The GAA Central Council and the Sports Council want answers

The GAA Central Council is going to investigate why the Antrim Board ignored its ruling and the Sports Council of Northern Ireland (one of the three public bodies that funded the redevelopment of Casment) wants a word too.Update: Antrim County Board Chair John McSporran offers some answers.

  • Aodh Ruadh

    Fair Deal:

    When did your obsession with the GAA start?

  • maura

    They want answers?
    Hmm, I think I know what the answer will be, and it might involve gate receipts at a later date!

    As for Fair Deal’s obsession, well maybe he is really interested in the GAA and joining it at a later date? 🙂

  • Rip van Winkel

    Yawwwn,
    Now thats what I call a sleep – over 3 weeks undisturbed slumber is just what a body needs to see a change in the world…
    HOLD ON! Fair_Deal, the GAA, Casement Park, Hunger Strikers….. somebody wake when the music changes,
    Yawwwnn

  • Dave

    \well done fair deal for highlighting the fact that many people disagreed with this parade at casement Park and yes people should be held accountable for their actions.

    As for the nasty little posters (above) is it not time for you to grow up, just a wee bit,.

    The party political parade at casement Park was wrong and you know it was wrong. It is high time for people to tell the parasmilitaries where to go.

    Maybe the will get the message at the ballot box?

  • maura

    The party political parade at casement Park was wrong and you know it was wrong. It is high time for people to tell the parasmilitaries where to go.

    First: It was not a party political parade. Let’s deal with facts before we start debating this issue, lest it descend into mistruths and personalised name calling! Oh wait, it already has-*nasty little posters*
    Second: I do not know or think it was wrong, I think Casement was a perfectly acceptable venue for the event.

  • Occasional Commentator

    The lottery funding issue and the GAA Central Council ruling are fair points for FD to raise. I say this even though I attended and supported the commemoration. Critic’s of FD will have to do better than some of the nonsense comments we’ve already had on this thread.

  • k

    Loyalist fundraisers have been held at several publicly funded Irish league social clubs. Political parties regularly have rallies at publicly funded arenas like the Ulster Hall.
    Nationalists have an event in a nationalist area, so what?

  • iluvni

    The Sports Council need to demand the repayment of all monies paid. The GAA arent worthy recipients. The obscene amounts given to this so-called sporting organisation should be stopped forthwith.

    Who cares about the GAAs own investigation though…they’ve sanctioned competitions being named after terrorists, clubs being named after terrorists and players endorsing Sinn Fein whilst wearing county kits….and didnt the GAA President attend the recent naming ceremony in Dungiven?

    Lets hope sponsors such as Bushmills are looking closely at their ties with Antrim GAA as well.

  • Garibaldy

    Part of the funding was tied to conditions which have been violated. As for the idea this commemoration was not party political, I find that trying to deny what is in plain view. Chaired by two young southern female members of PSF who had no part to play in the hungerstrikes, no representative from the IRSP to whom three of the hunger strikers belonged (or at least I haven’t seen a report that they were on the platform), etc. Check out indymedia. PSF’s youth wing seems fairly clear who was organising it

  • Dr Cusack

    As a member of the GAA and an opponent of provisionalism i am personaly affronted by the decision to allow a particular political party free run of casement park.
    The rules are there for a very good reason, ever since the civil war the GAA has been a unifying force in nationalism in Ireland, and party politics has been largely left at the door, this should remain the case. Whats next? will the provos start selecting the Antrim football and hurling teams?
    If we fall out with our local provos will we be banned from training or attending matches?
    If the antrim board spent less time indulging provo pagents and more time working with their football and hurling squads they might someday have some trophies to parade at casement.

  • maura

    My position on this is the following: No problem with the UDA using a youth facility for a meeting, and Sinn Fein need to belt up about that; likewise No problem with The H Block commemoration in Casement Park, and Unionists need to do belt up as well. This is just petty nonsense, that usually descends into sectarian rants and the usual abuse toward each other.
    There are bigger issues to deal with!

  • willowfield

    Maura

    It’s not petty to object to the glorification of terrorism.

    Some 2,000 people were murdered in this country by nationalist terrorists. Countless others were maimed and injured. Society at large will not quietly sit back and be insulted as those who hold human life in such low esteem attempt to rewrite history. Society will neither sit back quietly and be insulted by the glorification of “loyalist” terrorists.

    The culture of violence within nationalism and “loyalism” is a sick cancer that must always be challenged. We cannot allow future generations to be duped into believing that the men of violence were “heroes”.

    The heroes were the ordinary people who suffered with quiet dignity at the hands of the gunmen. When is the GAA hosting an event to commemorate them?

  • dave

    “Loyalist fundraisers have been held at several publicly funded Irish league social clubs.”

    The sports council & other public bodies have given many donations to Clubs such as Portadown over the years.

    Portadown football club was the scene of the start of the lvf/uvf feud in 2000, which lead to the murder of uvf commander Richard Jameson, whose brother,Bobby is a senior official within the irish football association and 2 brothers are directors of the club , the brother’s were also injured in the feud fight.

    Security sources said Richard Jameson was the leader of one of the largest loyalist paramilitary groupings, the Ulster Volunteer Force in Portadown.

    Following the murder Bobby Jameson went round Portadown painting over lvf murals, no uvf murals were touched.

    Another director of the club, Mark McKinney had his assetts frozen by the ARA this year.

    McKinney, whose bling lifestyle included a top-of-the range helicopter, a custom-built hangar and a Humvee to tow the aircraft to and from the helipad, is alleged to have engaged in money-laundering and to have links to loyalist paramilitaries.

    A former director of Portadown Football Club, and a bankrupt in the late 1990s, McKinney once arrived at a football game between Portadown and the Dromahoe-based Institute Football Club by landing on the pitch in his helicopter. He regularly used Portadown FC’s Shamrock Park pitch as a helicopter landing site.

    Bobby Jameson, a director of Portadown FC and Irish Football Association official said McKinney resigned from the club last year citing work commitments, and he usually showed up only for bigger matches.

