Boy allegedly assaulted at GAA blitz in Co Tipperary

It's understood that a man grabbed the child by the neck.
Boy allegedly assaulted at GAA blitz in Co Tipperary

Vivienne Clarke

Gardaí in Tipperary are investigating an alleged assault on a child, that took place at an under-nine hurling blitz in Thurles.

It's understood a man grabbed the child by the throat during the competition, shortly after 1pm on Saturday.

In a statement, gardaí confirmed that they were making enquiries following the incident.

"Gardaí at Thurles were alerted shortly after 1pm on Saturday, 15th October 2022, following an incident of alleged assault at a children's sports event in Thurles.

"Enquires in to the matter are ongoing.

"As the incident involves young persons An Garda Síochána will not be commenting further at this time," the statement read.

On Newstalk Breakfast, former GAA president Sean Kelly MEP said that the GAA "needs to get a grip" on the problem of abuse through stiffer penalties, to show that it was not acceptable for adults to behave this way.

"This must not become the norm".

There should be zero tolerance for actions like this and this needed to start at club level, Mr Kelly said. Each club should establish its own code of conduct and make it known to players, officials and parents so it was known that it was not acceptable to abuse referees or players.

"Clubs know those who are hotheads. If this is to be stamped out, it has to be done internally," he said.

Each club must outlaw such behaviour and identify those who are likely to behave this way, to then tell them that such behaviour was not acceptable and that they had better stay away from games, he said.

The GAA should adopt a two pronged approach - no tolerance of such behaviour from "top to bottom" with stricter penalties and the onus should be put on clubs to identify such behaviour and then "sort it out", Mr Kelly added.

Mr Kelly's comments come after other high-profile violent incidents at GAA events, including an assault on a referee at a club match in Ballyforan, Co Roscommon in August.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more