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tiktok
17/02/2005, 12:12 PM
Don't get me wrong I think the GAA have no right to say no to opening to the soccer and rugby teams ...

of course they have that right.
they have no responsibility to bail out the FAI and IRFU.

if they do open Croker they will be doing Irish soccer and Irish rugby a FAVOUR, people really need to get their heads around that.

Eire06
17/02/2005, 2:56 PM
of course they have that right.
they have no responsibility to bail out the FAI and IRFU.

if they do open Croker they will be doing Irish soccer and Irish rugby a FAVOUR, people really need to get their heads around that.

With all the government funding they get I don't think they can in all fairness say no..

tiktok
17/02/2005, 3:03 PM
With all the government funding they get I don't think they can in all fairness say no..

They get predominantly lottery money earmarked for sports, just like the FAI and IRFU (where's their responsibility with the money they get).

I've heard that as little as €19million of taxpayers money directly from Government coffers has gone into the association since they've been redeveloping Croker.

Don't forget either, that GAA supporters, fans and players are also tax-payers. I've no problem with our national games being given some of my paycheck, our culture is being cast aside too easily as it is, and the GAA do funnel the money they get down to grassroots very well.

The government (quiite rightly) put no conditions or provisions on the money they handed over, so the GAA are under no obligation.

If Ireland end up playing their games abroad, the GAA shouldn't be blamed, the FAI should.

Eire06
17/02/2005, 3:13 PM
They get predominantly lottery money earmarked for sports, just like the FAI and IRFU (where's their responsibility with the money they get).

I've heard that as little as €19million of taxpayers money directly from Government coffers has gone into the association since they've been redeveloping Croker.
.
Don't really know exactly how much they get but was always under the impression it was more that FAI and IRFU so can't comment on it until i look into it further


Don't forget either, that GAA supporters, fans and players are also tax-payers. I've no problem with our national games being given some of my paycheck, our culture is being cast aside too easily as it is, and the GAA do funnel the money they get down to grassroots very well.

The government (quiite rightly) put no conditions or provisions on the money they handed over, so the GAA are under no obligation.
.

I know they are not under and obligation and at the start I was against anything being played there bar GAA, they worked hard to get there stadium and did a great job on it (it is under used though) but they have let American Football to be played there and any Concert that pays enough to be held there... In my opinion they cannot say you can't play here because I don't like you and oh I like you you can



If Ireland end up playing their games abroad, the GAA shouldn't be blamed, the FAI should.

I would never blame the GAA its the incompetant FAI... If the FAI had a few GAA men runnin the show then they would prob have a stadium just as good as croker by now...

gspain
17/02/2005, 3:22 PM
I've heard that as little as €19million of taxpayers money directly from Government coffers has gone into the association since they've been redeveloping Croker.

The government (quiite rightly) put no conditions or provisions on the money they handed over, so the GAA are under no obligation.

If Ireland end up playing their games abroad, the GAA shouldn't be blamed, the FAI should.

They got €131 million of public money eg lottery money as well.

The GAA are under no obligation but they should have been - the IRFU and F.A.I. will share a stadium with the government. Lesson learned.

If our home football Internationals do get played abroad then the government should carry the can. They also should carry the can for the jobs and revenue lost. The GAA should pay for their bigots though. Maybe the only way they'll ever change is if the are denied funding.

tiktok
17/02/2005, 3:39 PM
......people seem to go out of their way to absolve the FAI from primary reponsibility in their failure..........

Nail on the head.

I want us to play qualifiers at home, but the blame game completely bypassing the FAI is driving me mad

Éanna
17/02/2005, 3:40 PM
Two more people I agree with. I just cannot understand the hysteria about the GAA, Bertie, GAA, FF, GAA - people seem to go out of their way to absolve the FAI from primary reponsibility in their failure, not just in recent years, but since the foundation of th State, to get a stadium together.

It's the FAI first and foremost who are to blame for the state of affairs.
The only thing you can complain about the GAA for is the hypocrisy of that organisation. FF/the Government/Bertie IMO are guilty of buying votes by giving that amount of money to the GAA because they are such a powerful lobby, and of treating irish football with contempt. But neither of those are the reasons why the FAI has no ground. The reason for that is because the FAI are clueless incompetent ****wits.

lopez
17/02/2005, 6:11 PM
...people seem to go out of their way to absolve the FAI from primary reponsibility in their failure, not just in recent years, but since the foundation of th State, to get a stadium together. It's the FAI first and foremost who are to blame for the state of affairs.How much money would the FAI be able to use on building a stadium if the wages of Roy Keane and co. had been poured into their coffers? And before you add that they play(ed) in another country, if the natural law had occured to top Gaelic players as happened to everyone else (including rugby players) in Ireland, then London, Lancs and Warickshire would have been the only counties fighting it out for all the all-Ireland titles since the war.

This is a p*ss poor excuse. The Grab All Association operate on a different playing field to the FAI. Aren't even hurleys and footballs exempt from VAT?

Donal81
18/02/2005, 11:25 AM
No, it isn't a GAA stadium, it's the Irish people's stadium. We, Irish taxpayers funded it, so we should have a say about who uses it.

Sorry mate but you're quite wrong there. It is indeed a GAA stadium and has been a GAA stadium since 1913. They own it lock, stock and barrell. Just because the Government greatly contributed towards the funding of its redevelopment does not turn it into a national stadium. It's not the Irish people's stadium, it belongs to the GAA, get over it.


Incompetent O' Donoghue, was on TV3 News last night, saying that the decision to have a debate on Rule 42 was great for the "democracy" of the GAA. Sorry, but you don't put the words "GAA" and "democracy" in the same sentence. They don't know what it means! This Communist-run organisation showed their contempt for democracy last year, by dismissing all the proposed motions on Rule 42 on technicalities. They have resisted all attempts to change their precious rule in the past, no matter what that they stand to benefit from a change in their policy. It can only be made at their annual shindig every April, when it suits them, not the country. That ain't democracy. This issue doesn't need a debate at all, the stadium should be opened up immediately and unconditionally to other sports, in the national interest.

Too many people are here are just randomly throwing abuse at the GAA in general. It makes no sense whatsoever as this whole fuss is over 11 counties putting forward a motion to open the stadium to soccer and rugby. Also, they got a majority vote for opening the stadium last time around but they didn't get the two-thirds majority, which is fair enough, given the enormity of the issue at stake.

Calling the entire organisation bigots, rednecks, etc, will get us nowhere, especially when it's not true.

Donal81
18/02/2005, 11:40 AM
How much money would the FAI be able to use on building a stadium if the wages of Roy Keane and co. had been poured into their coffers? And before you add that they play(ed) in another country, if the natural law had occured to top Gaelic players as happened to everyone else (including rugby players) in Ireland, then London, Lancs and Warickshire would have been the only counties fighting it out for all the all-Ireland titles since the war.

This is a p*ss poor excuse. The Grab All Association operate on a different playing field to the FAI. Aren't even hurleys and footballs exempt from VAT?

I don't see your point here. The FAI doesn't pay any player's wages, unlike the IRFU, which has a massive wage bill covering international and provincial players. The amount that international players receive for an appearance is minimal. While GAA's profile has strengthened in the past number of years, only an organisation staffed at the highest level by incompetent idiots could blow the amount of money that merchandising, advertising, etc, has brought in since Euro 88.

The GAA has had some extremely cute hoors over the years who secured a huge level of funding. The FAI has had a series of chancers who fancied themselves as Machiavellian and spent their time embroiled in power struggles etc while giving themselves personal loans. The GAA had and have Jack Boothman, Sean McCague and Sean Kelly. We've had Milo Corcoran, John Delaney, Bernard O'Byrne and Brendan Menton. They have a stadium, we don't. For me, that's the equation that makes sense.

lopez
18/02/2005, 12:07 PM
I don't see your point here. The FAI doesn't pay any player's wages, unlike the IRFU, which has a massive wage bill covering international and provincial players. The amount that international players receive for an appearance is minimal. While GAA's profile has strengthened in the past number of years, only an organisation staffed at the highest level by incompetent idiots could blow the amount of money that merchandising, advertising, etc, has brought in since Euro 88.

The GAA has had some extremely cute hoors over the years who secured a huge level of funding. The FAI has had a series of chancers who fancied themselves as Machiavellian and spent their time embroiled in power struggles etc while giving themselves personal loans. The GAA had and have Jack Boothman, Sean McCague and Sean Kelly. We've had Milo Corcoran, John Delaney, Bernard O'Byrne and Brendan Menton. They have a stadium, we don't. For me, that's the equation that makes sense.The GAA has never at any level had to pay wages to players. The IRFU has only done this recently (ten years) on a level competing with rugby clbs elsewhere in Europe. Meanwhile professionalism has been in Irish football at some level or another since well before partition, and where it wasn't sufficient players upped and left for Britain where wages were higher.

But hey, let's not compare the eejits of the FAI with those wonderful 'cute hoors' of the GAA. The benchmark of the FAI incompetence to get their own stadium can only be gauged by their peers: The other Football Associations of the world, all of whom own their own top class stadiums that only the FAI can dream about.

Except, wait a minute. :confused: How many of these associations do actually own their stadiums? England. Their's isn't built and was previously owned by Wembley PLC- they are currently playing in club stadiums. France: Stade de France owned by private consurtium. Spain: no such stadium (all owned by clubs). Italy: No such stadium (likewise or owned by city councils although Italian Olympic Committee owns Rome ground, built through the profits and subsidies of the 1960 Olympics). Germany: Likewise. Now imagine the cr*p these countries would be in if the clubs who own the stadiums decided that this international football is damaging our vested interests (which apparently is what they think).

