Monday 20 February 2017

GAA must reconsider stance on national anthem and flag in event of political realignment in Ireland - Aogán Ó Fearghail

Published 29/11/2016 | 08:18

THE GAA may have to reconsider its use of the national anthem and Irish flag in the event of any future political realignment on the island, according to Aogán Ó Fearghail.

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"You certainly cannot look at these issues in advance of an agreement," the GAA president said. "The flag and the anthem means a lot to the GAA and will continue to do so, but who knows in the future?

"In the future, if there are different agreements in place for the whole of Ireland, of course the GAA would be inclusive in that."

Citing the example of how the European GAA board has rebranded as "the Gaelic Games of Europe", he added: "I think that's an inclusive title that they have chosen deliberately to include their camogie and their football … we have to learn from our international units that we should never have closed minds about things that we always thought were precious and sacred."

Asked what future agreements he was alluding to, Ó Fearghail replied: “There could be further agreements politically at home. There is a massively changing world at home. 'Brexit' is going to affect the GAA the same as it's going to affect everyone else and it does cause concerns. 

"There might well be political realignments on the island of Ireland," he added. "In the future, if there are new agreements and new arrangements, we'd be open-minded about things like flags and anthems - but not in advance of agreements."

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