Thursday, September 17, 2015

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Entry Of British Army Team To London GAA Betrays Ethos Of The GAA

A statement from the President Republican Sinn Féin, Des Dalton.


The decision of the London County Board to allow the British Army’s Irish Guards Regiment to affiliate to the association in London and enter a team in the 2016 Junior football championship is a betrayal of the history, ideals and ethos upon which Cumann Lúthchleas Gael was founded. It is another example of the cultural imperialism which underlies the project of normalising British Rule in Ireland.


The GAA was one of the cultural and sporting bodies founded at the end of the 19th Century as part of Irish Cultural revival aimed at the de-Anglicising Ireland, now it is being hijacked in order to undo the work for which it was founded and which has been at its core in the decades since. Irish national games and music - as we witnessed in 2013 when the Fleadh Cheoil was held in Derry to promote Derry as a so-called “UK City of Culture” - are being turned back against the concept of Ireland as a separate nation with a distinct historical and cultural identity.

The GAA has long been recognised as a bastion of Irish culture, cultivating in our youth an awareness of their unique cultural and national identity. But now the hierarchy of the GAA have allowed our association to be absorbed into a process which is about undoing the work of the GAA since 1884. The GAA has long been targeted by the 26-County and British States as a weapon to be used in the normalising of British occupation.

In 2001 following intense political pressure the GAA dropped Rule 21 which prohibited members of the British Crown forces joining the GAA. Since then the England Rugby team was allowed to play in Croke Park while a team from the RUC/PSNI played a 26-County police force team there in 2011. In May 2011 the Queen of England was hosted there by the hierarchy of the GAA. 

We applaud those delegates who withstood the threats and blandishments of Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster and resisted this latest sell-out. However the hierarchy of the GAA have once more disgraced themselves.

In the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, when we will remember the Irish from London - many of them members of the GAA – who took their place in the fight for Irish freedom, we will now have the spectacle of a team representing the British Army participating in the London championship.

The very notion of Ireland as a distinct nation is under severe threat. As we approach the Centenary of 1916 this cultural imperialism must be resisted.

4 comments :

Peter said...

What an awful article. A Little Irelander über-gael tries, King Canute style, to hold back the tide of modernisation and globalisation. If the GAA don't want the British Army in their organisation then why are they organising in Britain? So you want to organise in Britain but select which Brits can actually take part? If the GAA is to "de-anglisize" Ireland, then why are they in England anyway? Are the Irish Guards and PSNI not Irish? Or are only certain types of Irish allowed to play Irish games and Irish music? The GAA is now on Sky Sports, are only Irish people allowed to watch it? Londonderry has been part of the UK for centuries so why would it not be called a UK city? Thankfully there are more progressives than reactionaries in the GAA and young people are more accepting of diversity. Cultural facists like Eoin O'Duffy and Mr Dalton will soon be (very small) footnotes in history.

Boyne Rover said...

Were do we get them
Des do you also believe that the Ulster Gaa Clubs should hand back all the very generous grants afforded to them by the Brits
Rule 21 of the GAA was changed in 2001 by a democratic vote taken of all the members
Maybe what really irks Republican Sinn Fein is the democracy part
Sport is sport and should be all inclusive no matter who takes part
Maybe Des would have the GAA ban its members from America a country that committed as many human rights abuses as any other country
The GAA is played in a lot of countries around the world and as a member I feel very proud of that fact
I would prefer that all sporting organisations should be non political and should not have to be poisoned by the thoughts of wanna be Tin pot politicians

frankie said...

What happens if the Irish Guards make it to a final?

Would they have commemoration/memorial service for the families of Bloody Sunday



If the Irish Guards get into a final are they going to play the British national anthem and expect every one to respect it?


Why don't they simply sign up to their local GAA club in London? There are a few about...Start their own GAA team, separate from the BA?

Cue Bono said...

"The decision of the London County Board to allow the British Army’s Irish Guards Regiment to affiliate to the association in London and enter a team in the 2016 Junior football championship is a betrayal of the history, ideals and ethos upon which Cumann Lúthchleas Gael was founded."

Is this not completely arse about face? Was the GAA not in fact hijacked by Irish nationalism and republicanism, because iirc a lot of RIC officers were in the GAA before that happened.