Ireland news

Mooney faces flak over Thatcher tweet

Tim Wigmore

April 9, 2013

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

John Mooney secured the record chase to cue wild celebrations, England v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Bangalore, March 2, 2011
John Mooney was one of the key figures in Ireland's famous 2011 World Cup win against England © Getty Images
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Ireland allrounder John Mooney faces the prospect of disciplinary action following a tweet made in response to Margaret Thatcher's death.

After news of Baroness Thatcher's death broke on Monday, a tweet appearing from Mooney's account, said: "I hope it was slow and painful." It was removed within a few hours of appearing.

In a statement, Cricket Ireland reacted to the comments, saying: "Cricket Ireland would like to distance itself from the comments made by John Mooney earlier today on the social network, Twitter, following the announcement of the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"Cricket Ireland have asked the player to remove the comments which have caused offence, and will consider appropriate disciplinary action in due course."

Mooney currently holds a central contract with Cricket Ireland, which he was first awarded in 2010. Since making his ODI debut against England in 2006, he has become an important part of Ireland's side. Most notably, his unbeaten 33, following on from four wickets, sealed victory over England in the 2011 World Cup. In February, Mooney returned from injury to appear in both Ireland's World Cricket League victories over the UAE.

Following the tweet on Thatcher's death, a series of other tweets appeared from Mooney's account. One, referring to the Sinn Fein politician, Gerry Adams, said "maybe he will get the recognition he deserves down the line, like Mandela and other men". Responding to the news of Thatcher's death, Adams had described her policy towards Ireland as "a total and absolute failure".

When contacted by ESPNcricinfo, Mooney was unavailable for comment.

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Posted by   on (April 12, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

Ill advised yes - glad he apologized. The biggest problem is that he plays in a United Ireland team and their combined spirit has been, and is, wonderful to behold in a team that is really 2 nations. I hope management bring it in house and use moderation in how they deal with him (and I'm sure they will - Irish cricket has been remarkable for its quality management over the last few years). Handled properly this will fade - if they make an issue out of it then irrespective of the text of his comment sides will be taken and that would be damaging all round. Still I have faith in the administration that took this team from being a joke to being a team the big boys want to avoid in major tournaments -for over 10 years now ....

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (April 10, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

It is outrageous, just because he plays for Ireland does not mean that he does not have any rights to express his opinion...

Posted by MAK123 on (April 10, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

What is the big fuss about, people? John Mooney made an offensive comment (for some); Cricket Ireland reprimanded him. This is between Mooney and Ireland Cricket board. Enough said

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 23:22 GMT)

When you (Mooney) work for a company (Irish cricket Board), you are an employee that has to go by certain rules and to offend dead's family is certainly not allowed. Its that easy. Freedom of expression doesnt mean one can do or say anything. Limit to every damn thing is essential

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

People are going to have to start disclaiming their own comments, otherwise I do think their employers have a right to discipline them.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (April 9, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

Looney is more like it. Extremely insensitive. Freedom of expression aside, how does a public figure expect to get away with such a thoughtless attitude.

Posted by Metro-ant on (April 9, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

Who are they to take disciplinary action against somebody exercising their freedom of speech. Nowadays we all have to express the opinions of the mainstream otherwise there are repercussions.

Posted by cricket-india on (April 9, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

an appalling comment by an otherwise attractive cricketer.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (April 9, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Where is the so called freedom of expression here? He spoke what he felt like and should not face any disciplinary action. If you bind him with things like clauses and "representing your country" then you are limiting his freedom and freedom can't be confined.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

A sad comment despite his feelings about Margaret Thatcher, it is time to let her RIP

Posted by Andy_Wright on (April 9, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

You don't lose your rights to free speech just because you happen to play cricket for your country. My boss can't sack me from my job because I express an outspoken viewpoint about a political or cultural subject (unless I am directly criticising my employer).

Summary is, should Mooney have been more sensible with his comments? Sure. Should he be disciplined by the board or lose his contract? No, he really shouldn't.

Posted by cricketcricket1987 on (April 9, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Politics aside, this was a frail old lady who has just died and this is an appauling comment to make. Shame on John Mooney!!

Posted by shillingsworth on (April 9, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

@Aneek Saleh Mohammad - Presumably his contract contains a clause forbidding him from making comments which might bring Cricket Ireland into disrepute. That being the case, he has breached his contract. @OOZZ - Freedom of expression is alive and well. Mooney has the same rights as all of us. In his case though, they are accompanied by the extra responsibility of representing his country.

Posted by OOZZ on (April 9, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

What happened to the famed "freedom of expression"???

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

How is this a breach of contract? He is just voicing his opinion. It should be ignored.

Posted by landl47 on (April 9, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

When you are given a contract by your country, you represent your country. Making comments about other countries becomes an issue.

It's a fairly minor issue, but cricketers have to learn that being an international carries burdens as well as benefits.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (April 9, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

Im all for expressing opinions however this is rather unprofessional from someone in the public light. Being a neutral but living in the UK makes me think poorly of the comment and non the wiser to the reasons why he is feeling the way he is. Oh well - just another reason why i dont have a twitter account - dont have to listen to people mindless babble and opinions. Ill stick with my own and cricinfo's.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

Sorry @irishwolfhound, but as he is a Cricket Ireland employee representing them, they have full right. If his public actions (which FB and Twitter is - very public), bring them into disrepute, then they have full right to take disciplinary actions.He may have his opinion (@Jimmyrob83), but if he shares this publicly... This does his employer's image no good.

Posted by cloudmess on (April 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

You have ruder things said about politicians and celebrities almost daily in the tabloids.

Posted by christy29 on (April 9, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

You could disagree with someone's views and what they did, but hoping the end of their death was slow and painful? thats just cold honestly

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (April 9, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

So what ??? He is exercising his god given human rights by expressing his opinion. How dare they even talk about taking disciplinary actions against him?

Posted by Narkovian on (April 9, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

FB and Tweeting is a very dangerous business. So called social media is a VERY double edged sword. Why are people so surprised that things that should only be saiid in private ( if at all) gets splashed all over the world ? Young kids say all sorts of things about each other , then get bullyed online etc. Keep your thoughts to yourself, and your close friends. Far better that way. The incessant drivel we see posted on TV and even on this site from twittering is pathetic. Why do I need to know if X cricketer has just been for a curry in Sydney, or Y cricketer has just been to a movie in Birmingham ?... its just so weird that people feel the need to share such rubbish with the world !!

Posted by Jimmyrob83 on (April 9, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

It's his opinion and he is entitled to it

Posted by applethief on (April 9, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

So much of this getting out of control, I can't believe how much institutions (not just cricket) are becoming invasive and sensitive about what people say and tweet. The thought that you could face disciplinary action for something like this is mind-boggling - comments like this will always end up being tried in the court of public opinion, if you want to broadcast it, let that be your burden

Comments have now been closed for this article

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