The ‘A-Team’ elects to tackle homophobia on the pitch

The local Councillors who make up the A-Team: Padraig McShane, Gary Donnelly, Warren Robinson, Darren O'Reilly and Paul Gallagher.
The local Councillors who make up the A-Team: Padraig McShane, Gary Donnelly, Warren Robinson, Darren O'Reilly and Paul Gallagher.

A squad of local councillors have banded together to taken on hate crime at the Football V Homophobia football tournament in Derry later this month.

Four Independent Councillors from Derry & Strabane Council, and a fifth from Causeway Coast & Glens Council have joined forces under the name the ‘A-Team’.

The tournament is being launched as part of this year’s Foyle Pride Festival by the Rainbow Project in partnership with the Old Library Trust in Creggan

It will take place on Friday, August 26 from 2pm to 6pm in Bishop’s Field.

The organisers have said the event “tackles discrimination in sport and sends out a strong message of support for the LGBTQ+ community during Foyle Pride Festival”.

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly will be joined by fellow Derry & Strabane Councillors Warren Robinson, Darren O’Reilly and Paul Gallagher, with Paudi McShane from Antrim also lining out.

Colr. Donnelly said the team was formed following a call out by the organisers for elected representatives to get involved.

He said: “There is a section of people within our community that would be homophobic and we as elected representatives have a civic responsibility to send out a message that this is not acceptable and it needs to be stamped out.”

Colr. Donnelly also pointed out that the Council has, over recent days, passed a motion voicing its abhorrence towards all hate crimes and attacks.