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CROSSED THE LINE Sixmilebridge 'taking a stand' against 'personal abuse' aimed at Davy Fitzgerald and his father Pat

Sixmilebridge insist that "a line has been crossed" with regards to the vitriol that has been aimed at Clare secretary Pat Fitzgerald – both online and in person – and his son Davy, the current Wexford manager, and they are adamant that "it has to stop".

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Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald in conversation with his father Pat, Clare county board secretary

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald in conversation with his father Pat, Clare county board secretary

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald in conversation with his father Pat, Clare county board secretary

Sixmilebridge are "taking a public stand" against the "sustained personal abuse" which has been directed online at Davy and Pat Fitzgerald.

Sixmilebridge insist that "a line has been crossed" with regards to the vitriol that has been aimed at Clare secretary Pat Fitzgerald – both online and in person – and his son Davy, the current Wexford manager, and they are adamant that "it has to stop".

The abuse which has been aimed at the elder Fitzgerald – a paid employee of Clare GAA in his full-time role as secretary – is already the subject of a criminal investigation while Davy was subjected to verbal abuse from a Clare backroom team member in Wexford's All-Ireland SHC Qualifier loss to the Banner in November.

Sixmilebridge officials are calling for something to be done about such "unfair treatment" for two of their club members, as well as tackling a “societal issue”, and they outlined their stance in a letter which appears in this week's 'Clare Champion'.

The letter reads: "We are a club that represents community, promoting a deep sense of place and a sense of belonging. All of this adds up to a club which will not stand aside if we as a club believe any of our members are being unfairly treated.

"Two of our members, Pat and Davy Fitzgerald, have been subject to sustained personal abuse (online and in person) due in part to the prominent public positions they hold on a National and County stage.

"We fully accept that both, in the prominent roles which they have, will be subject to criticism, strong at times. This comes with the job. What is not acceptable is when criticism morphs into personal abuse.

"Sixmilebridge have decided to take a public stand against this abuse, which at its core is simply bullying by another name. Unfortunately, online forums have made it very easy for people to hide behind the cover of anonymity to personally abuse people in the public eye.

"We, as a club, are highlighting this issue as it pertains to our club. Unfortunately, what we are highlighting in this letter, is not unique to Sixmilebridge and its members but it is part of a broader societal issue.

"People in the public eye will always be open to criticism and justifiably so, but a line has been crossed here which is not acceptable. It has to stop."

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