| 19.5°C Dublin

Kilcoyne tribute scrapped amid fears of protest by Rovers fans

THE FAI will not ask League of Ireland clubs to mark the passing of former president Louis Kilcoyne with a minute's silence before this weekend's fixtures.

There were concerns that any plans to ask fans for a show of respect before Friday's Dublin derby between St Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers would fall on deaf ears.

Kilcoyne, who passed away last Sunday, was a deeply unpopular figure amongst Rovers fans due to his role in the controversial sale of Milltown in 1987.

He owned the club along with his brothers, and the decision to sell Glenmalure Park for a considerable profit led to two decades of misery for the Hoops. The Dubliner was never forgiven for his actions.

The FAI have said they will mark the passing of Kilcoyne -- who subsequently went on to become president of the association -- before May's friendly international with Bosnia. Association figures were aware that a large number of Rovers followers were unlikely to keep their feelings silent.

annoyed

St Patrick's Athletic boss Liam Buckley yesterday expressed the wish that Rovers fans show respect to Kilcoyne.

Buckley, a former Hoops player and manager, remembers the administrator fondly but acknowledges that his view could be affected by the fact that he had moved on when the decision to sell Milltown was made.

"I know people will feel annoyed and bitter, but I don't think the moving out of Milltown was Louis' decision," said Buckley. "I'm sure it was a family/business decision they had to make at the time.

"Louis put an awful lot of time and effort into the club before that. That was a business decision and Louis had to front all of that. He would have been the face of that. He took the brunt.

"Don't get me wrong, it was a disaster for the club. But, if people reflect on what he did beforehand, I would only speak highly of him."

The Saints manager's happiest memories of Kilcoyne are the tours he arranged for Irish teams to travel the world, particularly in 1978, when a League of Ireland selection went to Argentina to play a pseudo-international against the natives -- who had a young Diego Maradona in their ranks.

Irish Independent