    McKinney has a criminal record that includes two convictions under terrorism legislation. In the early 1990s a photo montage of republican paramilitaries was found at his home during a police search and he was convicted of possessing and recording information likely to be of use to terrorists.

    It was alleged in court that McKinney has business links to two loyalist paramilitary groups, the Loyalist Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Association.

    Portadown Football Club have received over £331,000 from the sports council in recent years.

  • John Maynard

    So… two wrongs make a right.

  • maura

    Willowfield,
    I agree that the ordinary citizens are the true heroes of the ‘troubles’ the victims of brutal paramilitaries and the brutal security forces should indeed be honoured by the GAA and every other body in Ireland.
    The problem with our positions ( yours and mine) are that you have your heroes, I have mine. You have your terrorists, I also have mine. I accept that you probably supported the Security forces without question, you are coming from your own place and time. But so am I.
    The culture of violence is and never was limited to paramilitaries- indeed the culture of violence came from the government-security forces- all the way down.
    I for one, cannot see how we reach any settlement without all of us recognising that there was brutality on all sides, and that the state was as guilty( and thus lost the moral high ground, if it ever really held that ground to begin with).
    I have no residual contempt for any of the actors involved. I believe that paramilitaries from all sides, the government, and the security forces ALL have to be involved in our future. Exclusion of ANY group will simply bring us back to the bad old days of bombs and bullets. And the terrorism that we both seem to oppose.

  • willowfield

    MAURA

    The problem with our positions ( yours and mine) are that you have your heroes, I have mine. You have your terrorists, I also have mine. I accept that you probably supported the Security forces without question, you are coming from your own place and time. But so am I.

    You should try to be objective. I do. I did not support the security forces “without question”. I oppose all murders – no matter who the perpetrator or who the victim. You support murders committed by nationalist terrorists.

    And it doesn’t matter what word you choose to describe them. Whether you want to call them terrorists or not doesn’t alter the fact that they were murderers who brought untold misery to the people of Northern Ireland. They should be rejected, not celebrated.

    We will never heal this society while people like you and the Provisional movement insist on making heroes out of those who brought death, misery and suffering to so many.

    The culture of violence is and never was limited to paramilitaries- indeed the culture of violence came from the government-security forces- all the way down.

    I referred to the culture of violence in ultra-nationalism and “loyalism”. It is something that must be purged. I am unaware of any culture in mainstream society that glorifies violence by anyone, including the security forces.

    I for one, cannot see how we reach any settlement without all of us recognising that there was brutality on all sides, and that the state was as guilty( and thus lost the moral high ground, if it ever really held that ground to begin with).

    Recognising that there was “brutality” on all sides does not mean glorifying the brutality of one side. Quite the opposite.

    I have no residual contempt for any of the actors involved. I believe that paramilitaries from all sides, the government, and the security forces ALL have to be involved in our future. Exclusion of ANY group will simply bring us back to the bad old days of bombs and bullets. And the terrorism that we both seem to oppose.

    It is wrong to include people for the reason that you cite, i.e. that they will murder and kill if they are not included. That is a very dangerous path.

    The message that we should all be sending out to future generations is that murder, violence, sectarianism are WRONG. Glorifying the perpetrators of such vile acts is absolutely the WRONG thing to do. It saddens – indeed worries – me to think of all the young people in nationalist communities, who do not remember the atrocities, and who are happily receiving the obnoxious Provo version of history being peddled by Adams and his stooges.

  • maura

    Willowfield, to be honest, if we had lived in a normal society, there is not one word, of what you wrote that I could or would dispute. But we didn’t.
    My version of history, probably varies very significantly from yours, so which of us is right?
    This can only descent into an argument about who’s terrorist is the worst. Should we honour RUC men who died in the line of duty? UDR men? Should we honour politicians who sat on their hands, whipped up sectarian hatred and worse, while their contituents slaughtered each other?
    Should we honour everybody or nobody?

  • new boy

    Dr Cusack
    I think that the PSF should start picking the Antrim teams, (and giving team talks to the opposition) that’s the best chance of Antrim actually winning anything important.
    At least there will be money available for training costs, Antrim might be able to bring a proper kit to a game, and they would have no problem traveling to NY to play a game
    I wonder would the GAA consider banning Antrim from playing any home matches for 5 years. That would free up a lot more dates for political/ semi political / non political events (circle which is applicable, or all three)

  • willowfield

    MAURA

    My version of history, probably varies very significantly from yours, so which of us is right?

    I seek the truth: not a personalised “version of history”. So should you.

    This can only descent into an argument about who’s terrorist is the worst. Should we honour RUC men who died in the line of duty? UDR men? Should we honour politicians who sat on their hands, whipped up sectarian hatred and worse, while their contituents slaughtered each other?
    Should we honour everybody or nobody?

    Society owes a debt to those who put their lives on the line to protect us. If you cannot see the distinction between such people and those from whom they were protecting us, then truly you are unable to see beyond the simplistic and self-serving ultra-nationalist “analysis”.

    I would object strongly to any commemoration of politicians – especially those whom you describe.

    I object most of all to the commemoration of those who murdered and maimed because they thought their political views were more important than the majority of society’s.

  • maura

    I seek the truth: not a personalised “version of history”. So should you. ‘

    I know my truths Willowfield. Truth is a purely subjective entity.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    “Society owes a debt to those who put their lives on the line to protect us. If you cannot see the distinction between such people and those from whom they were protecting us, then truly you are unable to see beyond the simplistic and self-serving ultra-nationalist “analysis”.”

    These forces that you claim were protecting us are the very forces that gathered information on our communitiy to supply to the loyalist death squads that butchered our neighbours in our beds, can you tell me that the agencies that run these death squads can take the moral highground in defining who the terrorists are.

  • Nic

    Mr Conspiracy Theory sayeth: bloody convenient for this report to come out AFTER the fact. Lord knows they had enough warning of the intention before the fact but heaven forbid one should kick up a fuss before the singin’ ‘n’ drinkin’ ‘n’ wallowin’ is done with. Truly a problem for every solution.

