Reports that a minor GAA player was subjected to racist abuse during a game last weekend are "a wake-up call" in the fight against racism in sport, the Seanad has heard.
"We need to do much, much more to ensure there is no place for sectarianism or racism in sport," said Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan, who described reports of the incident as "harrowing" during this afternoon's Order of Business in the Seanad.
Feighan was listening to local radio station Shannonside Northern Sound where a mother gave an account of a Gaelic football match in Cavan last Sunday, believed to be a minor game, which "ended up in mayhem".
Feighan said: "I understand the GAA will be dealing with this, but it was very harrowing to hear that in this day and age that you still have racist abuse and sectarianism in sport.
"I understand the GAA and the FAI have done a lot of work with the 'Show Racism the Red Card' but this is a very, very complex problem.
“There are people out there who think they can get away with this as spectators or on the pitch. I would say that this is a wake-up call.
"I was very taken aback at the account from this lady, who is passionate about the GAA. She felt that she wouldn't like her children to play again."
Feighan added: "I blame the parents out there who feel they have a right to call racist and sectarian chants and they must put a stop to it."