Friday 15 December 2017

Cavan launch investigation into racism row

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A CavaN GAA club has claimed one of its players was racially abused at a game, with the allegation discussed at a meeting of the county's Competitions Control Committee (CCC) last night.

Cootehill Celtics, who lost the county intermediate football final replay to Lacken last week, formally made the complaint by letter on Friday last.

They claim a racist remark was made against one of their players by an opponent, which was also heard by one of his Cootehill colleagues.

Cavan PRO Declan Woods confirmed that a complaint had been made and would be dealt with by the Cavan CCC.

"This will be investigated thoroughly by our board. There are specific guidelines to follow in these matters and we will be following them," he said.

The Cavan CCC are awaiting the referee's report to see if there is any reference to the alleged incident before launching the investigation.

Cootehill Celtics chairman Larry McCluskey said the decision to lodge a formal complaint to Cavan County Board came after a club meeting that followed discussions with the player in question and his family.

"We're satisfied that we have grounds for taking this action to ask Cavan County Board to investigate," he said.

"There is a lot of disquiet in our club about it," he added.

Earlier this year, two Wexford club players were suspended for two months each for alleged racist remarks made to inter-county star Lee Chin, who was playing for Sarsfields in a Senior Football Championship match.

The alleged remarks were raised in the report of referee Brendan Martin and subsequently acted upon.

Chin later testified that he had brought the matter to the attention of the referee after he himself had been yellow carded.

"It's becoming more of an issue for me, and it's not just me having to put up with this. There are younger people of mixed races coming up against this too. Some of them may just listen to some of the things being said to them and think, 'Is it worth this at all? I'm not going to bother'," Chin said at the time.

The issue of 'sledging' came to light during this year's Allianz football league when Armagh claimed in an initial statement after their match with Laois that "alleged racist and personal abuse directed at our players is apparently going unpunished."

That initial stance was diluted later in the week when a joint statement issued through the GAA press office from Armagh and Laois claimed Armagh's statement "did not accurately reflect" what occurred at O'Moore Park.

Meanwhile, a man in his 30s has been charged with a public order offence, which took place during the Ulster club championship preliminary round tie between Cavan champions Mullahoran and their Tyrone counterparts Errigal Ciaran.

The man, understood to be from Northern Ireland, is due to appear before Cavan District Court on November 15.

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