Frank Gillespie pictured with David Beckham. Picture from Twitter
The man involved in an altercation with Roy Keane on Wednesday, which hit headlines after an ambulance and Gardaí were called to the scene, has been named as businessman Frank Gillespie.
Gillespie, a son-in-law of Brendan Grace, previously owned a bar in Boston called The Blackthorn and became friendly with the Irish soccer team in the 1990s.
In 2004 he wrote a book called “Confessions from the Blackthorn” in which he described his involvement with Irish celebrities and this included stories about Keane and members of his family.
Interviewed in today’s Irish Daily Star Gillespie said the book was the basis of the argument in the Portmarnock hotel.
He went to the hotel to ask Keane to sign a copy of his recent biography “The Second Half”, but said the Corkman refused and became angry with him.
Gillespie said that Keane shouted at him: “Who gave you the authority to write a book and talk about my family?”
According to Gillespie Keane pushed him to the floor and then stood over him telling him to “Get up”.
Gillespie told the Star he spent 10 hours in Beaumont Hospital A&E after the incident and although discharged has been left with bruises after the incident.
“I have a very bruised neck and a bump on my head,” said Gillespie. “I also have bruises on my back and side.”
Roy Keane at a Republic of Ireland training session in Scotland yesterday
The FAI are said to be confident that CCTV footage of the incident will completely clear Keane of any wrongdoing.
In a statement yesterday Martin O’Neill stood firmly behind Ireland’s assistant manager saying: “I can say that having been made aware of the facts that Roy has both my full support and the full support of the FAI and John Delaney.”
Gardaí have said they are not investigating the alleged incident at the hotel as they have not received any complaint and have no evidence for it.
However, an officer did say that they would interview anyone who came forward and made allegations.
Gillespie, who travelled from Boston to Ireland before intending to travel on to Scotland for the game said he would still be supporting the Republic of Ireland tonight.
“I will still be shouting for the Irish team, more so than ever tomorrow night. I hope that this doesn’t affect the team in any way.”