Protesters urge Ulster Rugby to cut ties with sponsor Kingspan

Protesters have demonstrated outside Ulster Rugby’s home to demand that the club cut ties with main sponsor Kingspan in light of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

ingspan products were used in the Grenfell Tower in west London, where 72 people died in a fire in 2017.

The Irish insulation company is the shirt sponsor of Ulster Rugby and also holds the naming rights for their home stadium at Ravenhill in south Belfast.

A number of people belonging to a group called Community Action Tenants Union (CATU) gathered at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday afternoon ahead of Ulster’s European Champions Cup game against Clermont Auvergne.

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A campaigner speaks to a rugby fan outside Kingspan Stadium (Niall Carson/PA)

Campaigner Kate Alizadeh said they wanted to reach out to supporters and voice their concerns about Kingspan.

“It is simply an action to show solidarity with the people who survived the Grenville Tower disaster as well as those living in unsafe safe houses in Northern Ireland and elsewhere,” she said.

“We want to connect with fans and also raise awareness of Kingspan.”

The Grenfell investigation into the fire tragedy has heard evidence criticizing Kingspan’s business practices.

However, Kingspan insisted that its K15 insulation product made up only 5% of the insulation in the tower block and was used without his recommendation.

It also said the exterior cladding, which it didn’t manufacture, was believed by the investigation to be the “main reason” for how quickly the fire spread.

UK Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove wrote to Ulster Rugby last month asking them to reconsider their relationship with Kingspan while the Grenfell investigation is ongoing.

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The Grenfell Tower (PA)

Earlier in December, Formula 1 team Mercedes announced that they had terminated their sponsorship deal with Kingspan, saying it was “inappropriate” to continue the partnership.

Ulster Rugby has previously said a review of its sponsorship partnership is underway.

The club declined to comment on Saturday’s protest.

Kingspan was approached for comment.

Commenting on the controversy over Mercedes sponsorship last month, the company said: “We had no role in the renovation of the Grenfell Tower. However, our company Kingspan Insulation UK is one of the key participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and supports it.” important work of the Inquiry in full.”

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