Another cross community event at a GAA club

I noted the event at Pomeroy GAA club to remember IRA terrorist Seamus Woods previously and Quincey has an analysis of the GAA below. The DUP Chair of the Assembly’s Culture, Arts & Leisure Committee Michelle McIlveen has now entered the debate.

From the DUP website:

It is simply not credible for the GAA to preside over rules which claim to prohibit sectarianism or involvement in party politics yet allow events like this to take place within property governed by them. An event to glorify a terrorist and member of an organisation guilty of sectarian murder simply cannot be justified and questions about it cannot be passed over either by the County Board in Tyrone or GAA Headquarters in Dublin.

A statement should be forthcoming from the GAA stating not only what their view is about this event, but about what action they intend to take against the club in question for breaching the rules of the organisation. The GAA has a very clear structure and as an organisation it has the capacity to take disciplinary action against clubs for a range matters. If it should decide not to even make a statement on this issue, let alone take any action then it will simply reinforce in the minds of many that the GAA merely pays lip service to claims of anti-sectarianism and cross-community work.”

Jim Allister has also noted another event being held at a GAA club which seems less than inclusive. This weekend Shane O’Neills GAA club, Camlough are hosting an Ógra Sinn Fein weekend camp entitled “Hunger strike weekend.”

It is interesting to juxtapose these two events against the claims made by Trevor Ringland. In his Platform for Change piece entitled “Sport for Change” the failed ex-UUP politician lauds the GAA with comments such as: “The GAA has moved to a strong anti-sectarian position” and “…sectarianism will not be tolerated and association rules now have strong sanctions against any member who breaches the anti-sectarian policy.”

It is unclear how Ringland would explain away the series of events at GAA clubs: that said Ringland does frequently seem incapable of seeing what is staring him in the face.

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  • Mark McGregor

    That one actually is a breach of GAA rules though I’m sure the shinners involved will have a Jesuitical approach to the guide. If they hadn’t put a SF tag on it, it would have been within the rules – silly boys.

    In theory O’Neills could be facing a 24 week suspension – I doubt that’ll happen.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Interesting that the writer of the OP mentions failed politician and Jim Allister in the same piece.

    The writer, while quoting at length Trevor Ringland, does not provide any evidence to refute the Ringland claims re sectarianism.

    Perhaps the OP writer, even at this late stage, would provide evidence of the GAA being sectarian around recent events?

  • michael-mcivor

    Turgon calls Trevor Ringland a failed uup politician yet fails to mention that Jim Allister is head of a failed political party

  • Dec

    Turgon

    Here’s the GAA anti-sectarian policy:

    ‘ The Association is Anti-Sectarian and Anti-Racist. Any conduct by deed, word or gesture of a sectarian or racist nature against any player, official, spectator or anyone else, in the course of activities organised by the Association, shall be deemed to have discredited the Association.’

    Now to follow up Pat’s point could you kindly point out how the above event is in breach of that policy. Unless of course you’re under the impression that sectarianism is the pursuit of any activity you don’t agree with?

  • ayeYerMa

    Supporting the martyrdom of terrorists is most definitely sectarian in my book.

    I used to think Ringland was sensible and had a point, but really Elliot was completely right to ignore him and let him resign and consign his political career to the dustbin – Ringland’s ideology of merely to give give give and not receive anything complementary in return is highly naive.

  • Dec

    ‘Supporting the martyrdom of terrorists is most definitely sectarian in my book.’

    Colouring-in book, is it? I find a dictionary is best for understanding the meaning of big words.

  • Neil

    Sectarian definition, of or pertaining to sectaries or sects.

    Happy to help.

  • Ógra Shinn Féin – the GAA as a revolutionary tradition – inclusive of woman and gays but clearly Brits/Unionists out by whatever means that are necessary. I wonder how GAA HQ views these young upstarts.

  • While the event clearly might not lend itself be to everyone’s taste or persuasion – going from the itinerary on the website I too am struggling to see how it can be deemed as sectarian?

    Maybe the parade/commemoration on Sunday will cross some lines but that remains to be seen.

    The Hunger Strikes are part of NI history, whether Jim Alistair likes it or not – if he wants a forum to debate whether or they were right or wrong, the weekend looks like a perfect opportunity for him to argue his point. If he offers to attend and debate his points and is refused, I’ll join him in slating the organisers.

    It’s all very easy for him to sit behind a computer in his constituency office spouting on his “blog” – which can hardly even be deemed so as readers cannot even comment to debate his views – where’s the democracy there?

