When is a political event a party event and when is it not?

By popular demand (and in an attempt to preserve the integrity of this useful conversation), Alasdair McDonnell is asking the GAA why one of its clubs was allowed an apparent breach of Rule 7a… Nonsense says Chris at Balrog, the Republican movement is not a political party but something that is open to everyone to participate in…

Please note: since this is potentially yet another of those notorious Slugger sports/politics threads, we will moderate any man playing heavily or straying from the point with extreme prejudice… If you see anything at all that needs clipping, please drop me a line or if you have my number an urgent text…

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  • Sean

    It was perhaps a political event it was not a party political event

  • RepublicanStones

    I attended the event in question, and whilst several senior Shinners were present, I don’t think you could describe it as a Sinn Fein rally. Grizzly and Krusty walked along behind the first band and had to pass a sign hanging off the local school (no less) which accused those of administering British rule as traitors. And on return to the car, the RSF boyos had done the rounds with their flyers. Having said that, upon hearing it was to take place at the local GAA pitch, I did say to my brother that it would no doubt cause a bit of a storm.

    And as Chris Donnelly has highlighted the two Fianna’s use GAA premises in the south.

  • 6countyprod

    SF is still the political wing of the Republican Movement. The PIRA, thankfully, has gone away (you know), but the hurt caused by its members remains.

    Last weekend’s episode in Tyrone only helps to reinforce the (possibly inaccurate) perception that the GAA remains a sectarian organisation. Just imagine the outcry from the nationalist community in NI if Windsor Park or Shamrock Park in Portadown was used to honour Billy Wright or some other loyalist paramilitary.

    I think it was a sad and disappointing day for the GAA.

  • Sean

    As RS has shown it wasn’t a SF event it was a republican event

    Surely you wouldn’t conflate SF with the whole of republicanism?

  • And on Good Morning Ulster, Alasdair didn’t have a robust reply to the question of SDLP EU election campaigning at a GAA event … what’s political and what’s not.

  • Neil

    When is a political event a party event and when is it not?

    The only real reason (excuse) I can think of is that it is not a SF event, but a Republican one involving as it does both SF and the IRSP.

    Still, does strike me as a bit daft after the furore caused at Casement a few years back. It’s not outreach at any rate, one has to wonder what motivation is at work in the background, possibly more placating of hardliners (by irritating Unionists). In the shinner’s case that would be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

  • Dublin Exile

    As a member of the GAA I am opposed to using our grounds in this manner. In my club (though no longer in the dressing room as time marches on) there are both ex-political prisoners and gardaí active in working for the GAA. I dont believe its right to facilitate an organisation that is responsible for murdering one set of our members and holding them up as some sort of heroes. Garda Detective Gerry McCabe was a member of his local club as were other gardai murdered by both the IRA and the INLA. The GAA has the potential to act as a healer of communities such as the one i live in, just as it was in the 1920s, but not if this ‘in your face’ carry-on is allowed.
    Many members of the GAA were targeted for murder over the years, but not always by loyalists.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    Follow links for examples of the rule being breached by both of the major parties in the south of Ireland, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael:

    Fianna Fail meeting at Bellfield GAA Centre, Enniscorthy in May 2009
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiannafail/page9/

    Fine Gael- Michael Collins Public Meeting, March 24 2009
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucinda-Creighton-TD/46392743236#/event.php?eid=67991803040&ref=mf

    In both instances, it is very clear that the events were party political, as opposed to simply political.

    I was going to post a thread on this one later on, but with a different angle.

    I thought the most interesting aspect of the McDonnell interview on Good Morning Ulster was the embittered tone of the SDLP representative, which even seemed to catch the interviewer off guard.

    Quite apart from repeated references to ‘The Provos’- a phrase in currency only amongst dissident unionists and dissident republicans today- he then gave a nod to the dissident republican inspired campaign to ‘prove’ the republican leadership was to ‘blame’ for the deaths of a number of hunger strikers.

    That, quite apart from the fact that the party appears to be taking their lead from Chief GAA antagonist, Nelson McCausland, speaks volumes for the state of the party today.

    6countyprod

    Windsor Park has been used by the Orange Order for ‘celebrations,’ as indeed have other Irish football grounds.

    Beam and mote, anyone?

  • Mick Fealty

    Go to Chris. Let’s try and keep up the standards we’ve had on this thread so far. Sun’s shining here and we’re heading for the beach; with the mobile switched on!

