Race remark umpire speaks out

August 16, 2012
The umpire at the centre of a race storm in Wexford has given his version of events.

Alec Ryan (73) was handed a six-month suspension after racially abusing St Joseph's player Eddie Lawlor but he had already resigned from the GAA before the punishment was handed out.

He says in The Wexford People: "I have stood beside goalposts for the past 38 years, receiving all types of abuse, and there was never a word about it.

"It was a slip of the tongue, no malice was meant. I don't hold any grudges against him.

"In hurling and football, one is called all sorts of names. It was just a slip of the tongue, there's no bitterness there.

"But what annoys me is that there was not a thing about him calling me names. That's annoying, although I accept I was wrong in what I said.

"But people like me, acting in a voluntary capacity as umpires, are called all sorts of names and nothing is done. That's annoying and not healthy for the GAA."

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