  • Ógra – Ceol agus Craic [youtube]

  • Jimmy Sands

    “if he wants a forum to debate whether or they were right or wrong, the weekend looks like a perfect opportunity for him to argue his point.”

    An OSF circle jerk? What would be an imperfect opporunity?

  • Micheál

    Re. Neil:
    “Sectarian definition, of or pertaining to sectaries or sects.”

    Using this definition, what, exactly, is the problem with the Ógra Shinn Fein event? I’m not trying to be antagonistic towards any commentators here, or interested in a slugger’esk slanging match, I’m just curious to know what the issue is. Having read the itinerary, it looks like an interesting event (though I won’t be attending myself).

    Using the above definition, pretty much every event by any organisation could be deemed to be sectarian, surely. The word has no offensive meaning in this context. It could perhaps be applied to the Tory Party Conference or even Sunday mass!

    I have to agree with barrymcgee’s comments on this one. The hunger strikes of ’81 cannot be erased from history and are as valid a topic for discussion as any other. Simply talking about, or reflecting on the impact of, the hunger strikes cannot be deemed sectarian.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Nevin, loved the clip, 🙂 and dare I say it might better reflect the reality in Camlough than either what is planned or feared!
    I think it is quite different from the Pomeroy Event, and as Mark mentioned may streach the GAA rules on party political involvement, however it will be a wait and see whether the events planned will go further than advertised.
    It appears to be mainly an internal party event to keep the younger SF “activists” happy, although I have concerns that the role models chosen by Republicans are not the most constructive shall we say, thats who SF are.
    On the other hand maybe it is about time a Unionist was invited to address such a crowd, and vice versa, still far too many misconceptions on both sides.

  • BloodThunder

    It’s a wonder some of these GAA clubs have any time for Gaelics Games with all these terror events they have to organise.

  • grandimarkey

    BloodThunder:

    “It’s a wonder some of these GAA clubs have any time for Gaelics Games with all these terror events they have to organise.”

    TrollTrollTroll

  • between the bridges

    Nevin…cheers for the link interesting reading…

    This summer hundreds of thousands of people across the island of Ireland will participate in the celebration of cultural independence. This is a movement that many people attend and a celebration that is beamed into many more houses through television, internet and radio. Many people are already members of this revolutionary organisation but don’t even know it. This organisation is none other than the Gaelic Athletic Association.

    If you throw on a jersey this summer, or travel to a match, or just enjoy the sport from the comfort of your own home remember the proud tradition that you follow. Whatever county you support, remember that you are part of a revolutionary movement….

  • @Jimmy Sands – My point is that he is an elected (albeit, just) representative and should be doing more to move the country forward than sitting spouting bile through a keyboard.

    If someone has a problem with something, let’s hear their alternative, their compromise, their ideas. Jim Alistair has none. NI is a shared space with two different cultures that must learn to coexist.

  • ayeYerMa

    The extremely narrow definition of “sectarian” employed by Republicans here is pathetic. It’s no different to the pathetic excuses used by Celtic FC supporters who say thaat shouting “up the ‘RA” is acceptable as it’s “not sectarian but political”.

    Sectarianism isn’t merely about religion. In fact, it would be more noble if the GAA obsessed over relgion than obsessing over glorifying murder squads.

  • ayeYerMa

    barrymagee – the alternative is to STOP GLORIFYING TERRORIST MURDER ORGANISATIONS. There can be no compromise on this from any morally concious person.

  • iluvni

    Dont SportNI or any of the funding agencies have anything to say about the continued connections between the GAA and IRA?

  • JR

    Just passed the club in question on the way home from work. Not exactly a tented city of young revolutionaries. I couldn’t spot a single person or tent.

  • sherdy

    Aren’t the GAA fortunate to have so many ultra-loyalists so expert in the GAA rules and ethos! Wonder do they take such a close interest inactivities of the loyalist organisations?

  • BloodThunder

    ‘Aren’t the GAA fortunate to have so many ultra-loyalists so expert in the GAA rules and ethos!’

    You don’t have to be any sort of expert to know that glorifying the types of people responsible for atrocities such as Enniskillen and Kingsmill on sports grounds is morally reprehensible.

  • Drumlins Rock

    JR, maybe the Jim Allister statement has put many of them of going.

  • JR

    Well DR, it is either Jim or the fact that you would have to be a sad 17 year old to want spend Friday night pitching a tent in the pissing rain in anticipation of some debate on the Hungerstrikes.

    Unless there are some hot, sporting young revolutionary involved lasses of course.

