‘We should be ashamed’

Coiste na nOg Con­ven­tion hears of shock­ing in­ci­dents

Bray People - - SPORT -

“IT’S fright­en­ing,” was how Avon­dale’s Vic­tor O’Shaugh­nessy de­scribed Ed­die Leonard’s re­port into dis­ci­plinary in­ci­dents in­volv­ing adults dur­ing ju­ve­nile games in Wick­low in 2014 at the re­cent Coiste na nOg Con­ven­tion in Aughrim.

Leonard had out­lined four sep­a­rate in­ci­dents in his re­port in­clud­ing one where a ref­eree was forced to take shel­ter in a club house, another where a ref­eree was grabbed by the throat, and a third where a young ref­eree had re­signed after be­ing ver­bally abused dur­ing a game.

“Dis­ap­point­ing that we had a num­ber of is­sues in 2014,” said Leonard. “Ciaran Gaskin had to aban­don an Un­der-14 hurl­ing game was in Bray due to abuse and in­sults from an in­ter-county player who was act­ing as a men­tor with his team. Game was Bray Em­mets against Avon­dale.

“Adam Flem­ing from Balt­in­glass re­signed after be­ing sub­jected to dread­ful ver­bal abuse by an adult at an Un­der-12 game in Hol­ly­wood.

“De­spite speak­ing with Adam and plead­ing with him to re-con- sider, his words were, “Why should I bother putting my­self in that po­si­tion, when I can be do­ing bet­ter things on a Mon­day evening”, I had to ac­cept and re­spect Adam’s decision.

“Pat Hickey was abused and ag­gres­sively con­fronted by team of­fi­cials and a par­ent at an Un­der-14 cham­pi­onship game in Wick­low. Pat had to be taken into the St. Pat’s club house for his safety. John Whyte was grabbed by the throat and abused at the end of the Un­der-14 ‘C’ fi­nal on Oc­to­ber 12 in An­nacurra.

“Then just for good mea­sure at the same game, a club Ju­ve­nile Chair­man was knocked out with a punch from a per­son from his own club while try­ing to help the ref­eree,” said Leonard.

Vic­tor O’Shugh­nessy went on to say that it was one of the most damn­ing re­ports he had read in re­cent times.

“We as an as­so­ci­a­tion can­not al­low that to hap­pen. It’s the most damn­ing re­port I’ve read in quite some time. It’s a sur­prise that more ref­er­ees haven’t re­signed. Who would want to suf­fer that abuse?” he asked. “I tell you one thing, it’s a dis­grace. We should be ashamed of our­selves,” he con­cluded.

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