Point is that the FAI can almost bankrupt themselves with building a stadium that may well full just six times a year or like the other associations borrow a stadium. I don't see why the FAI should jettison their successfull youth teams just to prove they can build their own stadium. In other countries football is the number one spectator sport but the association still needs to go cap in hand to third parties (private or public). Where it isn't like in the US, other sports accomodate the game because it makes economic sense to. In Ireland where it sin't the number one sport (unless you count spectating in bars) the people who are in the same situation as the Baseball and Gridiron franchise owners of the US don't care about money (especially if they get it from the government): Their motivation is bigotry. The idea of labeling the FAI as incompetent for not having its own stadium is ridiculous because very few (if any) of the associations of the World that it competes against (the EFA will have one in a year's time funded hugely by government money and which could possibly be the home for a club) have to build their own stadium.

gspain
18/02/2005, 1:00 PM
Sorry mate but you're quite wrong there. It is indeed a GAA stadium and has been a GAA stadium since 1913. They own it lock, stock and barrell. Just because the Government greatly contributed towards the funding of its redevelopment does not turn it into a national stadium. It's not the Irish people's stadium, it belongs to the GAA, get over it.



Too many people are here are just randomly throwing abuse at the GAA in general. It makes no sense whatsoever as this whole fuss is over 11 counties putting forward a motion to open the stadium to soccer and rugby. Also, they got a majority vote for opening the stadium last time around but they didn't get the two-thirds majority, which is fair enough, given the enormity of the issue at stake.

Calling the entire organisation bigots, rednecks, etc, will get us nowhere, especially when it's not true.

agree it is the GAA's stadium.

however you have ignored questions on the bigotry of the GAA. It is not just throwing abuse.

Are the following acceptable or examples of bigotry.

1) Official policy to "Support the struggle for national liberation"

2) 11 yearolds playting for the Gerard and Martin Harte memorial Cup.

3) Peter Canavans antics in GAA kit and with the Sam Maguire Cup (see above)

4) 20%+ of the population of the island are of protestant faiths. How many protestant All Ireland winners have we had in 70+ years?

etc etc etc.

The GAA is institutional bigotry.

This is not just name calling etc.

Maybe it won't help the debate but franjly I don't care. It is long past time these bigots got shown for what they are and while the vast majority of membvers ar enot bigots they need to stand up to the bigots like Sean Kelly has just done in trying to disband the motions group.

gspain
18/02/2005, 2:04 PM
I'm a Protestant(lapsed)......I dont find the GAA bigoted v.me or my family......frankly we wouldn't care if they were...so what.You have to look @ the context under which they had to operate in the past esp.in the osc ,for their republican 'connections'.
However,do think they are misguided in not opening up CP during the re-building of Lansdowne!

While I take your point Davros and I imagine if somebody went to a local GAA club and said "i want to play hurling" they'd say great. BTW I'm a prod - they'd probably still no no problem. The organisation is effectively a Catholic nationalist organisation. You'd be very welcome with terms like OSC - Occupied Six Counties I assume you mean. :) Ditto Jack Boothman.

The GAA is steeped in the Catholic parish tradition - local priest is normally heavily involved etc. The GAA do great voluntary work in schools normally not offered to the CoI schools. Sure if they asked they'd get it but the RC schools don't have to ask. No efforts at all made to the majority community in Northern Ireland. This is even more apparent now because in some areas the GAA are trying to bring Gaelic and hurling to Nigerians and Romanians.

Now the real problem I have is not so much with the soft sectarianism above but with the blantant way the the GAA is ued and allows itself to be used to promote Republicanism. The pro IRA motions passed regularly at Congress until Mulvihill started blocking them i nthe early 80's (credit where credit is due but how about overturning a few of them). Naming a Cup after Gerard and Martin Harte is a clear provocation to the Unionist population of Tyrone. The IRA were particularly vicous in Fermanagh and Tyrone in the 80's/early 90's with the specific targetting and murder of sons of protestant farmers and only sons in particular in efforts to force them off their farms and effectively push the border back. The GAA logo and Tyrone kit on SF/IRA election material is also a clear message. The silence from Croke Park and the Ulster Council was deafening. Canacan followed this up then with the photo op with Joe Cahill bringing the Cup up to Belfast to him. Again the silence was deafening.

Yes GAA members have been murdered by Loyalist terrorists and those people are just scum. However these criminal scum were never excluded from playing GAA. Instead the overt support for Republican terrorists just increased.

Contrast this with Linfield hardly the bastion of tolerance for almost 40 years who had 2 supporters murdered and many injured by an IRA bombing of the four Step inn o nthe night of a big European tie. The club however never dabbled in politics. they don't have a policy on "the struggle for national liberation" and leading Loyalists wouldn't say "linfield are synonymous with Loyalism" in the same way that Francie Brolly would take about the GAA and the IRA. 2 Northern Ireland v England games in the 80's also saw bombs planted by Republican terrorists. Should the IFA therefore adopt policies supporting Loyalism? No of course not and probably half the team and many of the fans that day were Catholic.


The GAA should be about sport and only sport.

lopez
18/02/2005, 5:12 PM
agree it is the GAA's stadium.

however you have ignored questions on the bigotry of the GAA. It is not just throwing abuse.

Are the following acceptable or examples of bigotry.

1) Official policy to "Support the struggle for national liberation"

2) 11 yearolds playting for the Gerard and Martin Harte memorial Cup.

3) Peter Canavans antics in GAA kit and with the Sam Maguire Cup (see above)

4) 20%+ of the population of the island are of protestant faiths. How many protestant All Ireland winners have we had in 70+ years?

etc etc etc.

The GAA is institutional bigotry.

This is not just name calling etc.

Maybe it won't help the debate but franjly I don't care. It is long past time these bigots got shown for what they are and while the vast majority of membvers ar enot bigots they need to stand up to the bigots like Sean Kelly has just done in trying to disband the motions group.Your totally missing the point. I don't know if it's the intention, but you're appearing to outloyal a loyalist. Moaning about things that the GAA is not against.

Protestants: You are joking? Sam Maguire: Protestant. Boothman: Protestant. Hey within such an anti-Prod organisation like the GAA to come up with two such prominent Protestants I'm sure you'll tell me the last time an RC was head of the Ulster Branch of the IRFU. Take your time because I won't be holding my breath.

Struggle for national liberation: So you prefer Ireland to be under British control. That's fair enough mate. I want Britain to be ruled by Brussels. However for the rest of us, national liberation from Britain is something that is desirable. True, most would shy from blowing up kids but if you've read your history, Britain wasn't going to give Ireland independence by us sitting around singing peace songs.

Gerard and Martin Harte: Did they ever play Gaelic football or hurling. Perhaps that's why they got the cup named after them.

As for other sports and the lack of politics in them, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Take the good old non-sectarian IRFU. In 1912 the Ulster clubs decided to ban all matches so that the signatories of the Ulster Covenent could use the clubs' grounds for drilling. Then we have the memorial to the war dead at Lansdowne Road (never seen it but I remember a commotion about this in the eighties). What about a memorial to the rugby players that died in getting Ireland independence from Britain. Surely as Irish people that would be more important than honouring a war where Ireland's purpose (not for the first time) was to provide cannon fodder. Or the anthem issue. I love this when our unionist friends moan about it. The 1975 programme of the Wales v Ireland match at Cardiff states:

By arrangement between the two Unions concerned today's game will be preceded by two anthems, 'The Queen' and 'Hen Wlad fy Nhadau,' in that order. All Welsh supporters are strongly urged to accord this arrangement the respect and courtesy that our visitors deserve.

The statement above is obvious. The playing of 'The Queen' at Cardiff was solely for the visitors. If that isn't sectarian and insulting to nationalist supporters of Irish rugby, what is?

The problem with the GAA is it's bigotry to Irish people. Linfield has had its own history with regarding the employment of Catholics but at least they've moved on even if many of their supporters haven't. The Grab All Association's views on 'perfidious albion' mean nothing to me. After all what happened on Bloody sunday and the attacks that non-combatant GAA members suffered in the O6C, that's understandble. If the Ulster Branch of the IRFU lost a number of spectators at Ravenhill to an IRA bombing I'd understand if they were uneasy about renting their ground to host a game concerning Celtic where certain people would want to sing songs about the Provos (cue Davros ;) ).

gspain
18/02/2005, 9:31 PM
Sam Maguire was a protestant and also an IRA man. Jack Boothman is a member of the Church of Ireland. Ironically his first official duty was to attend a Mass in his honour. You can throw in loads of clubs named after Wolfe Tone. That's it for the GAA unless you count Peter Whitnell who has a protestant father and got sectarian abuse from the Derry fans because of this. The last protestant to win an All Ireland medal was on the Cavan team of 1933. The island is over 20% protestant.

The "struggle for national liberation" was clearly meant to refer to the IRA. Yes I have a big problem with that. That struggle also aims to overthrow this state. The vast majority of people on this island voted for the GFA which supports the wishes of a majority of NI citizens. Hence there won't be a UI except by peaceful or democratic means. I don't think the GAA should have a policy on a UI but ifd they must then how about the GAA supports all peaceful means to obtain a UI

No idea if Gerard and Martin Harte ever played gaelic football or not - However they should not have children playing for a cup in their memory.
What message does that send to their vistims' families? Billy Wright played football at some mickey mouse level. Should they name a cup after him in Portadown?