  • michael-mcivor

    I notice that rangers f.c will not pay a fine of £1.4 million to the revenue and customs- sounds like law-breaking to me-
    is this the reason that so many loyalists are going so hard against the G.A.A- Jealousy and that fact that the G.A.A can count-

  • 241934 john brennan

    The problem is not with Local GAA clubs. The problem is that Sinn Fein colonise particular clubs – easy to do in any local voluntary/amateur group such as the GAA. Just get an organised prearranged group with their own agenda to go to the AGM and vote in block for people, who will support a takeover of the committee – Easy, because ordinary club members (subscribers, players etc) don’t normally attend AGMs.

    For the good of the GAA in local parishes – the problem has to be sorted between GAA HQ and Sinn Fein leadership – the end result has to be GAA CULTURE YES – POLITICS NO.

  • between the bridges

    JR..it is either Jim or the fact that you would have to be a sad 17 year old to want spend Friday night pitching a tent in the pissing rain in anticipation of some debate on the Hungerstrikes…
    the youth of the day eh? fair weather revolutionaries!! lol

  • Turgon

    between the bridges,
    Well Camlough is hardly Woodstock is it?

  • carl marks

    wonderful how supporters of the Orange Order, the shankill star flute band etc can call other people secterian, does the words pot kettle black fit in anywhere.

  • RepublicanStones

    Supporting the martyrdom of terrorists is most definitely sectarian in my book

    You must really dislike that statue in the middle of Lisburn then.

    Turgon for the record, I don’t think either event should be held on GAA property. I know little about Camlough and its available amenities for such events. I’m from Pomeroy, the GAA pitch and possibly the Primary school pitch are the really only two suitable spots for a Tug-o-War festival, being as it basically ontop a hill. Theres a field at the bottom of Main St just past the empty barracks. But i very much doubt the owner would allow the organizers to use it, as its where the brethren have their tae and sarnies after the march.

  • between the bridges

    Carl… do keep up ‘pot kettle black’ is what the topic is all about…or is the GAA above critical analysis?

    Turgon…true! perhaps it should have been promoted as ‘hungerstock’

  • Turgon

    between the bridges,
    Indeed. There is also a remarkable amount of eating scheduled for a hunger strike event.

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    Whilst I admit to finding this GAA debate interesting I do have to recongnise the pointlessness of it.

    If we overlook some of the details and look at the basic facts.

    Unionism in Ireland is, for whatever reason, is almost totally opposed to all manifestations of Gaelic culture (with two exceptions – having been transmitted via lowland Scotland), even when that culture is quite separated from them and there is little danger.

    There are always exceptions, but that is the basic fact.

    So why would any unionist take an interest in a Gaelic cultural organsation, nicknamed the ‘Gaelic Athletic Association, it name is Irish translates as Athletic Society of the Gaels.

    It seems to me to just be silly internet argueing to suggest that unionist would flock to the GAA if the flag, anthem, language? music? were removed or changed.

    At the end of the day, there exists a unionist version of the GAA, complete with acceptable rules, ~English monoglotism, unionist simbols etc, it is called the IFA.

  • lamhdearg

    These events are not sectarian, and the vast majority of killings/beatings and even burnings of gaa grounds carried out by loyalists, are not sectarian, they are policital and driven by extreme nationalism. I am gald to read that more people on slugger (as seen in the responces to this post) now agree with this/my view on sectarianism.

  • lamhdearg

    repuplicanstones”Theres a field at the bottom of Main St just past the empty barracks. But i very much doubt the owner would allow the organizers to use it, as its where the brethren have their tae and sarnies after the march.”

    There used to be an orange hall in that field for the brethren to have their tae, what ever happened to it?.

  • lamhdearg

    one year to the day.

  • lamhdearg

    condolences to the family of the referee who died tonight,

  • Drumlins Rock

    Republican Stones, it would be nice someday to see a Tug of War between the GAA and the Orangemen of Pomeroy,. in alternating venues shall we say, but having an IRA terrorists name attached to it makes that impossible, damaging relations. Last night I attended a meeting in a local GAA hall of one of the team competing, I hope the team is not endorsed in anyway by that club, otherwise I will feel unable to return there, just at a stage many barriers are broken down. Events like this can knock things back years.

  • Sam Maguire

    DR – Quincey’s image is 2 years old, who’s to say the same teams are competing? However, knowing a little bit of one or two of the tug of war teams in question they’re just a gather up of locals who are into that kind of thing. They’re certainly not endorsed by any GAA club and they’re just out for a days craic. It passes a Sunday and is an excuse for a slap of pints.

