right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken
wonder the GAA keeps its rule 21
IN response to M Rainey’s spurious diatribe against the GAA (equating loyalist sectarianism at Windsor Park with the GAA’s rule 21) in Friday’s Irish News, I really don’t think the two are comparable at all.
We have here is more of the Trimble-style “If the nationalists are getting something then I have to invent something that unionists ‘demand’ to balance things”.
The GAA bars members of the RUC and British army.
It therefore discriminates against organisations and not individuals.
The GAA has no rules barring members of any Protestant faith, people of British cultural background or anyone of a unionist political persuasion.
All are welcome... except members of those two organisations.
They are barred because their organisations are squatting on GAA land throughout the north; and because they are hostile to Irish culture in general and the GAA in particular.
Members of those organisations have been involved in beatings, torture and other human rights abuses against the community from which the GAA draws its membership.
No acknowledgment or apology for these abuses has ever been received; and few abusers have faced the courts, never mind been convicted.
Worse: many members of the GAA and of their families have been murdered by members of those organisations.
No-one has been convicted of most of these murders.
Is it any wonder that the GAA is not enamoured of the RUC/BA?
If those organisations gave back the GAA property they’ve ‘stolen’; became more friendly to Irish culture; and at least apologised for the murders of innocent GAA members, then the GAA could reconsider rule 21... but not until.
There is no comparison between naked religious sectarianism at Windsor Park and the bar on violent human-rights abusers in place in the GAA’s rule 21.
CIARAN IRVINE, Galway
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