On the rugby - no idea I imagine if you check there was a royal visitor to Cardiff Arms Park in 1975 hence the anthem. However GSTQ is played for home games in Belfast and Anab in Dublin. I'm not a nationalist or a unionist I would just like to see everyone share this island in peace. However as presumably somebody who aspires to a UI surely a rugby team made up of all faiths and all traditions on this island should be the closest sporting example The Danes played Land of Hope and Glory for us in 1992 and killed Brian Boru but hey times change.

Numerous Catholics have played rugby for Ulster. there was an article in the Aer Lingus magazine by Eoghan Corry (founder of GAA museum and prolific GAA author) claiming only 4 Catholics ever played for them in 100 years. The article was total tripe and completely wrong. Outside of Limerick rugby is very much a middle class game. It has its problems and in NI is mainly protestant but some Catrholic schools compete in the Schools cup and the senior team now has a Seamus and a Kieran on the team not to mention a former GAA playing Monaghan lad. Not perfect but no policies overt or covert.

Linfield did employ sectarian policies for almost 40 years - only employed one Catholic in the period and he was a former player as head trainer. There was Supporters Clubs linked to Loyalist drinking dens and they caused trouble in many places incl Dundalk. However they have been eradicated. The club didn't have policies on Loyalist terrorism or any kind of terrorism. It is and was a football club. They just let a Camoige club in to train at windsor.

Where is the GAA for All Campaign? Surely they want players from over 20% of this island's population?

The reasons Roy Keane and Ronan O'Gara are kept out of Croke Park is because of anti British bigotry. Football is the garrison game. dessie Farrell (head of the Gaelic Players Association) summed it up perfectly on Prime Time referring to Roy Keane and Kenny Cuinningham as just as Irish as he when he plays for Dublin. He said it was time to move on from the Bloody sunday mentality. Ironically so did Joe Brolly son of Francie hardly fans of the British establishment saying it was daft to stop Roy Keane from playing at Croke Park because the Brits are in Crossmaglen. Even SF seems to see those dinosaurs as extremists. :D

Maybe if Roy Keane removes then Oliver Cromwell tattoo and Ronan O'Gara apologizes for his part in Bloody Sunday they might get in but I'm not holding my breath.





Your totally missing the point. I don't know if it's the intention, but you're appearing to outloyal a loyalist. Moaning about things that the GAA is not against.

Protestants: You are joking? Sam Maguire: Protestant. Boothman: Protestant. Hey within such an anti-Prod organisation like the GAA to come up with two such prominent Protestants I'm sure you'll tell me the last time an RC was head of the Ulster Branch of the IRFU. Take your time because I won't be holding my breath.

Struggle for national liberation: So you prefer Ireland to be under British control. That's fair enough mate. I want Britain to be ruled by Brussels. However for the rest of us, national liberation from Britain is something that is desirable. True, most would shy from blowing up kids but if you've read your history, Britain wasn't going to give Ireland independence by us sitting around singing peace songs.

Gerard and Martin Harte: Did they ever play Gaelic football or hurling. Perhaps that's why they got the cup named after them.

As for other sports and the lack of politics in them, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Take the good old non-sectarian IRFU. In 1912 the Ulster clubs decided to ban all matches so that the signatories of the Ulster Covenent could use the clubs' grounds for drilling. Then we have the memorial to the war dead at Lansdowne Road (never seen it but I remember a commotion about this in the eighties). What about a memorial to the rugby players that died in getting Ireland independence from Britain. Surely as Irish people that would be more important than honouring a war where Ireland's purpose (not for the first time) was to provide cannon fodder. Or the anthem issue. I love this when our unionist friends moan about it. The 1975 programme of the Wales v Ireland match at Cardiff states:

By arrangement between the two Unions concerned today's game will be preceded by two anthems, 'The Queen' and 'Hen Wlad fy Nhadau,' in that order. All Welsh supporters are strongly urged to accord this arrangement the respect and courtesy that our visitors deserve.

The statement above is obvious. The playing of 'The Queen' at Cardiff was solely for the visitors. If that isn't sectarian and insulting to nationalist supporters of Irish rugby, what is?

The problem with the GAA is it's bigotry to Irish people. Linfield has had its own history with regarding the employment of Catholics but at least they've moved on even if many of their supporters haven't. The Grab All Association's views on 'perfidious albion' mean nothing to me. After all what happened on Bloody sunday and the attacks that non-combatant GAA members suffered in the O6C, that's understandble. If the Ulster Branch of the IRFU lost a number of spectators at Ravenhill to an IRA bombing I'd understand if they were uneasy about renting their ground to host a game concerning Celtic where certain people would want to sing songs about the Provos (cue Davros ;) ).

gspain
18/02/2005, 10:37 PM
Dav I don't think it is an unwitting vechicle. It willingly complies.

Why is it utopia that a sporting organisation should only be about sport? They are the only sporting organisation with political policies.

The difference with Linfield is the club and the club's policies not an element of the fans. It is a football club and focussed on football.

I've been to quite a few Irish League games incl a couple of Linfield ones and never had a problem despite talking freely and often driving my southern reg car. Normally no problem although the boneheads appear for the flashpoint games.

I used to know a Dublin Blueman (lost touch about 10 years ago) who took a carload to all their big European ties/friendlies and some league games and cup finals in the 80's. He also supported us at all home games and indeed the LoI regularly (although Linfield were always his team) - got his car done outside Milltown at a league match when some Rovers fans noticed the Linfield pennant hanging from the mirror. I still know one of his regular passengers - a devout Catholic and casual GAA fan - enjoyed the trips and the football - and never had any problems. I wouldn't say he was a fan although I have slagged him about it.

I'm not going down the OF rathole. A plague on both your houses.......


That's a bit Utopian,Gary......appreciate the GAA may have been unwittingly a vehicle for sectarianism.....again you have to set that as a cultural role,during decades of 'conflict'!

You are painting a rosy picture of Linfield.....appreciate they have mellowed.....have met some of their fans,who not knowing my roots,launched into an impromptu Loyalist singsong.Dont think they were v.pro-Fenians,Celts or even 'us',being ROI;'Wolf in sheep's clothing' & all that.......
As for catholic fans.....I know one who's a v.loyal Ireland fan......he admitted he was an oddity @ S-C.G.Pk.
Anyway,more Unionists follow the H*ns.....& their record is hardly :rolleyes: 'squeaky-clean'.Know I should mention their Green other 'half ',but their main fault has been financial incompetance & exploiting their fans from time to time!

gspain
19/02/2005, 10:29 AM
No time for more detailed reply........suffice to say the GAA,from all our observations,is not just a sporting organisation.In fact I guess from all their edicts,always had a strong 'cultural' agenda,amongst other things.Maybe we should just acknowledge their 'extreme' position & try to grind them down.Name-calling won't help,ultimately......just polarise their stance.

As for the OF....please remember,that Celtic as a club are not a 'mirror' image of the shower from Govan!

1st point agreed.

2nd - do I want to add another 10 pages to this thread - No - pass no comment. :D :D

lopez
19/02/2005, 1:50 PM
Sam Maguire was a protestant and also an IRA man. Jack Boothman is a member of the Church of Ireland. Ironically his first official duty was to attend a Mass in his honour. You can throw in loads of clubs named after Wolfe Tone. That's it for the GAA unless you count Peter Whitnell who has a protestant father and got sectarian abuse from the Derry fans because of this. The last protestant to win an All Ireland medal was on the Cavan team of 1933. The island is over 20% protestant.
Are you suggesting that Protestants are excluded? How many protestants play Gaelic football or hurling at school? Perhaps this is why Ulster rugby is so top heavy with protestants and the GAA with Catholics. But you only moan about the GAA being sectarian.

As for Boothman, well the general consensus within other sports is that the minorities are represented fully within the playing staff but when it goes up the ladder towards the real power they become absent. When I was in the US in the early nineties there was a polemic about how there were 75% of basketball players who were black yet managers/coaches counted as a fraction, and CEOs? well you could forget about that. One person described it as like the animals in the circus. Yet the GAA who have according to you no Protestant input name a cup after one and allow another to not only become president but continue to influence decisions. BTW, Sam Maguire, IRA? He fought in the Irish War of Independence yet you follow the line of your chums on ourweeminds that he's little better than the Harte brothers.

The "struggle for national liberation" was clearly meant to refer to the IRA. Yes I have a big problem with that. That struggle also aims to overthrow this state.
Absolute nonsense. The GAA wanted to overthrow the state? This 'national liberation' statement makes no mention of that and I would like to see any mention of it in the original full text. This from an organisation that split itself in half during the Parnell Affair and remained neutral during the Irish civil war and did more than most to heal the wounds caused by it at local level. Do you seriously think that the GAA in 1979 would have gone further than the GAA in 1922 in supporting armed republicanism. Are you Lux interior in disguise?

The vast majority of people on this island voted for the GFA which supports the wishes of a majority of NI citizens. Hence there won't be a UI except by peaceful or democratic means. I don't think the GAA should have a policy on a UI but ifd they must then how about the GAA supports all peaceful means to obtain a UI.
The vast majority of the people of Ireland voted for a party wanting total independence in 1918. But that wasn't granted. Most people voted for the GFA - including SF - because the carnage had brought NI to a stalemate. I would have voted for it but it still doesn't mean I don't want an all-Ireland state. You are right to suggest the GAA changes this declaration but then people would accuse it of indulging in politics. :rolleyes:

On the rugby - no idea I imagine if you check there was a royal visitor to Cardiff Arms Park in 1975 hence the anthem.
No mention of any royal visitor in the programme (or in any of the WRU officials - first programme mentions Brenda as patron was 1983). Remember this was a time before the Queen of Tarts was knocking boots with Bum-chin in Cardiff. Anyway, to me the statement is pretty clear. 'Two anthems: 'The Queen' is the visitor's. Please respect it!'

