A top GAA player has claimed he was racially abused during the Ulster club football final.
Crossmaglen Rangers full-forward Aaron Cunningham has alleged he was the victim of racist insults in the win over Kilcoo.
The Ulster Council of the GAA has confirmed the allegations and begun a full scale investigation.
Cunningham claimed: “During the game I got a bit of racial abuse from Kilcoo. You go out to play football in a good, sporting manner and hard-hitting and that. When race comes into it, I think it’s disgusting.”
He told the Irish Independent: “I don’t want to let it overshadow what has been a good game and a 10th Ulster title for us but I just feel that it has to be highlighted, because what was said has no place on a football pitch. I don’t want to repeat it but the N-word was used.
“The linesman was standing 10 yards away; I can’t say if he heard it or not, he said he didn’t. I told him what was said and I just felt it was absolutely disgusting.
“In the heat of the championship game when these things are said to you, it does rile you.
“I would never, ever call anybody by their creed or their race or anything like that. I was just disgusted to hear it but it will not dampen the celebrations. I just had to make it known that it was said.”
Crossmaglen manager Tony McEntee said: “I’m not going to make an issue of it nor do I want an issue of it, nonetheless he knows what animated him. It’s something that maybe happened his father before and it shouldn’t happen.”
A statement from the Kilcoo side said they were ‘shocked and saddened to hear of any allegations of racial abuse following the Ulster Club Final’.
The club added: “We promise to co-operate fully with any investigation.”