Castlebar Mitchels submit claim of alleged child abuse to TUSLA and Croke Park

October 20, 2022

A Mayo flag flies proudly.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

Castlebar Mitchels GAA club have sent a 'Reported Allegation of Abuse Form' to the Mayo county board, Connacht GAA, Croke Park, and TUSLA.

Mitchels say that there are "reasonable grounds for concern relating to child abuse" after an incident that occurred at an county U17 semi-final between them and Westport.

An altercation on the pitch caused the game to be abandoned and a 96-week suspension was handed down to an adult that entered the field of play.

However, after an appeal, the individual’s ban was reduced to two games and Westport were reinstated into the competition – a decision which the Mitchels club say they are disappointed with and they have now decided to take the matter further.

The club has since released the following statement:

"Following an incident at a recent Under-17 club football semi-final, Castlebar Mitchels believe that there were reasonable grounds for concern relating to child abuse. Castlebar Mitchels prepared a 'Reported Allegation of Abuse Form' and this has been submitted to the Mayo County Board, Connacht GAA, Croke Park and TUSLA.

"Mayo County Board CCC fined Westport €1,000, the Westport official who entered the field received a 96-week ban and the club was removed from the competition.

"Westport appealed this decision to the Appeals Hearing Mayo GAA and following on from the appeal it was announced that they have been reinstated to the competition and the 96-week ban has been reduced to two games.

"Castlebar Mitchels is very disappointed with the recent appeal findings and believe that this is not in keeping with the best interests of child-welfare.

"The club has requested that Mayo GAA does not resume the Under 17A Championship until all investigations are completed.

"The club also requests that Croke Park and the County Board review their current processes and regulations so that they adequately protect underage players and that if an incident like this happens again that it is harshly dealt with."

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