Thursday 27 October 2016

Donegal manager slams 'toxic' behaviour after player taunted over death of his father from cancer

Published 21/05/2015 | 18:56

Donegal minor captain Micheal Carroll
Donegal minor captain Micheal Carroll

Donegal minor football manager Declan Bonner spoken of his disgust at the "toxic" abuse suffered by one of his players during the recent Ulster championship encounter with Tyrone.

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Bonner, writing in his weekly column with the Donegal News, claimed team captain Micheál Carroll, was ‘the victim of some of the worst verbal abuse you could imagine’.

The senior game between the two sides featured a huge amount of sledging between both sets of players and has been discussed at length in the aftermath of the fiery encounter.

However the proceeding minor match witnessed the same behaviour and Bonner has written of the abuse suffered by his team captain.

It has been alleged that two Tyrone players mocked Carroll about his father’s death. Francie Carroll, a former Donegal footballer, passed away in February 2014 after a short battle with cancer. Bonner has blasted the treatment of the 17-year-old from Gaoth Dobhair as ‘toxic’.

“If this is what is going to happen in games, then I don’t want to be a part of it,” Bonner said. “I would rather walk away than be involved in something that has become so toxic.

“Sledging is part and parcel of the game now, but there are certain boundaries that should not be crossed.

This whole thing has gone to a new level and in our minor game against Tyrone on Sunday, those boundaries were crossed to sickening levels.

“We all know that this goes on and I think everyone accepts that it just has become a big part of the game now, but when the verbals extend to the bereavement of a family member or a loved one, there has to be a line drawn.”

Bonner confirmed that he raised his concerns with Donegal County Board officials, who have declined to comment on the matter.

Former Donegal player Brendan Devenney said the allegation is "stomach turning".

“I heard back from a very good source that one Donegal minor, who lost his father to cancer, was taunted about that during a game," he said today. "That would turn your stomach.

“There is the mental health element here and are players able to take what is being said to them? What must that minor have been thinking after the game?”

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