Tuesday 23 January 2018

Racist abuse not being tackled, says mum of teen GAA player

Dion Marcus with his parents Ann and Refaat Marcus in Killarney, Co Kerry
Dion Marcus with his parents Ann and Refaat Marcus in Killarney, Co Kerry
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

THE mother of a teenager of Egyptian/Irish descent, who claims he was told to "go back where you came from" during a GAA match, has spoken of her disappointment that the matter won't be pursued further.

Ann Marcus made a complaint to gardai and the GAA after her son Dion (14) claimed he was subjected to racial abuse by an adult during a GAA football match in May.

The teenager has represented his country abroad in the Irish athletics team for the world championships in South Korea in July.

The incident highlights the growing problem of racism in sport, which reared its ugly head again this week when Crossmaglen Rangers player Aaron Cunningham claimed he was subjected to racial abuse during the Ulster club final.

Mrs Marcus says she was notified by gardai this week that the DPP would not be pursuing the matter any further. However, she said she had not heard from the GAA since the formal complaint was made over six months ago.

Dion, who was only 13 when the incident occurred, is a promising underage footballer with Dr Croke's in Killarney. His father Refaat was born in Egypt.

The teen claims the racist comments were made by an adult from the opposing team at a GAA underage match in Killarney.

Kerry County Board said its hands were tied while the garda investigation was ongoing.

Chairman Pat O'Sullivan said the board was not aware the investigation had concluded.

Irish Independent

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