Sunderland Winger James McClean Closes Twitter Account Following Death Threats Over Irish Allegiance

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 09/05/2012 12:13 Updated: 09/05/2012 12:36

Sunderland winger James McClean has closed his Twitter account after receiving death threats on the social networking site.

It comes after the Derry-born man was selected for the Republic of Ireland's European Championship squad, as he drew more ire for choosing to play for the Republic over Northern Ireland.

One tweet stated he "deserved to be shot" for his decision. The 23-year-old was subjected to similar abuse earlier in the season when he announced his choice, which is allowed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Northumbria Police confirmed on Wednesday they had received no complaint, while a spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "We do not discuss the security of any individual.

"However, if we receive information that a person's life may be at risk, we will inform them accordingly. We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk."

McClean has won just one cap for Giovanni Trapatonni's side, when he appeared against the Czech Republic in a 1-1 February draw.

Everton's Darron Gibson is another Derry-born member of the Italian's Republic side.

He is currently preparing for the Mackems' final Premier League game of the season at home to Manchester United before he links up with the national side.

The slick left-footer has emerged as a crucial figure in Martin O'Neill's Black Cats attack since the Northern Irishman took over from Steve Bruce on Wearside in December 2011.

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