Service Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

Paris racism suspect says train carriage was too full - The Irish News
503 Service Unavailable

Service Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

News

Paris racism suspect says train carriage was too full

Andrea McKernon newsdesk@irishnews.com

A FORMER RUC and PSNI officer has said he pushed a black man away from a train carriage on the Paris under-ground because "it was too full".

Richard Barklie from Carrickfergus was one of three men identified on CCTV by police investigating an alleged racist incident involving a group of Chelsea supporters last month.

Video footage which went viral around the world showed Frenchman Souleymane Sylla (33) being prevented from boarding a train before Chelsea's Champions League game against Paris Saint Germain.

Supporters could also be heard chanting on the train as it halted at Richelieu-Drouat Metro station: "We're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it."

When contacted by The Irish News at the Wave Trauma Centre where he works in Derry after the footage emerged, Mr Barklie denied being involved.

However, the 50-year-old Chelsea season ticket holder later confirmed he was there and said he had gone to police to explain his actions.

Mr Barklie, in an interview with the Sunday World accompanied by his solicitor Kevin Winters, again denied yesterday he was racist.

"He was shoved off because the carriage was full - it was nothing to do with the colour of his skin," he said.

"The train was packed, people were pressed hard against each other. It was hot and stuffy and everyone was very uncomfortable. Yes, there was a lot of racist signing going on, but I never took part in it.

"When the train pulled into that station, the carriage I was in was full. There was absolutely no room for anyone else.

"That man [Soulemayne Sylla] tried to get on, but there was just no room for him.

"People behind me were pushing and he was pushed back off.

"He never at any time attempted to see if there was more room in any of the other carriages.

"I'm not a racist or a religious bigot."

Presently suspended from his part-time job with Wave Trauma Centre, Mr Barklie is also a director with the World Human Rights Forum.

He said: "I don't hold any racist views and as I've already put out in the media, I do a lot of human rights work in Kenya and India and various other parts of the world."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was among those who offered apologies to Mr Sylla, vowing to ban those involved for life if found to be racists. Five fans have already been suspended.

Mr Barklie said he would be happy to sit down with him.

"I would tell him I was very sorry for any trauma or stress he received as a result of what happened, but I would also say it wasn't because he is black - it was just because the train was full."

News
503 Service Unavailable

Service Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

503 Service Unavailable

Service Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope:  

503 Service Unavailable

Service Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

301 Moved Permanently

Moved Permanently

The document has moved here.