Numerous Catholics have played rugby for Ulster. there was an article in the Aer Lingus magazine by Eoghan Corry (founder of GAA museum and prolific GAA author) claiming only 4 Catholics ever played for them in 100 years. The article was total tripe and completely wrong...
I don't doubt that more than 4 catholics have played for Ulster. I can name two, neither of which are from NI. However prior to professionalism, I'd like to see how many played for Ulster from the six counties. Any links to the hundreds of Catholics that have played for them would be appreciated.

...Not perfect but no policies overt or covert.
Just the suspension of the season so that you can get ready to overthrow the legally elected government of the country you claim to be loyal to, and the vast majority wishes of the island you inhabit. :rolleyes:

Where is the GAA for All Campaign? Surely they want players from over 20% of this island's population?
Perhaps they're not interested in meaningless slogans? Funnily enough last week I picked up the annual magazine of Metro Eireann which claims is 'Ireland's only multicultural newspaper', had an article about non-whites taking up the game, with a Francis Usanga from Nigeria played minor hurling for Dublin. However, as an unnamed Russian woman complained that while the GAA tries to welcome foreigners, the GAA's own slogan - 'It's a part of what we are' contradicts this: 'It sends a message that the GAA is in the blood in Ireland, which maybe it is.' And that's the problem with the games: It's like Tae Kwon Do to Korea, where a basic command of Korean numbers to act out moves is needed by participants throughout the world. As for this 20% taking up the game? There's been a president of the GAA that's a member of this group. If you can make president and continue to be involved in policy, it's total cr*p to tell me that you can't play the game. It's like saying the British Tories are anti-Catholic when they elect a Catholic (Ian Duncan Smith) as party leader.

The reasons Roy Keane and Ronan O'Gara are kept out of Croke Park is because of anti British bigotry...Even SF seems to see those dinosaurs as extremists.Now you are getting nearer the button. Again it's not their anti-Britishness that bugs me although it's time to move on : It's the fact that they see Britishness in Irish people playing the so-called garrison games. This bigotry even extends to being practiced by people of British background. Football is no longer controlled by British people and it's just a matter of time before their guaranteed places on the rule making International Board are also replaced. I mean if the GAA are going to blame the Brits for the invasion of Ireland and consequent ills, let's not stop at them but also tell el papa to f*ck off too. It was after all the incumbent at the time, Adrian IV, who told Henry II that Ireland was his if he wanted it.

anto eile
19/02/2005, 3:33 PM
most of them don't deserve to anyway. They make 4 or 5 games a year, and sit in a pub supporting "their team" or spending a fortune travelling to England to see "their team" once or twice a year, and then sit in Landsdowne road unable to make any decent stab at an atmosphere because they haven't the first clue about being a proper football fan anyway. Serves them right. Maybe if they had spent more of their time and money supporting Irish football instead of filling Sky's pockets, the FAI would be in a position to do something better
well said éanna.
i dont follow faIreland national team for that reason

anto eile
19/02/2005, 3:45 PM
i dont know if its true or not but i heard that the stands in croke park are too steep and contraviene ufea regulations. does anyone know if its true or not. i think it could b bullsiht.
bullsiht.been in upper tier at croker and upper tier in camp nou and celtic park.not much difference. and remember the very steep temporary 3rd tier in charleroi for euro 2000. thered be no probs with croker for this reason

gspain
20/02/2005, 9:24 AM
My uncle was at the game in Cardiff in 1975. I'll check if he remembers. It is far more likely that ther ewas a Royal visitor - Prince Charles was PoW then or the Queen could have been there. It is policy not to have any anthems for away games apart from Ireland's Call. BTW GSTQ is played for home games in NI as Anab is played for games in Dublin.

Here is an extract from an article by Kevin Myers in the Irish Times in Jan 2003 which covers the motion regarding the "struggle for national liberation".

>>>>>>Kevin Myers
Political activity
On March 26th, 1979, GAA Congress accepted a number of motions put before it. The first was to abolish the rule - dating, I think, from 1895 - which banned the GAA from taking part in any political activity. In its place came a prohibition on "party-political" activity. This left it open for Congress to accept four further motions.
Two of these were in support of the campaign by IRA prisoners in The Maze prison. Another was a call for a withdrawal of the British army from the North. And the fourth was for Congress "unequivocally to support the struggle for national liberation".
It's true that no mention of the IRA was made in this motion; nor was it necessary. The "struggle for national liberation" had then and has now only one meaning - and that was the terrorist campaign by the IRA. No one in that hall could have been in any doubt what the GAA was agreeing to. All four motions passed without dissent.
"The struggle"
The GAA chose to become a political organisation that day; and since it redefined itself as "non-party political" it couldn't even support Sinn Féin. As Tom Woulfe of the GAA has said in this newspaper before, what "politics" does this leave but the "politics" of the "the struggle for national liberation"? And using your brain, what are we talking about here? An Taisce? Knock Airport? SPUC? That motion effectively stood as a retrospective endorsement of the IRA campaign to date; and an authorisation of what was to come. It has never been revoked or modified and is policy today just as it was 24 years ago.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
this was never refuted.

I said numerous Catholics have played for Ulster not hundreds. the following are all Catholics that have played for or managed Ulster. Source Evening Herald Friday Nov 19th 2004. From Mark McFeely a Catholic lawyer who played for Ulster - 15 caps 82-84 these are the Catholics he knows about

Mark McFeely
Barney O'Kane
Sean O'Kane
Tim Lowry
Paddy Agnew
Seamus Mallon
Jimmy Davidson (coached Ulster and Ireland)
Tommy Bowe
Kieran Campbell
Ronan McCormack
John Campbell
Aidan Kearney

above all played senior - article lists youths u21s etc.

Re names of clubs, trophies etc, I don't think Sam Maguire is an appropriate name for example however personally I wouldn't have a problem with tradition and names that are there for 80 years or whatever. I think naming trophies and teams after recent IRA men is being deliberately provocative.

No idea re 1912 and the Ulster clubs. I do however have a football programme from 1912 - Ireland v England at Dalymount Park - and our national anthem is GSTK. 1912 was a very very long time ago.

Student Mullet
20/02/2005, 12:21 PM
If somebody calls the GAA the grab all association and in the same post criticises the GAA for not taking the FAI or IRFU's money to rent Croke Park, is that an example of irony?

lopez
20/02/2005, 3:53 PM
My uncle was at the game in Cardiff in 1975. I'll check if he remembers. It is far more likely that ther ewas a Royal visitor - Prince Charles was PoW then or the Queen could have been there. It is policy not to have any anthems for away games apart from Ireland's Call. BTW GSTQ is played for home games in NI as Anab is played for games in Dublin.
I was the the Scotland game at Murrayfield in 1985 and the Queen was played there aswell as Scotland the Brave. The programme from the game confirms no royal visitors. What was also odd was the Fitzgerald Saltire as the flag of Ireland. Surley the tricolour and NI flag would have been more appropriate. Britain's flag of conquest used to represent the visitors or for the Irish ancestors of the non-appearance of a royal.

Here is an extract from an article by Kevin Myers in the Irish Times in Jan 2003 which covers the motion regarding the "struggle for national liberation"...this was never refuted.
So this is Myers take on the motion not the motion itself? :D :D :D :rolleyes: Some comments: The SDLP helped Bobby Sands become an MP by not standing beside him in 1981. Thanks to the inability to take the same stance with SF, Fermanagh and Tyrone had a unionist MP for a decade while having a nationalist majority. Was this action by the SDLP a 'retrospective endorsement of the IRA campaign to date.' Interestingly Myers doesn't mention what these two motions were about. As for the withdrawal of the British Army from Ireland, again what's the problem here? Doesn't the Dublin government have the same policy? Isn't that one of the reasons Dev got the Brits to leave the treaty ports in 1937? Isn't that why Ireland remains neutral?

Finally the "unequivocally to support the struggle for national liberation" statement. While I'd concede that this can be construed as supporting the 'armed struggle' I've yet to see where this concerns the 'overthrow [of] this state' that you mentioned previously. Isn't this an exageration like Joe Cahill being the most evil man ever in Ireland, or just b*llocks? At the time there was not even a consensus amongst the political thinkers in the IRA to overthrowing the state let alone this gaining ground within the GAA. Even the pro-abstentionist Ruari O'Bradaigh was deeply anti-revolutionary and anti-communist, and imagine what the chuckies friends stateside would have thought about 'communism' or any move to interfere with a friendly capitalist state? And what of the numerous IRA members - as you label them - from Collins, Cosgrave and DeValera that all supported this 'national liberation' but went on to join the state without destroying it? Could not 'national liberation' be exactly what these strode for: Independence, albeit through violence?

I said numerous Catholics have played for Ulster not hundreds. the following are all Catholics that have played for or managed Ulster.
So the Ulster Branch has had a few Catholic players. The GAA had a protestant president, names numerous clubs, its top competition and its ground in Belfast after Protestants. I'd agree with the notion that both bodies lack of numbers from their respective minority communities is down to culture than any outright anti-Catholic/Protestant bias that you claim the GAA has.