  • Tim

    ‘Just imagine the outcry from the nationalist community in NI if Windsor Park or Shamrock Park in Portadown was used to honour Billy Wright or some other loyalist paramilitary.’

    6cp

    Surely the failure of the Irish Football Association to take any action against Glentoran FC for conducting a minute’s silence in honour of the Leader of the political wing of the Uvf – David Ervine and flying flags at half mast in his honour shows that ‘rules’ are not always adhered to.

    The political gesture was quite outrageous considering the opposing supporters of Cliftonville FC may have lost loved ones to the UVF.

    Windsor Park and other Football grounds are (and have been) used by the Orange Order.

    Shamrock Park is well used to Billy Wright and other Paramilitary types

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/580924.stm

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “Windsor Park has been used by the Orange Order for ‘celebrations,’ as indeed have other Irish football grounds.”

    Nice try but you are possibly unaware of one interesting fact. When the OO used Windsor Park for their celebrations the Department that had funded the development of the North Stand said under no circumstances was the OO allowed to use this stand during the event because it would be interpreted as a breach of grant, threatened to demand the money back if it were used and checked that it was not used.

    Would you be calling for comparable action by funders against GACs who have been in receipt of public funds?

  • Galbally man

    I am from the Galbally area and have to say that there is nowhere else in the immediate area that could have catered for the crowd that was there except for the GAA grounds.
    The event was held in the heart of Galbally community within sight of Martin Hursons home who once played football on the very field that the event was staged, Where else could it have went?? A march through Castlecaulfield??

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    No, but at no time was the issue of funding raised in the discussion.

    Regardless of the North Stand squabble, was the sports ground not used?

    Furthermore, we are constantly told that Orange Halls are community facilities and should be respected as such. Similarly, then, it is not beyond reason to ask unionists to respect GAA facilities as open for use by the community.

  • RepublicanStones

    What are peoples thoughts about teams being political a la Templepatrick Alexandra youth FC.

  • WHY?

    We have two very different (and yet very similar) communities, each with their view on the last 400 years, each with their ‘heroes’ and ‘villans’.

    One community wished to commerate the death of an individual whom they see as a ‘hero’ someone who ‘died for what they believed’.

    If we are ever going to move on we have to give ‘the other side’ space to, respectfully,remember their dead and honour their ‘heroes’.

    There is not one act in the last 40 years that I can see that one side can honestly say to the other “you did that and we didn’t” – both sides have to acknowledge that innocent people were maimed, murdered and scarred by people acting in their name. Protestant / Unionist / Loyalists can keep on about the sins of the Catholic / Rupublican / Nationalist community (and vice versa) until the end of the world and nothing will change.

    This thread has already highlighted that just about any political party that wants to has used a GAA club for political events, just as other grounds have been used for Orange Order events.

    Tolerance, forgiveness and understanding are the skills that we all have to embrace if we want to make the next forty years better than the last 40.

  • Chris Donnelly

    WHY?

    Agreed.

  • cury o’s

    ‘What are peoples thoughts about teams being political a la Templepatrick Alexandra youth FC’

    ??????

  • Skinner

    I too am a longtime GAA member who is uncomfortable with this. Several members of my club had family killed by republicans. I find it distasteful to say the least that members of this same movement are being feted in this way.

    Across the border is different. FF and FG aren’t recent protagonists or associated with protagonists in a campaign of violence that caused suffering to members of local communities, who may also be GAA members.

    To say that there is nowhere else in Galbally – well have the function somewhere else.

    I make my comments as someone who isn’t that bothered by Mc Causland and his ilk – the GAA has thrived for long enough without his/their support. I’d rather we wouldn’t make his anti-GAA stance any easier.

  • Shanmaghery

    galbally man
    I too am from the area and see no reason why the crowd could not have been catered for on Cappagh main street,as they were at the time of Martins wake,and as had been planned at the start. maybe the letter in the irish news hit the nail on the head.

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “open for use by the community”

    Sorry you are trying to use a broad principle that could be accepted and apply it to something unacceptable especially if this is being defined as “use by the community”
    http://www.politics.ie/sinn-fein/94548-masked-gunmen-yesterdays-hunger-strike-commemoration.html

  • Chris Donnelly

    Skinner

    So a partitionist solution is best then?

    Define recent, by the way: the Fine Gael link relates to Michael Collins, who I’ll assume you’ll know was a senior republican involved in organising a campaign which led to loss of life in this country in pursuit of Irish independence.

