Hearts winger Jake Mulraney hits out at the abuse of his pregnant girlfriend during Aberdeen fixture

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HEARTS winger Jake Mulraney has opened up about the abuse suffered by his pregnant girlfriend at the hands of one imbecilic supporter.

The 22-year-old was a pivotal performer in the Jambos’ 2-1 victory over Aberdeen on Saturday but his joy swiftly turned to dismay when he learned of vitriol aimed at his partner, Aoife, during the fixture at Tynecastle.

Following the match, he tweeted ‘for the tick who started on my pregnant girlfriend you should be ashamed of yourself’ and, while his ire had subsided somewhat by the time he sat with the press corps on Tuesday, he remains alarmed at the treatment she was subjected to.

Mulraney, who has previously turned out for Ilkeston, Stevenage and Inverness, has gradually grown accustomed to the pressure of satisfying a demanding Hearts fanbase but is adamant any taunts that spill over to his family life are beyond the pale.

“The fact my girlfriend is pregnant – that got my back up,” said the Irishman. “After an hour or so, I calmed down and long as she is aright, that’s all that really bothers me in the end.

“She is quite sensitive and she is not really used to that sort of thing. She was used to coming to Inverness games and there’s maybe a 1000 or 2000 at a game. But here, there are 18,000 people screaming.

“I get stick all the time and that comes with football. Me personally, I don’t care but when it involves her then it is different.”

Joking that Aoife can ‘give as good as she gets, Mulraney has not gone so far as to suggest his other half stays away from Tynecastle on match-days.

“I wouldn’t tell her not to come to games, maybe just wear ear-plugs,” smiled Mulraney. “I actually think she has done that before – just stuck the headphones in!

“She can give as good as she gets. I was only worried because she is pregnant.”

Indeed, Mulraney is retaining a healthy sense of perspective, having recently won over the vast majority of Hearts supporters with a string of vastly improved performances compared to his showings in the first half of the campaign.

He added: “If one person says something stupid, we can’t really hold that against all the fans. I know for a fact that not all the fans are like that. I would say that it is only a small percentage that are like that.”

Mulraney – set to continue in an unfamiliar left wing-back role at Ibrox this evening – is due to become a father for the first time on September 29 and, in a twist of fate, is slated to find out the baby’s sex the day after Hearts face Inverness in the Scottish Cup semi-final on April 13.

“It will be a massive weekend,” he added. “Playing against my old team, seeing some pals, hopefully getting to the final and then, please God, finding out what we are having.”

On the challenge posed by a Rangers side still reeling from their acrimonious defeat against fierce foes Celtic on Sunday, Mulraney said: “They are a good side. I watched them the other day and they’ve got a few players that I like who are easy on the eye I suppose.

“But I think we can beat anyone really on our day. One hundred percent.”

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