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Galway United delete ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ post of player who caused death by dangerous driving

Galway United delete ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ post of player who caused death by dangerous driving
Galway United uploaded the image of Ed McCarthy to Instagram ahead of their opening League of Ireland Premier Division match of the season against St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday - Instagram/Galway United

An Irish top-flight club posted an image of a player holding a STOP sign accompanied by the song ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’, despite him having been banned from driving for killing a father of two in a three-car collision.

Galway United uploaded the image of Ed McCarthy to social media ahead of their opening League of Ireland Premier Division match of the season against St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday.

The post, accompanied by Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s hit song, was subsequently deleted amid an online backlash.

Galway United delete ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ post of player who caused death by dangerous driving
The full post by Galway - Instagram/Galway United

McCarthy, 22, was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and banned from driving for seven years in November 2020 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Polish national Andrezej Obalek.

The accident occurred on February 18 that year at around 10.40pm when McCarthy was returning home to Limerick from a training session with Cork City while carrying a team-mate and two other passengers.

After driving with excessive speed through some bends, McCarthy lost control of his car and it crossed onto the wrong side of the road, hitting Obalek’s car, which struck a ditch, killing the driver instantly.

The player’s car then collided with another car travelling behind Obalek’s, the driver of which suffered minor injuries.

Appearing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court charged with causing death by dangerous driving, McCarthy took the witness box to express his deep remorse.

“Every day I think of the deceased and I pray to God for him and his family – I never meant to harm anyone and I never set out to do anything like that to anyone,” he said.

Judge Sean O’Donnabhain also read a victim impact statement by Obalek’s sister, Urszula Obalek-Owstrowska, who was not in court.

It said: “Andrezej’s death caused a great gap in my life that I cannot fill with anything. I am still waiting for his calls, text messages, full of optimism. You robbed me of this forever. I believe that the greatest punishment for you will be living with the knowledge that you have killed a great man.”

Commenting, Judge O’Donnabhain said: “I hope the victim impact statement by Mr Obalek’s sister is burned into his brain and he never forgets it – it is a belief that she has expressed to bring out the hurt that she has felt over the loss of her brother.”

In a statement, Galway said: “Galway United wish to advise that there was no offence intended by a recent social media post issued by the club and would like to unreservedly apologise for any hurt or distress that the post may have caused.”

Last month, they announced McCarthy had signed a new contract for this year, having been named in the 2023 Professional Footballers Association Ireland First Division Team of the Year.

He joined Galway two years ago, having previously had spells with Treaty United, Cork City and the academy of National League club Kidderminster Harriers.

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