Derrytresk GAC call off police road safety event under local public pressure…

Front page on the Irish News this morning Connla Young reports that the Ulster Council of the GAA have a scheme called Play to Live… It runs it in partnership with the Fire and Rescue Service, the PSNI and in the three southern counties of Ulster, An Garda Siochana…

But an event planned for Monday evening was called off by the club after local local people threatened to picket the event on learning that the PSNI would be involved in the event…

Club Chairman Barney Campbell: “At the end of the day it was a good thing for young people to be aware of this but the other side of the coin is people were not happy with them [police officers] being there. I got a few calls and the ones that did call were very insisted that it should not be happening.”

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  • DT123

    I ,for one ,am shocked.

  • http://www.barrymcgee.co.uk barrymcgee

    FFS.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “people were not happy with them [police officers] being there”

    Not exactly surprising considering the PSNI actions after the Ronan Kerr murder:

    Speaking to the Irish News yesterday, Mr Campbell’s father Barney said he was mystified about the arrest of his son – who was working in America when Constable Kerr was killed.

    Barney Campbell, a well-known figure in Tyrone GAA, said the arrest was an abuse of police power.

    He said: “My family home has been shown on the television with six Land Rovers parked outside. Now what does that look like to people in this area?”

  • cynic2

    Like the OO there are some who want to move on and some who [Get a grip! Text removed - Mods]

    So just who were the local people concerned? And who is afraid of a little local picket?

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “And who is afraid of a little local picket?”

    cynic2, Joe and Josey Public would probably be well advised to stay away from events with loyalist and republican paramilitary participation.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Cynic

    ‘…who is afraid of a little local picket?’

    I’d say the fear was more that it might cause a split in the club. And I suppose those in favour of the event decided it wasn’t worth splitting the club, over the police.

    Coalisland is quite possibly the single most staunchly republican town in Ireland. It’s hardly surprising that there was opposition to the police there: what’s surprising, and encouraging, is that there is a degree of support for the police there.

    Seriously: not so long ago, opposition to the police in Coalisland would’ve been 100%. Today, it’s news that relations between community and police there are not quite fully normalised yet.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “some who remain sectarian bigots.”

    cynic2, sledging is hardly likely to change folks minds, especially in those places where feelings run high and where the trauma of the Troubles was most deeply experienced.

  • Quincey Dougan

    ‘Coalisland is quite possibly the single most staunchly republican town in Ireland. It’s hardly surprising that there was opposition to the police there’

    Its also the place with a high profile drugs problem where locals recently complained about Police not coming to meetings, and wanting more Police action on the ground. Nice message sent out here for Police. And for the dealers too id imagine…

  • between the bridges

    BP i seriously doubt that anywhere is/was 100% in support of anything! anyway it’s symptomatic of a community (CNR) that castigates ‘others’ as backward looking…

  • sonofstrongbow

    I expect that this will turn out to be a misunderstanding by the club.

    They must think it is the Garda that’s coming and there are perhaps some concerns that the cops might use the visit to identify some of the stars of Derrytresk’s recent outstanding ‘sporting’ performance at Portlaoise.

    No worries bhoys, the PSNI seem to have a policy of turning a blind eye when players/spectators/whoever knock lumps out of each other on or off the parc. :)

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “where locals recently complained about Police not coming to meetings, and wanting more Police action on the ground.”

    Quincey, the Coalisland Post has covered that story but the locals who opposed the postponed GAC event may well oppose the drugs meeting too.

  • Mick Fealty

    Actually the chair says in that same report that he was not informed the police would be involved at the start.

    Its also wise to remember that GAA clubs are just that: clubs. The chair is perfectly entitled to take account of feeling inside the club and take action accordingly.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Between the Bridges

    ‘…it’s symptomatic of a community (CNR) that castigates ‘others’ as backward looking…’

    Your sentence is grammatically incomplete. You have to make clear what you believe this incident is symptomatic of, within the community in question.

    Symptomatic of what?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    A lingering distrust of the police, perhaps?

    It’s hardly difficult to understand, or empathise with such a lingering distrust, especially in that particular area.

  • cynic2

    “The chair is perfectly entitled to take account of feeling inside the club and take action accordingly.”

    Perhaps. But the GAA has a policy on working with PSNI and on ant-sectarianism. So was it applied?