    Anyway, considering there’s a full round of league fixtures in Tyrone on Sunday I find it difficult to see many players or supporters participating in the Tournament.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Sam, hope that is the case, I am genuine in saying big changes have already taken place in the community, a wee bit more understanding and acceptance on both sides, but it is so easy to knock things back, we had to stop using one venue so far due to Sinn Fein events there, it would be awful if things like this have a knock on effect.

  • carl marks

    It’s amusing to see the DUP and Jim Allister quoted in this post, both rant in press releases against the GAA and the sectarian displayed by it in hosting these events. But strangely enough neither bothers to mention (checked both websites) the vicious sectarian attack in Antrim carried out by three men on an innocent catholic schoolboy, which has resulted in charges of attempted murder and left a young man fighting for his life.
    Its seems Jim and the DUP can be outraged by things happening in South Armagh and Pomery but be completely unconcerned by sectarian attacks nearer home (in Jims case just a few miles from his home) makes you think doesn’t it.

  • RepublicanStones

    There used to be an orange hall in that field for the brethren to have their tae, what ever happened to it?.

    It never existed. The local Orange Hall (Bonn) has been so since well before I was born. Perhaps you have some info I’m not aware of?

  • lamhdearg

    R.S.
    its was Bonn, to which i was referring,wrong field?, what happened to Bonn.

  • RepublicanStones

    Bonn is over a kilometre outside Pomeroy. I was referring to the field at bottom of Main St.
    Drove past Bonn today. Serious fire damage, have no idea what happened. If it was malicious I hope they caught/catch culprits.

  • Drumlins Rock

    “have no idea what happened”

    pull the other one RS, it was all over the news, was burnt and bombed twice in the last few years, just the latest in a long long list of attacks on that hall, and in fact just about every Orange Hall in the area has been attacked in recent years, serious structural damage was done this time and it will have to be rebuilt, even the local MP admitted it was malicious sectarianism. It is the Orange Hall for the village but its seems even being 1 km out is too close, but I guess that’s not surprising when it seems you can’t even tolerate a football pitch in the town.

  • RepublicanStones

    Drumlins,again, you have taken a rather big paragraph to say something simple. It’s been burnt, yes. But nobody knows by whom as I’m sure we’d have heard if the PSNI was about to charge somebody. As regards the football pitch in the village. There’s three, one for the Plunketts and one at the Primary school. There’s also a soccer pitch at bottom of town just past the empty barracks.

  • between the bridges

    Anyone for a paramilitary display?

    http://youtu.be/rDf7AqVprI4

    Methinks the guy on the right needs to brush up on his drill….

  • JR

    I wonder who lent them the coffin? At least it wasn’t at a GAA pitch.

  • lamhdearg

    you should never rest a rifle on its muzzle.

  • lamhdearg

    R.S.
    “have no idea what happened. If it was malicious”
    I am sorry for engaging with you, i thought you where serious in your postings.

  • Mick Fealty

    Carl,

    Re your earlier comment (which was reported as offensive by the way)…. on how you see things…

    Have a read of this: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/08/16/worth-promoting-to-its-own-post-notes-on-arguing/

    Your comment was not offensive, but it was a classic case of someone using their ‘perception’ in place of an argument.

    It is, essentially meaningless. I’m sure you are not the only one doing it, so apologies for that. But I wanted to make the point to more than you.

  • I was also at an event in a GAA club today. Tournament for unerage teams under 8 under 10 etc.
    All the kids received a black goody bag with the the slogan “Be Social Dont be Anti-Social”. I think the general idea is that its used for carrying football boots etc.

    The bag carried the logo of the local (unionist led) council and the District Policing Partnership. Several PSNI folks in attendance.
    I did wonder about the reaction of local uber-republicans to the goody bag.

    Nice to see one sent his daughter up for another one.

  • Mark McGregor

    FJH,

    Thankfully our club hasn’t went further than forcing Joe Brolly on children with his PSNI loving ways and someone leaving DPP leaflets in the clubhouse without owning up.

    As an uber-republican (of sorts) I’b be compalining and stuffing things in the bin if our club started handing out PSNI propoganda.

  • Yes Im sure you would Mark McGregor.
    Alas many of us who are simply republicans rather than uber republicans value good (Irish) citizenship as many others in this part of the world value good (British) citizenship.
    We are perhaps all better off if young people are simply taught the values of good citizenship of Wherever they give fealty……..
    And full credit to those mentors, coaches, parents and (of course) grandparents who value that kinda thing.