  • Dr Cusack

    New Boy,

    Excellent suggestion. Could we also ask them to donate all those hurleys that they no longer need now that CRJ is there to ‘bring people together’

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    “Mr Conspiracy Theory sayeth: bloody convenient for this report to come out AFTER the fact. Lord knows they had enough warning of the intention before the fact but heaven forbid one should kick up a fuss before the singin’ ‘n’ drinkin’ ‘n’ wallowin’ is done with. Truly a problem for every solution.”

    But surely no rules were broken untill the event actually took place!!

  • Paul

    Maura, this was a party political event. It was organised by SF, whatever front name they used, and all the speakers were from SF. The rules of the GAA preclude party political events, for the very good reasons described by Dr Cusack above. Either Co Antrim think they are above the rules or they are afraid of standing up to SF. I think SF have showed their genuine and true regard for the GAA movement by their actions, i.e. “what can we get out of this?”
    The history of loyalist criminals’ involvement with Portadown F.C is very illuminating but is a different matter.

  • John East Belfast

    Maura

    Over the last couple of weeks I have been challenging nationalists on the fatal flaw in the argument put across by you above – ie one man’s terrorist etc etc and the fact that you are quite happy to lump PIRA, UVF RUC etc into the one big barrel so that everyone is to blame and hence no one is to blame.

    It is all about legitimacy and Reublicanism craves it – I suspect it is all it has left because if it admitted that the campaign was illegitimate in addition to being a failure then how could they look themselves in the mirror for the rest of their guilt ridden lives.

    Anyhow I have repeatedly put to republicans the following

    ie PIRA had no legitimacy on this planet bar a few tens of thousands of irish supporters, idiotic Irish Americans and odious regimes such as Libya. It also got sporatic support from Eastern European countries who’s sole aim was to destabilise Western democracies such as the UK so that they could continue to imprison their own citisens.

    Most damaging of all was that in the 26 Counties they were hounded and imprisoned.
    Every other civilised country in the world treated Irish Terrorists as just that. God only knows how they would be treated in today’s global anti terrorist environment.

    Does that not tell you something ? Or does “Ourselves Alone” mean that you suspend all rational judgement ?

    If the entire civilised world thought that you were criminals and your only friends were an assortment of nutters, dictators and crooks can you not see the writing on the wall.

    Bearing in mind the above can you not see how ridiculous your replies to Willowfield really are ?

    When are Republicans like you ever going to wake up ?

  • maura

    If the entire civilised world thought that you were criminals and your only friends were an assortment of nutters, dictators and crooks can you not see the writing on the wall.

    One man’s nutter is another man’s doctor!
    Let’s say Unionism has the support of Ronald Reagen and George Bush, which in the former’s case was the case.
    Is Reagen a Moral man?

  • maura

    One more thought:
    The ‘moral’governments, those without nutters and what was listed above, supported the apartheid regime in South Africa, whle countries like Libya and nutters all over the world opposed it.
    So what does that do to your theory there, John?

  • John East Belfast

    Maura

    I will just add you to the list of Republicans then that are incapable of recognising what is stirring you in the face.

    The rest of the democratic and legal world is wrong and Militant Irish Republicans were right.

  • maura

    I will just add you to the list of Republicans then that are incapable of recognising what is stirring you in the face. ‘

    That’s fine John, be as dismissive as you need to be! It does not dismiss the fact that your democratic and legal theories are not in fact actually democratic and legal.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    What would the democratic and legal world have to say about security force collusion with loyalist death squads, catch a grip john.

  • Cahal

    Could somebody just write a script which automatically generates an anti-GAA/SF/Hungerstrike thread twice a week.

    That would save Uncle Andy a few hours a week.

  • John East Belfast

    Maura

    “It does not dismiss the fact that your democratic and legal theories are not in fact actually democratic and legal.”

    What are you talking about ?

    UN, EU, US, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, HOLLAND, AUSTRALIa …… ALL CONSIDERED PIRA TO BE ILLEGAL.

    You say they were legal because you say they were.

    Talk sense.

    This series of postings began because you basically told Willowfield that he is entitled to his opinion on PIRA and you are entitled to yours. You dont agree so then lets just go your separate ways with equally valid view points.

    However I am pointing out to you that Willowfield’s arguments were shared by the vast majority of people on this Island let alone our neighbouring one as well as those other countries around the world that are largely accepted as having democratic systems and the Rule of Law that were subject to the Rule of law.

    Your answer to that is the UN, EU are no better than PIRA either so they have no right to point fingers.

    BUT THE FACT IS THEY DO – SO UNLESS WE LIVE IN A TOTALLY LAWLESS AND CORRUPT WORLD I THINK YOU AND YOUR HUNGER STRIKE SUPPORTERS ARE VERY MUCH IN THE MINORITY.

    If I had that weight of opinion against my case then I would start to think I was missing something.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    “The ‘moral’governments, those without nutters and what was listed above, supported the apartheid regime in South Africa, whle countries like Libya and nutters all over the world opposed it.”

    Thanks Maura for clearing that up – Gadaffi, supplier of guns and bombs used to kill your fellow Irishmen and women, and the man who bankrolled Lockerbie as well as other terrorist atrocities (or should that be ‘freedom fighting actions’) was actually quite a good bloke because he opposed apartheid. What moral, upstanding guy he must have been back in the good old days.

    You must be sooo proud that he was a supporter of Irish Republicanism and PIRA.

  • maura

    Thanks Maura for clearing that up – Gadaffi, supplier of guns and bombs used to kill your fellow Irishmen and women, and the man who bankrolled Lockerbie as well as other terrorist atrocities (or should that be ‘freedom fighting actions’) was actually quite a good bloke because he opposed apartheid. What moral, upstanding guy he must have been back in the good old days. ”

    Please be rational in your debate. Nowhere did I say anyone was a good bloke,’ what I am saying is that the legal and democratic theory as put forward by John does not stand when you consider that those he considers legal and democratic supported regimes like that in South Africa and have in fact been behind some of the most illegal and undemocratic behaviour in the world and all of its history. That’s all. No need to get over excited boys.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    So, does that mean you were glad of Gadaffi’s support (in terms of finance and arms, as well as rhetorical) for the men you honoured at the weekend?

