Friday 20 April 2018

Peader Heffron's GAA club condemn 'despicable attack' but claim they've been the subject of 'undeserved controversy'

Peadar Heffron with Joe Brolly
Peadar Heffron with Joe Brolly

Jonathan Bell

The GAA club accused of ostracising a player after he joined the PSNI has responded saying it has been made subject of "undeserved controversy".

It also rejected "dangerous insinuations members acquiesced or played an active role in targeting or attempting to murder Peadar Heffron" as "absolutely false".

The club said it condemned the "despicable" attack on Mr Heffron "unequivocally and without any ambiguity," sympathised with him and wished him well. It encouraged anyone with information on the attempted murder to pass information to the police.

For almost a week Kickhams Creggan GAC in Randalstown refused to comment on an interview given by its former member who joined the PSNI after it was formed in 2000. After a car bomb attack in January 2010 he was forced out of the service.

In the interview with former GAA star Joe Brolly in last weekend's Sunday Independent, Mr Heffron spoke of being ostracised by some of this teammates. He was boycotted by the club, isolated and humiliated during training sessions and fliers were passed around the dressing room targeting him.  While he was in a coma following the bomb attack, club officials visited his mother and father stressing they were only there in a personal capacity and in no way representing the club.

In a statement issued on saturday. the club said: "The club plays an intrinsic role within the local and wider community as shown this year by raising £45k for local charities and we are extremely proud of this.

"Kickhams Creggan wishes to make clear that we condemn the attempted murder of Peadar Heffron unequivocally and without any ambiguity.

"Members of Kickhams Creggan called to Peadar’s family home in the aftermath of the horrific attack upon him to express their sympathy and support, and we absolutely sympathise with Peadar today and wish him well as he deals with the injuries inflicted on him in this awful deed."

The statement continued: "Furthermore, we support fully and encourage anyone with information on the despicable attack on Peadar to give that information straight to the police.

"We also wish to categorically deny the dangerous insinuations that members of Kickhams Creggan club acquiesced or played an active role in targeting or attempting to murder Peadar Heffron. These allegations are absolutely false.

"We are deeply saddened that the reputation of our club and integrity of its membership has been challenged this week and made the subject of undeserved controversy."

Belfast Telegraph

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