For and against the Casement Rally

The Daily Ireland and News Letter have editorialised about the proposed rally at Casement Park in memory of the 10 IRA and INLA terrorists who died on Hunger Strike in 1981. Daily Ireland calls for the GAA to stand firm and the News letter for the GAA to make a choice.The Daily Ireland editorial rounds on objectors complaining that:

“…[they] had nothing to say about the British army’s still vividly-recalled theft and occupation of the ground in the 1970s. Nor did they have anything to say about the theft and occupation by the British of countless other GAA properties, as well as homes, schools and anything else that took their fancy.”

It believes GAA fans wil react to Unionist objections:

“…with a pinch of salt anything that they have to say to clubs which remained beleaguered and targeted for decades by the British and their proxy gangs down through the darkest years of the Troubles…”

It says any action by the GAA would be:

“…a massive step backwards if outsiders and elements hostile to the Association were allowed to give a lecture in morality and principle to men and women who stood fast in support of the core principles of the GAA…”

It concludes with claiming the rally is:

“Far from being a purely party political event…Admiration and respect for the hunger strikers and their achievements crosses party lines…”

The News Letter seems to indicate a willingness to overlook the strong thread of nationalism in what professes to be a sporting organisation but believes the rally crosses a line:

“…the aspiration of Irish unity does run through the mainstream of associations and clubs across this island. That may be a fact of life, given the origins and early history of the GAA, but what is not acceptable, if the organisation is to be recognised essentially as a sporting institution, is its involvement with an IRA hunger strike commemoration rally at Casement Park in west Belfast on Sunday, August 13.”

It round on Sinn Fein saying:

“Sinn Fein, by its prominent role at this rally, will perpetuate the deep divisions that emanated from this dark period.”

It concludes by callin on Antrim GAA Board to make a choice and:

“…decide on what its priorities are – promotion of sport or a dalliance with republican terrorism.”

Meanwhile the Irish News has confiemd that both the GAA Management Committee and Central Council discussed the rally and believe it breaches Rule 7(a) and Rule 44(a). Rule 44 (a) states:

“All property including grounds, Club Houses, Halls, Dressing Rooms and Handball Alleys owned or controlled by units of the Association shall be used only for the purpose of or in connection with the playing of the Games controlled by the Association, and for such other purposes not in conflict with the Aims and Objects of the Association, that may be sanctioned from time to time by the Central Council.”

  • I have no idea why the Daily Ireland journalist feels that recounting the well documented injustices meted out by British forces and paramiliary unionists against the GAA and its memebers vindicate a decision to flagrantly breach the rather sensible rules that would apply to political events.

    The Daily Ireland article also mentioned “outsiders intefering” which reminds one of the hideous insularity of the Orange movement.

    The other article (are you sure it’s the newsletter?) seems quite balanced.

    It seems that the northern GAA membership is more militantly politicised than the southern membership (and undestandbly so) which might help explain some of the unionist misconception of what the GAA is about.

  • barnshee

    repay the public fiuds received and then use the facilities in any way you choose.

    How they got paid to a body which cannot command cross community support should be the subject of an investigation

  • Keith M

    “Daily Ireland calls for the GAA to stand firm”. Quelle surprise.

    Michael Turley “I have no idea why the Daily Ireland journalist feels that recounting the well documented injustices meted out by British forces and paramiliary unionists against the GAA and its memebers vindicate a decision to flagrantly breach the rather sensible rules that would apply to political events.”

    Because it’s a propoganda sheet sponsored by SF/IRA “fundraising” (aka bank robberies) by any anchance?

  • nmc

    repay the public fiuds received and then use the facilities in any way you choose

    Just as soon as the OO pay back the money meeted out every twelfth of July and every bonfire on the eleventh, and every Drumcree and Whiterock – paid for by every citizen of the UK for the benefit of a percentage of the Loyalists who make up half the province.

    Or maybe not, maybe it’s time to recognize the different occassions and organisations for what they are and what they will be, and forget about trying to get one over on the other side.

    Let the UDA talk, maybe it will work, it did with the IRA. Let them use a leisure centre, or a street, or Stormont if they want. Let the OO march every summer, and let the Republican people of West Belfast commemerate and remember their fellow countrymen, who regardless of who you vote for, laid down their lives for the good of the rest of the nationalist people. Let them commemerate the hunger strikers where ever they like, because if you’re not going, it’s not your business.

    Just like the twelfth.

  • AodhRuadh

    The hunger strikers are, of course, not terrorists.

  • Bushmills

    AodhRuadh

    No. They’re dead terrorists.

  • barnshee

    “Just as soon as the OO pay back the money meeted out every twelfth of July and every bonfire on the eleventh, and every Drumcree and Whiterock – paid for by every citizen of the UK for the benefit of a percentage of the Loyalists who make up half the province”

    No problem with that anything that makes people pay for their actions has my vote

  • Garibaldy

    Keith,

    The Anderstown News group is in fact funded by the British rather than the Provos.

  • reality check

    keith m-yet more unfounded nonsense proclaimed by you yet again.the daily ireland is part of the anderstown news group.it is registered as a newspaper.it receives no funding from sinn fein.just because it agrees with sinn fein’s political views dosen’t mean it benefits from this by getting funding.does the newsletter receive financial aid from the dup/uup/pup/uvf/uda/lvf?
    look beyond your own bigoted viewpoint for once you moron

  • Daisy

    “a massive step backwards if outsiders and elements hostile to the Association ”

    Daily Ireland appears to believe it’s just “outsiders” who are uncomfortable with this decision. A lot of GAA members are also uncomfortable about it, but that wouldn’t fit nicely within the DI’s insular view.

  • Irish in America

    The only terrorists have been recently performing “power plays” and beating to death 15 year old Catholics and Scottish visitors.

  • Dualta

    Daily Ireland is just an extension of the SF press office, but is that any different from elsewhere, where papers often take a party political line and push the agenda of one political party.

    I don’t see what so many people seem so surprised about this.

    That said, and back to the subject at hand, they are wrong about the use of Casement. They’re hijacking the GAA for their own party political purposes and, it seems, that many within the GAA in the north are more than happy to help Sinn Fein hijack the organisation and use it as a political tool.

    The GAA in Ireland have got to assert their autority on this issue. They must stand up to the hijackers.

  • Paul

    Dualta, spot on. SF have one, and only one, purpose in mind, the furtherence of SF. They will hijack and use whatever vehicle they can get their hands on. Community and voluntary groups have been totally taken over by SF in nationalist areas, using classic entryist methods.They would love to get their hands on the GAA, bind it to SF. They don’t give a shit about the wider community or about gaelic sports. They don’t care about the damage done to the GAA with their antics. They would probably prefer if constitutional nationalists got so fed up with it they abandoned the GAA in disgust. As long as it meant a few more jobs for the boys and more power for SF it would be mission accomplished. The southern counties need to wake up to what is going on.

  • pol

    Fair Deal

    You had a holiday yet.

  • dubliner

    Daily Ireland is an embarrasing reminder of past attitudes, which have died out everywhere else on this island 🙁

  • john devlin

    Dubliner- What do you recommend us ’embarassing’ northerners read then? Sure we all know the Southern press/media are above reproach, fair minded, the lot of them!!