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Coleraine RC claim they can't identify supporters who sexually harassed referee

Coleraine Rugby Club has been fined £5,000 by the Irish Rugby Football Union's Ulster Branch after female referee, Grainne Crabtree said she was subjected to "sustained, vile, sexist abuse" during a match. Picture: The Front Row Union

Coleraine Rugby Club are claiming that four men who subjected a referee to sexist abuse at the their ground cannot be identified because of "legal" issues.

The club was fined £5,000 this week for failing to protect referee Grainne Crabtree from abuse while she was refereeing Coleraine 1st XV Senior Men's team against Dromore RFC in a Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship game.

Ms Crabtree had told Irish Rugby Football Union's Ulster Branch that the four men were "quite easily identifiable" and gave descriptions of what two of them were wearing.

She said she had pointed them out during the game, and had spoken to them herself at the end of the match, but when she asked for their names, one of them swore at her leaving her shaken.

The BBC reported this week that Coleraine RFC in a letter to the referee said they carried out "exhaustive enquiries into this sorry issue".

"We have found no person admitting to the language used, and no one coming forward to identify any individual using the language.

"We have taken legal advice on the evidence we have secured to date.

"We are advised that, based on what we have available, it would be highly unsafe to pursue disciplinary action against any individual", the letter added.

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