Football

Gardaí Investigate Racist Abuse As Cyrus Christie Makes Official Complaint

Gardaí Investigate Racist Abuse As Cyrus Christie Makes Official Complaint

Gardaí will launch an investigation into the racist abuse inflicted upon Ireland's Cyrus Christie after the player lodged an official complaint.

Late last month, the Middlesbrough defender is understood to have flown to Dublin in order to make a statement regarding the disturbing, vile messages that were directed at him in the wake of Ireland's playoff defeat to Denmark.

An incident that demonstrated the despicable actions of a minority, and a subsequent groundswell of support from the footballing community at large, the Irish Independent have reported where the Garda probe will focus its attention:

Officers from Irishtown Garda station began examining the case on the back of [Christie's complaint].

The officers have contacted Twitter as part of the investigation. Anyone found to have racially abused Christie faces fines and a prison term of up to 24 months if they are convicted.

Regarding the social media platform that was centrally used to target Christie, Twitter have declined to comment on any prospective role they may have in the investigation:

We don't comment on ongoing investigations for privacy and security reasons.

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 The pursuit of these criminal and hateful acts across the internet has become more common in recent years.

Speaking to Balls.ie in the wake of the Christie incident, Show Racism The Red Card's Director Garrett Mullan identified how police forces were trying to step up their response.

Yet, with the ability to simply delete a potentially criminal tweet or account and thus hamper the investigation significantly, it remains an area that is incredibly difficult to police.

Furthermore, according to Twitter, "once an account is deactivated, there is a "very brief" period in which they can access its information."

For Mullan, this potential fear or regret that the abuser feels doesn't mask the reality of what has occurred:

Sometimes they say, "Well, I wasn't really thinking", but, if you say something like that, you make threats against a player like that, it comes from what they are thinking.

With the investigation now underway, it is to be hoped that some degree of progress can be established.

Although Christie received a vast amount of heartwarming support from teammates, fans, ex-professionals etc, some judicial closure would be ideal also.

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Arthur James O'Dea

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