Clare fan: ‘I was dragged off Páirc Uí Chaoimh like a dog’

An unidentified Clare fan is taken from the pitch at the weekend

By James O’Connor

A Clare fan said he was “dragged off the field like you’d drag a dog” following the county’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final win over Wexford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday.

Supporters had been asked not to encroach on the pitch at the final whistle but several jumped onto the field and sprinted past the stewards who had formed a line.

Gerry McNamara, one of the pitch invaders, said he was ‘manhandled’ by officials.

He told Clare FM: “I went on the field and I spotted a gap between two stewards and I made a beeline for the players to congratulate them.

“I was dragged off like you’d drag a dog.”

He continued: “On Sunday all the people went on the field in Thurles. After the Munster final, you could go on the field in Thurles.

“What’s the difference in Páirc Uí Chaoimh? I was manhandled, my arm is black and blue.”

James O’Halloran’s 65-year-old father was also removed in the aftermath. O’Halloran said: “My father went out there on Saturday to congratulate the players, he was ecstatic. He went over to John Conlon, he got as far as them. Three stewards approached him from behind, they grabbed him with some force on his arms. He’s quite bruised and quite shook up after it.”

He continued: “We’re quite reasonable people. If someone had come up and said that to my father to leave the pitch I’m sure he would have come off the field immediately. He wasn’t given that opportunity. You can see it in the pictures, he was carried off like he was a criminal.”

Cork GAA chiefs last night said they are awaiting a report on the alleged incidents.

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