I’M SORRY

Bray Wan­der­ers gen­eral man­ager posted ‘joke’ about Florida massacre

Bray People - - FRONT PAGE - By MARY FOG­A­RTY

THE gen­eral man­ager of Bray Wan­der­ers, Martin (Murt) O’Con­nor has apol­o­gised fol­low­ing the post­ing of a ‘joke’ on so­cial me­dia about the killing of peo­ple in a Florida night­club. He had writ­ten on Face­book: ‘Man opens fire killing 50 in a gay club in Florida’. ‘Ap­par­ently he wasn’t a straight shooter.’ The Bray Wan­der­ers gen­eral man­ager later posted an apol­ogy to his Face­book page.

Club chair­man De­nis O’Con­nor said that the post was ‘inap- pro­pri­ate’ fol­low­ing pub­lic out­cry about its con­tent.

De­nis said: ‘He has apol­o­gised. I am happy on a personal level that he doesn’t sub­scribe to ho­mo­pho­bic views, and nor does Bray Wan­der­ers. We don’t be­lieve in any vic­tim­i­sa­tion of any kind.’

THE Chair­man of Bray Wan­der­ers FC De­nis O’Con­nor has said that a Face­book post by the club’s gen­eral man­ager Martin O’Con­nor was in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

On Sun­day evening, Martin O’Con­nor put up a post about the tragic events which had un­folded in Or­lando, where a num­ber of peo­ple were shot and killed in a night­club.

‘Man opens fire killing 50 in a gay club in Florida,’ read the post. ‘Ap­par­ently he wasn’t a straight shooter.’

‘ The club is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing it. It was an in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ment,’ said De­nis O’Con­nor.

‘He has apol­o­gised. I am happy on a personal level that he doesn’t sub­scribe to ho­mo­pho­bic views, and nor does Bray Wan­der­ers. We don’t be­lieve in any vic­tim­i­sa­tion of any kind,’ he added.

De­nis O’Con­nor said that a sec­ond post – which de­picted a mon­key and the cap­tion ‘Ster­ling leav­ing the sta­dium in Mar­seille. Or maybe this is racist from me!’ – had been mis­in­ter­preted.

‘He is not the au­thor of that,’ said Mr O’Con­nor, who added that Martin was re­spond­ing to an­other per­son in Liver­pool who had crit­i­cised him for only wish­ing Wales, Ire­land and North­ern Ire­land, and not Eng­land, well. He said that in re­sponse, Martin was il­lus­trat­ing what he thought that per­son had been post­ing about that player on a pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sion.

‘Peo­ple make mis­takes. Peo­ple in the na­tional arena made sim­i­lar mis­takes re­cently and apol­o­gised,’ said De­nis O’Con­nor.

Martin O’Con­nor posted an apol­ogy on his Face­book page which read: ‘I re­fer to two re­cent posts on this page which could and did cause of­fence. I sin­cerely apol­o­gise to all and will shortly be clos­ing this page.’

Lo­cal busi­ness owner Darren Darker wrote to the club as well as the FAI to com­plain about the state­ment.

‘It was in­ap­pro­pri­ate for a per­son in his po­si­tion who has in­flu­ence over mal­leable young minds,’ said Mr Darker. ‘He is gen­eral man­ager of a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion with in­flu­ence over the poli­cies and the at­ti­tudes of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.’

Mr Darker ex­pressed the view that the post was dis­tress­ing and ig­no­rant. ‘It says lit­tle both for the gen­tle­man in ques­tion and the foot­ball club that he runs.’

‘When a per­son is in charge of a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion es­pe­cially one as old and high pro­file as Bray Wan­der­ers in this day and age, all com­mu­ni­ca­tions from se­nior man­age­ment staff and play­ers are sub­ject to cri­tique and anal­y­sis. They hold a po­si­tion of trust and in­flu­ence as role models that far ex­ceeds their spe­cific job ti­tles.’

In re­sponse to an email from Mr Darker, the FAI said in an email seen by this news­pa­per that they will ‘im­me­di­ately in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter which you have brought to your at­ten­tion’.

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