  • Galbally man

    The event was originally planned for Cappagh as it is held there every year but it was felt that for such a large crowd it was impossible to either see or hear the speakers when you were further down the street, so it was decided to hold it at the field.

    You are also correct about Cappagh which probably looked better when Martin Hurson was alive than it looks now.

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    I seem to remember a thread posted on here linking photos of similarly ‘armed men’ at a Loyal Order parade not long ago (think it was McGregor posted it. Think Lord Laird had something to do with it.)

    Not too impressed by either, to be honest,but hardly detracts from the principle.

  • 6countyprod

    Post 18.

    ‘Mc Causland and his ilk’

    ilk n. fascists, racists (OED)

    Hmmm. We’re making great progress here!

    Chris

    OO and the IRA – morally equivalent??

    Can we not move on from honouring those from both communities who murdered, maimed and terrorised NI for over thirty years?

  • Galbally man

    6 Countyprod

    Does that include members of the security forces that terrorised the people of Galbally for thirty years?

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “similarly ‘armed men’ at a Loyal Order parade”

    No masks were involved in that display nor where there any allusions to illegal terrorist groups or their propaganda videos.

  • Skinner

    Chris ‘So a partitionist solution is best then? ‘

    Nothing to do with partition. FF and FG’s roles in politics are a lot different than the republican movement here. Its simple. Its unlikely that the FF and FG people using GAA property today had any hand in conducting or supporting a violent campaign that caused suffering to members of the same community, organisation, even club. Its not some story of the past that people have gotten over, its a bit more current than that. For the republican movement this is different, on both sides of the border, but especially in the north where most of the victims of republicans died.

    6CP – re use of term ‘ilk’ – where do you get Nazi from? My Collins disctionary defines ‘ilk’ as, ‘type, class, sort’. ‘Sort’ is OK for me, in Mc Causland’s case the sort who can never see good in the GAA, no matter what.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    I’ve heard loyalists are in the process of developing a new game based around Unionist culture and they plan to call grounds after dead parimilitaries. There are also rumours that the main competition will be called the ‘Gusty-bowl’ after Augustus Spence.

  • Seán

    UMH, I truly would love to see what kind of game Loyalists could come up with.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘I’ve heard loyalists are in the process of developing a new game based around Unionist culture’

    Glad to hear it, because they’ve had to borrow such stuff off the english for too long 😉

  • fin

    Last season the government encouraged football clubs to honour returning british soldiers prior to kickoff, is there a difference?

    Regarding 6Cprod, you are falling back on the tired old legalised murder line oft used by unionism, I’m guessing Windsor Park is not named after that cute little Thames Valley town but rather the royal family, the English royal family has been directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of Irish people either by unjust laws or by its agents. But, you will cry, those murders were legal, we made it legal to murder the taigs whereas we also made it illegal for the taigs to fight back, hence, the crown’s agents were merely enforcing the law. Regardless the name Windsor Park is no less offensive to nationalists than the names of small GAA clubs are to unionists, the British army no less offensive than the IRA, a hungerstrike commeration no less than Poppy Day. The only difference is the English (of whom the Crown is head of state) made laws that its murders were legal and nationalist murders were illegal. Ballymurphy was commerated recently, and the Saville report due soon, these and all the other legalised murders are reflected on by nationalists, just as the illegal murders are by unionists.

    Finally, the key to hungerstriking under Brehon Law was not the prospect of a murder charge, it was the shame imposed on the ‘alleged’ offender of someone suffering starvation at their door, this is key because the early mumbled half apologies for injustices by Prince Charles, Blair and Trimble are long forgotten, NI is where it is today because of past wrongs, the hungerstrikers were a product of these wrongs, its time for unionism to be reminded of these wrongs face up to them and get over themselves just as nationalists have.
    So their you go. I hope a good night was had by all, and my fondest regards to all the families and friends of those brave men.

  • fin

    thing is UMH, Gusty at least talked to republicans, Gusty had his beliefs but understood that others had theirs, thing is UMH Gusty-Bowl is probably a less offensive name to nationalists than Windsor Park, Gusty was a f*cking nobody in the killing Taigs stakes compared to the Windsors, so yeah as a republican I’d go for a renaming ceremony at least it would be (finally) an admission (change of direction) by unionism that murder is murder and all we’re talking about is numbers, I suppose any Afghan or Iraqis in NI would prefer it too, dunno about the Germans though they probably prefer it named after one of their own. So yeah please name it after someone who only butchered a few Taigs as opposed to a family responsible for mass murder

  • Chris Donnelly

    “No masks were involved in that display.”