    Clearly the event that I attended today was hardly “cross community” but its refreshing that events can be carried out in one community…….the “other” community and indeed “cross community”……..and everybody including doddery old folks like me can learn stuff……..and go away refreshed and uplifted by the knowledge that our children wont be condemned to the influences that we knew.

  • Mark

    ” Thankfully our club hasn’t went ( gone Mark gone , not went ) further than forcing Joe Brolly on children with his PSNI loving ways ” – Mark McGregor .

    Joe Brolly would be a role model to plenty of young people in the North and has achieved more in his professional and sporting career than most so it’s a pity when snide and catty remarks are made about him .

  • Neil
  • PaulT

    “The bag carried the logo of the local (unionist led) council and the District Policing Partnership. Several PSNI folks in attendance.”

    The possibility of people who consider themselves republican being employed by the council, DPP and PSNI

    Verus

    The possibility of people who consider themselves unionist being involved with that GAA club.

    Its two opinions,

    One wants republicans to have nothing to do with the PSNI or DPP or even the Council, or unionists with the GAA

    OR

    Another opinion sees republicans involved with the PSNI, DPP and council and unionists involved with the GAA

  • between the bridges
  • Neil

    don’t carry flags but rifles are ok…..

    Don’t carry [UVF] flags [through Nationalist areas] but [toy] rifles are ok [as a historical re-enactment when the host community has no objections].

    Apples and oranges old boy. But let me be clear, I couldn’t give a flying fuck what Orangemen decide to do on the Shankill. However what they do in Rasharkin for example is quite a different matter. By all means glorify the UVF, but have the decency to do it where they didn’t choose their murder victims from.

    But then that would be asking a Loyalist to have the same decency as a Nationalist (our commemorations tending to happen in Nationalist areas), and that just won’t happen, because the Loyalist’s raison d’etre is to march through Nationalist areas with their UVF flags.

    Good to see though those attacks on the GAA were unfounded:

    a GAA spokesman said that “no commemorative activity took place on GAA property” although the club car park was used to accommodate an overspill in car parking.

  • between the bridges

    Neil ‘Good to see though those attacks on the GAA were unfounded:

    a GAA spokesman said that “no commemorative activity took place on GAA property” although the club car park was used to accommodate an overspill in car parking”

    indeed in fact one could say the GAA had nothing to do with it….

    Friday 12th

    4pm Arrive for Camp at Shane O’Neills GAA club, Camlough (transport can be arranged for people arriving by Public transport to Newry)

    Set up site

    6pm Break for Dinner

    7.30 – 9.30pm Discussion and Debate ‘ Legacy of the Hunger Strike. Speakers Jim Gibney and Gerry McConville. Barcroft Community Centre Newry

    10.30pm function in Shane O Neill’s GAA club

    Saturday 13th

    10.30 Hunger Strike Exhibition

    11.30 Bus Tour of South Armagh

    2pm Break for Lunch during tour

    3.45 Talk with Laurence McKeown (former hunger striker, academic, and screenwriter of h3, and other productions) – “Artistic Impressions of the Hunger Strike”, Shane O’Neill’s GAA club

    5.30 Discussion and update on the basque country, with a speaker from the basque youth movement, Shane O’Neill’s GAA club

    6.30pm break for Dinner

    9pm Function in Shane O’Neills GAA club

    Sunday 14th

    2pm National Hunger Strike Commemoration, Camlough

  • Neil

    indeed in fact one could say the GAA had nothing to do with it….

    One would have to define ‘it’ but certainly one could say that no commemorative activity took place on GAA property, and thanks to your itinerary we can judge that to be accurate.

    Two functions, camping, a talk from a Hunger Striker with artistic impressions of the Hunger Strike and a discussion on the Basque country. Nope, no commemorative anything there, in fact that only thing some people would complain about are the talks, but then only a complete fool would try to suggest that Nationalists shouldn’t be allowed to discuss, well, anything.

    Guess what fella, the Hunger Strike happened, and the Basque country exists. If we want to hold a talk from people intimately involved not only is there damn all you can do about it, in fact it’s amusing the suggestion that historical and political talks should be banned (for Nationalists only mind).

    But then we know there’s a strong censorial streak in Unionism, in that if you don’t agree with what’s being talked about, it should be illegal.

    Thank Christ you don’t run the joint like your own private feifdom anymore eh?

  • between the bridges

    Neil i agree it’s all very sporting…

    as for ‘Thank Christ you don’t run the joint like your own private feifdom anymore eh?’.. tonight pinky we try to take over the world, again…