Friday 28 October 2016

'I refuse to join Twitter because I don't want to suffer abuse' - Sean Cavanagh

Published 30/06/2015 | 10:23

Sean Cavanagh and Paddy O'Rourke
Sean Cavanagh and Paddy O'Rourke

Sean Cavanagh has slammed the Twitter abuse GAA players suffer and will never open an account with the social media platform as a result.

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The issue surround Twitter trolls has been thrust into the limelight after Meath keeper Paddy O'Rourke decided to retweet abusive messages he received in the aftermath of Meath's defeat to Westmeath at the weekend.

O'Rourke was sent-off in injury-time in injury time and was targeted on Twitter, one user even threatened to 'knife' him.

Cavanagh, an International Rules team mate of O'Rourke, said he was 'disappointed' with the abuse and asked people to have more consideration for the welfare of players.

Paddy is a good lad, he's a big fella who hasn't a bad bone in his body," he told the Irish Daily Star.

"Sunday night with Paddy is just another example of that (abuse) and it's just disappointing.

"It's hard that someone can be abused that way after giving his best for his team.

"I have seen a  few incidents where players have been really annoyed maybe after a bad defeat where people have been abused online.

"It doesn't look good for the players involved, their confidence and their esteem.

"Players can be fragile as well, nobody knows what's going on in terms of their psychological make-up.

"Whenever people are sending these messages, they obviously don't think and generally players are in a bad place after they lose a big championship game and it doesn't help things.

"it's just a really bad reflection on the people sending them and the GAA and the world itself."

The former Footballer of the Year said that he would never consider joining Twitter because of the potential abuse he could suffer.

"It gets to me that people out there are on Twitter firing stones and are going to give abuse when things don't go their way," he added.

"On of the reasons that I don't go on is that I don't want to give people the opportunity to abuse me.

"As a player, it's possibly not something I would like... I wouldn't like people coming up to you on the street abusing you that way, and I wouldn't like to see it sitting at home either.

It is part and parcel I suppose, and people say that when you sign up to these things that you are in the domain and you have to accept some of the things that go on.

"But certainly, when it comes to abuse, I think there has to be some kind of protocol set up or something has to be done about some of what goes on.

"The authorities haven't caught up with it yet and it could be years down the line that someone cops on to how to police social media.

O'Rourke's uncle Colm, a legend of Meath and renowned GAA pundit, has said that the gardai may need to got involved when instances of serious abuse occur.


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