    FD
    Ah, well that’s alright then. It’s all about the masks??

    “allusions to illegal terrorist groups”

    Plenty of Loyal Order parades involve bands- and some banners- with clear reference to paramilitary groups.

    UMH
    The British have long been naming roads, bridges and civic buildings after political and military figures- do catch up!

  • The Reincarnation of Paul Revere’s Horse

    As a GAA member and player I am deeply annoyed by this. I think these kind of rally’s and commemorations should be kept well away from GAA grounds. I’m sure it can be argued in some way or another that it didn’t break the rules but that doesn’t cut it.

    I’m not republican/nationalist nor unionist and I long for the day when those labels will be left at the gate and everyone will join in playing and enjoying Gaelic games but also just getting along like normal people, a normal society. Everyone knows that this sort of event being held on GAA grounds pro-longs that day. Sinn Fein know it, the GAA know it, the people of Galbally know it. If people want to commemorate the hunger-strikers, go ahead, but why not hold it on Sinn Fein premises.

    Yes, the rules state ‘non-party’ political, but that’s just a get out clause to allow this and other party’s like FF and FG to use the premises. Enough of the commemorations, its time for reconciliation! That’s something the GAA can do and should be doing more of. I’m tired of hearing excuses and procrastinations, talk of the other side doing something similar. That will just get us no where. Its time the GAA and people within it, such as myself to take and honest look at themselves and decide that for the greater good of all the people that some things need to change. Otherwise, expect more of the same.

  • Shanmaghery

    I hope the Sinn Fein top brass there on sunday had a good look at the condition of our main road through Galbally.The surface on the crossroads is like what you would see in Afghanistan.From there to the center there is no footpath, no streetlihgts,the blind hump at the school,etc,etc.We are a neglected community.Martin is our MP, maybe he could have a word in Minister Conor Murphys for to send up a few loads of tar. If we are not getting our United Ireland that the Hunger Strikers died for then maybe we would get some of the comforts afforded to Moygashel or Milltown

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “Plenty of Loyal Order parades involve bands- and some banners- with clear reference to paramilitary groups.”

    AFAIK it is a banner rather than banners but regardless that needs to cease and the sooner the better so your point is?

  • Mike

    fin

    “I’m guessing Windsor Park is not named after that cute little Thames Valley town but rather the royal family, the English royal family”

    Well then you’d guess completely wrong.

    Windsor Park dates from 1905, over a decade before there even was a House of Windsor.

    It’s named for the Windsor area of South Belfast. Now, where could it have got its name…hmm…maybe “that cute little Thames Valley town”?

    See where making an assumption based on your own biases and preconceptions gets you? Don’t you feel more than a bit silly about the rest of that paragraph now?

  • borderline

    Horseman is correct.

    The GAA’s nationalism must be so tempered as to retain it’s truth and idealism, yet allow a way in for the strainséar.

    It’s a mumbers racket, lads. Don’t forget that.

  • Arty Renny

    Ah poor ould skinner.There is no stoop as bitter as this one. He’ll jump through hoops Chris and invent a little bitterness to attempt to prove a point. An antidote to an anecdote, if you will.

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    Point is it happens, as you concede, and the Order is still in receipt of funding for Orangefest and other events, so maybe the funding issue isn’t the right one to raise.

  • fin

    Mike, I stand corrected, but no I don’t feel at all silly because I’m sure there are still plenty of Victoria Avenues, squares etc and Royal whatevers knocking around NI, the name was only part of my rant, I stand by the rest of it legalised murder is no different than plain old murder, Easter Sunday no different from Rememberance Sunday and a wellcoming home parade prior to kickoff in the premier league is no more or less political, right or wrong than a hungerstrike commemeration.

    In short it is rare in any conflict for one side to have a high moral ground

  • Granter

    So what? The organisers, GAA et al knew the reaction this event would engender well before this latest Murderfest took place. That they went ahead anyway simply illustrates that the GAA knows its target audience and the cry that it is only a ‘sporting body’ open to all is a sham.

    I’m glad that they’ve again demonstrated that the GAA is militant Republican territory because they obviously think that having the boyos over for tea shouldn’t be a reason for comment let alone offence.

    My view as a unionist is let them get on with it. If a large section of the Republican community want to broadcast their bigotry and hold sectarian gatherings to celebrate those who murdered their neigbours I don’t really care; but please give up the hypocrisy and stop whinging about Orange parades, troop returns etc.

