Wednesday 23 August 2017

Donegal demand Ó Fearghail retracts 'offensive' anthem comments

Two leading Donegal officials – chairman Sean Dunnion and outgoing children’s officer Mick McGrath – defended the president and claimed he had been “misquoted” in Dubai. Stock photo: Sportsfile
Two leading Donegal officials – chairman Sean Dunnion and outgoing children’s officer Mick McGrath – defended the president and claimed he had been “misquoted” in Dubai. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Donegal GAA is to send a resolution to Croke Park calling on president Aogán Ó Fearghail to retract recent comments "regarding the national anthem and the flag".

The call was made by Bundoran delegate Michael McMahon at yesterday's County Convention.

On the All-Stars tour to Dubai, Ó Fearghail said the flying of the Tricolour and the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann could be reviewed in the future. The Cavan man rowed back on the comments last weekend, insisting that the anthem and flag are "very much part and parcel of our culture, very much valued by us and a key part of our heritage and will remain".

The initial comments sparked widespread debate and McMahon, a former Sinn Féin town councillor in Bundoran, proposed that Donegal deliver a resolution to Croke Park on "offensive" remarks.

The proposal was seconded by Robert Emmets delegate Gerry Rush.

"He made statements that weren't with the GAA in the context of the flag," McMahon said. "It is a very serious situation. He said something serious and derogatory, which could have serious effect to our culture as a country.

"The emigrants of this country were very upset by the Uachtarán's comments. The anthem and the flag are pure to us. We need to send a message that no way should the flag or the anthem be interfered with."

Two leading Donegal officials - chairman Sean Dunnion and outgoing children's officer Mick McGrath - defended the president and claimed he had been "misquoted" in Dubai.

Mr Dunnion said: "I want to defend the Uachtarán. I spoke to him. He was misquoted in Dubai. He has given the clarification.

"There is no threat to the anthem or flag as far as we are concerned."

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