Bairns slam ‘abhorrent behaviour’ at Pars game

Dunfermline player Shiels had an eye removed in 2006 after a childhood domestic accident. Picture Michael Gillen.
Dunfermline player Shiels had an eye removed in 2006 after a childhood domestic accident. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk have released a statement tonight slamming abuse aimed at Dean Shiels in this afternoon’s defeat to Dunfermline.

Chants from the away end of East End Park were directed at the Northern Irishman and toys resembling eyeballs were lobbed onto the pitch during the 2-0 loss.

More than 7,000 including a packed away end watched the rivals clash. Picture Michael Gillen

More than 7,000 including a packed away end watched the rivals clash. Picture Michael Gillen

Shiels was at the centre of an ‘excessive misconduct’ incident in a past meeting between the sides this season which led to Bairns players Joe McKee and Kevin O’Hara being suspended by the Scottish Football Association. The Dunfermline player had an eye removed 12 years ago and had been blind on one side since a childhood domestic accident.

In a strongly worded statement the club vowed it ‘will not allow this disgraceful behaviour to be repeated’ and added ‘this needs to stop now’.

The statement reads: “Falkirk FC apologises unreservedly to Dean Shiels and Dunfermline Athletic FC for the abhorrent behaviour of a small number of individuals at this afternoon’s Ladbrokes Championship match.

“The club wholeheartedly condemns the abuse witnessed towards Dean Shiels in the strongest terms and will be working closely with Dunfermline Athletic FC to identify those responsible.

Rubber bouncing balls were thrown onto the pitch. Picture Michael Gillen.

Rubber bouncing balls were thrown onto the pitch. Picture Michael Gillen.

“Abuse towards anyone with a disability is simply unacceptable and the fact this took place within a sporting context with rivalries at play is no excuse. This needs to stop now.

“Disability Awareness Training is already being delivered to all staff and players at Falkirk FC and we take our commitment to equality seriously.

“We will look to take action against anyone identified from today’s game and will not allow this disgraceful behaviour to be repeated.”

Falkirk lost the game 2-0 with the goals coming from Nicky Clark and Declan McManus. Read the match report here.

Falkirk lost the match 2-0. Picture Michael Gillen

Falkirk lost the match 2-0. Picture Michael Gillen