Kerry FC boss Billy Dennehy expresses shock after online racist abuse of his players

Dennehy: ‘We will protect all the players and everybody involved with the club at all times’

Kerry FC boss Billy Dennehy has spoke out about the shock and disappointment felt in the club after the club and its players were targeted by racist abuse online Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Damian StackKerryman

Kerry FC first team manager and director of football Billy Dennehy has expressed his shock and disappointment at last weekend’s developments, which saw Kerry FC players targeted by racist posts on social media platforms.

The posts, understood to have been focussed on the Twitter platform, came to light after Kerry FC’s 0-1 defeat to Athlone Town in Mounthawk Park on Friday evening and just a day after the FAI at a national level highlighted a similar issue with racist online abuse of its underage players.

“Very disappointed obviously when anything like that comes to light after the game,” Dennehy said at his regular Monday afternoon press conference ahead of the club’s game against Longford Town next Saturday.

“Unfortunately it's been across the game and across all levels, and for us again the online side of things it’s come through that way, not at the ground. I think it’s important to stress that as well, it was the online platform that it’s come from.

"You know to be fair to the club they acted really, really well, really really swiftly on it. It’s on powers above all of our control to find the best solution possible to put a stop to that side of things.”

The posts, no doubt, would have been deeply disturbing, not to mention shocking for the members of the Kerry FC squad to learn about.

“You don’t have to be a player to be shocked,” Dennehy stressed.

"I think everybody is [shocked]. That sort of behaviour isn’t acceptable in anywhere in the world. Unfortunately it still has a presence online. Like I say in that online fashion people seem to feel like they can have those views.

"It’s something that the club have acted on really well and it’s gone above all of our heads now to get the best possible solution and not just on behalf of the club, but for the overall health of the game.”

Few sports have been better at integrating people of different backgrounds than football, and Kerry FC has been no different in this regard with lots of different ethnicities represented on the squad. The club is very much a positive example in that regard.

“I think all sports, all organisations should be that way, sport in general along with other industries like music are for everyone,” Dennehy continued.

"Kerry Football Club is a fantastic club, which is fully diverse. It’s great to have the support of so many people in so many areas and that will always be the case, so yeah from our point of view as a club we’re extremely disappointed with what has transpired online and I think it’s important to stress that because people hid behind these profiles and different things.

"There’s no place for it. We will protect all the players and everybody involved with the club at all times.”