  • oneill

    The Reincarnation etc…

    Its time the GAA and people within it, such as myself to take and honest look at themselves and decide that for the greater good of all the people that some things need to change. Otherwise, expect more of the same.

    Well, yes, but I think the fact that Tyrone GAA themselves were apparently embarrassed about it taking place is in itself progress, albeit minimal.

    This was from the beginning of last week (http://tinyurl.com/qo9vtc):

    GAA chiefs in Tyrone have strongly rejected controversial claims that a decision to switch matches this weekend was taken to avoid a clash with the National Hunger Strike Commemoration being held in the county.

    Thousands are expected to attend the high profile event which takes place in Galbally. But a leading Red Hand official says the move was made instead to accommodate those wishing to watch the All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final on television.

    As far as I’m aware no other Ulster county switched all their matches for the semi-final and, of course, it may just possibly be coincidence…but if we’re clutching at straws, the fact that they felt it necessary to make an excuse to cover up the real reason does show at least some kind of awareness of how much damage this kind of scandal causes to their image amongst the wider non-republican
    public.

  • Many folk say that it is to our eternal shame that the Alliance Party has never held a Nuremburg style rally in a large sports stadium, let alone a small sports stadium. We don’t even have a decent flag to wave and i’ve yet to see any of our supporters out painting kerb stones. No wonder so few people vote for us here.

    ps well done Robbie Blake.

  • Misconduct considered to have Discredited the Association. The following shall be a non-exhaustive list of examples of such Misconduct:
    (1) Violence or threatening violence or using threatening or abusive language at Grounds or other Premises of the Association

    Penalty
    Minimum: 8 weeks Suspension, together with such other Penalties as may be appropriate, including Fines, Disqualification, Debarment and Expulsion from the Association.

    And yet certain sections of the GAA can ‘hob-nob’ with the Provisional Republican Movement … Perhaps in Galbally the tail wags the dog.

    [Elements of the UK and Ireland political establishments ‘hobnob’ with loyalist and republican godfathers, apparently a crucial plank in the peace/political process. Elements of pan-Unionist and pan-Nationalist have done and do likewise. Such outstanding role-modelling for the next generation. Ane we wonder why so many kids have gone ‘feral’]

  • Militant Mike, I’ve heard that the AP leader is a twitcher. Doesn’t that count for anything?

  • Sean

    Nevin

    You fail to point out how the rule was violated in post 20

    More useless unionist prattle because they can’t argue against the substance they try and rubbish the style

  • Equality for All

    I wonder if the minister for everything thats not Irish will be as disgusted when Belfast City Council money and land is used for those ever so welcoming 12th bofires???????

    At least Nelson is as predictable as ever.

  • Cushy Glenn

    “I am from the Galbally area and have to say that there is nowhere else in the immediate area that could have catered for the crowd that was there except for the GAA grounds.”

    hmmm
    Could no one have gone cap in hand up to the big house and asked the local Prod landowner for the loan of a field for a couple of hours like the Huns do? Or even assuming there are no evil Prods to be found, why not talk to one of the few Catholic landowners to have an ancestor that escaped the ravages of Cromwell and see if he’d lend them a field?
    We can certainly be assured that the club bar wasn’t open, so that the club wasn’t minting it while the less indoctrinated stayed away from the rhetorical dirges

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “the Order is still in receipt of funding for Orangefest and other events”

    And? I am not advocating the blanket removal of public funds from the GAA. Simply those GACs that engage in the type of activity at Galbally and comparable. If an Orangefest organised a football competition in memory of a dead terrorist then by all means pull its money.

  • Alan – Newtownards

    I kind of feel sorry for genuine members of the G.A.A. who are working on the ground, to make the game accessible to unionists( especially in some schools in Belfast) who have never even watched the game on tele. I wonder what the parents of those children think about this sad episode. I really don’t think that the shinners give two hoots if unionists ever participate in gaelic games. Barry McIlduff in the interview on radio Ulster claimed that the irish republican/nationlist and gaelic community had no where else to hold the event. What that says to me is… the G.A.A. and the irish language belong to republicans. Until the G.A.A. leadership develop a spine he is probably right.

    Just to finish off, I can remember when channel Four back in the mid eighties showed the final of the Maguire cup live on a few occassions. I was curious, so I watched the first final. I have no idea who was playing or what the score was but quite enjoyed the actual game. The only thing that sticks in my mind was the G.A.A. president( can’t think of his name) making a political speech and ranting on about artificial borders. Haven’t watch it since.