  • maura

    So, does that mean you were glad of Gadaffi’s support (in terms of finance and arms, as well as rhetorical) for the men you honoured at the weekend?

    Arms came from many places during the struggle. They came from Libya, America, Eastern Bloc countries, and South Africa.
    Now, you and I can debate all day and night which of those countries was legal and democratic, where will it get us?
    The arms that came from America are about the same to me as the arms that came from Libya- all deadly and destructive.

  • dave

    Carrick Rangers recieve funding from the Sports Council & local council.

    The clubs social club is used for social events on a regular basis by the South East Antrim Defenders Flute Band.The band have strong connections with the uff as the link below shows.

    Should all funding be withdrawn from this Antrim club & will the sports council and irish football association investigate local football teams who allow their facilities to be used by paramilitaries & their supporters.

    http://www.sead-fb.co.uk/p11.php?view=2

  • John East Belfast

    Dave

    If any sporting body use its faclities to confer legitimacy on organisations engaged in illegal activities then they have no right to public funds that are to be used for the promotion of sport.

    Indeed if its not a clawback condition in the letters of offer of such grant bodies then it bloody well should be.
    It would bring them to heel where it hurts

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Maura – ‘all deadly and destructive’ – yes, exactly, so why commemorate the use of them (on any side)?

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Dave – absolutely.

  • Cahal

    “If any sporting body use its faclities to confer legitimacy on organisations engaged in illegal activities ”

    I though the charge was that this was a party-political event? Are SF engaged in illegal activities?

  • maura

    why commemorate the use of them (on any side)? ‘

    Why commemorate any war? Why honour any soldier?

  • Paul

    The G.A.A.’s rules are quite clear on this. The rules were blatantly flaunted by the Co Antrim board, despite clear and unequivical instructions from the G.A.A. in Dublin. SF encouraged and connived at this. If Co. Antrim were to be kicked out in the cold for a while they could have no complaints. If they get away with it then the other counties better watch out, as SF will use tactics tried and tested in their “community sector” takeover and the G.A.A. will find itself as the sporting wing of SF.

  • Garibaldy

    Fianna Fáil is too well entrenched in the GAA for anybody to take it over I would have said

  • spice girl

    i think the antrim team should be kitted out with a few of Gerry;s old balaclavas and M60’s – should give them a ‘fighting’ chance next season!!
    On a serious note, the IFA and Ulster Rugby has made huge efforts to provide an all inclusive sporting environment. The GAA clearly do not want a prod about the place. Blatent sectarianism at it’s foundation. The GAA might need to think about disbanding themselves…

  • Sammy McQuiston

    While the Central Council of the GAA may have issues with the Antrim Board over the use of Casement, though I cannot see why as it was a commemoration not a political rally imo, I cannot see how the Sports Council NI can have any dispute. My reason for saying so is that I cannot believe that when awarding grants that such vetos are built into the terms & conditions. Now if Casement was being regulary used for such events that would be a different matter as the primary function for which the money was granted had changed. Many venues are funded by Lottery, where the Casement grant originated by all accounts. Should all venues therefore similarly scrutinised? The Ulster Hall in Belfast for example has recieve many large grants, should they be called to account for the numerous political rallies held there? Or the the Waterfront? My private sector companies also receive funding. For example the Ramada Hotel at Shaws Bridge received millions and earlier this year hosted the DUP annual conference. Should that money now be clawed back?

    The case of Portadown Football Club was mentioned earlier. Firstly the social club at that ground is a seperate entity to the football club. Secondly funding bodies do not fund social clubs. Though it is fact that one of their former directors under examination from the ARA that does not in itself prove anything about the club itself.

    Windsor Park too has seen events similar to what happened at Casement. Some would argue that when the Orange Order used it for their 300th, it was a commemoration. Both events could be called politcal if you want because once you hoist a flag at any event thenit by definition becomes political.

    So before you all run around wanting your money back from Casement, stop and think for a moment. What happened at Casement is by no means unique to that venue.

  • ewan

    Portadown social club is inside the ground. I have heard those involved with Portadown try to disassociate themselves from the paramilitary social club, it just doesn’t add up.

    How do patrons gain access to the club if its inside shamrock park.

    The sports council have given Portadown hundreds of thousands of pounds in the last few years, if directors are involved with paramilitaries, who knows were the money has gone.

    Perhaps the sports council could build a new entrance to the club

  • Sammy McQuiston

    But the fact remains, that wether inside or outside the ground it is operated as a seperate entity and much as you may think otherwise, unless a link can be proven then no one can implicate the football club.

    Did Glenavon not at one stage have a social club in their grounds that was unconnected to the social club? Also didn’t Glentoran shut down their social club down following issues? Where questions one time asked about Crusaders Social Club I seem to recall? Indeed was Crusaders Social club recently used as an assembly point for an Orange Order parade?

    On the other hand have simiar questions been raised about some GAA clubs?

    My point is that no one can point fingers. If you want too then be prepared to have them pointed back.

  • iluvni

    “Windsor Park too has seen events similar to what happened at Casement”

    Windsor has seen nothing like that which happened at Casement Park.

    Casement Park was a celebration of the lives and deaths of 10 sectarian terrorists and a big day out for IRA prisoners to be cheered to the rafters by those who supported a terror campaign lasting 30 years.

    Nothing of such a nature has taken place at Windsor PArk.

  • fair_deal

    Dave

    The sports council don’t give grants to the development of social clubs attached to any sporting organisation.

  • Sammy McQuiston

    Windsor Park saw the 300th comemmoration of those that took part in an uprising against the British Crown which resulted in thousands of deaths.

