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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Wexford GAA chiefs insist the racial abuse of county star Lee Chin in a senior football championship game was an isolated incident.
Two members of the Duffy Rovers team were each banned for eight weeks following incidents in their defeat to Wexford town side, Sarsfields.
Referee Brendan Martin highlighted the racist comments directed at Lee in his match report, prompting a swift reaction by board disciplinary chiefs.
Chin, wing back on the side that defeated Longford in the Leinster SFC quarter-final replay on June 10, is understood to be extremely upset and shocked by the incident.
Wexford County chairman, Diarmuid Devereux last night said such incidents ‘cannot be tolerated’ in the GAA.
"Lee Chin is a Wexford man, born in Wexford, educated in Wexford, living and working in Wexford.
"He is one of our stars of the future. Hopefully many more will follow his lead and example."
Devereux vowed: "Any form of racism in the GAA cannot be tolerated. It is terrible that Lee was subjected to these comments on a GAA pitch and the players involved should be ashamed of their behaviour.
"The hope I have is that through education and promotion of ethnic policy, we will rid Gaelic games of such abuse.
"The chances are that in the next 10 or 20 years, we will see the children of former non nationals representing more and more counties."
Devereux said he had no role in deciding the length of the bans. He explained: "It is up to the committee to deal with the bans. But an eight weeks suspension is a serious ban in gaelic games. My preference is that we have better education programmes in place to stop these things occurring in the first place. This is an isolated incident. But one incident, is one too many. Hopefully some good comes from this as it will help educate players."
Sarsfields chairman Ger Halligan last night also expressed hope that the GAA can learn from incidents such as this.
He revealed: "We are in the process of working with other clubs to draft a motion to our county board and hopefully to Congress to deal with the issue of racism in the GAA and have something enshrined into the rulebook.
"We support Lee in this matter. As far as we are concerned the matter has been dealt with and the issue is closed.
"Lee has a couple of important games with the county U21 hurlers and senior footballers in the coming weeks and we wish him the best of luck."
Meanwhile the Gaelic Players Association last night also issued their support for Chin.
"This incident was unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by anyone," GPA spokesman Sean Potts said. "If we won’t deal with racism, we fail collectively. The GAA are making great strides in terms of integration but a zero tolerance approach must be shown to incidents such as this, and that is something we have reiterated to our own members over the years. The GPA have a strong relationship with Show Racism the Red Card and hopefully such programmes can eradicate these incidents from gaelic games and from Irish society in general."
Duffry Rovers declined to comment when contacted last night.
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