Friday 24 November 2017

'We did not call for segregation' insist Dr Crokes

THE fallout from last Sunday's junior football fracas at Portlaoise has taken another twist, with Kerry senior champions Dr Crokes insisting that they have not asked for supporters to be segregated at their All-Ireland club SFC semi-final next month.

The Killarney outfit tackle defending champions Crossmaglen at the same O'Moore Park venue where chaos erupted during the All-Ireland JFC semi-final between Derrytresk of Tyrone and Kerry side Dromid.

That row was greatly exacerbated by protagonists in the stand leaping over the barrier to join the melee, and subsequent comments from Crokes chairman Vincent Casey prompted a raft of reports yesterday to the effect that the Kerry champions wanted their fans segregated.

But Crokes have now said in a statement that they "wish to clarify misinformation that appeared in the media", insisting they had merely requested an allotment of juvenile and family tickets for a particular section of the stand because they anticipated a large attendance at their semi-final.

"All other interpretation of the club's requests are a misinterpretation of the facts and the club is in no way calling for segregation of supporters," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Laois county board chairman Brian Allen has defended Portlaoise as a suitable neutral venue. "This is an isolated incident, we host a lot of games in O'Moore Park and we've not had this with visiting teams. I can't see it affecting us, we run our games very efficiently and people have always been impressed with how we host games."

Allen also maintained that GAA stewards aren't there to serve as peacekeepers, declaring: "Voluntary stewards are not expected to stop a fight when it starts - clubs are responsible for their players and officials and there are rules and regulations in place for that."

It has been reported that the CCCC -- the committee investigating last Sunday's brawl -- has asked the two clubs to identify their people involved in the row.

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