So did Galbally breach Rule 7a, or not?

Although I linked Chris’s post on this the other day, it’s worth going back to Balrog and have a good read of his argument that the GAA is and always was a political organisation. I’d enter Chris Donnelly’s caveat too that the organisation has acquiesced in the use of its facilities by several parties in the south. There ought to be a level playing field for all in these matters. Although Chris Gaskin is mistaken in his assertion that the GAA was not involved in this parade, as this banner of St Theresa’s, Loughmacrory clearly demonstrates (it’s worth having a look at the re-enactment aspect of the parade too). So, the only thing that casts some ambiguity on whether Rule 7a was or was not breached is whether it was organised by a single political party, or not.

  • Clown

    No one flogs a dead horse like Slugger. I think the bigger story here is McCausland’s schizophrenia.

  • Mick Fealty

    Hey clown, welcome. Just remember, this is blog, not a newspaper. There’s a conversation going on. Care to join in?

  • alan56

    Is anyone in the slightest surprised by McCausland’s reaction. The relationship between individual GAA clubs and SF is always going to be a bit tricky where the only winner is going to be the DUP Minister

  • Clown

    58 comments on ‘when is a political event a party event and when is it not?’ and 15 on McCausland’s remarkable transformation from not knowing the name of the current AI champions to expert on the technicalities within the GAA’s rulebook. That’s fairly thorough. But now we have this. When can we expect today’s Baker special on SF?

    Anyways, point made. I’ll leave you in peace.

  • exile

    [i]Although Chris Gaskin is mistaken in his assertion that the GAA was not involved in this parade, as this banner of St Theresa’s, Loughmacrory clearly demonstrates..[/i]

    Mick, define ‘GAA involvement’. Sorry to be a pedant, but a couple of men carrying one club’s banner is hardly proof of wholehearted endorsement from Croke Park.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s not my case, exile. Involvement means what it says. The GAA’s basic unit is the club/parish. And the parish is palpably there.

  • exile

    So if it’s not your case then why did you raise this point in your introduction? It’s there so it’s perfectly reasonable to raise it with you.

    If you want to equate a couple of men carrying their club’s banner with GAA involvement then fine. It’s still a gross exaggeration.

    With regard to your question, the answer remains the same no matter how many times you ask it: 7(a) was not breached.

  • “Although Chris Gaskin is mistaken in his assertion that the GAA was not involved in this parade”

    When did I say this Mick?

    I said

    “The GAA is not, nor have they taken party in a party political movement.”

    The Hunger Strike Commemoration was not a party political event.

    If you check the history, read the constitution and have even a vague knowledge of the GAA then you will know that the GAA is and always has been an Irish Republican organisation.

    That such an organisation was represented in another type of Irish Republican event should come as no surprise.

  • dunreavynomore

    I don’t know who organised the event but Sinn Féin in sth Armagh placed leaflets on car windscreens inviting people to the event and these were full colour Sinn Féin leaflets with no mention of any other party.

  • Mark McGreg

    I agree with Chris G that the GAA is an Irish republican organisation however that aspect is often overlooked or ignored by many as it becomes increasingly focused on producing senior football teams to the detriment of other aspects including hurling and promotion of the Irish language and culture.

    However, I think this event was a breach of 7a as only someone in absolute denial or deluded would claim this is anything other than Sinn Féin’s annual HS commemoration regardless of the front organisation they put in place to organise it. But as noted other parties and venues ignore the ruling so if it isn’t followed for them it shouldn’t be only called on when SF are involved.

    That said I don’t think any club should be seeming to endorse an event so politicised as Loughmacrory did as it seems to indicate the entire club endorse or support the event which cleary won’t be the case.

    Also this tendancy to reactment which at first was slightly twee is reaching difficult areas when people are dressing as members of an ASU and youngsters are pretending to be in na Fianna Éireann or in some cases dressing in the black and white normally associated with IRA voluteers when clearly they have nothing to do with either organisation other than by some tenuous 3 degrees of seperation logic.

