herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

'Rovers fans broke my nose with a beer can at family wake'

A HOOLIGAN element within the supporters of Shamrock Rovers football club are alleged to have attacked a man with a beer can while he was at a wake in Dundalk.

Paul McGee (37) was with his wife Dara at the wake of her grandmother Maura Coleman (77) when he says he was struck in the face.

"My nose is broken, I have had six stitches to my face and the doctors think my eye socket is fractured," Paul said.

"What happened was disgraceful and unreal. The can was smashed into my face without any warning and it was completely unprovoked."

GROUP

Mr McGee was with Eddie Coleman, a son of the deceased, when a group of more than 70 Shamrock Rovers fans walked along the road past Mrs Coleman's house in Pearse Park, Dundalk, on Saturday afternoon before kick-off between the team and Dundalk FC.

"We as a family condemn this violence as we waked my mother. They were throwing cans into the garden as they passed by and I said to them 'would you show a bit of respect, there is a wake here, maybe take your rubbish with you'," Mr Coleman said.

"Then one of the crowd assaulted Paul with the can and when other family members came outside to see what was happening, the crowd verbally abused them calling them 'sheep sh*****s' and '**** bags'.

"My mother had seven children and 28 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, so when the children came out they saw this and they were crying. My mother would be horrified at this behaviour," he added.

He condemned the behaviour from "so-called Shamrock Rovers fans", adding that he knew there were also decent Shamrock Rovers fans.

"These were the scum of the earth and they weren't young, they looked to be in their 30s and 40s," he said

The family wants to know why any football fans were directed into a residential area. "We want answers as to how these rowdy drunken hooligans ended up passing by our vicinity," Mr Coleman said.

The family has complained to gardai about the incident .

A spokesman for Dundalk gardai confirmed "there was an issue with some Shamrock Rovers supporters who took a wrong turn to the match.

"We are aware an incident occurred in Pearse Park. We were very disappointed to hear something happened at a wake."

A spokesperson for the club told the Herald that it had not yet been notified of the incident by gardai or Dundalk FC. "Obviously the club don't condone this kind of behaviour," she said.

Mrs Coleman will be buried in Dundalk this morning.

hnews@herald.ie

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