    And why was my comment earlier on the bigotry of those demanding the ban on the police removed and I yellow carded again? The original post said that the club leadership had changed position because of external pressure in the area. It inferred that, in effect, they were intimidated .

    Any rational reading of my post would see that the bigot comment was directed at them not the GAA. So do you think that the motivation for this isn’t bigotry? If not, what is it? A rational political position?

    People in the area have the absolute right to associate with whomever they like. Those of us outside that wee goldfish bowl have also the right to make (and reasonably express) our assessment of that position and its motivation.

  • cynic2

    “where the trauma of the Troubles was most deeply experienced”

    Ah so there is a hierarchy of victims then?

  • between the bridges
  • babyface finlayson

    Billy Pilgrim

    Between the Bridges

    ‘…it’s symptomatic of a community (CNR) that castigates ‘others’ as backward looking…’

    Your sentence is grammatically incomplete. You have to make clear what you believe this incident is symptomatic of, within the community in question.

    Symptomatic of what?
    That sentence looks alright to me. The condition is one of castigation by the community and this incident is symptomatic of that condition.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Ah so there is a hierarchy of victims then?”

    A hierarchy of hotspots, cynic2; there were places that experienced much more violence than others. For example, the cross-community work we did in Coleraine might not have been so easily carried out in Portadown.

  • lamhdearg2

    If the good people of coalisland prefer to let drug dealers openly sell to their children and for those drugged up children to then (as they say) play with the buses, if they prefer that rather that let a police officer (maybe a local, maybe a catholic, maybe even a Irish nationalist) corupt the child, then who are we to criticize them.

  • cynic2

    “who are we to criticize them”

    Be careful. That will get you a card. Irony free zone

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Coalisland is quite possibly the single most staunchly republican town in Ireland.”

    BP, the latest article in the Coalisland Post would seem to indicate that militant republicanism is well entrenched in the local community; the IRA youth wing has a stand at the recent youth exhibition in the parochial hall.

  • Old Mortality

    Why on earth should the GAA be particularly interested in road safety anyway? Are a disproportionate numbers of its members victims road accidents?

    Between the bridges
    A yahoo address would probably be most suitable for their needs.

  • cynic2

    ” the IRA youth wing”

    …silly me. And I thought they had gone away

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Connla Young reports that the Ulster Council of the GAA have a scheme called Play to Live”

    A correction: this road safety campaign addressed at young people is called Live to Play:

    Roads Minister Conor Murphy was among those present to witness Uachtarán Uladh CLG Aogán O Fearghail launch the 2011 campaign. He was joined by members of the Garda Siochana, PSNI, Fire & Rescue Service; who provide education to Clubs on Road Safety; along with representatives from DOE and UnLtd will have funded the promotional element of the campaign.

    The Minister doesn’t appear in the photograph; you’d have thought his endorsement would have been more visible; there’s a police officer at either end of the line-up.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “And I thought they had gone away”

    cynic2, we don’t know who called Barney Campbell but, from a London and Dublin perspective, paramilitaries who endorse the current political dispensation appear to be an official part of the Big Society in Northern Ireland – though not in the rest of these islands.

    They have been given ‘more power and responsibility'; you’ll probably find their names in Companies House where local charities are sometimes registered as companies limited by guarantee.

    ‘Each vanguard area is supported by a dedicated team of civil servants’ in parts of England and here you may well find, say, the Housing Executive providing support through a sustainable communities programme.

    The Prime Minister has stated that ‘the people are the boss’ and that four tools – competition, choice, payment by results and transparency – are essential to achieving a radical shift of power away from the centre.

    In local communities here the paramilitaries may well ‘be the boss’. We may end up turning democracy on its head rather than ‘turning Government on its head’.

  • socaire

    Nevin@ 10.52am. You are aware that the local Coalisland GAA team is called Na Fianna, aren’t you? Also you all do realise that Coalisland is not Derrytresk?

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    No to the first question and yes to the second, socaire; the two locations are not far apart. The photo in the Coalisland Post contains your profile image along with the East Tyrone Republican Youth Committee tag and references to IRA re-enactments and colour parties.

  • Barnshee

    “East Tyrone Republican Youth Committee tag and references to IRA re-enactments and colour parties.”

    Any chance of Loughgall and Gibralter “re-enactments” Perhaps Michael stone could be co-opted?