SECTARIAN ABUSE ALLEGATIONS ROW… MAGHERACLOONE WITHDRAWS FROM GAA COMPETITIONS

17 May 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By MICHAEL McDONNELL
michael@northern-standard.ie

THE high-profile spat between two Monaghan GAA clubs over an alleged sectarian remark continued as we went to print yesterday (Wednesday) evening, with Magheracloone GFC’s chairman Bernard Freeman remaining adamant that his club would stay away from competition at all levels until such time as a suspension handed out to one of their players is lifted and the club’s “reputation restored”.

The controversy has seen the senior squads of both Magheracloone and Ballybay Pearse Brothers in the national news throughout the week, after the Ballybay players walked off the pitch at an SFL game in Inniskeen on Sunday because of a sectarian comment they claimed was directed at one of their players.

The Ballybay camp alleged that defender Drew Wylie, who was sent off about 10 minutes into the second half, had been the subject of sectarian abuse from the player he was deemed to have fouled.
The county champions then left the field en masse, and subsequently issued a statement calling on the County Board to investigate the incident and what was allegedly said to their player.

Their manager John Joe Gorman told the Northern Standard yesterday that he hoped the matter could be resolved at a meeting with the Co Board, which he expects will be taking place tomorrow (Friday) night.

But he was standing by statements he made to the press about what he had called the “despicable practice” of sectarian abuse. In yesterday’s Irish Independent, Mr Gorman said this was the “third year in a row” that Drew Wylie had to suffer such abuse on the playing field.

He said the players had left the field on Sunday because of a “vicious sectarian verbal assault”. Their action had …

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