O'Connor 'sorry' for gesture to Pats fans
SHAMROCK ROVERS midfielder Sean O'Connor has apologised for his actions after his sending off in Friday's Premier Division defeat to St Patrick's Athletic, but is still likely to receive an additional suspension to go with his automatic one-game ban.
O'Connor released a statement apologising for gesturing at St Pat's fans in Rovers' 4-0 defeat.
The former Saint gave the away fans a one-fingered salute as he left the field having received a red card at Tallaght as his side slumped to a 4-0 defeat.
O'Connor has become something of a pantomime villain for St Pat's fans this season after questioning his former club's ambition when he left Richmond Park last winter, saying he made the move to win trophies.
So, when he was dismissed for a professional foul early in the second half of a game that left the Hoops 14 points adrift of their local rivals, the away fans took considerable delight in his misfortune and he responded by raising his middle finger.
"During the course of last Friday night's match against my former club, St Patrick's Athletic, an incident occurred that I now regret and I wish to explain," he said in a club statement.
"It was a very competitive occasion which ended with an extremely disappointing result for my club. Following the red card I received, I reacted in an inappropriate manner.
"The gesture, which was clearly unacceptable, followed from my own frustration at being sent off and was in response to verbal abuse I had received from St Pat's fans throughout the game and which intensified at that moment.
"I realise, however, as a professional footballer that I must rise above that and channel my disappointment in a different manner. I apologise unreservedly to anyone who was offended by the gesture."