The owner of Cork City FC Dermot Usher has said that the content of chanting after a game between the club and Shamrock Rovers at the weekend had “crossed the line.”
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast and RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show, Mr Usher said he could not believe that people thought it was acceptable to chant such “disgusting” comments.
A number of fans chanted comments about the son of the Shamrock Rovers manager who is undergoing treatment for leukemia. The culprits were not on the soccer grounds, but in the garden of an adjacent pub, however the chants were caught on the pub’s CCTV and on the club’s Go Pro camera.
“I just can’t believe that people think it’s okay to actually chant the things that these guys said. For us as a club, we’re a family club, we’re trying to attract new fans to come and support the team.”
Mr Usher said that the club apologised unreservedly to the Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley and his family.
The owner of the pub had been “very proactive” and had contacted the club immediately after the incident, the gardaí were called and witness statements were taken. “People are saying this is not acceptable.”
Mr Usher said the people identified will be banned for life from the club grounds. “Two people have been identified, two people have admitted to their wrongs. These two guys are going to get lifetime bans.”
Shannon Airport preparing for more than 42,000 pas…
Security teams at the club would know in the future who to look out for on match nights. “All I can do is ban them from Turner’s Cross (the club’s grounds). I’m not sure what I’m allowed to do beyond that. I hope all clubs will support me.”
Mr Usher said he had spoken to Mr Bradley and he understood that any parent would have been shocked and upset at the abuse that had been shouted at him. “It completely crosses the line. There is a disconnect about what people think is acceptable.”
A private fan forum had set up a fundraising appeal for the Irish Cancer Society because fans were embarrassed by what had happened.
“There comes a point when enough is enough.”
Mr Usher said he hoped some good would come from this incident, that people would realise what was and was not acceptable in public and on social media.