Garda probe into racist abuse as footballer Christie makes complaint

Gardaí have launched a probe into the racist abuse suffered by Ireland soccer star Cyrus Christie after the player made an official complaint.

It is understood the Middlesbrough defender flew back to Dublin on November 27 to make a statement to gardaí about the vile messages directed at him on social media website Twitter - writes independent.ie.

Officers from Irishtown Garda station began examining the case on the back of this.

The Irish Independent understands that officers have contacted Twitter as part of the investigation. Anyone found to have racially abused Christie faces fines and a prison term of up to 24 months if they are convicted.

Christie was subjected to abuse which left him in tears following Ireland's defeat to Denmark in a World Cup play-off on November 14.

While these messages will be investigated, he also suffered abuse from online trolls before the game.

Gardaí will probe the content of messages sent to the player, and work to identify the people behind the anonymous accounts which sent the abuse.

Charges under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 could be brought against the trolls.

The law prohibits the publication or distribution of written material, words and images which are likely to stir up hatred.

It carries fines of up to €12,700 and jail terms of up to two years.

Twitter declined to comment when asked if it was co-operating with the investigation. "We don't comment on ongoing investigations for privacy and security reasons," it said.

However, the social media website has protocols for law enforcement agencies to follow when it comes to obtaining information.

Some of the messages referred to the player as a "n*****", while others said he "should play for Jamaica".

Many of the tweets and profiles were deleted, which could hamper the investigation.

According to Twitter, once an account is deactivated, there is a "very brief" period in which they can access its information.

Christie received massive support from fans and fellow players after suffering the abuse. His Ireland team-mate James McClean hit out at those who engaged in the abusive behaviour.

"Some of the comments afterwards went beyond football," said McClean.

"One player in particular was told to go and play for Jamaica. It really upset him.

"That's for a player who has been a good servant to his country and it cut deep. That player was in tears, by the way. You've just missed out on the World Cup and then to have that."

Fans of Middlesbrough put up a banner in support of the defender for his first game back after the play-off.

"We're a group who are completely against any form of discrimination," the supporters body said.

"We were appalled to see that one of our own players had been subjected to such hate and felt it necessary to show our support for Cyrus in what could be an unnerving time for him.

"Thankfully, racism and discrimination as a whole are not as prevalent within football as once before, but in these instances those who are targeted should be reminded that they are not alone, and that these bigots are a backward, small-minded minority."

Christie released a statement condemning the abuse and thanked everyone who had supported him.

"I'd like to say I am extremely proud to represent my country, the Republic of Ireland, and I give everything I can each time I put on the green shirt," he said.

"I genuinely believe our fans are some of the best in the world.

"These comments are not representative of our fans or our sport.

"We were all deeply upset to not reach the World Cup finals and are hurting just as much as everyone else."

Read also more news of Dublin on our site.

ndependent.ie
footballerChristie racistabuse Garda
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Anotorious Estonian hitman who travelled to Ireland to carry out a murder for the Kinahan Gang has been caged for six years. Imre Arakas, who was under garda surveillance, flew into Ireland on a murder mission to take out James “Mago” Gately. The Special Criminal Court was told that Arakas bought a wig in Dublin city and used an encrypted Blackberry phone to receive information about the movements and location of Mr Gately in Northern Ireland. The 60-year-...
Society
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he was "very satisfied" with the EU's position on the Irish backstop at last night's summit meeting. He said the European Union stands by the Withdrawal Agreement that was negotiated. EU leaders rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's call for legally binding assurances on the Irish backstop and ruled out any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Speaking to reporters on day two of the summit in Brussels, Mr Varadkar sa...
Society
Gardai are appealing for witnesses after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in a car in Dublin. The incident happened around Ballsbridge in the early hours of Sunday morning with investigators on the hunt for a man in his '20s or 30s' with short dark hair, a short beard, and glasses. A source told Dublin Live that one theory being explored is that the victim may have been in a taxi at the time. The source explained: "This woman was enjoying a night o...
Society
Gardai have been gathering CCTV evidence at a hotel where an alleged rape involving a well-known sports star took place. Forensic experts and detectives visited the property in South Co Dublin on Tuesday night to hunt for clues. Initially it was believed the incident took place at a south inner-city hotel but after further inquiries it was determined it happened closer to the Dundrum area. A source said: “Detectives and scenes of crime gardai arrived at th...
Society
The plans for the SDCC and Cluid housing social apartments were approved at Monday's full meeting of the council. On Monday, 81 social housing apartments for the elderly on a site beside Tallaght Stadium were approved by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) - writes dublinlive.ie This was despite a campaign calling on the council to save the land which houses a council depot at Watergate Sean Walsh Park. Local groups such as Tallaght Community Council and Ta...
Society
Two people have been arrested following a stabbing incident in Dublin city centre. The incident happened on Essex Quay at around 4.40pm. A man aged in his late 20s was treated at the scene and taken to St James's Hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the incident. A man and woman, both aged in their 20s, were arrested at the scene and are being detained at Pearse Street Garda Station. Gardaí sealed off part of the south quays for several ho...
Society
A kitchen went up in flames yesterday after some Christmas decorations were left on top of a microvwave. The Dublin Fire Brigade had to be called to quell the flames after tinsel caught fire having been left over a mircowave. Firefighters have warned others to be more careful with their decorating saying the tinsel was placed over the microwave's vent causing it to go up once the machine was turned on. They said: "Yesterday, Firefighters attended a kitchen...
Society
A Dublin mother is extremely concerned for the welfare of her 15-year-old son after he never came home from the shop yesterday. Aleksejs Snitko went to the Tesco shop in Balbriggan yesterday, Saturday December 9 at around 4.30pm. His mother Iveta told Dublin Live that when her son left the home, he was wearing light grey basketball shoes, tight sport trousers and a warm navy jacket with a hoodie. He was also carrying a black and blue Puma school bag. The t...
Society
A man and woman were arrested following a stabbing incident that left Dublin city centre on lockdown on Sunday evening. The pair were taken to Pearse st station after another man in his early 20s was hospitalised with 'non-fatal injuries'. It is believed a fight spilled out onto the road with one witness telling Dublin Live that she thought the man was going to be "throw him into the river". She said: "They stopped the traffic while they were fighting that...