlier this month

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MLA Maurice Bradley is to seek an urgent meeting with the PSNI to discuss the recent activity and arrests following the Larne v. Coleraine Irish Cup tie earlier this month.

He said: “There are conflicting reports from the game about what happened in the terraces during the cup tie.

“The PSNI have been accused of being heavy-handed and over-reactive to the game.

“I have been contacted by many people over the banner displayed in a section of the Coleraine support, however, whoever produced the banner, has disappeared and there is no knowledge amongst the Coleraine support of where it came from, or where it went.

“One fan alleged to me it was a plant by someone with no interest in football other than to stir up mischief and tarnish the Coleraine support and the Club’s good name in the process.

“I have also been contacted by Coleraine Football Club who are keen to get involved with the young people who support the club in an effort to get them more involved other than being just supporters.

“I do believe that negative reporting kick-started a nothing story into a major concern, and I think the PSNI need to investigate that line of enquiry.

“I have had five different reports of inappropriate behaviour towards the Coleraine supporters and I think they have to be investigated as well, and I hope in the same vigorous and well-resourced manner that this investigation has been handled to date.

“Sectarianism is WRONG.

“Racism is WRONG.

“I do not condone either and condemn both.

“It is right to try to eradicate it. I am pitch side during games in my role as Club Photographer.

“I hear all manner of sectarian bigotry, and to a lesser degree racist shouts coming from supporters of all clubs.”

Bradley concluded: “I would be interested to know the cost of the PSNI investigation to date. It seems to have tied up a lot of resources yet it is near impossible to get extra police on the beat in response to anti-social behaviour in our town centre.

“I would also like to know the cost of acquiring TV footage from the BBC.

“I will be seeking a meeting with the PSNI with a view to getting answers to these questions, concluded Bradley.

Ten people are to appear at Ballymena Court win April 4 in relation to the alleged offences.

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