GAA player called for attacks on Jews

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An incident where a leading GAA player called for his followers on social media to attack Jews is being treated as a hate crime by the PSNI.

While the GAA has condemned the anti-Semitic tweet by the former Tyrone star and police are now investigating, the GAA said there is nothing they can do about it as “this was a personal tweet, made in personal time”.

It is understood the player has not faced any disciplinary action by the association.

On July 29, All-Ireland winner Tommy McGuigan posted on Twitter: “If you are lucky enough to know or work with a Jew, punch him right on the nose tomorrow” followed by a hashtagged expletive.

Despite an outcry reported in Israeli media, it was reported that the former county player has since played for Ardboe O’Donovan Rossa GFC.

A spokesman for the GAA said: “The GAA totally disassociates itself from recent offensive and anti-Semitic comments made in a personal capacity by a former county player through social media.”

The association is anti-racist and anti-sectarian and abhors and condemns these comments in the strongest terms possible, he said, adding: “This was nowhere near our games – this was a personal tweet, made in personal time, so doesn’t leave us with an avenue to pursue.”

Belfast Rabbi David Singer said: “Everybody is entitled to their opinion and to express it, [but] when we incite people to hatred, or when we incite people to violence – that’s called crossing the border.”

The PSNI confirmed they are treating the tweet as a “hate incident”.