I don't think Sam Maguire is an appropriate name for example however personally I wouldn't have a problem with tradition and names that are there for 80 years or whatever. I think naming trophies and teams after recent IRA men is being deliberately provocative.
No, we can't be celebrating how we got an independent state can we? Don't agree that the naming of trophies are provocative. More naive.

No idea re 1912 and the Ulster clubs. I do however have a football programme from 1912 - Ireland v England at Dalymount Park - and our national anthem is GSTK. 1912 was a very very long time ago.1979 was a long time ago for some people. The example was to point out that Ulster rugby is as tinted with bigotry and politics as the GAA is. In early 1913 the North of Ireland Rugby Club lobbied the Ulster branch to 'divert their energies away from sport towards the defence of the Union' and cancel the second half of the season: A statement as loaded as the GAA "struggle for national liberation" but one that you won't find in any article by Kevin Myers. Later that year the club cancelled its fixtures for the new season and gave its Ormeau road ground over for the drilling of the UVF. One historian of Irish rugby, Sean Diffley, claims 'entrenched attitudes caused some problems for a while after the founding of the Irish Free State...' with a reluctance amongst some of the Irish rugby family to fly 'the Irish tricolour at Lansdowne Road for international matches.' (source Sugden and Bairner: Sport, Sectarianism and Society In A Divided Ireland).

lopez
20/02/2005, 3:56 PM
If somebody calls the GAA the grab all association and in the same post criticises the GAA for not taking the FAI or IRFU's money to rent Croke Park, is that an example of irony?'Grab all' off both the government and by not playing players wages (like nearly every other sport has to). Cut both of these sources of income and the GAA will be more inclined to grab as much as they can out of the FAI, the IRFU and anyone else who's willing to rent their property.

gspain
20/02/2005, 8:00 PM
The IRA;s stated aim is to overthrow the government of this state and establish a 32 county All Ireland ruled by them. I never stated it was the GAA's maim but in supporting the struggle for national liberation they are supporting the IRA.

Myers quoted the motion and he hardly got it wrong. It was not refuted.

Donal81
20/02/2005, 11:23 PM
The IRA;s stated aim is to overthrow the government of this state and establish a 32 county All Ireland ruled by them. I never stated it was the GAA's maim but in supporting the struggle for national liberation they are supporting the IRA.

I'll be honest, I don't know the ins and outs of the GAA's constitution as it relates to the North but it was always meant to be a symbol of pride in the 32 counties and defiance of Britain. However, in supporting a 32 county Ireland - as do probably about 80% of the Republic - they are by no means supporting the IRA. I would love to see a united Ireland but I'm not going to merrily bomb anyone who disagrees with me. By supporting a united Ireland, I am most definitely not supporting the IRA and there is no connection there whatsoever and, to be honest, I'm a bit offended by what I think you're implying.

Again, I don't know if you're referring to some specific reference by the GAA to armed resistance that I don't know about, I'm genuinely open to correction.

As far as I know, the GAA doesn't support the IRA. The actions of individuals in the GAA shouldn't really be taken into account. Tom 'Slab' Murphy may have played for Crossmaglen GAA. Plenty of other IRA members may have played for Crossmaglen. However, that doesn't mean anything. If a Catholic supports the IRA, that doesn't mean the Catholic Church support the IRA. If Peter Canavan supports the IRA - and I'm not saying he does - that doesn't mean the GAA supports the IRA.

The GAA and the Catholic Church have a similar reach in Ireland, culturally and physically, that's why I'm connecting the two.

boc123
21/02/2005, 7:37 AM
[QUOTE=lopez]'Grab all' off both the government and by not playing players wages (like nearly every other sport has to). QUOTE]

How can anyone have a problem with players not being payed?

It's an amateur sport and that's one of the great things about. People doing it for the love of it, unlike some of the big football leagues around europe where money is the bottom line

gspain
21/02/2005, 8:18 AM
I'll be honest, I don't know the ins and outs of the GAA's constitution as it relates to the North but it was always meant to be a symbol of pride in the 32 counties and defiance of Britain. However, in supporting a 32 county Ireland - as do probably about 80% of the Republic - they are by no means supporting the IRA. I would love to see a united Ireland but I'm not going to merrily bomb anyone who disagrees with me. By supporting a united Ireland, I am most definitely not supporting the IRA and there is no connection there whatsoever and, to be honest, I'm a bit offended by what I think you're implying.

Again, I don't know if you're referring to some specific reference by the GAA to armed resistance that I don't know about, I'm genuinely open to correction.

As far as I know, the GAA doesn't support the IRA. The actions of individuals in the GAA shouldn't really be taken into account. Tom 'Slab' Murphy may have played for Crossmaglen GAA. Plenty of other IRA members may have played for Crossmaglen. However, that doesn't mean anything. If a Catholic supports the IRA, that doesn't mean the Catholic Church support the IRA. If Peter Canavan supports the IRA - and I'm not saying he does - that doesn't mean the GAA supports the IRA.

The GAA and the Catholic Church have a similar reach in Ireland, culturally and physically, that's why I'm connecting the two.

You are missing the point. I agree the GAA should not be called to account because a well known IRA man plays gaelic nor should a league of Ireland club be called to account because a former player was a leading drug dealer. The former chariman of another LoI club is now helping the gardai with their enquiries in a recent high profile case. an organisation or club is not responsible for what members do outside of that organisation.

However and this is where you are missing the point deliberately or otherwise - It is the actions of the GAA as an organisation and what they do that matter.

I'm repeating myself here again and again but

1) It is GAA policy to "support the struggle for national liberation". This is not just supporting a United Ireland but supporting the one organisation that struggles for national liberation.....

2) The GAA named a cup for 11 yearolds after 2 IRA men killed on "active service" in 1988.

3) I think there is no doubt who Peter Canavan supports however the problem is not allowing Peter Canavan to play gaelic but in allowing him to play politics with the Sam Maguire Cup and to appear on SF election material in GAA kit displaying the GAA logo without comment or censure.

4) GAA grounds opened up for IRA rallies etc

etc etc etc

Donal81
21/02/2005, 9:36 AM
You are missing the point. I agree the GAA should not be called to account because a well known IRA man plays gaelic nor should a league of Ireland club be called to account because a former player was a leading drug dealer. The former chariman of another LoI club is now helping the gardai with their enquiries in a recent high profile case. an organisation or club is not responsible for what members do outside of that organisation.

However and this is where you are missing the point deliberately or otherwise - It is the actions of the GAA as an organisation and what they do that matter.

I'm repeating myself here again and again but

1) It is GAA policy to "support the struggle for national liberation". This is not just supporting a United Ireland but supporting the one organisation that struggles for national liberation.....

2) The GAA named a cup for 11 yearolds after 2 IRA men killed on "active service" in 1988.

3) I think there is no doubt who Peter Canavan supports however the problem is not allowing Peter Canavan to play gaelic but in allowing him to play politics with the Sam Maguire Cup and to appear on SF election material in GAA kit displaying the GAA logo without comment or censure.

4) GAA grounds opened up for IRA rallies etc

etc etc etc

Like I said, I was open to correction and this is a fair point. I think this is a local thing as much as anything else rather than an institutional one. If the GAA is such a fan of national liberation - which I have a feeling is window dressing more than anything else - then why doesn't my local GAA club - Dublin 6W - have any rallies or anything? Sinn Fein topped the poll in Dublin South West, they wouldn't be short on supporters. I think they don't because the area isn't Tyrone which has been a violent county for centuries. If Ireland was perfect, the GAA would be an outstanding organisation and lead the way in shunning the Shinners. Ireland's not perfect and the GAA is nothing without its grassroots. If HQ on Jones' Road tells Crossmaglen to start being nice to British soldiers and to publicly come out against the IRA, I don't think it would go down well. I'm not an apologist for the actions of the IRA or the GAA but I think what you're talking about is a local thing, both GAA and IRA, and not an institutional one.

Did the GAA not remove the ban on security forces playing relatively recently? It's not exactly the big bang but it's something.

Donal81
21/02/2005, 9:42 AM
We should be open to helping ourselves
Tom Humphries
21/02/2005


LockerRoom: So here we go again, all together down the big long slide. Wheeee! And straight into the brown stuff at the bottom. Splash!


If you thought the sight of the GAA "stifling" debate on Rule 42 was unedifying, hang around folks. Biff! Wait till you see the debate. POW! RTÉ said it was now the time for persuading hearts and minds. The tabs got all happy clappy about Keano and Briano playing footer and rugger in Croker. Great and grandiloquent were those who spoke of the winds of change, and a tide in the affairs of f*or gaels.

Wrong too. There is no tide. No change. Any motion on Rule 42 will surely be defeated. Back in 2001 the run-in to the debate was muted and civilised. Close, but no cigar. Since then, attitudes have hardened and narrowed like a fat man's arteries.

With 11 counties submitting motions this year - each of which in some way reflecting a desire for change - it would be forgiveable if the casual observer got a little bit too casual and decided that the walls were about to come tumbling down. Don't get your glasnost t-shirts printed just yet though.

Firstly, all 11 counties virtually comprised the vanguard of the failed putsch back in 2001. All 11 voted in favour. Dublin had a messy mandate problem because of the £60 million which fell into the GAA's lap the previous day.

(For the record: Kerry voted 9-0 in favour, Cavan 7-0, Sligo 5-0, Roscommon 6-0, Wicklow 7-0, Longford 6-0, Wexford 11-0, Offaly 8-0, Laois 9-0, Kilkenny 5-0 and Dublin 7-4). It was all so close. 176 votes for. 89 votes against. Forty-four delegates stuck in a lift or trapped in a toilet or something. One vote the other way would have given the Rule 42 motion the necessary two thirds majority and we'd be over the worst of it by now. The Clare folk who looked at the narrowness of the defeat and copied the motion and put it forward the next year were optimists. Sadly, the mood had changed when they weren't looking. The vote was now 197 against 106 for.