    Also as I said once you hoist a flag at any of these type of events thanit becomes political. Was the Union flag not flown at Windsor that day?

  • fair_deal

    Sammy McQuiston

    At the time of the tercentary celebration event at Windsor Park the North Stand had been redeveloped with the help of public funds. Linfield and the organisers of the event were told by the funding body prior to it that the North Stand should not be used for the event and if it was they would seek the return of the public funding. Linfield and the organisers abided by what the funders stipulated.

  • Sammy McQuiston

    I’m aware of that fair_deal. I did not specify any particular facilities in my comments. You are aware of other grants and publicaly funded schemes that Windsor Park/Linfield benefited from in that era too I take it?

  • Sammy McQuiston

    And just for clarity, the North stand is not owned by Linfield. It is owned by the IFA.

  • fair_deal

    No sam I don’t know every public grant given Linfield in 1990 please list them for me

  • Dr Cusack

    All this whataboutery is going nowhere.

    The central issue for GAA members and supporters remains: do you want your organisation to change the rules to allow further party political events on our premises or do you not?

    IF the rules were changed it would not be long before clubs all over the country started to become identified with one party or another, a SF club here, an SDLP club there, a FF club in another place etc. This would be a disaster for the organisation which has historically welcomed people of all nationalist groups to play side by side in their parish or county colours.

    I think the event in casement shows SF’s completed disregard for anyones priorities and objectives other than their own. The Antrim board should be suspended immediately and replaced with people who will put the interests of the GAA first and tell all political parties to go and take their activities elsewhere.

  • Sammy McQuiston

    Fair-deal I suggest you check the records of Belfast City Council, the IFA for details of their admin of grant money and also government departments who at that time ran various employment schemes.

  • Sammy McQuiston

    “The central issue for GAA members and supporters remains: do you want your organisation to change the rules to allow further party political events on our premises or do you not?”

    I think it has already been establised that such a rule already exists. What is under debate is wether said event was political or commemrative.

  • nmc

    There are so many issues on this thread, I would like to offer my take on a few of them. First up was it a party political event? No, I don’t see it as one, it was a largely republican event and as such Gerry Adams, MP for the area was present. It was in the end a commemeration of the courage and selflessness of those who gave up their lives so that mine could be a better one. I understand that they may not have given their lives for others here, but they did lay down their lives for others.

    Many people I know, some of whom sat with me during the commemeration will not be voting SF at the next election. The appearance of Gerry and others did not change that, in fact he did nothing to encourage people to vote Sinn Fein. The only thing that he encouraged people to do was be “avowedly anti-sectarian”. This has to be a good thing, even some of the Loyalist and Protestant posters here must see that.

    As for the row over the “public funding” and the use of Casement as a venue, first up I would say at what point do we start counting public money? Are taxes public money? If so, do the people who pay for the 12th, and the eleventh night clean ups, and any 12th related violence have any say in where their money goes? Not to mention the wages for the Police. Because the people who pay for this are the entire population of the UK, and if for the sake of simplicity we say that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have similair populations, then seven eighths of the people are paying millions for the enjoyment of one eighth of the people. If you feel you have a right to complain about public money being spent on Casement, do the rest of the population have a similair right to complain about the millions used to replace roads, flyovers etc. damaged by eleventh night bonfires? If you demand the money back, can we do the same? Casement pays 100k (or whatever it is) back, and the Orange Orders in NI pay back, hold on, I’ll get a calculator.

    The other point I would like to address is the complaints from the GAA in the south about the use of Casement as a venue. I say this as a Republican, but the GAA in the 26, and the GAA in the six don’t always get along, and many people from the South of Ireland, IMO, would happily have the 6 counties removed from the map. Ever since they gained independence in the south, the vast majority of people down there couldn’t give a toss about NI or the troubles, or catholics in NI. So I would not be even remotely interested or concerned about the opinions of the Southern GAA board.

    In summary, I feel that it is an underlying intention of the majority of NI people to demonise the opposing community. It’s all about themmuns, but if we step back we see that neither community is whiter than white, both sides believe they’re better than the other. Balls. You have your terrorists, we have ours. We have our sectarianism, you have yours. Let’s bring everyone in from the cold, regardless of the past and set about facing our own collective guilt. And if the UDA feel like hitting the leisure centre then that’s great, and if there’s a commemeration for republican martyrs held in a catholic area, in a catholic ground and represented by the MP for the area, then don’t worry about it.

    Right I’m away for lunch, I’ll be back – just in case people start prematurely saying that I’ve tucked tail and run…

  • Hidden Gem

    maura,

    This is just petty nonsense.

    Many people disagree. Not all members of the GAA support the Provos. Admittedly some do, though many don’t – never have and never will. There is a lot of ill feeling directed towards SF in clubs because of what has happened. The general feeling is that they, in one guise or another, put undue pressure on the Antrim board to allow what can only be viewed as a political gathering at the sporting ground of Casement Park. So great was the pressure that they felt compelled to ignore the Dublin ruling. There is speculation that people on the board may have been bought or the board has been infiltrated by people whose political agenda is greater than that of their love for Gaelic Games. Nobody really knows. Everyone I speak to is waiting to see what substantive action Dublin takes after their enquiry.

  • paul

    …I would not be even remotely interested or concerned about the opinions of the Southern GAA board…

    There in lies the problem.

  • John East Belfast

    ncm

    “You have your terrorists, we have ours”

    Wrong – I wouldnt have a UVF/UDA/UFF person about the place and I certainly wouldnt be commemorating them.

    All of these people were criminals.

    The issue here is whether sporting facilities should be used to pay homage to convicted murderers and whether, if they are, public money should be spent on supporting such facilities.

    I couldnt care less if sporting facilities are used by legitimate political parties or others for a rally – if that is one way for the sporting clubs to raise some money and engage with the local community.

    If that is a problem with the GAA Rule Book then that is a matter for them.

