The Principal and Board of Management at Naas CBS have said that they are “abhorred and disappointed at the allegations that have come to light that racist chanting was heard among a group of supporters at its Hogan Cup semi-final against Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne”.
The school issued the statement after it was reported that the school from Dingle, Kerry, who Naas CBS had beaten in the All-Ireland colleges A football semi-final the other week, had lodged a complaint to the body that oversees post-primary schools GAA.
The complaint alleged that one of the players from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne was the subject of racist abuse at a match.
Naas CBS principal Ben Travers said the school would carry out an investigation into the matter and would take action as appropriate if the claims proved correct.
He said that he was unaware of any incidents at the game itself but had been in contact with the Principal of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, once the claims came to light.
Mr Travers said that the alleged behaviour ran completely contrary to the values and ethos of Naas CBS, which, he said, “are based on a policy of complete inclusivity and equality”.
He also said that it “was the antithesis of the fabulous and sportsmanlike behaviour that the school had enjoyed from the vast majority of its supporters throughout the competition”.
And he praised the players and supporters of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne and apologised for any hurt or upset caused by the alleged incident.
Naas CBS won the match by six points, qualifying them for the Hogan Cup final which they lost by a single point to St Michael's, Enniskillen, at Croke Park on Saturday.
The principal of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, the former Kerry manager stressed to the Irish Independent that the alleged racial comments had not come from any of the Naas team but from a section of the visiting crowd.
And he didn’t want the complaint to be misconstrued as sour grapes for the loss of the game. He admitted: "We had been beaten fair and square by the better team on the day. We just wanted to have our facts straight.”
He said that he thought the Naas CBS supporters were noisy but that it wasn’t unusual and that it was a good atmosphere. However it was only after the game that he says he was made aware of the racist element from some of the chanting.