Since then, we haven't seen hardliners going down to the river singing alleluiah and washing the scales from their eyes, have we? Where are the born-again ecumenists? Where are the counties who have seen the error of their ways only to become zealous reformists? Will Antrim, who surprised even themselves by voting 7-0 in favour back in 2001, still be feeling so radical? What about the three Armagh delegates who broke ranks with their fellows? There's no logic left in the debate. No sense. This column has always felt that what the GAA does with Croke Park is the GAA's own business.

It owes nothing to other sports. It doesn't deserve to be browbeaten or embarrassed into handing out its facilities. There is some lingering absurdity in two of the greatest professional sports in the world apparently queuing at the door to get into the house of an amateur organisation.

No, the GAA shouldn't be embarrassed into an open house situation. The GAA should stop embarrassing itself and it's members, however. Back in 2001, when Cathal Lynch spoke on behalf of the European Board, he mentioned that the activities of the board included playing games in a cricket pitch in Guernsey, a soccer pitch in Luxembourg, a rugby pitch in The Hague. It was a potent point.

How many county teams have trained under lights or on former sod in the premises of a 'rival code'? How many of the games played by All Stars in far flung such as Argentina and Hong Kong take place on fields consecrated in the GAA?

How many clubs have TV screens in their bar which don't show soccer and rugby matches? How many clubs have a membership that is pristine pure in the matter of not having 'bad thoughts' about other sports? How many GAA members wouldn't feel some form of mortification if the national soccer team were forced in their martyrdom to trudge off to Cardiff or Manchester to play a major game.

How many of those unmortified, unabashed souls think that the scenario just outlined would do the GAA no harm, that if the game had to be played in Britain the young people of Ireland would lose faith in soccer, turn off their TVs , make a pyre of their replica shirts and come in their droves back to the arms of the GAA fundamentalist who stood firm and who banished those soccer snakes from our shores. How many? Just asking.

Back in 2001, the £60 million which arrived the day before the debate certainly succeeded in marginalising the argument about fiscal pragmatism. A few years on, with the Governmental chequebook having been re-opened and with corporate and premium levels on the Cusask Stand side of the stadium being resold, the money argument still won't have centre stage - which is a pity.

A few years ago the Meath County Board, no backwoodsmen but no freethinking radicals either, passed a motion which suggested that any revenues taken from renting Croke Park should be passed on to county boards for disbursement. The trickledown proposal has huge merits.

The GAA is like a castle in the air. In Ireland, if you want to have a row with a soccer bigot (easily as numerous and certainly more venomous than the big bluff GAA bigot) you need only enter into a comparative discussion of facilities.

Soccer is ramshackle from top to bottom with a few exceptions. The GAA has forced its way not only into the centre of most communities hearts but into the physical centre of those communities too. Club houses and sports centres and fields.

"Yeah," the soccer bigot will hiss, "sure ye don't pay your players". It's more than that though. It's a tradition of volunteerism and free effort which provides so much energy and drive that most clubs are able to engage in a constant double act of fundraising and team training. It's draining and it's waning though. Just running a team costs more these days than ever before. Pro sports people get tax breaks. GAA players don't. The kid who walks through the gate holding a hurley and a helmet to start paying in mini leagues - surely the most distinctively cultural act left to us on this homogenised island - that kid's parents get no tax break on the hurley, helmet or sliotar, nothing to redress the constant bombardment of Sky soccer hype and glamour.

Games are expensive to run, clubhouses and dressingrooms are expensive to keep going. Volunteers are harder and harder to find. The GAA is in danger of turning into this big inert organisation of prawn sandwich eaters, filled with sated people who enjoy getting the lift to their box or their premium seat, but who won't sit on committees or take teams or even give lifts.

Forget about whether Croke Park's mortgage needs servicing, the rent money would give the grassroots volunteers a bit of a break, a little jump-start to lift them out of the shadow of debt, a chance to channel their energies back into the games they love. Maybe it would put coaches into schools, maybe it would build hurling walls in clubs that need them, maybe it would resurface a few pitches.

We can argue forever over whether your grandfather or my grandfather would be spinning clockwise or anti-clockwise if David Beckham ever played in Croke Park. The true GAA person will be just quietly getting on with it, slightly embarrassed to look certain friends in the eye, slightly disheartened that the gradient ain't getting any less steep.

Now, when those people finally lose faith and walk away, that will be truly unedifying.




© The Irish Times

gspain
21/02/2005, 11:57 AM
Like I said, I was open to correction and this is a fair point. I think this is a local thing as much as anything else rather than an institutional one. If the GAA is such a fan of national liberation - which I have a feeling is window dressing more than anything else - then why doesn't my local GAA club - Dublin 6W - have any rallies or anything? Sinn Fein topped the poll in Dublin South West, they wouldn't be short on supporters. I think they don't because the area isn't Tyrone which has been a violent county for centuries. If Ireland was perfect, the GAA would be an outstanding organisation and lead the way in shunning the Shinners. Ireland's not perfect and the GAA is nothing without its grassroots. If HQ on Jones' Road tells Crossmaglen to start being nice to British soldiers and to publicly come out against the IRA, I don't think it would go down well. I'm not an apologist for the actions of the IRA or the GAA but I think what you're talking about is a local thing, both GAA and IRA, and not an institutional one.

Did the GAA not remove the ban on security forces playing relatively recently? It's not exactly the big bang but it's something.

I will accept that the GAA got rid of Rule 21 and fair play there.

I should also point out in fairness that they subsequently stopped pro IRA motions going to Congress in the early 80's - 82 I think. I also appreciate the GAA in NI is very different to that down here however it is one organisation and the nutters in cork or Waterford would outdo anything from Tyrone or Armagh. However I think an opportunity was missed to express support for a peaceful "re-integration of the national territory" or whatever the GAA constitution calls it.

I also have no doubt that a GAA club in Dublin 6W or Laois or Kerry is concerned with the price of jerseys or trying to get a team out on a sunday rather than the "Struggle for national liberation"

However it is a minority of bigots that give the association a bad name and they obviously have huge power.

Interestingly Paddy Power have the odds of Croke Park staying closed at 4/6. 11/10 to open up.

http://www.paddypower.com/betaction=show_type_by_main_market&category=SPECIALS&ev_class_id=58&id=3511

Donal81
21/02/2005, 12:20 PM
[QUOTE=gspain]I will accept that the GAA got rid of Rule 21 and fair play there.

I should also point out in fairness that they subsequently stopped pro IRA motions going to Congress in the early 80's - 82 I think. I also appreciate the GAA in NI is very different to that down here however it is one organisation and the nutters in cork or Waterford would outdo anything from Tyrone or Armagh. However I think an opportunity was missed to express support for a peaceful "re-integration of the national territory" or whatever the GAA constitution calls it.

I also have no doubt that a GAA club in Dublin 6W or Laois or Kerry is concerned with the price of jerseys or trying to get a team out on a sunday rather than the "Struggle for national liberation"

However it is a minority of bigots that give the association a bad name and they obviously have huge power.[QUOTE]

I was in the Ardoyne once and came across a mural in a republican area of people playing GAA. The mural said something like "this is our culture." The GAA is the probably the biggest organisation in Ireland and if people in Ardoyne choose to use the GAA as a symbol of defiance/pride/hatred, there isn't much we can do about it, such is the make up of Ireland. I wouldn't say that the GAA is full of bigots but rather that it doesn't seem to want to interfere with the grassroots level. I find the examples that you use fairly twisted and can see why you don't like them but I don't think it's bigotry at an institutional level and I don't think they have huge power either at a national level.

lopez
21/02/2005, 3:12 PM
The IRA;s stated aim is to overthrow the government of this state and establish a 32 county All Ireland ruled by them. I never stated it was the GAA's maim but in supporting the struggle for national liberation they are supporting the IRA.Myers quoted the motion and he hardly got it wrong. It was not refuted.
First you said: 'Are the following acceptable or examples of bigotry. 1) Official policy to "Support the struggle for national liberation" ' Well is closing down your sporting fixtures not 'in defence of the Union' also acceptable or bigotry? I've yet to see NIRFC or other Ulster clubs refute this. Maybe they have. Maybe they haven't.

Then you said: 'The "struggle for national liberation" was clearly meant to refer to the IRA. Yes I have a big problem with that. That struggle also aims to overthrow this state.' This implies that the GAA were supporting the overthrow of the state. I don't support the IRA nor its post GFA activities of running sectors of the O6C like parts of Mogadishu where the will of local warlords decide whether it's a kneecapping or having your neck throat and head stamped on, as with Robert McCartney, but I do support the 'struggle for national liberation' if that means the all-Ireland state denied in 1918. Far from getting it right, Myers' article - as with so much of his sh*te, be it the provos, immigration or 'B*stards' - does not detail in what respect this was argued. Indeed, he accepts that those three important letters were never even mentioned in the debate, but nudge nudge, wink wink, we all know what was argued.

'It's true that no mention of the IRA was made in this motion; nor was it necessary. The "struggle for national liberation" had then and has now only one meaning - and that was the terrorist campaign by the IRA.'