    For instance if SF were having a political rally at Casement I wouldnt give a damn and I wouldnt be making an issue of it here.

    It is about your view of the Hunger Strikers and the 30 year PIRA campaign and its legitimacy.

    I know the PIRA supporters will come back with the “One man’s terrorist….” and all that but unless the GAA were actively behind the PIRA campaign then that Rally had no business in Casement Park

  • Garibaldy

    NMC,

    How does the argument about the local MP apply to the people who chaired the event – two free staters, from Dublin and Kerry, neither of whom were involved in the H-Block protests?

    And who from another political party was on the platform?

  • nmc

    JEB

    Obviously I do not carry a terrorist in my pocket either, I’m referring to the two communities who live here. Loyalists and Republicans. Are you a member of the Loyalist community? Are there such things as Loyalist terrorists?

    G

    I understand where you’re coming from, and it’s tricky to make a good argument in response, but I would say that the SDLP/Alliance/UUP/DUP etc. would abviously not be there. The SF contingent was there primarily because they are the only party who throughout the past 30 years have been supporting and backing the struggle/armed campaign. There is no other party who could have been there without appearing hypocritical, as they all opposed the hunger strike in the first place.

    It would be similair to saying that the DUP were the only political party represented at the Cullybackey annual street party, so it must have been a political event.

  • time to go

    It’s clear from this thread that the GAA is certainly a very contraversial “sporting” organisation.

    If this report seems to be the whitewash i suspect, and they cant reform themselves, then they should be proscribed. No if no buts. We dont have a place for dinosaurs like the GAA in the 21st century.

  • maura

    My point is that no one can point fingers. If you want too then be prepared to have them pointed back.

    Sammy, sure isn’t that the case with everything in Northern Ireland. Peculiar how many can’t see that!

  • frank

    Proscribe the GAA !!

    That would presumably lead to the banning of the orange order, apprentice boys & black institution, all of who accommodate loyalist terrorists during their parades.

  • Dr Cusack

    nmc

    Your definition of Casement as ‘ a catholic ground’ says it all. For you the GAA seems to be an exclusive, catholics only organisation. No prods need apply.

    I presume this extends to Sam Maguire ?

    Secondly, I don’t see the Provos as ‘ours’ at all. I play football with Gardaí and members of the Irish Army, all once legitimate targets of ‘our’ terrorists. In our dressing room there are people who vote for all the political parties and for none. I dont want to see the day when my Garda and Army clubmates walk away from the GAA because the provos have to be indulged north of the border.
    Many members of Sinn Fein may be members of the GAA but dont for one second think that anything other than a tiny minority of the GAA ever supported the violence of the provos.

  • time to go

    frank

    “Proscribe the GAA !!

    That would presumably lead to the banning of the orange order, apprentice boys & black institution, all of who accommodate loyalist terrorists during their parades. ”

    yes, frank, im gladd you agree with me, if we could ban sectarian organisation like the GAA, OO, aprentice boys etc then our society would be closer to normalisation.

  • maura

    Secondly, I don’t see the Provos as ‘ours’ at all. I play football with Gardaí and members of the Irish Army, all once legitimate targets of ‘our’ terrorists.”

    Please stick to facts. This is just blatantly dishonest or ill-informed.

  • PeterBrown

    The most laughable aspect of this fiasco was Dr McSparron’s “Cecil Walker in the Crum” performance on Radio Ulster – there are orangemen in rugby clubs and that’s the same as having a loyalist paramilitary rally at Ravenhill!!! He couldn’t defend the indefensible was the problem (something else he had in common with Cecil Walker)…

  • nmc

    I’m not suggesting that no prods should apply, as you say. What I am saying: who is trying to suggest that the GAA does not come from a catholic or nationalist background? To that I respond – how long is it since rule 42 was lifted? How long since rule 21 was lifted? Were these rules promoting Loyalist/Protestant participation? No. So at what point did the GAA become a non-nationalist sporting body, all inclusive etc.? Four years ago? Two? Balls.

    Did the twelfth of July become all inclusive as soon as funding was awarded and someone coined the term Orangefest? No.

    Both the twelfth and the GAA now have something new in common, both are trying to make themselves accessible to both communities. However that does not mean that the culture surrounding the twelfth has changed, it means if you’re catholic and you want to take part, or watch, you can.

    In the same way the culture from which the GAA was born has not changed, it means if you’re Protestant/Hindu/Sunni you can take part if you like. The history and culture has not changed, it’s just more accessible now.

    In summary, I feel that Casement can be described as a catholic ground, regardless of who chooses to partake in the sports played there. Everything points to this, including the history of the GAA and the geographical location of the park.

  • Occasional Commentator

    nmc,
    Guess what religion Mr. Casement was? He was an Ulster Protestant.

    The GAA may well be nationalist or republican, but it’s not Catholic. It just so happens that most Protestants have chosen to not be nationalist or republicans.

  • John East Belfast

    nmc

    “I’m referring to the two communities who live here. Loyalists and Republicans. Are you a member of the Loyalist community? Are there such things as Loyalist terrorists?”

    I prefer the other two communities – Unionist and Nationalist – typically referred to as the constitutional variety. There are of course others who would see themselves as none of teh four and they are entitled to do so.

    The Loyalists and Republicans tend to be those who support militant and illegal activities and I have no truck with either.

    Indeed the above is what this is all about and whether Casement should have been used by such people.

    Maura

    “My point is that no one can point fingers. If you want too then be prepared to have them pointed back.”

    Refer to my post above to nmc – you can point your fingers legitimately at Loyalist terrorists all you want. However please dont drag us all down into the gutter – that includes the GAA which is why this is controversial

  • lib2016

    “..why this is controversial.”

    The GAA in the South have strong ties to the major political parties, especially Fianna Fail so they will do Sinn Fein no favours with a General Election coming up next year.

    In the North Sinn Fein are the main players in nationalist politics, especially in Belfast. This is a storm in a tea-cup being stirred up by obvious chancers like ‘Dr. Cusack’ and assorted unionists, with a few badly advised SDLP figures joining in.

