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GAA backs managers' right to call for Yes vote

THE GAA yesterday backed the right of some of its leading managers to advocate a Yes vote in the referendum.

The organisation took the unusual step of releasing a statement after getting calls from members questioning if prominent managers should take a stance on the fiscal treaty.

It came after four All-Ireland winning managers -- Kilkenny's Brian Cody, Dublin's Pat Gilroy, Cork football boss Conor Counihan and former Wexford hurling manager Liam Griffin -- threw their weight behind the Yes campaign, as did former GAA president Christy Cooney.

They were named as patrons of the pro-treaty 'Alliance for Ireland' group at the weekend, leading to some complaints being directed to Croke Park.

The GAA yesterday issued a statement saying members were entitled to take their own positions, but insisting the organisation steers clears of politics.

"The GAA is a non-party political organisation whose individual members may, of course, decide to take positions on political issues in accordance with their own personal views and commitments," the statement from Croke Park said.

Irish Independent