League to investigateallegations by Derry fans


By Paul Doyle

19/09/01: Eircom League commissioner Roy Dooney has asked Shelbourne FC to clarify the role of the club's General Manager, Ollie Byrne, in an incident which occurred in the Tolka Park stands during yesterday’s Premier Division match between Shelbourne and Derry City.

At least one Derry fan has threatened to file a complaint with the Gardai over Byrne’s alleged reaction to the display by Derry fans of a banner aimed at Shelbourne defender Peter Hutton. Hutton played for Derry until recently and left to join the Dublin side after fans had believed he had committed to stay with the Northeners. The banner read "Pi££a = Juda$". "Pizza" is Hutton’s nickname.

At half-time at Tolka Park last night, Byrne left his seat and marched towards the forty or so Derry fans in the Riverside stand in an apparent bid to have the banner removed. Derry fans refused to take down the banner and jostling ensued. Stewards and at least four Gardai were also on the scene and separated the parties. Some Derry fans have posted their allegations on internet sites, and one has accompanied these with several photos of the disturbance.

Dooney has been "made aware" of the incident and has been in contact with senior officials of both clubs. He told ireland.comtonight that both have given "very differing versions of events" so he has requested that they submit written accounts of their grievances.

"I’ll be talking to the clubs again tomorrow, since it would obviously be better to have this resolved sooner rather than later" said Dooney.