The appearance of character Nancy Carter wearing a Ballymena school PE top on Friday night’s Eastenders caused a real sensation on Facebook and Twitter.
Nancy, played by English actress Maddy Hill, was seen sporting a St Patrick’s College PE jersey in the Queen Vic during Friday night’s episode leading to thousands of people asking where they could get their hands on one.
A spokeswoman for Eastenders stated, however, on Saturday: “The top which Nancy Carter wore on Friday night’s episode is a school PE kit which was purchased from a vintage shop.
“As all EastEnders viewers will know, the character of Nancy Carter is a tomboy and wears a huge range of sports wear which she chooses for the way it looks not because she has any allegiance to any sport or club.”
Nancy, a newcomer to Albert Square is the daughter of Danny Dyer’s character, Mick Carter.
The appearance of her wearing the shirt during Friday’s episode, however, made outspoken loyalist Willie Frazer take to social networking sites.
Victims’ campaigner Mr Frazer accused the GAA of glorifying terrorism and compared the use of the shirt by the soap to promoting the National Front, Klu Klux Klan or Nazism.
He posted on his Facebook account: “I’m sure many of you watched EastEnders in horror last night when Nancy Carter, who works behind the bar in the Queen Victoria, was clad in the shirt of an organisation which glorified IRA terrorists, the GAA.
“This surely must have been a mistake by the costume people, any shirt supporting the NF, KKK or indeed Nazism would never be allowed on a family show so why a shirt belonging to an organisation who name clubs after IRA terrorists, give out medals with IRA terrorists on them and who hold IRA events (on) their premises.”
Mr Frazer said he had lodged an official complaint with the BBC regarding the shirt.
When it was pointed out to Mr Frazer that the top is actually that of St Patrick’s College PE kit, he remained defiant.
Instead he blamed GAA supporters for ‘hijacking’ the use of the shirt on the show.
“I don’t see why I would have to apologise to the school. It wasn’t the school with which the issue was raised, it was the GAA and all that goes with that.”
Sinn Fein north Antrim MLA Daithi McKay criticised Mr Frazer’s remarks and called on him to withdraw them.
“The appearance of the St Patrick’s shirt has created quite a buzz throughout Ballymena,” said Daithi McKay.
“The top in question is a PE shirt.”
He added: “It is concerning Willie Frazer continues to target anybody and everybody with an association to the GAA.
“The GAA in Ballymena, like other sports, works on a cross-community basis and Willie Frazer’s comments are very much out of tune with the community in Ballymena.”
The spokeswoman for EastEnders was unable to confirm how many, if any, complaints had been made regarding the shirt.
Ballymena Times contacted St Patrick’s College but due to the half-term break no-one was available for comment.