Tuesday 23 October 2018

JJ withdraws medals over British anthem at Croker

Shane Hickey

WRITER and former GAA star JJ Barrett is to withdraw his father's medal collection from the Croke Park museum in a protest against the playing of 'God Save the Queen' at next weekend's Ireland versus England rugby match.

Mr Barrett, whose father Joe won six All-Ireland medals, has written to the director general of the GAA asking that the 23 medals be sent back to him prior to the game.

The move comes as extra measures are being put in place in the run-up to next weekend's match.

The medals in question include National League, Munster and Kerry medals, as well as a War of Independence medal. "I cannot reconcile the provocative words of 'God Save the Queen' being sung in the very stadium where Michael Hogan and others died at the hands of the crown forces on Bloody Sunday," he said. "The words run contrary to our constitution and I believe the GAA should have foreseen this problem when they rented out Croke Park and instead insisted on an 'England's Call'-type musical prelude - the sort we are confined to now when we play away from home."

In a letter to Liam Mulvihill, director general of the GAA, Mr Barrett said the GAA had a "duty of care" to GAA members past and present. "The arrogant war-mongering words of 'God Save the Queen' ringing out over Croke Park is surelypushing the boundaries of tolerance and common sense beyond what is expected in any republic."

Joe Barrett is one of the most acclaimed GAA players of all time as well as being a hero of the War of Independence.

Tomorrow, tourism body Visit Britain will host a function in the players' lounge of Croke Park celebrating English culture.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News