West Stand Man
Anyway, as to McLean and poppies etc. My understanding is that our soldiers in all the wars fought and died to keep our freedoms. The choice of poppy or no poppy is one of those freedoms. Mind you, to not wear a poppy because of your republicanism seriously misses the point.
The red poppy commemorates the deaths of allied soldiers, and funds the Royal British Legion. Not every soldier in every conflict. Which means it is therefore difficult for anybody who has suffered, or who knows people who have suffered, because of the actions of British soldiers to support. Incidentally, which of our "freedoms" were the Paras in Northern Ireland fighting for?
If McClean was wearing a republican symbol instead of a poppy, then I'd understand some of the vitriol a bit more.
I am Irish. My grandmother and her family were burnt out of Belfast under the indifferent eyes of the army and police, and had to flee south, because they were Catholic. My great-uncle died fighting for the Allies in WWII. Foot in both camps, and can see both sides.