Richard Dunne reveals the anti-Irish abuse he faced at Stamford Bridge
Former Republic of Ireland captain Richard Dunne has revealed that he was subjected to anti-Irish abuse at Stamford Bridge during his professional football career.
Dunne played for Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers during a distinguished playing career and the former defender revealed in his Herald column that he was called an 'Irish c***t' on occasion at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling shone a light on race issues in football earlier this week after he was filmed being abused by several supporters after retrieving a ball at the Bridge during Chelsea's 2-0 win over the Premier League champions last weekend, and while Dunne sympathises with his situation, he insists that all manners of abuse should be stamped out in football.
"When I played at Chelsea, I was called an “Irish c***”," Dunne wrote in his column.
"So I can understand why there is so much talk about the Raheem Sterling incident last week and the difference between being called a “black c***” and a “Manc c***”.
"There is a difference between abusing someone over the colour of their skin and their nationality but it’s still abuse, it happens in football. And it has to stop.
"People didn’t take it seriously when I was called an Irish c*** but whoever said that had a problem with the country I came from, and that is racism. Irish players still get it a lot, James McClean gets it a lot of the time and football can’t ignore that it’s there.
"But it’s not just in football, it’s everywhere, on the street, down the pub, someone adds an adjective to talk about you because your skin colour is different or you are from another country."
McClean hit out at the "uneducated cavemen" who heckled him during Stoke City's goalless draw with Middlesbrough earlier this season and said that the FA are turning a blind eye to Irish abuse after he was routinely booed again recently following his latest refusal to wear the remembrance day poppy.
McClean said in a statement:
"The FA are investigating me after Saturday's game, for what exactly?
"Yet week in week out for the past seven years I get constant sectarian abuse, death threats, objects being thrown, chanting which is heard loud and clear every week which my family, wife and kids have to listen to.
"They turn a blind eye and not a single word or condemnation of any sort.
"Huddersfield away last year while playing for West Brom where there was an incident with their fans which was on the game highlights, where the cameras clearly caught it, yet the FA when [a] complaint was made to them said there 'was not enough evidence'.
"If it was a person's skin colour or if it was anti-Muslim, someone's gender, there would be an uproar and it would be taken in a completely different way and dealt with in a different manner.
"But like in Neil Lennon's case in Scotland, because we are Irish Catholics, they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said and done."