THE secretary of Moyross United has said club officials and supporters had “co-operated 100%” with gardai after a number of teenagers were robbed at knifepoint during the club’s promotion-deciding match in Shannon at the weekend.
An 18-year-old male who was arrested and found in possession of a knife on a bus about to carry supporters back to Limerick on Saturday evening had “nothing to do with the club; has never been involved in sport in his life and he wouldn’t have a clue what a game of football was”, said club secretary Philip Power.
Gardai confirmed that a number of teenagers from Shannon were held up at knifepoint and robbed at around 7.30pm in a wooded area close to the pitch where Moyross were playing against Shannon Town.
An uncle of one of the young men who was robbed described the incident as “very sinister” and claimed that when the assailants, who are from Moyross, ran on to the bus, the Limerick club’s supporters had tried to prevent them being arrested.
This was denied by Mr Power while gardai in Shannon declined to comment on whether they had been prevented from effecting the arrest of the 18-year-old male, who is understood to be the brother of a convicted murderer.
The uncle of one of the victims said that a number of local boys aged between 13 and 16 had been mugged by at least three older teenagers he believes were aged between 18 and 20.
“I didn’t witness it myself but what the boys have told their parents is that the muggers threatened to cut off their genitals. The children were absolutely terrified. One of them had the blade of a knife run across his neck. And this wasn’t something that was over in a flash either. It lasted as long as 15 minutes and they basically mentally tortured those children,” said the relative.
“There was a very sadistic nature to whatever went on and there is something very disturbing about the risk profile of somebody who could do something about this. But what is even more disturbing to my eyes is that when this person went on the club supporters bus, they tried to shield him from the gardai. I know that the club is working in a socially deprived area and probably do amazing work but this is a serious black mark against them as a club.”
But Mr Power insisted that the muggers were not associated with the club and that supporters and officials had done everything possible to help gardai.
“He didn’t come down in the bus although he tried to get on it on the way back after it happened. As far as I know, the gardai went on to bus they knew who they were looking for and they got him fairly quick.
“The bus stayed until the gardai did whatever they had to do for whatever length of time and the club did as much as they could,” Mr Power said.
He added that the club were upset that the actions of one person not connected with Moyross United could do so much damage on what should have been a day of celebration as the team celebrated their historic promotion to the Premier Division.
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