Friday, September 01, 2006

GAA cross-community effort

For decades the GAA has been viewed by Unionists as the “sporting wing of the IRA”, which is hardly surprising with many GAA clubs and grounds named after republican heroes such as Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet, Roger Casement, the 1916 signatories etc..

The Unionists are not always wrong but hopefully a couple of events in the past week will start to build a new relationship.

St Brigid’s GAA Club hosted a friendly football match with the PSNI and the GAA central council decided to withhold tickets from Sinn Fein representatives because of their misuse, for political purposes, of Casement Park.

All such actions by the GAA, which are aimed at reducing sectarianism and encouraging cross-community participation, should be loudly applauded.

Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Independent & the Irish Times.

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