Cork North-Central TD Jonathan O’Brien was ejected from Turner’s Cross during last night’s Cork City vs St. Patrick’s Athletic match during what had been a peaceful crowd protest against the Football Association of Ireland’s (FAI’s) former CEO and current executive vice president John Delaney.
O’Brien – who is a former chairman of the Friends Of the Rebel Army Society (FORAS) supporters’ group which helped save the club from extinction – was removed during the protests.
In a scene mirroring similar protests at matches across the country, Cork City fans sang anti-FAI chants and unveiled an Irish tricolur with the words “DELANEY OUT” emblazoned on the flag.
The slogan is in reference to John Delaney, who is facing fan and political calls to resign due to serious financial questions and issues regarding corporate governance surrounding the FAI.
The majority of the most vocal Cork City fans boycotted the Joe Delaney Stand – a stand named after John Delaney’s father – last night, in protest at the situation with the FAI.
After the unfurling of the protest tricolur flag in the Derrynane Stand, some Cork City fans in that stand then clashed with stewards and gardaí during the protests when attempts were made to remove the “DELANEY OUT” flag.
During this incident, Mr O’Brien was ejected from the stadium. Mr. O’Brien at no stage became aggressive, and it is believed that the protest itself was only ever intended to be peaceful. Mr. O’Brien has said in the aftermath of last night’s incident that he will attend Cork City FC’s next match at Turner’s Cross.
It is also understood Mr O’Brien was not arrested or charged with any offence and was simply asked to leave after being removed from the stadium.