Sunday 21 January 2018

Cavan racial abuse probe winds down due to lack of evidence

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

An investigation into a claim of racist abuse against a club player in Cavan has concluded without any disciplinary charge.

A specially established sub-committee of Cavan's Competitions Controls Committee wrapped up their investigation late last week and could not find sufficient evidence that the allegation was true.

Cootehill Celtic made a formal complaint in October to the Cavan Board that one of their players was the subject of a racist taunt during their intermediate football final replay against Lacken.

As part of the investigation it is understood that Cavan CCC interviewed the player in question and a member of his family as well as a team-mate and members of the club. The alleged remark was understood to have been heard by one of the player's Cootehill colleagues. The CCC also reviewed video evidence of the match.

However, the sub-committee found that the weight of evidence available to them could not back up a move to bring about disciplinary charges as a result of the Cootehill complaint.

A statement released by Cavan County Board, on behalf of its CCC, outlined how "following careful consideration, the available evidence was not sufficient to warrant the commencement of disciplinary procedures against the named party in the complaint or any other party."

The statement stressed how Cavan County Board "adheres fully to the Association's anti-sectarian and anti-racist policy."


At the time the complaint was made, Cootehill Celtic chairman Larry McCluskey said there had been "a lot of disquiet" in his club about the alleged incident.

Incidence of racial abuse have been reported elsewhere in the country this year, with the case of Wexford footballer Lee Chin being the most high profile. Chin was racially abused while playing for his club, Sarsfields, in a championship match, and two Duffry Rovers players were subsequently banned for eight weeks.

Sarsfields are proposing a minimum suspension of 12 weeks for anyone found to have racially abused a rival player or mentor.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the fracas that developed 10 minutes into the second half of the Clare minor hurling final between Clarecastle and Kilmaley is expected to run for another week.

An investigating committee has been interviewing members from both clubs but because of some unavailability, their work will now stretch into a fourth week.

With the Clare Bord na nOg convention scheduled to take place towards the end of next week, it is hoped that the investigation will be concluded by then.

Pictures of Clare hurling legend and current Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly caught up in the altercation added to the focus on it.

Irish Independent

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