Saturday 24 February 2018

Gaelic Players Association to back Yes vote in marriage equality referendum

Donal Cusack
Donal Cusack
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The Gaelic Players Association is to formally declare its support for a Yes vote in the forthcoming Marriage Referendum.

The inter-county players body has undertaken a poll of its 2,100 plus membership, asking whether or not a show of public support for a Yes vote should be made.

The response in favour of a public declaration of support was six to one. A statement is expected to be issued next week.

The declaration could cause controversy as the GAA has rules in place governing its non-political status.

Rule 1.11 of the Official Guide states "the association shall be non-party political" and that no committee, club, Council or representative can take part in any party political movement.

The GPA are likely to stress their independence from the GAA even though they are the official GAA players' body and are funded by the GAA to the tune of almost 2m euro each year to provide a range of services for their inter-county members.

The current GPA chairman Donal Og Cusack was the first openly gay GAA player when he came out in 2008.

A number of high profile GAA players have already publicly voiced their support for the 'Yes' campaign.

Donegal footballer Eamonn McGee made his sentiment known in March and has taken an active role in the campaign since then.

Dublin full-back Rory O'Carroll has also been campaigning and was pictured in Croke Park after Sunday's League final triumph holding up a 'Yes' badge.

He won't face any sanction over the photograph.

Last March leading football referee David Gough was prevented from wearing a rainbow wrist-band to raise awareness of the 'Yes' campaign during the Dublin/Tyrone League match in Croke Park that he took charge of because of the GAA's Rule 1.11.

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