    The local community showed where their sympathies lie at the weekend and the SDLP lurched further away from the centre of nationalist politics.

    The loyalists and the unionists are hand in glove and collusion is now an established fact. The more unionists deny evident truths about the society we all live in the more they destroy their own credibility. We’ve seen the photographs of the leaders of your community mixing with loyalists several times this Summer, and at regular intervals in the past when they have gone so far as to wear paramilitary uniforms.

    By all means support and vote for the ‘Red Berets’ or the ex-Vanguard crowd if they are what you want. Just don’t insult our intelligence when you’ve elected them as the leaders of your community.

  • maura

    The local community showed where their sympathies lie at the weekend and the SDLP lurched further away from the centre of nationalist politics.

    I agree Lib2016, and I daresay, and I said before that GAA central might have gate receipts to consider in the futre, if they choose this path.

  • Garibaldy

    NMC,

    I was especially surprised at the one political party only because of the fact that 3 of the hunger strikers were IRSP people, but they were not represented. No sense of that from the rally.

  • munsterman

    John EBelfast

    “…The Loyalists tend to be those who support militant and illegal activities and I have no truck with either….”

    Pity that Unionist terrorist James “Larne 1914 Gun-runner” Craig didn’t share that view John.
    Nor Eddie Carson – nor Bonar Law, the Conservative Party Leader – who both openly aided and abetted Unionist terrorism to defy democracy in Ireland.

  • John East Belfast

    munsterman

    I think the acronyms, personalities and issues have moved on about 100 years since then

  • Patrique

    Dr Cusack was spot on. And Antrim should be punished for breaking the rules. All this crap about it being a nationalist area misses the point. Sports stadiums are for sport, unless you are Pinochet, the Black and Tans on Bloody Sunday, or Antrim GAA.

  • willowfield

    TIR EOGHAIN GAEL

    These forces that you claim were protecting us are the very forces that gathered information on our communitiy to supply to the loyalist death squads that butchered our neighbours in our beds, can you tell me that the agencies that run these death squads can take the moral highground in defining who the terrorists are.

    Terrorists are those who engage in terrorism. It doesn’t matter what the “agencies” say or how they define them.

    You’re characterising the security forces inaccurately. While some members undoubtedly engaged in disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour, that does not alter the fact that broadly and largely they fulfilled their role of protecting society.

    The terrorists didn’t get arrested and charged by themselves. The bombs didn’t get disposed by themselves. The policemen and soldiers did not kill themselves – they were killed protecting society.

  • willowfield

    nmc

    It was in the end a commemeration of the courage and selflessness of those who gave up their lives so that mine could be a better one. I understand that they may not have given their lives for others here, but they did lay down their lives for others.

    They took lives from others. Some were murderers themselves: all were members of murderous organisations.

    Even if you could somehow calculate how your life was improved by the Provisional IRA, 1,700 dead people is not a price worth paying to give you a supposedly “better life”. The conceit and self-importance involved in such a notion is despicable.

    The only thing that he encouraged people to do was be “avowedly anti-sectarian”. This has to be a good thing, even some of the Loyalist and Protestant posters here must see that.

    Coming from a sectarian killing commander, his words were hypocritical.

    The other point I would like to address is the complaints from the GAA in the south about the use of Casement as a venue. I say this as a Republican, but the GAA in the 26, and the GAA in the six don’t always get along, and many people from the South of Ireland, IMO, would happily have the 6 counties removed from the map. Ever since they gained independence in the south, the vast majority of people down there couldn’t give a toss about NI or the troubles, or catholics in NI. So I would not be even remotely interested or concerned about the opinions of the Southern GAA board.

    Partitionism alive and well among northern “republicans”. Your neighbours in Northern Ireland don’t like you, and your fellow nationalists in Southern Ireland don’t like you. Ever think of pondering on that?

    In summary, I feel that it is an underlying intention of the majority of NI people to demonise the opposing community.

    Commemorating those who murdered and bombed the opposing community would fall neatly into your assessment.

  • andy

    “While some members undoubtedly engaged in disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour”

    Many members of the udr were also members of loyalist paramilitary organisations who murdered civilians both on and off duty.Members of the ruc went home from work, took off their uniforms and went out and killed civilians as members of the uvf.

    ‘disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour’

    A very unionist response to those who slaughtered their co-religionists.

  • munsterman

    “..Ever since they gained independence in the south, the vast majority of people down there couldn’t give a toss about NI or the troubles, or catholics in NI..”

    Most people here in the south, west and east of the country care greatly about what happens in the north of the country.

    Bertie has spent – and spends – a huge amount of time on northern affairs. Mind you, his job is made so much easier seeing that Rev Dr. No is the leading light of Unionism nowadays.

  • munsterman

    John EBelfast

    Fair play to you for not disputing the fact that James Craig was a terrorist.

    “..issues have moved on about 100 years…”

    Really ?

    That’ll be news to 5 million nationalists and 900,000 unionists on this island – but those numbers were TOO much democracy for the British Empire in 1918.
    That’s the problem for Terrorist Empires – once you give the natives and peasants a vote, they might vote you out of the country you occupy.
    Unionism lost the election in 1918 when the majority in Ireland voted for a 32-county independent Ireland. Partition was imposed by Britain against the will of the majority of the people in Ireland.

    THAT has not changed.

    But it is changing – that is for sure.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Most people here in the south, west and east of the country care greatly about what happens in the north of the country.”

    Aye right. You came up north in droves to drive out the oppressor. If even half of Sunday’s blanket bonanza was comprised of southerners that’s 10-15,000 people out of a population of almost four million bothered enough for Bobby’s Big Day Out. More people form the south text in to Big (brit) brother evictions than give a stuff about us.

    “Unionism lost the election in 1918 when the majority in Ireland voted for a 32-county independent Ireland. Partition was imposed by Britain against the will of the majority of the people in Ireland.”

