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  • Northside West

Potential ‘disaster’ waiting to happen

Thursday, 19th March, 2020 8:00am

Story by Tony McCullagh
Potential ‘disaster’ waiting to happen

Shelbourne recently played Bohemian FC at Dalymount Park. FILE PHOTO/DARREN KINSELLA

Potential ‘disaster’ waiting to happen

Shelbourne recently played Bohemian FC at Dalymount Park. FILE PHOTO/DARREN KINSELLA

SHELBOURNE Football Club has warned that the continued use of flares at its games by a minority of supporters is creating “a potential disaster waiting to happen”.

The Drumcondra based club issued a statement on the matter following its recent game against local rivals Bohemian FC at Dalymount Park.

The club said that flares at games has become a major concern, not only from a financial cost point of view, but, more importantly, the safety aspect. Shelbourne’s board of management stressed that this was in no way a criticism of the majority of their supporters, who they described as “extremely well behaved” at games.

“It pains us to see that a very small minority are not only letting us down and costing us money but are creating a potential disaster waiting to happen,” the statement reads. “It is agreed that the atmosphere and the colour created by the flares adds to the occasion but this unfortunately cannot justify the use of them.”

The club said that the situation came to a head at the recent Dalymount game when flares were thrown onto the pitch, narrowly missing both the Bohemian goalkeeper and a child. 

“This is a disaster waiting to happen, whereby a mis-thrown flare lands in the crowd causing harm and distress to a number of people,” the statement continues.

“We cannot sit by and let this continue because, by doing so, we are not adhering to health and safety and, furthermore, the reputation of our club will be damaged.”

The club revealed that at its last home game, they ejected two people found to be lighting flares. The incident was clearly visible from the club’s new CCTV system. 

“These two lads were issued with a ‘yellow card’ but as and from Friday night this behaviour will not be tolerated,” the statement added. “Those found responsible will be removed from the stadium, banned from Tolka Park and away grounds, and reported to the gardai who will then instigate proceedings as appropriate.

“We hope we will not have to take this action and maybe self-regulation amongst yourselves might be the best course to take, but failing, that we have no alternative but to implement the above. 

“None of us wants to take away the match day enjoyment, but this is simply too dangerous to overlook and we hope very much that you can support us in this action.” 

The use of flares or anti-social behaviour at League of Ireland games can result in fines being issued by the FAI’s Disciplinary Committee. Typically, these can range from a few hundred euro to €1,000, depending on the severity of the incident.

Shelbourne Football Club has returned to the Airtricity SSE Premier Division for the 2020 season.

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