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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Gardaí seek witnesses to 'sectarian incident' at rugby match

Stock photo
Stock photo
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Gardaí have appealed to rugby fans who witnessed alleged sectarian abuse at Saturday's European Champions Cup quarter-final clash between Leinster and Ulster to come forward.

After the match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Leinster condemned what it described as an "isolated" sectarian incident which led to a man being ejected from the ground.

However, it subsequently emerged the man was not arrested by gardaí.

In a statement, An Garda Síochána said a number of people were ejected by stadium stewards with the help of gardaí in relation to alcohol consumption and minor public order issues.

"There were no allegations of criminal or discriminatory conduct brought to the attention of An Garda Síochána on the night and no arrests were made. Subsequently, it has come to the attention of An Garda Síochána that there may have been an instance of discriminatory behaviour," it said.

"Although no formal complaint has been made to date, gardaí at Donnybrook station would ask anyone who witnessed such behaviour or who has information that can assist, to contact them on (01) 6669200 or via email to donnybrook.ce@garda.ie."

It has been reported some fans left their seats as a result of the man's behaviour.

A Leinster statement said there was "no place in sport or in our society for any form of physical or verbal abuse".

The province said the vast majority of the 51,700 fans in attendance sang, roared, cheered and urged both teams on in what was "a hugely special day for Irish rugby".

Defending champions Leinster secured a hard-fought victory by 21-18 to secure a place in the semi-finals.

Irish Independent

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