Well actually, some of us like our evidence a little bit more substantial than that. And indeed most of us are not going to sell out our country because parts of its nationalism has been hijacked by violence over the past 30 years - violence for which Myers and others like Ruth Dudley Edwards are quick to point to its present, disgusting state rather than what actually gave birth to it all. After all the remaining remnants of the IRA were told in 1961 to destroy their guns: The war was unequivically over and they were defeated as much by apathy as by the governments of Britain and Ireland.

And so the questions I'd like to ask is: Was it that the GAA becomes unconditionally the athletic wing of the Provos? Does it support the violent struggle for national liberation without Dublin? Does it support the violent struggle for national liberation according to Dublin? Does it support - a la Gandhi - the non-violent struggle for national liberation? Is it just a sop to people like Crossmaglen Rangers and the Ulster Board whose grounds (Casement Park) were 'billeted' by what to me, let alone them, is an army of occupation. (BTW: How many IRA rallies have there been at CR's grounds in the past three decades?). If anything, the GAA's statement opened the door for the UDA/UVF/'Crown Forces' to legitimise the assasination of the association's members in NI, something else which escapes Myers own fantastic ANALysis.

Eire06
22/02/2005, 8:06 AM
To get right back to the origional point again......

The FAI seem to be gettin an awful lot of well deserved critism over the whole stadium issue but the IRFU don't seem to be gettin any of the blame..... Whats the story there?
I think everyone just loves to hate the FAI cause they seem to mess everything up.... And the IRFU are usually quite composed... but still there is the two of them in it

monutdfc
22/02/2005, 8:48 AM
To get right back to the origional point again......

The FAI seem to be gettin an awful lot of well deserved critism over the whole stadium issue but the IRFU don't seem to be gettin any of the blame..... Whats the story there?
I think everyone just loves to hate the FAI cause they seem to mess everything up.... And the IRFU are usually quite composed... but still there is the two of them in it
Eh, I think you'll find that the IRFU have their own stadium, albeit a bit of a ramshackle one by today's standards (built before professionalism which helps with the cashflow).

Anyone any idea how much the FAI grossed from Euro 88, Italia 90, USA 94 and Japan-Korea 00? There is this impression around that they should have built a stadium with this money. Now, I'm no fan of the FAI and they seem to be experts in throwing money away, but would the money from those tournaments plus qualifiers have gone anywhere near to building a stadium? I doubt it, but I'd love to see the actual figures.

Eire06
22/02/2005, 11:27 AM
Eh, I think you'll find that the IRFU have their own stadium, albeit a bit of a ramshackle one by today's standards (built before professionalism which helps with the cashflow).
.

I know they have a stadium but its hardly worth talkin about compared to other teams of their level.. They are going to be without a home too while its being done up...

Schumi
22/02/2005, 1:43 PM
Anyone any idea how much the FAI grossed from Euro 88, Italia 90, USA 94 and Japan-Korea 00? There is this impression around that they should have built a stadium with this money. Now, I'm no fan of the FAI and they seem to be experts in throwing money away, but would the money from those tournaments plus qualifiers have gone anywhere near to building a stadium? I doubt it, but I'd love to see the actual figures.
I think the money from one or other of the finals tournaments was put at 3 million which wouldn't go too far towards a new stadium.

lopez
22/02/2005, 7:23 PM
...Anyone any idea how much the FAI grossed from Euro 88, Italia 90, USA 94 and Japan-Korea 00? There is this impression around that they should have built a stadium with this money. Now, I'm no fan of the FAI and they seem to be experts in throwing money away, but would the money from those tournaments plus qualifiers have gone anywhere near to building a stadium? I doubt it, but I'd love to see the actual figures.They would have been throwing away the money if they spent it on a stadium. As I stated earlier, what other FAs in Europe have their own stadium? They either use clubs' grounds or have the government build the stadiums for them. In the rest of the world where the game is not the most popular - eg: the US - other sports accomodate them.

gspain
23/02/2005, 10:13 AM
Just to confirm I've spoken with my uncle who attended most home and away rugby games thorughout the 70's and 80's. GSTQ was never played for an Ireland team away even by mistake. It was most likely a royal visitor to Cardiff.

Note ist is still policy to play GSTQ and fly the UJ for home games in NI.

Donal81
24/02/2005, 3:13 PM
They would have been throwing away the money if they spent it on a stadium. As I stated earlier, what other FAs in Europe have their own stadium? They either use clubs' grounds or have the government build the stadiums for them. In the rest of the world where the game is not the most popular - eg: the US - other sports accomodate them.

Very true, I can't think of any FA that owns their own completely. When I say on this thread that the FAI has itself to blame for not having its own stadium, I mean that it hasn't come up with one viable, smart and workable idea, there have been no organised campaigns, no publicity, no leaflets, no articulate spokesperson to call on the Government to do something. Instead of moving forward, it's remained static and is in no better position than it was FIFTEEN YEARS AGO when we went to Italy. While people were in boardrooms coming up with the Stade de France and the Millenium Stadium, Milo Corcoran and Brendan Menton were arranging our next friendly tour of the USA or Eastern Europe.

While the IRFU were coming up with a 10 year business plan in order to grow rugby around the country, to make the move to professionalism, to bring the Irish players home from Britain, to develop sponsorship, etc, people were taking personal loans from the FAI's coffers and they were flogging rights to Sky Sports. This is why the FAI and those who support Irish soccer are left in this situation. It's not the Government, it's not the GAA, it's not rule 42. Croke Park is only the immediate issue. It stems from the above.

There hasn't been one iota of vision in the FAI since I've been following international football that hasn't been immediately subsumed into the organisation's base level incompetence.

gspain
24/02/2005, 5:01 PM
Very true, I can't think of any FA that owns their own completely. When I say on this thread that the FAI has itself to blame for not having its own stadium, I mean that it hasn't come up with one viable, smart and workable idea, there have been no organised campaigns, no publicity, no leaflets, no articulate spokesperson to call on the Government to do something. Instead of moving forward, it's remained static and is in no better position than it was FIFTEEN YEARS AGO when we went to Italy. While people were in boardrooms coming up with the Stade de France and the Millenium Stadium, Milo Corcoran and Brendan Menton were arranging our next friendly tour of the USA or Eastern Europe.

While the IRFU were coming up with a 10 year business plan in order to grow rugby around the country, to make the move to professionalism, to bring the Irish players home from Britain, to develop sponsorship, etc, people were taking personal loans from the FAI's coffers and they were flogging rights to Sky Sports. This is why the FAI and those who support Irish soccer are left in this situation. It's not the Government, it's not the GAA, it's not rule 42. Croke Park is only the immediate issue. It stems from the above.

There hasn't been one iota of vision in the FAI since I've been following international football that hasn't been immediately subsumed into the organisation's base level incompetence.

I know I got slaughtered for this before but i'll say it again. the F.A.I. did have plans for a stadium - Eircom Park and it was plans without any government funding. they made the right deciison to drop it in favour of Abbottstown but hadn't banked on the government changing its mind. there were numerous petitions etc re a national stadium. i remember one which included a Casino in Phoenix Park.

There was never apot of gold from the major championships and no national association generrates the kind of funding required for amajor stadium without state help. Rememebr stadia are not good business ventures. From a business perspective they don't make sense.

Now the F.A.I. is far from perfect but consider a few more facts outside of the stadium issue.

We have a country with a population of 3.7 million and domestic league that is ranked in the bottom 20% in europe.

1) Our national team is currently ranked 12th in the world

2) We've qualified for 3 of the last 4 world cups

3) Football is by far the largest participant sport in the country and has been for the last 19 years Indeed even in Kerry which is a GAA heartland there are more people playing Association Football than Gaelic Football.

4) We've had huge success at underage and a steady stream of talent coming through.

5) Organised coached teams playing regular football in regular seasons week in week out and both underage and adult levels across the country.

6) Sports TV viewing figures for RTE indicate that in 14 of the past 15 years the biggest audiences have been football matches. In many of those years Internationals would have twice the viewing figures of the gaelic All Ireland (biggest GAA game)

The weaknesses as i see them are

1) Our domestic league is miles behind the GAA and provincial rugby fro ma marketing and funding point of view.

2) As a spectator sport outside of the national team again we are miles behind the GAA (I don't count a barstool and Sky Sports as being a spectator)

3) Facilities - getting better right around the country but by and large not up to the level of the GAA clubs.

gspain
24/02/2005, 9:26 PM
There was any number of things that could have happened apart from the economy taking a downturn, FF could've been dumped out at the subsequent election and a Rainbow Coalition binned the project - they were hostile to the whole concept anyway.

and nothig to do with Mary and her 8 seats telling Bertie with his ~80 who wears the trousers in government. :D

Sad because I still believe it was the right decision to build it in the first place if only they hadn't wasted so much money on feasibility stidues and just built the thing.

Donal81
25/02/2005, 10:07 AM
[QUOTE=gspain]I know I got slaughtered for this before but i'll say it again. the F.A.I. did have plans for a stadium - Eircom Park and it was plans without any government funding. they made the right deciison to drop it in favour of Abbottstown but hadn't banked on the government changing its mind. there were numerous petitions etc re a national stadium. i remember one which included a Casino in Phoenix Park.

There was never apot of gold from the major championships and no national association generrates the kind of funding required for amajor stadium without state help. Rememebr stadia are not good business ventures. From a business perspective they don't make sense.[QUOTE=gspain]

I was going to mention Eircom Park but didn't think that anyone would treat that as a measure of the FAI's ambition. They made a cute little model stadium and talked about it for a while and then cried wolf when Abbotstown was binned.

