Charity distances itself from commemoration of IRA terrorist

The News Letter is reporting controversy surrounding an event to remember an IRA terrorist who accidentally blew himself up when the mortars he was taking to Pomeroy RUC station for an attack on it exploded prematurely.

The event (a tug of war tournament) in Seamus Woods’ honour is to be held at Pomeroy Plunketts GAC. Posters advertising it claimed that proceeds from the event would go to the Marie Curie Cancer Foundation. The charity has, however, distanced itself from the event with the News Letter reporting it as stating:

“We were not aware of this event, have no involvement and were unaware that our logo was being used to promote the event,”

Jim Allister said Marie Curie was being “abused” by the organisers of the event.

“Woods was an IRA terrorist killed when mortars he was preparing for an attack on Pomeroy RUC station prematurely exploded,”
“Marie Curie is a very worthy charity which does a great deal of good work. It should not be abused in an attempt to bring a veneer of respectability to a celebration of terror.”

Sandra Overend the local UUP MLA said:

If republicans wish to commemorate the evil deeds of Seamus Woods then I for one do not believe that the good name of Marie Curie Cancer Care should be sullied by being used to publicise the event,”
“Furthermore, if the GAA is trying to de-politicise itself and make meaningful efforts to engage with other communities, then it would need to ensure that terrorist commemorations are not permitted in GAA premises.”

Cookstown Sinn Fein councillor Cahal Mallaghan defended the event saying:
“Seamus was a member of the Pomeroy community and it is important for his friends and family to remember him every year.” He did not, however, comment on the issue of the use of the Marie Curie name and logo.

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  • Charminator

    And for the record – and most specifically the Moderator’s attention.

    Good Heinz earlier commented:
    “Well,he did *successfully* blow himself to smithereens.

    I’m all for celebrating that. What,what ??”

    To which I pointedly replied, regarding Heinz’s self-confessed desire to celebrate an individual “successfully blow[ing] himself to smithereens”:

    “As for your celebration of a bomber blowing himself up: crack open the champagne, have a good one. I’m sure your similarly forward-looking opposite numbers are rejoicing their so-called “successes” too.”

    I think that’s perfectly playing the ball. And I’ve little doubt most reasonable-minded individuals would think likewise. I’m sure, in due course, upon a more detailed reading of ALL the posts here, the Moderator will provide contributors here with a clear explanation, so as to cast aside any concerns of caprice or arbitrariness.

  • Charminator, moderators are like referees – deaf in each eye and blind in each ear :L

    Your defence of the GAA is commendable but turning a blind eye to the dark side might well qualify you as a referee :L

  • Charminator

    Haha, fair enough Nevin – and appreciate the observation.

    Of course, I did note previously that I would be very surprised if any major sporting association in the North did NOT have amongst its ranks, members implicated in the Troubles. The very nature of the conflict, the emotionally charged nature of the environment which prevailed then (and by some of the posts, now too), and the numbers of individuals involved, statistically, I would have thought, all make this far far more likely than not. In that respect, ALL major sporting associations have been touched in one way or another by these times. But I don’t entertain the “blame game”, as though the recent history was a simple narrative of all victimisation on one side and all blame on the other.

    As to moderators and referees: where free speech is concerned, I’d certainly hope for much much higher standards of care and consistency, than has characterised some of our GAA refereeing displays in recent months!!

  • sonofstrongbow

    I suggest that the Force 10 Gaels reflect on the subject of the thread: a GAA club hosted an event celebrating the life of a terrorist who, by good fortune, killed himself rather than those he was trying to murder.

    The refusal to acknowledge that the GAA, particularly in Northern Ireland, has a relationship, past and present, with murderous Irish Republicanism is looks both pathetic and silly.

    That that relationship is a reflection of some of the local membership’s mindset and not a GAA dictat is immaterial. It exists and by naming clubs after terrorists and accommodating events such as the one that is the topic of this thread there is official GAA acceptance of the relationship. That ‘acceptance’ may exist because of a turning a blind eye on the matter or official cowardice at challenging it. It matters not, it is there.

