independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

World champion walker Rob Heffernan apologises for offensive Roma tweet

Cork race walker Robert Heffernan celebrates after winning the men's 50k walk at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.
Cork race walker Robert Heffernan has since deleted the offensive tweet

World walk champion Rob Heffernan has apologised for posting an offensive tweet on Twitter after gardai removed two Roma children from their families on unfounded suspicions.

The 50k gold medalist said his tweet was a “knee jerk reaction” and he feels huge remorse in hindsight.

He added that he wanted to apologise unreservedly to anyone who was offended by it.

Fans of the athlete hit out at him on their social networking sites with one stating he was “quick to spew bile.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has said Section 12 of the 1991 Child Care Act, which is used to remove children at risk from their home, would be re-examined if an investigation by the Ombudsman for Children found that changes to the legislation were necessary.

Her comments came following the temporary placing of two Roma children into State care earlier this week.

Ms Fitzgerald said the powers of investigation given to  Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan into the procedures and protocols used by the authorities would complement the independence of the office and ensure that public trust was maintained

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