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Roddy Collins prepared to bring FAI to court over 'freedom of speech'

Monaghan United boss Roddy Collins will bring the FAI to court if they press ahead with plans to fine him €500 over comments he made on RTÉ Radio.

Roddy Collins on Tonight with Vincent Browne.
Roddy Collins on Tonight with Vincent Browne.
Image: TV3 website

MONAGHAN UNITED MANAGER Roddy Collins could be set to bring his dispute with the FAI to the High Court, despite seeing the fine he received for speaking out against the organisation reduced by half.

Collins was initially fined €1000 and told that he would receive a six-match touchline ban were it not paid, before seeing it reduced to €500, for comments he made on RTÉ Radio on 16 July.

However, the 50-year-old is citing ‘freedom of speech’ and says he is prepared to go down the legal route to make a stand.

“Mr Collins is minded that the FAI’s actions and censor legitimate freedom of speech in breach of and in denial of the exercise of his constitutional rights and he has only participated in the proceedings under protest and has never in any way waived his constitutional rights and intends to assert them by whatever means necessary,” a statement issued by Collins’ legal team reads.

“Reluctantly, it is his view that this issue can only be decided in the Courts of Ireland.”

Collins – a guest on Wednesday night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne – is reported as saying that the only thing he is guilty of is stating an honest opinion.

“I cannot back away from what I believe in and I firmly believe that during the RTÉ interview, I was giving an honest opinion,” he said.

“My only concerns are for the freedom to express my opinions and for the betterment of Irish football.

“The reason I have taken this course of action to date is to vindicate my good name and to also underline that I have the best interests of Irish football at heart.”

Collins concluded: “It’s disappointing that it has reached this stage, especially as this is at such a critical time in Monaghan United’s season.”

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