    I tend to the belief that GAA HQ simply accepts that a relationship exists and is unwilling to do anything about it knowing that to do so would lead to a schism in the organisation as occurred over the removal of Rule 21.

    Hosting the Queen at Croke Park (did NI counties show for that one?) does not alter the situation on the ground. To suggest it does is, as I’ve already said, silly.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Oh and by the way should football, rugby, cricket or hockey start naming or hosting Mad Dog Days I will equally challenge such sectarian antics.

  • JR


    This thread has provided an opportunity for Unionists to, yet again, proclaim their innate righteousness. To them sectarianism is the ‘Nationalist Disease’ and of course no such taint stains their tribe.
    Thus GAA followers are to a man, woman or child bigots, the GAA likewise. Now, of course, the Marching Culture is without sin, the UVF (both old style and new improved varieties) sectarian murderers? Never: that was the IRA/INLA/GAA raison d’être. Ulster Unionist politicians bigoted rabble-rousers? Silly me that’s usins again.
    As a Catholic Nationalist I expect I should just look on in awe and wonder at having such godlike beings so close at hand.

    Look familiar?

  • JR

    “Oh and by the way should football, rugby, cricket or hockey start naming or hosting Mad Dog Days I will equally challenge such sectarian antics.”

    Well your comments on blood and thunder bands said nothing about bands named after terrorists or carrying UVF banners.

  • BloodThunder

    I think it is obvious that there is a clear difference between Gaelic Games in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. In the latter, there are many who see it as a continuation of republican politics whilst in the former it is seen for the sport that it should be. It is very revealing that whenever the GAA voted to remove the racist Rule 21 in 2001, 5 of Northern Ireland’s 6 counties were amongst the few who wished to retain it. Does such anti-British feeling disappear in a matter of 10 years? Not at all. The anti-British sentiments of the GAA in Northern Ireland are alive and well.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Thanks for the post-check JR I didn’t know I had you as a follower.

    BTW thanks for the commendation ticks.

  • HeinzGuderian

    It’s a nice attempt at whataboutery JR,but the topic at hand is the gaa and failed bombers.
    Hungry Strike celebrations could only be considered sporting by a small section of One community !! 😉

  • JR

    I may aswell continue my wateboutaty Heinz, the king of wateboutary by saying whatabout all your wateboutary comments about the church about the pride parade being wateboutery about the Vatican?

  • Charminator

    JR, I wouldn’t worry too much. If I owed my loyalty to a woman who – if what some people are saying here is true – actually visited the headquarters of a bomber cheerleader’s association, I wouldn’t be thrilled either.

    It’s really rather simple:

    If HeinzGuderian is right and the GAA is a bombers’ cheerleaders’ grouping, then his Queen – whom I would presume he owes his loyalty to – exercised disgraceful judgement. In fact, she probably should abdicate, if she visited the headquarters of such an outfit.

    Of course, as Harold Wilson pointed out many years ago, “Who do these people think they are?”
    I’m not sure we’ll ever truly know for some of them. Yes, the Trevor Ringlands or John McCallisters can wish their GAA teams well, in a spirit of progress and generosity, but the others that tried the patience of their own Prime Minister and now seek to suggest that their own Sovereign visited the headquarters of an association which they claim are bombers’ cheerleaders…. neither sense nor logic to it.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Thus GAA followers are to a man, woman or child bigots, the GAA likewise.”

    Self pity’s not much of a response. No-one’s saying it’s a GAA thing. Kilmacud Crokes are not hosting IRA fun days. It’s a Nordie thing. It’s not unreasonable to argue that it probably needs to stop.

  • JR


    My above comment was a copy of Strongbows post on the Blood and thunder thread. I was just pointing out that he was going mad at others Yesterday for making the same point as he is making himself today.