Friday 17 August 2018

GAA to review recent cases as stars take sides in Eighth referendum

  • GAA tells secretaries of all 32 counties on the island that it is an organisation that should have no political involvement
  • Move comes as a number of GAA players and figureheads have taken public positions on the referendum
  • GAA will now review a number of recent cases to ensure they did not breach its policy of remaining non-partisan
A number of GAA players and figureheads have taken public positions on the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment
A number of GAA players and figureheads have taken public positions on the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment
Stock picture
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte. Photo: Sportsfile
Anne Marie McDonagh
Eamon McGee
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The GAA has told secretaries of all 32 counties on the island that it is an organisation that should have no political involvement.

It comes as a number of GAA players and figureheads have taken public positions on the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Among them are Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, who featured in an advertisement urging people to vote against repealing the amendment.

The video, in which Mr Harte speaks to the camera, was filmed at a GAA ground.

"I'm encouraging you to vote No, to save the Eighth Amendment," he says in the ad.

On the opposing side of the debate, Donegal All-Ireland champion Eamon McGee helped to launch the Donegal Together for Yes campaign over the weekend. He said he was acting in a private capacity.

On Saturday, a group called GAA Athletes for a No Vote held a launch event in Dublin.

The group included Mr Harte, Joe Sheridan of Meath, Patrick Gallagher of Antrim, Aoife Cassidy, Derry's All-Ireland camogie winning captain, and AnneMarie McDonagh, of Galway.

The group organised a "skills and training session" for local children at the launch, which took place at Ballyfermot Sports and Fitness Centre.

In a statement Ballyfermot De La Salle GAA club said they were aware of the event, which took place near their grounds.

They said as the local GAA club in the community where the launch took place and in response to questions from members, the club wanted to make clear their position.

"The club is in no way associated with [the] launch. It received no communication in advance from anyone involved with the launch and, in fact, the club only became aware of the launch from press reports."

The club added it would be "wholly inappropriate" for them to be involved in the launch as the GAA and its clubs do not become involved in political matters.

It said no club facilities were used in the launch.

It is understood the GAA will now review a number of recent cases to ensure they did not breach its policy of remaining non-partisan.

According to the GAA's rule book, the association is non-party political. "No committee, club, council or representative thereof shall take part, as such, in any party political movement," according to the rules.

It's understood club secretaries will be reminded that no GAA facilities should be used for political campaigning.

There was no response to a request for comment from the GAA last night.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News