Monday 20 August 2018

Hostel owner slams reports players 'rode goat like a horse' and 'wreaked havoc' on small island

Arranmore Island and (inset) a goat
Arranmore Island and (inset) a goat
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

The owner of a hostel on a small island off Donegal has slammed media reports a visiting football team "wreaked havoc" and "rode a goat like a horse" following a match over the weekend.

Inishowen League side Greencastle beat Arranmore United 6-0 and it has since been reported that some of their players were allegedly involved in unsavoury incidents.

According to the The Inish Times and Donegal Now, Greencastle players caused damage to a hostel, let a handbrake off a car causing it to roll down a hill and into two other vehicles, and rode a goat like a horse on the Arranmore island.

However, hostel owner Gerry Early has slammed media reports as "disgusting", claiming that players took photos beside the goat and did not "ride it like a horse", adding that the players were in good spirits and it was just a "bit of high jinx" after a few drinks.

Early, who is manager and chairman of the Arranmore club, told Independent.ie: "It was my hostel and my car that was involved and I can tell you the damage was absolutely minimal and the Greencastle players paid for it straight away.

"The media reports are way, way overblown. It was a bit of high jinx after a few drinks, there was very little damage and it has since been covered.

"The reporting has been disgusting and so one sided. No one rode a goat like a horse. They simply took a photo beside the goat."

A source told the Inish Times: "The boys are ashamed. They know they have been stupid, and they have admitted responsibility and will be paying for the damage they caused.

"This shouldn't have happened. The actions of a few players have damaged the reputation of the entire club, but the boys in question will take whatever punishment is handed out to them.

"I think we also have to be careful not to demonise them over the head of this. I'm not making excuses for them, but we've all done stupid things as young men, especially with drink taken.

"Nobody was killed - though obviously the incident with the goat shouldn't have happened."

A statement from Greencastle read: "Following allegations concerning the conduct of some of our players at the weekend, Greencastle Football Club are conducting an internal investigation into events concerning the club after a recent match in Arannmore Island.

"There will be no further comment from the club in relation to this matter until the investigation has been completed."

Inishowen League secretary Diarmuid O'Brien told the Inish Times: "The league is awaiting official correspondence from Arranmore Utd.

"When that is received we will take the matter from there and the appropriate action will be taken."

Greencastle had no further comment to make when contacted by Independent.ie.

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