Suspicious package arrives at Celtic

by AFP on May 13, 2011

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Police launched an investigation after a "suspicious package" arrived at the home of Celtic - the day after the Glasgow giants' manager Neil Lennon was attacked during a match away to Hearts.

Officers were called to Celtic Park and a spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: "We can confirm that we are currently investigating a suspicious package discovered at Celtic FC today (Thursday). Inquiries are ongoing."

Britain's Press Association reported the package contained a bullet and was addressed to Lennon, who has been a repeated target for sectarian hatred all season.

Celtic, a predominantly Catholic club, made no immediate comment.

Police arrested a fan who emerged out of the Hearts section of the main stand at the Edinburgh club's Tynecastle ground on Wednesday and charged towards Lennon.

John Wilson, 26, of Edinburgh, appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday charged with breach of the peace aggravated by religious prejudice and assault aggravated by religious prejudice.

He made no plea and was remanded in custody.

Lennon, who has been subjected to death threats and attempted parcel bomb attacks in the past, was reported to be "shaken" after the assault during Wednesday's match in Edinburgh that Celtic won 3-0.

In a separate incident, two men were being held by police in connection with an investigation into parcel bombs sent to Lennon and to two other high-profile Celtic supporters.

Two bombs were sent to Lennon and one each to lawyer Paul McBride and politician Trish Godman.

The men, aged 41 and 43, were detained under the Explosives Substances Act 1883 after officers raided a number of properties in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, in the west of Scotland.

Last month police said the two packages sent to Lennon, and the two others, were "designed to cause real harm to the person who opened them".

Most Celtic fans are drawn from Glasgow's Catholic community.

Historically, many leading football clubs in Scotland have drawn their support from either the Catholic or Protestant communities in the cities where they are based.

Lennon, a Catholic who received death threats while playing for Northern Ireland, where the majority of the population are Protestants, was also beaten up in a Glasgow street while on a night out in September 2008.