  • percy

    I know of no other party which produces leaflets mentioning another party.
    Did your party not place any leaflets out then?

  • 6countyprod


    It would put you in mind of modern-day Confederates in the US celebrating their pyrrhic victories.

  • Realist

    “If you check the history, read the constitution and have even a vague knowledge of the GAA then you will know that the GAA is and always has been an Irish Republican organisation”

    Exactly Christopher – with balls and sticks thrown in.

    In other news,it has been discovered that night follows day.

  • Observer

    For God’s sake get a grip, Slugger.
    Cut out this Prods for and Taigs against and vice versa crap.
    The site is rapidly becoming the last refuge of the bitter and twisted.

  • 6countyprod

    Out of curiosity, Mike, on average, have you any idea how many folks would come to Slugger for a daily fix?

  • dunreavynomore

    Percy, it isn’t a big issue for me but if S.F. are saying that they were not the organisers of the event it was strange for them to issue leaflets which indicated that indeed they were the organisers. In relation to ‘my party’ it used to be S.F. before they sat up and begged for Britain.

  • Mark McGreg

    If anybody wants to believe the Tyrone Commemoration Committee lead by Sean Begley is not SF affiliated they need their head read. They could also do with reading up on the history of the NGA in the north and how SF split it to control that aspect of commemoration.

  • fair_deal

    the posters on the falls for the event had two logos one for the committee and one for sinn fein

  • fair_deal
  • Gertntfe

    Loved the photos, pity you can’t call up an F16 when you need one.

  • Trev

    They just love their guns, pathetic feckers.

  • percy

    sorry to hear you’ve fallen by the wayside dunreavy, it might be best to hang in there as:

    “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” regards chara

  • Big Maggie

    Archie Purple,

    “although the event was about things in the ground.”

    What a tasteful remark. Well done.

  • you there


    Well said. Bollox to the lot of them. My daughter gets her exam results next week and the brown bin was not emptied by the council last week.

    Much more important-though not as interesting- than some stuff about section 7a

  • Mick Fealty


    But the GAA are. And there are other concrete indications that it was in fact a SF event.


    I was trying to underscore Chris’s argument that the GAA IS political, not disagree with it. It’s in the constitution, and in its cultural brief.


    I’m sorry, I don’t set the terms of these debates, it happens that every summer a lot of mad stuff happens in Northern Ireland: think Rasharkin and Garvagh. Even when it’s not really mad it is mad.

    And by times it gets into the debate here on Slugger. I went off for a nice family holiday for a week thinking we’d done pretty well to keep things civil during the marching season, and when I get back, I discover we’ve been affected too.

    There’s more to come. Why? Because mad stuff keeps happening. The big objection from SF to the Rasharkin parade was the presence of paramilitary uniform. Now look at the pictures above of a SF sponsored parade.

    I’m sorry, but that’s a story. Whether you or I like it or not.

  • Mark McGreg


    I find that within the GAA many members are either unaware of the very political aspects and broader Irish cultural aims, beyond the often limited focus by many/the majority on football and to a lesser extent hurling, or have no commitment to them.

    Those aims, as highlighted by Chris G, have never been challenged by members but in my experience most members, to the limited extent they may be aware of them, pay them at best of lip service – for example my own club organised planning objections against an Irish nursery and primary jeopardising its very existence – something that should have had them expelled from the code – not facing a mere two complaints from members.

    The problem is the GAA was set up and constituted as a republican sporting and cultural organisation and many of the members no longer see the republican aspect as relevant or worth protecting.

    A decision and discussion needs to take place on living up to the reality of what the organisation is about or openly attempting to change the code to reflect the permitted abandonment of republicanism by most of the organisation.

  • Pete Baker


    “a republican sporting and cultural organisation”?

    Surely “an Irish nationalist sporting and cultural organisation” would be more accurate?

