“Post-nationalist Ireland has arrived.”

[Once more into the breach then – Ed]  In yesterday’s Irish News, Patrick Murphy posited three theories to explain what he describes as “the latest dismantling of Irish political and cultural nationalism.”  That would be Martin McGuinness, et al, at Windsor Castle in white tie and tails, and the GAA deal with Sky.  From the Irish News The first theory suggests that the process has been largely fuelled by Britain’s determination to give political cover to the PIRA’s defeat in a …

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“Good heavens! You’re the culture minister..” Redux

Here’s the Culture Minister on the GAA’s new deal… If Sky is worldwide, beaming games worldwide, that’s a good thing, but I don’t want that to be at the detriment of local broadcasting. I also don’t want it to be at the detriment of the people who don’t have Sky or who don’t have digital or satellite television to be prevented from seeing one of the best games ever so while it is a matter for the GAA, I do …

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GAA concludes a lucrative deal with Sky Sports…

This is an interesting move from the GAA… Sky Sports has obtained exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 Championship games. These consist of eight Saturday evening matches in the All-Ireland qualifiers, two All-Ireland football championship quarter-finals, and two Saturday evening and two Sunday Provincial championship games. Confirmed fixtures which will be broadcast on Sky include Kilkenny v Offaly and Dublin v Wexford in the Leinster SHC; Sligo v Galway/London in the Connacht SFC; and Armagh/Cavan v Down/Tyrone/Monaghan in the …

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“Residents also protested outside the local Sinn Féin offices…”

As the BBC reports, local residents have continued their protest against the planned £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast.  From the UTV report Around 100 residents took part in a demonstration on Saturday afternoon. They say they are now considering taking legal action. One woman said: “The main thing is the height of it, it’s going to be about 129ft and right around the whole outskirts of the houses.” A man said: “It’s an absolute monstrosity. The residents …

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Former Antrim star Anto Finnegan to bring GAA to the home of Ulster Rugby…

So, interesting developments in sport recently. Whilst the Executive has still to discuss Northern Ireland’s end of a bid to host the Rugby World Cup, Leo Veradkar has already had approval from the cabinet in Dublin for an all island bid to host the tournament in 2023. The two venues apparently slated to hold matches in Northern Ireland are redeveloped stadia at the current home of Ulster rugby Ravenhill and and a new showpiece GAA ground at Casement Park, if …

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GAA: “We’ve tried now for the last 16 months to build a level of consensus around the stadium project…”

The GAA appears to be facing some more local opposition to the £70million plan to build a 38,000-seat stadium at its existing sports ground in Casement Park. [Pending planning permission… – Ed]  From the BBC report About 200 people attended the residents meeting [on Monday 18 November], at which some said that the proposed new stadium must be stopped. One resident told the meeting: “We’re not opposed to a development of the GAA in this city but we need it to …

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Nesbitt recommends politics over further street protests; McCallister disses talk of “culture wars” in speech to Ulster GAA

In other non-SDLP news, the Belfast Telegraph report that Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has told party colleagues via an internal bulletin that the tactic of flag protests should cease. The tactics used to protest over the flag have alienated many who instinctively supported the cause … He warned against disrupting Belfast city centre and its traders for a second Christmas. I hear talk of rallies, parades and protests. As ever, I understand and support the right for lawful and …

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Celtic and/or Donegal: Jim McGuinness’s unenviable dilemma?

“Don’t do it Jim” is all I can hear in the back of my ancestral Donegal head. But it would be hard blame Jim McGuinness for taking a pretty cool package from Neil Lennon’s Celtic Football Club. It’s not as though he’s unqualified: McGuinness, who has a masters in sports psychology, has struck up a good relationship with Celtic manager Neil Lennon, a former Armagh minor footballer, while the club’s administration are known to have been impressed by his achievements …

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Derrytresk GAC call off police road safety event under local public pressure…

Front page on the Irish News this morning Connla Young reports that the Ulster Council of the GAA have a scheme called Play to Live… It runs it in partnership with the Fire and Rescue Service, the PSNI and in the three southern counties of Ulster, An Garda Siochana… But an event planned for Monday evening was called off by the club after local local people threatened to picket the event on learning that the PSNI would be involved in …

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“This is [partitionist] provocation in the extreme…”

The sensitive souls at the Armagh GAA County Board have, apparently, issued a statement of complaint in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat to Laois – when their captain was sent-off for allegedly kicking a Laois player during the half-time interval.  The RTÉ report notes A statement from the Armagh County Board has claimed that its players were subjected to “racist and personal abuse” during the Allianz NFL game with Laois on Sunday last. The board are angry that the “partitionist provocation” …

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Shamrocks have a great St Patricks Day.

There are few enough red-letter days for Ulster hurling to let one pass-by unremarked. For those blissfully unaware of the travails of hurling in the north, no Ulster county has ever won a senior, Under-21 or minor All-Ireland or National League title. Nor has Ulster ever won the [inter-provincial] Railway Cup in hurling. The only senior hurling title came nearly 30 years ago, to Loughiel Shamrocks in the 1983 All-Ireland senior club hurling championship. [I feel obliged to also note …

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“a good test of how Irish culture is changing…”

In the Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole considers a recent discussion document from the GAA’s director general, Páraic Duffy – on “GAA amateur status and payment to team managers” [pdf file].  From the Irish Times article The GAA is arguably closer than any other body to being, for both good and ill, the archetypal Irish organisation. It’s no great stretch to suggest that what’s happening there is a good test of how Irish culture is changing. Or, as the case may …

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“two challenges and a serious suggestion” offered to Ulster GAA by Dr Norman Hamilton

It’s hard to predict where a Presbyterian minister will pop up next. The latest nationalist foray was conducted this afternoon by former moderator Dr Norman Hamilton who had accepted an invitation to address the Ulster GAA at their Club and Community Development Conference in Armagh City Hotel (the scene of last week’s UUP conference). Back on 10 January when he was still moderator, Hamilton met with the Ulster GAA in Armagh. The meeting during which the news of Michaela McAreavey’s …

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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 …

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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 …

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There’s a certain section of the GAA which follows the rule of Omerta…

Fascinating contribution on the Nolan Show just now from sports writer Terry McLaughlin talking about some of the extreme violence that can break out on the football pitch (though, Ulster Hockey has a less widely known reputation for mixing it on the pitch too). Intriguingly he notes that there is some reluctance to go to civic authorities to gain some redress for what in some cases are little less than aggravated assault. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He …

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Bigotry and NI’s regressive game of tit and tit for tat…

Broadsheet.ie has the pair. Ian McCrea’s fervent wish that his own county GAA would get beaten by the Republic’s Donegal side, so that celebrations would be kept out of his Mid Ulster constituency, and his father’s this fake Twitter account report of an attack on Ian’s car in ‘reprisal’ for Mr McCrea (junior)’s remarks. Be careful what you say we were always told growing up. Someone clearly thinks that criticism of the GAA (or rather some of its supporters) warrants …

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GAA ref knocked unconscious at Beragh…

Quite a shocker… Referee Simon Brady was attacked by a spectator at the end of the Tyrone Ladies Senior Football final between St Macartan’s of Augher and Carrickmore. The referee awarded a controversial free to St Macartan’s in the final moments of what was then a draw game. St Macartan’s scored and won the match by a point. Mr Brady was punched as he checked his score card and was stretchered off the pitch and received hospital treatment for his …

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