IRELAND cricketer John Mooney has been suspended for three matches over comments he made on Twitter following the death of Margaret Thatcher earlier this month.
In the message, Mr Mooney (31) expressed his hope that the former UK prime minister's death was "slow and painful".
He removed the tweet and apologised within hours.
Cricket Ireland said in a statement yesterday that the player was found to be in breach of his contract which prohibits players from any public statements which it considers denigrates, is derogatory, or is prejudicial to the interests of cricket or brings the game into disrepute.
Mr Mooney, who scored the winning runs in Ireland's historic win over England at the 2011 Cricket World Cup, apologised for his comments saying he accepted they "were offensive to many".
Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom welcomed the ruling. He said: "We have severely reprimanded John and reminded him of his duties and responsibilities as a high-profile international cricketer."
The suspension covers the first one-day international against Pakistan in Clontarf next month and Leinster Lightning's games against Northern Knights on May 6 and North West Warriors on May 14.