    Now you’re new to slugger, so I’ve got to be gentle, but really. The uncomfortable facts, and Oh how you won’t like them, are that in a United Kingdom election in 1918, the overwhelming majority voted for pro-Union parties; working with your arbitrary exclusion of Great Britain’s votes to obtain the result you want, the Irish electorate did not give a majority of votes cast to parties campaigning for the republic-even after many constituencies were uncontested by other parties because of Sinn Fein intimidation;even then,nationalist historians work themselves into a lather trying to extrapolate trends for all seats, and their best guess is that there might have been a total vote of almost 53% pro-SF; and finally,as we all know that’s well within the margin of error for opinion polls , and of course there wasn’t universal suffrage in any event, which apparently rules out the Act of Union in 1801 but not the 1918 vote.

    So there never were 5 million republicans in 1918- there wouldn’t even be now. And the last referendum on partition in the Republic endorsed it , with the support of every party from the PDs to SF, and something like 96% support in the Republic.

  • munsterman

    darth

    Who ever gave the British Empire the right to decide Ireland’s destiny ?

    According to your logic, Estonia and Finland did not have the right to independence – but would have required the majority of the Soviet Union to grant it.

    Similarly, your logic would mean that a majority of Scots voting for Scottish independence would be meaningless – they would need the permission of the majority IN THE UK….

  • What’s on?

    World history is littered with stories of hostility and war. Some nations survive and some nations die.

    What right did France have, (particularly Norman France)?
    What right did Rome have?
    What right did Greece have?
    What right did Chinese Dynasties have?
    What right did Korea have?
    What right did Portugal have?
    What right did Spain have?

  • John East Belfast

    Munsterman

    “Fair play to you for not disputing the fact that James Craig was a terrorist.”

    Talk sense – I was trying to encourage you to stop comparing apples with pears – or maybe oranges with limes.

    You could go all the way back to the garden of Eden for all I care – I am only interested in my life time because that is all we had control and influence over.

    It is pretty pathetic to try and justify your actions with saying “he done it first you know” – I wouldnt let my kids use such excuses.

    Also

    “Partition was imposed by Britain against the will of the majority of the people in Ireland.”

    I dont want to start another well trodden Partitition justification but the view of Unionists has always been pretty simple on this matter.

    ie two peoples sharing the same small piece of earth but who have different loyalties, religions, economies and views of the world have two choices
    Either slug it out in a winner takes all or compromise and say you live there and we will live here and then be good neighbours.

    The ROI got 26 counties and NI got 6 – nothing short of Republican greed to demand the whole island.

    Partition is well alive today – for all the same reasons as faced our own grandparents in the early part of this century – in Palestine and Iraq where the P word will be the best and most just solution to conflict.

    Indeed even on Slugger Greenflag would be a champion of Repartition in Ireland.

    Therefore do us all a favour and stop going on about Craig and 1921 Partition and get yourself into the realities of the 21st Century

  • munsterman

    John EBelfast

    1. Partition – has been a disaster.
    It has pad-locked tribal politics in NI with no prospect of normal left-right politics emerging.
    Re-partition is a non-runner and Greenflag would lose his deposit on that ticket if he ran for Election. It would receive zero support from the nationalist population on this island.

    The majority of states in the world are NOT homogenous and are made up of different groups.
    No big deal there, as such. It’s how those differences are handled is one of the keys.
    The list is numerous – Finland and Switzerland – immediately spring to mind as examples of states where compromise – without partitioning up the country – works well.

    For the near-ish term future, I suspect a “Canton-isation” of NI is in the offing.

    It will take time for all the hatred and bitterness to calm down – but it’s a huge improvement for all on 15 years ago.

  • Realist

    Reading this thread, it’s hard to believe that the GAA is merely a sporting organisation.

  • willowfield

    ANDY

    Many members of the udr were also members of loyalist paramilitary organisations who murdered civilians both on and off duty.Members of the ruc went home from work, took off their uniforms and went out and killed civilians as members of the uvf.

    You’re making the same mistake as Tir Eoghian Gael by (deliberately) characterising the entire security forces on the basis of the disgraceful behaviour of a small number. That is dishonest and silly.

    The reality was that, even though some members undoubtedly engaged in disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour, broadly and largely the security forces fulfilled their role of protecting society.

    The terrorists didn’t get arrested and charged by themselves. The bombs didn’t get disposed by themselves. The policemen and soldiers did not kill themselves – they were killed protecting society.

    MUNSTERMAN

    That’ll be news to 5 million nationalists and 900,000 unionists on this island – but those numbers were TOO much democracy for the British Empire in 1918.

    That’ll be news to 50 million unionists and 5 million nationalists on these islands – but those numbers were TOO much democracy for Irish nationalism in 1918.

    That’s the problem for Terrorist Empires – once you give the natives and peasants a vote, they might vote you out of the country you occupy. Unionism lost the election in 1918 when the majority in Ireland voted for a 32-county independent Ireland. Partition was imposed by Britain against the will of the majority of the people in Ireland.

    That’s the problem with Nationalist Movements – once you give the natives the opportunity for self-determination , they get greedy and try to gain control of territory in which they are a minority. Nationalism lost the election in the North in 1918 when the vast majority voted to be excluded from a Nationalist Irish state. They attempted to impose Forced Unity against the will of the majority of people in the North.

    THAT has not changed.

    But it is changing – that is for sure.

    According to your logic, Estonia and Finland did not have the right to independence – but would have required the majority of the Soviet Union to grant it.

    Exactly the same logic that you apply to NOrthern Ireland. You deny Northern Ireland the right to be treated separately from the rest of Ireland, just as the Soviet Union would have denied Estonia the right to be treated separately.

    (By the way, Finland was never part of the Soviet Union.)

    Similarly, your logic would mean that a majority of Scots voting for Scottish independence would be meaningless – they would need the permission of the majority IN THE UK….

    Which is the same logic that you apply to Northern Ireland. You deny the right of the majority there to choose their own destiny: you only accept a majority in the whole island …