Belfast Telegraph

Keane calls gardai to hotel

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has moved to scotch claims of disruption within his ranks over an alleged row involving Roy Keane and a fan at the team hotel.

In a statement to camera this morning, distributed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), the boss said he was aware of the facts of the incident and remains fully supportive of his right-hand man.

"The FAI and I have been fully briefed about the circumstances about what happened at the team hotel last night," said O'Neill.

"Roy asked that the gardai be called and he has notified them of what happened.

"While this process is ongoing we are unable to say more at this point. However I can say that, having been made aware of the facts, that Roy has both my full support and the full support of the FAI and (FAI chief executive) John Delaney."

Hours before the team travel to Glasgow ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier tie with Scotland, O'Neill added: "We are now focused, as we have been all week, on the game in hand and we won't be saying anything more about this issue."

Gardai have confirmed today that no complaints have been made from any party involved in the alleged incident at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, close to the squad's training ground at Malahide.

It was widely reported that one man received medical attention following an incident, during which supporters had gathered at the hotel in the hope of seeing the soccer stars.

It was alleged a supporter was involved in a heated exchange after asking to have his copy of Keane's autobiography signed by the fomer Manchester United and Celtic midfielder.

An FAI official called gardai to the scene.

In a statement last night the FAI criticised "inaccurate media reports" about the incident and added: "The manager Martin O'Neill and the FAI are fully aware of the circumstances surrounding this event and the assistant manager (Keane) has their full support."

An ambulance was called to the scene but it is not clear whether anyone was assessed at the hotel or if they required treatment.

A Garda spokesman said they were investigating an incident but did not expect the case to be taken any further.

The Ireland squad is due to fly out of Dublin this afternoon for Glasgow, where they face Scotland in the Euro 2016 qualifier tomorrow evening.


From Belfast Telegraph