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Poll: Do you agree with Irish Daily Mirror columnist's take on James McClean's poppy stance?

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'The wearing of poppies on football shirts only came in five years ago. Generations of players, some of whom had actually seen war service, felt perfectly well to get on without them' (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

'The wearing of poppies on football shirts only came in five years ago. Generations of players, some of whom had actually seen war service, felt perfectly well to get on without them' (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Getty Images

'The wearing of poppies on football shirts only came in five years ago. Generations of players, some of whom had actually seen war service, felt perfectly well to get on without them' (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Irish Daily Mirror columnist Dave Kidd caused quite a stir with his take on James McClean's refusal to wear a poppy for Remembrance Sunday in the UK.

Last weekend's round of fixtures saw clubs up and down the UK wear poppies on their jerseys to commemorate Remembrance Sunday on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The Ireland winger, a native of Derry, wrote an open letter to Wigan owner Dave Whelan and the club's fans explaining his reasons for not wearing a poppy ahead of their game with Bolton Wanderers last Friday.

He wrote: "I have complete respect for those who fought and died in both World Wars - many I know were Irish-born. I have been told that your own grandfather Paddy Whelan, from Tipperary, was one of those.

"I mourn their deaths like every other decent person and if the poppy was a symbol only for the lost souls of World War One and Two I would wear one; I want to make that 100 per cent clear. You must understand this.

"But the poppy is used to remember victims of other conflicts since 1945 and this is where the problem starts for me.

"For people from the North of Ireland such as myself, and specifically those in Derry, scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has come to mean something very different.

"Please understand, Mr Whelan, that when you come from Creggan like myself or the Bogside, Brandywell or the majority of places in Derry, every person still lives in the shadow of one of the darkest days in Ireland's history - even if, like me, you were born nearly 20 years after the event. It is just a part of who we are, ingrained into us from birth.

"Mr Whelan, for me to wear a poppy would be as much a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles - and Bloody Sunday especially - as I have in the past been accused of disrespecting the victims of WWI and WWII.

"It would be seen as an act of disrespect to those people; to my people.

"I am not a war monger, or anti-British, or a terrorist or any of the accusations levelled at me in the past. I am a peaceful guy, I believe everyone should live side by side, whatever their religious or political beliefs which I respect and ask for people to respect mine in return. Since last year I am a father and I want my daughter to grow up in a peaceful world, like any parent.

"I am very proud of where I come from and I just cannot do something that I believe is wrong. In life, if you're a man you should stand up for what you believe in."

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Dave Kidd wrote this in today's Irish Daily Mirror under the headline 'Time to pop off, James': "James McClean, a second-choice midfielder for a Wigan side in the Championship relegations zone, always remembers Remembrance Sunday as it is the only time of the year he gets spoken about.

"The Irishman does not wear a poppy - the sort of choice he has every right to make, thanks to the millions who laid down their lives in world wars to keep this country free.

"We will thank him for bringing the fact home to us again, when we next hear of McClean, next November."

Do you agree with Mr Kidd, let us know in the poll below:

Online Editors