John Mooney has been handed a three-match suspension by Cricket Ireland following a tweet regarding the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, ruling him out of a one day international with Pakistan.

As well as missing the first ODI international against Pakistan in Clontarf next month, Mooney must sit out Leinster Lightning's Inter-Provincial games against Northern Knights on 6 May, and North West Warriors on 14-16 May.

The 31-year-old was found to be in breach of clause eight of his Cricket Ireland contract which prohibits players from any public statements that it considers "denigrates, is derogatory, or is prejudicial to the interests of cricket; or is of a nature which brings the game of cricket or Cricket Ireland into disrepute."

While the punishment may appear to be extremely harsh, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom defended the decision and said: "John accepted that the tweet was offensive and inappropriate. We took into consideration the fact that he issued a fulsome and swift apology and that he is genuinely remorseful for his action.

"However, given the breach of his contract and nature of the tweet, we felt it appropriate that a three match sanction be imposed.

"We have also severely reprimanded John and reminded him of his duties and responsibilities as a high-profile international cricketer."