Footballer apologises after claiming that Limerick is 'full of gypsy horses' tied to lampposts
Published 15/06/2016 | 02:30
A former Dundee United striker has apologised after making bizarre comments about his time in Ireland, including claiming Limerick was "full of gypsy horses".
Jordan Moore said: "They call the area Stab City. On every second lamppost there is a horse tied against it."
Moore, who stayed in Limerick on a three-month loan with Limerick FC, added: "There must be 20 horses in every street you walk down. But if you tried to cut the horses loose then they would kill you - supposedly."
In comments to the 'Daily Record', he claimed: "The police came and moved all the horses away one day.
"The next [day], the guys who owned the horses smashed every shop and put all their cows in the shops and in schools as well.
"The farmers who had cows in their fields put them in the shops, for revenge. The police gave them all the horses back and told them to watch what they were doing."
The picturesque village of Bruff, where Limerick FC has set up a soccer academy in the former FCJ Convent secondary school, also came in for some incredible criticism from Moore.
"I stayed in a place called Bruff. It was the weirdest village ever," he said.
"The locals would jump on the backs of horses and just ride along. There were no cars. Or at least there was more horses than cars," he told the newspaper.
Moore said he was forced to vacate the academy's accommodation units at the Convent - claiming it was haunted. He told the 'Daily Record' a nun had previously "committed suicide" in his room.
Moore also claimed he had trouble securing his wages from Limerick FC: "I wasn't getting paid on time and I told them it couldn't continue. They wanted me to stay for the rest of the season but it is all a lot more sane over here."
But last night in a grovelling email sent to Limerick FC, Moore said: "To all at Limerick FC, I am writing to apologise unreservedly for any distress I may have caused by the coverage in today's newspapers. It was completely unintentional.
"The people in the town were extremely nice to me during my time there and I am sorry for any offence and distress I have caused," Moore added.
"I have been a bit naïve and it is a harsh lesson learned for me. Again, my apologies."
Reacting to Moore's initial comments, the Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Liam Galvin, said he was "horrified and disgusted".
"It's very disappointing. He calls Limerick stab city. Okay, there was a nickname on our city, but that is long gone," he said.
Defending the city, he said: "We are very proud of our culture. We are very proud of our sporting achievements here, particular in soccer, rugby and GAA."
Referencing the city's past troubles with gangland crime, the mayor said: "I want to acknowledge the work that the gardaí have done in bringing our city back from where it was many years ago. They have brought our city back from the dark days. I am very proud to say our city is on the way up."
Limerick FC said it is "hurt, angered and dumbfounded" by the comments and refuted claims Moore wasn't paid on time.
A spokesman for Limerick City and County Council said: "We have had contact with representatives for Jordan .... We accept this apology and welcome, in particular, clarification that the people of Bruff were extremely nice to him during his time there."
"This is what we have come to know and expect of Bruff, which is a very hospitable and welcoming town and anything but what was portrayed in the article, which Jordan now clearly states was unintentional," he said.
Fine Gael councillor for the Bruff area, Bill O'Donnell, earlier described Mr Moore's comments as "childish" and "imbecilic".
Cllr O'Donnell invited Moore back to Bruff to sample the local annual Halloween storytelling festival, as well as the Bloom festival which takes place next Thursday. "There will be plenty of Joycean tales of ghosts," he said. "He can visit our goblins and ghosts and anything else that takes his fancy. Bruff is full of fantasies, takes and stories."
Declan Hehir, who runs a local scare attraction at the Bruff Convent, called The Asylum, invited Mr Moore back to visit over Halloween.
"We'd love to invite him. He'll get the fright of his life," Mr Hehir said.
"And, we'll give him a free pony ride as well," he added.