Donall Farmer/INPHO Paddy O'Rourke cuts a dejected figure at the end of Sunday's game.
# trolled
'It's just not on that players have to deal with these sorts of issues'
GAA stars come out in support of Meath goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke, who was trolled on social media.

A HOST OF leading intercounty stars have rallied around Meath goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke after he was subjected to some vile Twitter abuse last night.

O’Rourke, sent off in stoppage time against Westmeath in yesterday’s amazing Leinster senior football semi-final, found himself in the eye of a storm when he retweeted criticism from fellow social media users shortly after the game.

One account, which has since been suspended, threatened to knife the Skryne netminder, who is the nephew of former Meath star Colm O’Rourke.

Discussing the issue on The Sunday Game last night, the panellists agreed that abusing players online is not acceptable.

Ex-Westmeath ace Dessie Dolan said: ”It’s dangerous. It shouldn’t happen. It’s just not on that players have to deal with these sort of issues.

“(But) when you open a Twitter account as a footballer, and you see it over in England in the Premiership, it is very dangerous. A lot of managers now ask players not to do that.”

Tomás Ó’Sé agreed, adding: ”As a player, you’re always told to stay away from it. There’s nothing you can do about it.

“If someone wants to throw a comment up, they can throw a comment up.

“These guys have to go to work in the morning. If it’s a professional, grand, it’s their job and you’re going to expect some criticism but if it’s not, and it’s as serious as the stuff that went out, it’s wrong.”

O’Rourke’s Meath teammate Graham Reilly, who was black-carded yesterday, had this humourous response:

Former Laois footballer and Newstalk pundit Colm Parkinson wasn’t as sympathetic, however.

Parkinson asked why the Meath man was searching for himself on Twitter so soon after a crushing defeat.

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