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The Toffees defender has denied posting a social network update in support of the IRA during St Patrick's Day celebrations

Republic of Ireland under-21 captain and Everton defender Shane Duffy is at the centre of a Twitter controversy after allegedly posting an update in support of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Duffy replied to and retweeted a message from a fan saying "Up the Ra!" during the night, after uploading a photograph of a pint of Guinness to celebrate St Patrick's Day. The defender admitted to being drunk before replying to the post supporting the IRA.

Since the incident, the original tweet has been removed from Duffy's timeline, and the 21-year-old has also claimed innocence over the twitter update, writing "Haha wow this Wernt me!!!!". Duffy apologised for the updates, writing "sorry everyone some little paddy had my phone last night tweets wernt me.. sorry if it offended anyone!! cant leave ur phone anywhere now!!"

The defender also added the following updates to apologise for the offending remarks: "Wow so much hate on something I didn't do.. Fair enough gotta take it because its my twitter. And again It was not me who tweeted...And retweeted loads last night! Really am sorry if it offended anyone.. Sorry guys!"

This is not the first time a Republic of Ireland player has courted controversy on Twitter, with Sunderland winger James McClean forced off the social network site following verbal altercations with fans.

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