Find a page

O'Rourke: Gardaí must act on abuse
30 Jun 2015 10:10
Former Meath star and RTÉ GAA analyst Colm O’Rourke has called for action by An Garda Siochána in response to online abuse directed at players on social media.
-
O’Rourke’s nephew, goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke, was subjected to a torrent of abuse following Meath’s Leinster SFC semi-final loss to Westmeath on Sunday, during which he was red-carded.
-
Paddy O’Rourke re-tweeted many of the comments directed at him after the game.
-
Speaking to RTÉ Sport on Monday, O’Rourke said the abuse directed at Meath players, and his nephew in particular was “disgraceful” and called for the “law of the land” to play a role in dealing with it.
-
“Where people are saying things which are incitement to violence or incitement to hatred, I think the gardaí need to intervene in these sort of things,” O’Rourke said. “People are getting with far too much of this online abuse.
-
“I even had a situation where my own name was being used on Twitter by somebody else to abuse people.
-
“The danger of that sort of thing is out there. I think players would be much better off, in general, if they weren’t on Twitter at all, even though it is of benefit to some people in their working lives.
-
“But I think it’s time that all decent people realised what’s going on: players don’t deserve this, after all the efforts that they put in, they shouldn’t be open to this sort of abuse after a defeat.”
-
Reflecting on the game itself, O’Rourke was gracious about Westmeath’s win, and about the manner of the victory.
-
“It was Westmeath’s day. It was a brilliant performance by them,” he said. “So, I suppose hats off them. They had a bad record against Meath, for over a 100 years never beaten them in the championship, but nothing lasts forever.
-
“Early on, it looked like Meath were just going to blitz them; Meath played brilliant football. But the Westmeath response was just magnificent.”
-
Responding to comments by RTÉ analyst Bernard Flynn that this Meath team were too nice, and lacked an aggression found in Meath teams of old, O’Rourke appeared to agree, and said: “It does appear as if, when the pressure comes on, in the big games, we haven’t been able to respond as we were in the past.
-
“And this is despite the fact that this group of players, who I know very well, have put in huge effort and preparation, between players and management, for these games. But it’s just not working for them at the moment.”
-
-
-

Where can I get RTÉ Aertel Digital?

RTÉ Aertel Digital is an enhanced digital version of the RTÉ Aertel teletext service. It functions in the same way as the analogue service, offering current news, sport and weather updates but is now more agile and easier to use.

RTÉ Aertel Digital is available on Saorview, the new free digital TV service in Ireland.
Press TEXT button on your remote to launch Aertel from RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, RTÉ News Now.