Ireland news April 23, 2013

Mooney suspended over Thatcher tweet

ESPNcricinfo staff

John Mooney, the Ireland allrounder, has been suspended for three matches by Cricket Ireland after posting an insensitive tweet about the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Mooney, 31 and from Dublin, tweeted following Baroness Thatcher's death on April 8 that he hoped her demise was "slow and painful" before quickly deleting the tweet and issuing an apology for causing offence.

Cricket Ireland's chief executive, Warren Deutrom, described the comments as "crass, insensitive and offensive" and Mooney was found to be in breach of his central contract, which prohibits public statements that "denigrate, are derogatory, or prejudicial to the interests of cricket; or are of a nature which brings the game of cricket or Cricket Ireland into disrepute".

Mooney, who has scored 709 runs at 24.44 and taken 34 wickets at 28.55 in 45 ODIs, will now miss Leinster's inter-provincial matches against Northern on May 6 and North-West on May 14-16 as well as Ireland's first ODI against Pakistan on May 23. He will be available again for the second ODI on May 26.

"John accepted that the tweet was offensive and inappropriate," Deutrom said. "We took into consideration the fact that he issued a fulsome and swift apology and that he is genuinely remorseful for his action. However, given the breach of his contract and nature of the tweet, we felt it appropriate that a three match sanction be imposed. We have also severely reprimanded John and reminded him of his duties and responsibilities as a high profile international cricketer."

Mooney played for Ireland at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups and hit the winning runs in the famous chase against England. He was also named Ireland player of the year in 2010.