Monday 5 December 2016

Vincent Hogan: 'Croker belongs to the Irish people -- we're off our knees'

Published 19/05/2011 | 05:00

IN the week before England's rugby team came to play at Croke Park four years ago, Oliver Hughes said their visit would make him proud.

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Out of the great, rattling din of opinion, his voice followed a beautifully simple moral compass. Oliver's brother, Francis, died in 1981 after 59 days on hunger strike at the Maze prison and the Troubles had taken a good number of his Bellaghy friends and neighbours too.

He was vice-chairman of the GAA club now, a committed republican and, frankly, the kind of man you could easily imagine bitterness would have in a clinch.

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