Pat Fenlon, the Hibernian manager, has revealed that he raised the issue of anti-Irish abuse at Cowdenbeath because he was frustrated that only footballers get punished for bad behaviour.

Fenlon spoke to a police officer at full-time after being subjected to sustained personal abuse from some home supporters during Hibs' William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round win at Central Park on Saturday, much of it referring to his nationality. The Dubliner consulted the police but decided to take no further action and brushed off the episode rather than submit a formal complaint.

But in an exclusive interview with Herald Sport, Fenlon said it had irritated him that supporters could get away with shouting abuse while players were routinely suspended for minor misdemeanours during a match. His own striker, Leigh Griffiths, was given a one-match ban for making a gesture at Rangers supporters in December. Griffiths was this week offered another one-match Scottish Cup suspension by the Scottish Football Association for a similar gesture to Hibs' own fans after he scored in the 3-2 win over Cowdenbeath. He will contest the charge at an SFA fast track tribunal today.

"I didn't want to make an issue out of it," said Fenlon of Saturday's abuse. "I just wanted to speak to the policeman and ask about it. He said he hadn't heard it but would make an inquiry, and he came back and said if I wanted to make an official complaint then I could. I didn't want to do that. I'm not that type.

"I've dealt with abuse in the past. But sometimes you find it hard when you see players getting bans for silly things on the pitch and then things like that go over people's heads."

Fenlon was singled out by some in his home country after becoming the first Dublin Catholic to play for the traditionally Belfast Protestant club Linfield. He told Herald Sport that Linfield had been exceptionally welcoming to him when he signed in 1993 but he had subsequently received verbal abuse from some fellow Catholics in Dublin for agreeing to sign for the club, given its history.

"I'm not one for moaning about that stuff [at Cowdenbeath], I've taken plenty of stick. It's actually nice to be called an 'Irish b******' rather than an 'Orange b******' when you're used to that! You can be called one or the other! You're going to get that, it's everywhere, I've had it in Dublin.

"But I just felt that if you're going to clamp down so much on players on the pitch – and I don't have a major problem with that – then you have to make sure that it's right across the board."

Fenlon said he had no problem with the police officer he spoke to being unaware of the shouts at Central Park, and as far as he was concerned the matter was over. "If people didn't hear it or notice it then that's fine. I can't do anything about that," he said.