The GAA club at the centre of bullying allegations against a former PSNI officer have been strongly criticised over their response to the claims.
Creggan Kickhams GAC have as yet failed to make a comment after a former member made the claims he was frozen out of the club after signalling he was going to join the police.
Calls have been made for the Randalstown GAA club Creggan Kickhams to apologise to Peadar Heffron – the former Catholic PSNI officer injured in an under-car bomb attack in 2010 – after he gave an interview with GAA pundit Joe Brolly in the Sunday Independent in which he claimed the club had ostracised him when he announced plans to join the PSNI in 2002.
In his Gaelic Life column, published since the initial Sunday Independent article, Mr Brolly wrote: “[Creggan Kickhams] could absorb his terrible hurt, accept their treachery and cowardice and take it from there.
“Or they can take the coward’s way out and stick with ‘no comment’.”
He added: “It is a fine club and has done great work over the past 20 years, but there is something rotten at the core they need to address now.”
Of the people at the club who did not speak up when Mr Heffron was ostracised or support him after his devastating injuries in the car bomb, he said: “You know who you are. Where is your courage? Where is your honour?”
DUP MP Paul Girvan said the club’s continued refusal to comment poses serious questions.
He said: “The refusal to comment on allegations of bullying within the club is almost beyond belief.
“Most organisations would want to distance themselves from such sectarian allegations by condemning such behaviour and investigating any allegations.
“The silence from this club has been startling.”
He said if the club’s committee continue to refuse to make clear their rejection of such behaviour, the Ulster Council and Antrim Board should outline what sanctions will be taken against the club.
He suggested Sinn Fein’s Declan Kearney – a supporter of the club – should call on the club to apologise.
Mr Kearney, who is related to Mr Heffron, said: “I find it regrettable that the DUP’s Paul Girvan has cynically chosen to create a new controversy with this tragedy.”
Creggan Kickhams had not commented on Mr Heffron’s claims despite being contacted on a number of occasions by the News Letter through the week.
The club was again given the chance to respond last night, but failed to do so at the time of writing.