Sport GAA

Friday 20 September 2019

School claims racist chants aimed at GAA player during match

Stock photo: Sportsfile
Stock photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A Kerry school has claimed one of its players was the subject of racist abuse at a match.

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne said it has lodged a complaint to the body that oversees post-primary schools GAA.

It said the incident occurred during its All-Ireland colleges A football semi-final with Naas CBS last week.

Naas won the match by six points to qualify for last Saturday's Hogan Cup final which they lost to St Michael's, Enniskillen, at Croke Park.

But the game left a sour taste for the Dingle school over the nature of some of the chants they allege emanated from a section of the Naas support.

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne principal Eamonn Fitzmaurice, the former Kerry manager who was manager of his school team on the day, confirmed a letter of complaint had been submitted yesterday.

He stressed the alleged racial comments had not come from any of the Naas team but had their source among the crowd.

Speaking yesterday he said they hadn't raised the issue after the game last week because they didn't want it to "be misconstrued as sour grapes".

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"We had been beaten fair and square by the better team on the day. We just wanted to have our facts straight.

"I was at the far side of the pitch. I was aware that the Naas CBS supporters were very noisy but that wouldn't be very unusual at schools matches. There would always be a good atmosphere.

"It was after the game that I was made aware that there was a racist element to some of the chanting, not all of it," he added.

"It definitely wasn't anything to do with the opposition players.

"It very much came from an element of the supporters, not all of them, it should be pointed out.

"It is not something we have encountered before.

"We have had some very positive experiences at Hogan Cup level and Corn Uí Mhuirí level and we have never come across it before. We would like to make sure it doesn't happen again and that it is a one-off thing."

Mr Fitzmaurice said there had been disquiet in their school over it last week.

"A lot of the parents and teachers from our school were at the game and they were unsettled by it, they weren't happy about it," he said.

Naas CBS manager Ronan Joyce said yesterday he couldn't comment because he wasn't aware of it but stressed they would be totally against such activity if it had taken place.

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