    As quoted by Chris G

    Rule 2

    “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.”

  • Glencoppagagh

    “The problem is the GAA was set up and constituted as a republican sporting and cultural organisation and many of the members no longer see the republican aspect as relevant or worth protecting.”

    I’d hazard a guess that the overwhelming majority of members in the Republic couldn’t care less about the cultural and republican aspects.
    Pity that’s not yet the case here.
    Paradoxically, in NI they appear to cling to them for dear life, probably in the belief that they validate their Irishness.

  • the honest broker

    basically most nationalists are saying the IRA/GAA are totally fine but mention rasharkin or the 12th, and they are spitting venom……..basically they are bigots who don’t want a loyalist about the place. Apparently this is a non-story, buy my god they sure harp on about some band carrying a UVF banner for example, dont they 🙁

  • Glencoppagagh

    I’m also delighted so see it so readily acknowledged that the GAA is more than a sporting organisation, indeed a political one.

  • funny old world

    “Re-enactment of Special Branch interrogation techniques ”

    I wonder did they also cover IRA “interrogation” techniques of using hacksaws to cut hands off, inserting crowbars into the anus etc etc, and finished off with the obligitory hood and shot to the head.

    here is an intersting article


    “In fact, I had to wait until a Canadian academic, Peter Hart, produced his exceptional The IRA and its Enemies (Oxford) before I learnt the extent of “ethnic cleansing” in my own home country.

    This was how a local Brigade commander in north Cork referred to his Protestant neighbours: the IRA would “give a call to the fine fat Unionists with fine fat cows. The domestic enemy was most dangerous, and they would have to start fighting him now.”

    The above post is an example of the *REAL* SF United Ireland vision, they are trying to rewrite history, and in doing so “re-educate” todays youth that the troubles was a glorious fight by brave repblicans………I wonder did they do a magic act where they made people dissapear..

  • Observer

    Oddly enough, it’s the SDLP and Southern parties who make claims that the “Old IRA” were all saints, compared to the modern incarnation.

    If the posts weren’t about one side’s actions, inviting attack and counter attack, the site might not be so predictable and bloody depressing.
    We already know that unionists and republicans don’t get along and are generally opposed to the actions of each other.
    Any chance of something constructive that doesn’t involve “It was your fault.” “No it was your’s.”

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s depressing yes. And predictable, yes. But it’s not exactly our doing. We’re simply reporting what appears to be happening on the ground according to the people who were there.

    But, before this goes any further, let me ask: what on earth has this thread got to do with unionists versus republicans?

  • Clown

    Mick your last couple of comments smack of naivety / insincerity.

    When you put up a blog, for third day running, about the GAA and the actions of its members, albeit relating to a few who acted quite foolishly, you inevitably attract the bigots and wind up merchants. You said as much when prefacing the first thread on this topic: Catholics (pro-GAA) v Protestants (anti-GAA or at least deeply suspicious of its purpose and actions)

    Also, when you allow someone to use your blog to claim that Catholics are involved in ethnic cleansing in the Rasharkin area, what sort of constructive debate were you hoping to inspire? Depressing and predictable indeed.

  • Mick Fealty


    You brought that up under a different name a few days ago, and I explained then that that thread did indeed get out of hand, and that that same thread is no longer extant on the site.

    Now, we can deal with bad behavior when it pops its ugly head up. But I cannot be held responsible for other people’s bad behaviour when simply confronted by the truth.

    We do not live in a world were stuff can just be pushed under the carpet. I realise this is not the biggest story in the world, but it is a story in that it brings to light stuff that’s pertinent to much larger issues…

  • 6countyprod

    Mick, do you never sleep?

    I was wondering why you did not respond to my earlier question (page 1 post 15), but then I realised I had spelt your name wrong.

    Just wondering if you have any idea how many ‘bitter, twisted wind up merchants and bigots’ check out Slugger every day? (Actually, do you have a total average figure?)