Friday 23 March 2018

Role model saddened by violence on streets

Breda Heffernan

Golf star Rory McIlroy yesterday said he was sad to return home to fresh violence in the North.

The new US Open champion said he hoped to be able to provide some positive worldwide headlines for the place he loves.

East Belfast, only a few miles from McIlroy's home in Holywood, Co Down, has been consumed by rioting this week as simmering tensions between loyalists and republicans spilled over.

The golfing sensation said his fellow countrymen and women deserve better.

"It's sad to see what's happened the last couple of nights. I know that 99.9pc of the population don't want to see that.

"And if I can just be a little bit of positivity in the news then that's great. I think everyone just wants to live in peaceful times, and I think Northern Ireland deserves it."

He said he has a responsibility as a role model.

"I am very aware of the fact that I am going to be portrayed as a role model for a lot of young people in Northern Ireland, and probably across the world.

"And I have to be very careful in what I say and what I do, and as long as I portray the right image for other people to look up to, that's all I can really do."

Riots in Belfast

Irish Independent

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