AS a club we enjoyed memorable occasion at Inver Park last night, with our biggest crowd of the season and our first win over Glentoran in more than 30 years.
While there was much for us to enjoy and savour about the occasion as a club, we were deeply troubled at the nature of the abuse directed at Conor Devlin.
Recent events have shown all of us the urgent need around mental health provision within our country. The level of vile abuse directed at Conor Devlin from a substantial number of people in the away section last night is in total contradiction to what has been spoken about in this area, in recent weeks. Football players are, first and foremost, human beings and no-one should expect to hear what many in the ground did last night.
We are also aware that the serious abuse aimed at Conor was noted by the NIFL match observer and passed on to the match officials. Passions run high with all supporters as they look to get behind, and gain an advantage for, their team. However, what was directed at Conor went far and away beyond what anyone should witness at a football match. Racist and sectarian abuse are not tolerated within sport, and neither should any other form of abuse.
As a club, we have a responsibility to protect every player under our care. With that in mind, we will be actively working with NIFL and fellow clubs to both highlight this issue and also ensure such scenes are not repeated. We will not tolerate this happening again in the confines of Inver Park.