Gspain, I'm not saying it's a piece of p!ss to build a stadium but the FAI have never put together any professional lobbying campaign to really get it underway, never put forward a decent, workable concrete proposal.

Why didn't they come to the Government after Euro 88? After Italia 90? Any time during the 1990s? All those years, all that money wasted. That's why I struggle to understand why fans choose to throw their abuse at the GAA for the possible lack of a stadium.

Sunnyside Up
25/02/2005, 1:09 PM
Ya but thats not in Croke park...

I know a lot of people that would take great offence in God save the queen being played there and theyre reason is that they are still bitter about Bloody Sunday and it would be disrespectful the memory of the people who were killed by the black and tans

That has nothing to do with it. GSTQ was played at Croke Park during the special Olympics.

However, if you cast your mind back, the FAI refused to play GSTQ at Lansdowne Road when England played Ireland in the Euro 92 Qualifier. Meanwhile the English did play Amhran na Bhfiann at Wembley in the return fixture. But of course such facts will rarely stop the soccer fraternity in this country from any opportunity at calling the GAA backwoodsmen rednecks living in the past. That is the only bigotry on display here.

Another point - Croke Park is already set up so that floodlights can be added at any time. Were they not installed for the Special Olympics.

The final myth is that taxpayers paid for Croke Park. What funds that were given came from the National Lottery which is not a forced taxation but rather something set up so that the proceeds go to Sport. All sports in this country have benifed from Lottery money - a tonne was ploughed into Dalymount Park and that fiasco of a stadium Shamrock Rovers are trying to build in Tallagh. At least the funds that did go to Croke Park were put to good use.

As well as that, the government has received more money back from the GAA, in returns to the exchequor than they have given. The funds given to Croker have provided a nice Return on Investment for the Government. It's what you call business. If you invest money in something and gain, well that's your good fortune. If you throw money at something useless (choose which ever failed FAI venture of your choice) then you lose.

Eire06
25/02/2005, 2:45 PM
That has nothing to do with it. GSTQ was played at Croke Park during the special Olympics.

However, if you cast your mind back, the FAI refused to play GSTQ at Lansdowne Road when England played Ireland in the Euro 92 Qualifier. Meanwhile the English did play Amhran na Bhfiann at Wembley in the return fixture. But of course such facts will rarely stop the soccer fraternity in this country from any opportunity at calling the GAA backwoodsmen rednecks living in the past. That is the only bigotry on display here.


Ok firstly if you read the WHOLE thread you will see in an earlier post I actually asked was it played at the Special Olymics...

And It must be a factor because people are using it as there arguement against opening Croker. (there was a whole debate on the last word about it) So yes it has something to do with it.. This is my first post which you seemed to skipped conviently over. I asked the question too see had this arguement any legs to stand on ( had it been played there before)



Apparantly one of the biggest problems for people against opening Croker is that the don't want God save the Queen played there and the thought of a union Jack flying over croker is just wrong....

But would it not have been there at the special Olympics, was the anthem played there, if an english participant won it prob was... Anyone know??


At another point if you read the post you will see it is not my opinion that I am posting 'Apparantly one of the biggest problems for people' kinda gives that away don't you think.. I have not come to a decision ( Not that it matters) yet on the matter, i don't like to jump to conclusions when I don't know all the facts :mad:

England playing Amhran na Bhfiann and Ireland playing GSTQ are two different things Ireland never tried to take over England now did we :mad:

At that I fully support the GAA in whatever decision they choose I will think it is a shame if we have to go abroad to play home matches.. and have never refered to them as 'backwoodsmen rednecks ' neither would I I'm extremly proud of what they have achieved and what they have done for this country

gspain
25/02/2005, 3:40 PM
That has nothing to do with it. GSTQ was played at Croke Park during the special Olympics.

However, if you cast your mind back, the FAI refused to play GSTQ at Lansdowne Road when England played Ireland in the Euro 92 Qualifier. Meanwhile the English did play Amhran na Bhfiann at Wembley in the return fixture. But of course such facts will rarely stop the soccer fraternity in this country from any opportunity at calling the GAA backwoodsmen rednecks living in the past. That is the only bigotry on display here.

Another point - Croke Park is already set up so that floodlights can be added at any time. Were they not installed for the Special Olympics.

The final myth is that taxpayers paid for Croke Park. What funds that were given came from the National Lottery which is not a forced taxation but rather something set up so that the proceeds go to Sport. All sports in this country have benifed from Lottery money - a tonne was ploughed into Dalymount Park and that fiasco of a stadium Shamrock Rovers are trying to build in Tallagh. At least the funds that did go to Croke Park were put to good use.

As well as that, the government has received more money back from the GAA, in returns to the exchequor than they have given. The funds given to Croker have provided a nice Return on Investment for the Government. It's what you call business. If you invest money in something and gain, well that's your good fortune. If you throw money at something useless (choose which ever failed FAI venture of your choice) then you lose.

GSTQ was not played in 1990 due to a mixup between the 2 FAs. There was a deal with the IFA not to play either national anthem before the RoI v NI games. GSTQ was played before the friendly match at Lansdowne in 1995 and unfortunately booed by a small section of the crowd. This remains the only time I can remember where Irish fans have not respected an opponents anthem. I was at the game in 78 too but was only a kid and can't remember if GSTQ was played but I assume it was.

GSTQ is played at England rugby Internationals and respected.

If you think not playing an anthem before a game even comes close to the bigotry of the gAA you must be sick.

Public money paid for half of Croke Park at least. Yes most of it is lottery funding but that is still public money and a tax and those who weren't very good at maths in school. The grants given to Dalymount and Tallaght are a pittance in comparison. Remember the GAA have also got susbtantial grants in relation to other developments. The grants for Lansdowne do equate to those for Croke Park however the government is also taking a stake for the taxpayer in the stadium.

Thunderblaster
25/02/2005, 7:56 PM
Croke Park should be opened up as a certain amount of taxpayers money went into the redevelopment and a point to remember-not all taxpayers are G.A.A. supporters. It seems to be inappropiate that the G.A.A. allows American Football to be played in Croke Park and Compromise Rules Football, which is technically NOT an Irish game. The G.A.A promotes Greyhound Racing on the advertising hoardings and Greyhound Racing is a British sport. Remember Rule 27 that prohibited members from playing "foreign games"? That rule was enforced with brutal force at schools years ago. The "old stock" would surely have memories of getting beaten for playing soccer or expelled from school. Children did not play Gaelic games out of the love for them-they were forced into it by sheer brutality. Even today, there are children in rural parts of the West of Ireland that sneak out of their homes to play soccer as local G.A.A. clubs puts pressure on the kids to play Gaelic football. The narrow minded bigots that seem to call the shots are very hypocritical on the rule issue. Get rid of the bigots, open up Croke Park and let us all say that sport should be freely enjoyed by our children rather than certain sports being imposed on them a la Rule 27. :ball:

Donal81
26/02/2005, 3:47 AM
Croke Park should be opened up as a certain amount of taxpayers money went into the redevelopment and a point to remember-not all taxpayers are G.A.A. supporters. It seems to be inappropiate that the G.A.A. allows American Football to be played in Croke Park and Compromise Rules Football, which is technically NOT an Irish game. The G.A.A promotes Greyhound Racing on the advertising hoardings and Greyhound Racing is a British sport. Remember Rule 27 that prohibited members from playing "foreign games"? That rule was enforced with brutal force at schools years ago. The "old stock" would surely have memories of getting beaten for playing soccer or expelled from school. Children did not play Gaelic games out of the love for them-they were forced into it by sheer brutality. Even today, there are children in rural parts of the West of Ireland that sneak out of their homes to play soccer as local G.A.A. clubs puts pressure on the kids to play Gaelic football. The narrow minded bigots that seem to call the shots are very hypocritical on the rule issue. Get rid of the bigots, open up Croke Park and let us all say that sport should be freely enjoyed by our children rather than certain sports being imposed on them a la Rule 27. :ball:

Can we get past this notion that those opposed to soccer in Croker are bigots? "The narrow minded bigots that seem to call the shots": Rule 42 is going to Congress with different motions having been put forward by 11 counties. Sean Kelly, the head of the GAA, is clearly in favour of soccer in Croker, does he not call at least some of the shots?

For the millionth time, calling the GAA bigots will get soccer fans nowhere. There are undoubtedly rednecks in the GAA as there are soccer rednecks and rugby rednecks in the FAI and IRFU, respectively. But to assume that soccer in Croker is simply being held up by bigots is just missing the GAA's point. 40-50% of GAA members are against opening the stadium up, are they all bigots?

wexfordclockend
26/02/2005, 3:48 PM
Hurling site debates this issueHurlers (http://www.anfearrua.com/db/default.asp?a=topicdisplay&tid=120337)
More posts on the above site if you search...

Hopefully those who can't stand the GAA & it's sports will not attend Croker soccer matches!

Leaving more tickets for real fans, even those who follow Hurling & a certain London soccer club!

Sunnyside Up
26/02/2005, 8:48 PM
3) I think there is no doubt who Peter Canavan supports however the problem is not allowing Peter Canavan to play gaelic but in allowing him to play politics with the Sam Maguire Cup and to appear on SF election material in GAA kit displaying the GAA logo without comment or censure.

First of all, Peter Canavan did not have his GAA kit on. As an amateur player he can surely support whatever party he wants.

Secondly, the FAI have had no problem taking money from Sinn Fein and not so long ago have run an ad in an official ROI soccer program.

Thirdly, Irish soccer grounds have been used for Sinn Fein fundraisers.