    Jack Boothman another President, in another example of how to offend your unionist fellow islanders. On The Kelly show during his term in office, he ranted on about the bad R.U.C. The same R.U.C. that Martin Hurson landmined. The old saying “birds of a feather flock together” comes to mind.

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    So if a loyalist band- oh, like Ulster First Flute (UFF, geddit?) or any of the other paramilitary ‘acquainted’ bands participate in the main Twelfth of July parade, then pull the funding for the entire Orangefest event?

    Sounds interesting…

  • Veritas

    Jack Boothman another President, in another example of how to offend your unionist fellow islanders. On The Kelly show during his term in office, he ranted on about the bad R.U.C. The same R.U.C. that Martin Hurson landmined. The old saying “birds of a feather flock together” comes to mind.

    Yes good old Jack, a Protestant from Co. Wicklow and one of the driving forces behind the abolition of Rule 21, which debarred members of the British security forces from joining the GAA.

    The same RUC that harassed and assaulted GAA members day and daily. The same RUC that colluded in the murder of GAA memebers. The same RUC that failed to carry out proper investigation into the murder of GAA members

  • What-about-ery is never a good argument, but the whole nature of how this event was conducted just angers Unionism and re-enforces the incredibly disingenuious nature of their ‘outreach’ to my community.

    One of the primary issues with parades from Republicanism has been paramilitary symbolism, with flags denoting certain designations deemed offensive (even though they are historically accurate and HAVE to have dates on them-1913-1916).

    Yet here we have armed gunmen on the streets!!! Republican bands wear paramilitary uniforms!!! The bands are plastered in guns and modern para references!

    AND ITS STREET THEATRE!!!

    Ffs. And these same people tell me they are trying to reach out and welcome me. Cmon. Its just so disingenuious. Its so ridiculous.

    When this is raised we are then told that its ok because ‘its in a republican area’!!

    The whole argument against parades organised by the Protestant Community jumps all over the place.

    Professor Steve Bruce, author of Sectarianism in Scotland recently said on parades:

    “For me, the key point is the balance of competing rights. Any ideological group has a right to demonstrate its distinctive beliefs. I have a right to go shopping. How far should we allow the first to constrain the second? ‘Not far’ would be my answer.
    “I suspect that most people who object to Orange walks do so on ideological grounds. They just don’t like what the Orange Order represents.
    “The price of free speech is that we may occasionally have to see and listen to people with whom we disagree.”

    Republicanism start being bloody honest.

  • Realist

    Mike,

    fin seems to have gone rather quiet 🙂

  • Realist

    “The GAA is quite clearly an Irish Republican organisation”

    There’s the money shot from young Christopher Gaskin.

    He is, of course, absolutely correct.

    Some people believed it was a sporting organisation.

  • For any GAA member to honestly expect Protestants and Unionists not to regard the full cooperation of GAA Clubs in glorifying individuals and groups who had actually murdered Protestants as being offensive and intimidating is nieve at the least.

    The large amount of overt and tacit support for militant Irish Republicanism within the GAA through the names of Grounds, clubs and tournaments after individuals involved in terrorism, and the use of facilities is well documented. Pomeroy GAA Club is yet another recent example- there are hundreds. To expect the Protestant Community to divorce this from the organisation is simply nonsensical.

    As for the GAA NOT being sectarian, well its rules indicate different albeit by default. Among the rules are the following:-

    Membership of the Association shall be granted only by a Club, to persons who subscribe to and undertake to further the aims and objects of the Gaelic Athletic Association, as stated in the Official Guide.

    The Association is a National Organisation which has as its basic aim the strengthening of the National Identity in a 32 County Ireland through the preservation and promotion of Gaelic Games and pastimes.

    The National Flag should be displayed at all matches. Where the National Anthem precedes a game, teams must stand to attention facing the Flag in a respectful manner.

    These rules discrimimate against Unionists, and by default discriminate against the vast majority of Protestants in Northern Ireland. Under any definition that is sectarian.

  • 6countyprod

    Are these toy guns the bhoys are playing with?

    I was both horrified and amused (weird, I know) at the photos of grown men pretending to be terrorists, although, I suppose, some of them may have first-hand experience.

    The 30-year Provo campaign of murder and destruction will go down as one of Irish Republicanism most shameful periods, and most obvious failures.