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Footage 'will speak for itself', as Dromid press for Derrytresk punishment

Dromid Pearses have released a lengthy statement outlining their concerns following Sunday’s punch-up in Portlaoise.

Image: Youtube Screengrab

DROMID PEARSES HAVE renewed their appeal for the GAA to assign “appropriate punishment” to All-Ireland Junior Football finalists Derrytresk following last weekend’s violent scenes in Portlaoise.

In a lengthy statement released last night, the Kerry club said that they were “disturbed” and “saddened” by the brawl which broke out shortly before half-time in Sunday’s semi-final.

Dromid will not make any further comment until the GAA and the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) have time to review video evidence from O’Moore Park which, the club said, “will speak for itself”.

A short clip of footage filmed by Caherciveen cameraman Christy Riordan was released to the media on Monday. The video shows a number of spectators wearing Derrytresk club tracksuits jumping onto the pitch to join a fight which had broken out between the players.

Dromid believe that the game, which Derrytresk went on to win by 1-10 to 0-07, should have been postponed following the incident.

“The fact that so many people were placed in danger cannot be left unnoticed,” the statement read. ”The players, management and supporters of Cumann Peile Piarsaigh na Dromoda are all united in the knowledge that the CCCC will deal with this and assign appropriate punishment to those who instigated events.”

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Derrytresk have made just one public statement to deny what they describe as “serious allegations”.

“We remain confident that the GAA itself is best placed to provide the correct channels to deal with all matters which may or may not arise from this game,” the Tyrone club said on Monday.

Full text of statement by Dromid Pearses

Cumann Peile Piarsaigh na Dromoda would like to thank all those who have supported us through the recent days and wish to advise all media outlets that this will act as our final public statement regarding the events that occurred at last Sundays All Ireland Junior Football Championship Semi-final in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. It is now in the hands of the officials of Croke Park and in the hands of the CCCC.  We are issuing this statement in order to prevent any further confusion on the matter and hope this will clarify matters for all concerned, we also trust that a review of the footage of last weekend’s game will speak for itself.

In light of the game that occurred on Sunday last in Portlaoise, we felt that the issue of violence and public scenes of disturbance at GAA fixtures needed to be highlighted and acted upon in an official capacity.  This incident has left us, our team, management and club as a whole feeling quite disturbed having enjoyed our run throughout this fantastic competition to date and are saddened that it culminated in the events of last Sunday.  However the fact that so many people were placed in danger cannot be left unnoticed.

Failure to highlight issues such as this to us is no longer an option, Piarsaigh na Dromoda’s management and players have put their heart’s and soul’s into this competition and stand by the fact that we believe that last Sunday’s game should have been called off immediately after the incident that occurred on the pitch, that saw many individuals enter the field and partake in the melee that occurred.

It has taken much courage on behalf of our club to press ahead with this issue, as we feel it is a serious one.  Challenges like this can be perceived as “sour grapes” but as our spokesperson has made clear from the outset, this issue has nothing to do with the final score in this game and who has won or lost but chooses instead to emphasise that the likes of last Sundays incident has no place in the GAA and that the safety of players, referee’s and spectators is paramount.

We stand very firmly by the fact that this is not an issue of Kerry versus Tyrone or anything of the kind. We wish to make clear that had this occurred with any other team that we would feel the same.  We have the greatest of respect for Tyrone football and all they have achieved but incidents such as last Sundays cannot be tolerated by anyone or any team regardless of what county or province they represent.

Finally to clarify our stance on the issue, we feel that the events of last Sunday should never have occurred and that it has highlighted issues that need to be examined from a health and safety point of view as well as the ramifications that it has on the GAA as an entity.  However the players, management and supporters of Cumann Peile Piarsaigh na Dromoda are all united in the knowledge that the CCCC will deal with this and assign appropriate punishment to those who instigated events.

‘A weight has been lifted’ – Alan Brogan

Spillane: ‘the eye doesn’t lie’ – Derrytresk should be punished immediately

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Niall Kelly

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