Wednesday 17 January 2018

McCourt still committed to North despite bullets shock

Matt McGeehan

Celtic winger Paddy McCourt says he is unfazed by being sent bullets in the post -- and he has reiterated his commitment to Northern Ireland.

Police are carrying out an investigation after a package containing bullets and addressed to McCourt at Celtic Park was discovered by postal workers in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Bullets sent to fellow Northern Ireland international and Hoops clubmate Niall McGinn and Celtic boss Neil Lennon last week were detected by postal workers in Mallusk, Co Antrim. All three packages were posted in Northern Ireland.

Asked if the events of this week had impacted on him, McCourt replied "No, not at all" and said he was relishing today's trip to Hibs.

Celtic travel to Easter Road at the top of the SPL, five points ahead of Rangers, but having played three games more.

"Hibs are underachieving. They've got a good squad and I don't think anyone can put their finger on why they're so low in the league. But I'm sure they'll be going out to put things right," said McCourt.

McCourt accepts that, as a Celtic player, there is intense pressure on and off the field.

The 27-year-old, who joined Celtic from Derry City in June 2008 and has this season established himself in the first team, said: "There's no point in letting it get to you. You just have to try and get on with it."

Lennon retired from international football in 2002 after receiving death threats, but McCourt has no intention of doing the same and remains available to Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington.

McCourt, who made his debut in April 2002 and has won four caps, added: "I've always said I wanted to play for Northern Ireland."

Irish Independent

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