herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

We must be neutral - GAA after stars back 'no' repeal campaign

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte filmed an anti-repeal advert
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte filmed an anti-repeal advert

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.

Private

"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 GAA All-Ireland champion Eamon McGee helped to launch the Donegal Together for Yes campaign at the weekend.

Mr McGee has said he is acting in a private capacity.

On Saturday, a group called GAA Athletes for a No Vote launched in Dublin.

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

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

In a statement, De La Salle GAA club said it was now aware of the event, which took place near its grounds.

It said that, as the GAA club in the community where the launch took place and in response to questions from its members, it wanted to make clear its position.

"The club is in no way associated with the launch," it said.

"It received no communication from anyone involved with the launch and, in fact, the club only became aware of the launch from press reports."

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

Breach

De La Salle confirmed no club facilities were used in the launch.

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

According to the GAA's rulebook, the association is non-party political.

"No committee, club, council or representative thereof shall take part, as such, in any party political movement," it says.

It is 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.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News