Celtic mascots walk out with Loughgall FC

Lurgan Celtic mascots with the team at Loughgall on Saturday

Lurgan Celtic mascots with the team at Loughgall on Saturday

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The parents of disappointed Lurgan Celtic mascots have thanked Loughgall FC for inviting the children to be mascots at their pitch last Saturday.

It follows a dispute last week when the children were banned from walking on the Oxford Sunnyside pitch in the town prior to a Lurgan Celtic and Donegal Celtic game.

The decision to bar the children, aged from six to eight years old, from walking on the pitch prior to the match was branded as ‘shameful’ by parents.

Kevin Magee of Lurgan Celtic said they had all been treated ‘very well’ at Loughgall.

“They made the children feel very welcome. All the kids were there and walked on with the players.

“They even had a wee bit of training with Colin Malone, our first team manager,” said Kevin.

Collette Douglas of Lurgan Celtic also thanked Loughgall for their hospitality.

“The children all had a lovely day and it was great that so many parents travelled up and showed their support,” she said.

Collette added that all the kids really wanted last week was to walk on to the pitch as mascots with Lurgan Celtic and they didn’t understand why they were not allowed.

There has been an ongoing dispute between Lurgan Celtic and Oxford Sunnyside, which owns the pitch at Knockramer.

The dispute appears to centre around the use of the pitch.

No one from Oxford Sunnyside could be contacted at the time of going to press.

However, last week a spokesperson said Lurgan Celtic had been allowed to use the pitch for the past ten years and it had been their stipulation that no children use the pitch as they wanted it kept to Irish League standards.

“Our own children were not able to use the pitch,” he said. The spokesperson added that since Lurgan Celtic had set up a youth academy they thought they could change the rules.