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REPUBLICAN SINN FEIN LASH GAA OVER CROKE PARK RUGBY GAME
Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) have reacted angrily to the planned IRELAND V ENGLAND Rugby match to be held at Croke Park in Dublin. Croke Park and all GAA grounds were exclusively devoted to Gaelic Games and the playing of other sports there was prohibited. However in what many regarded as a controversial decision
Cathal Ó Luain pour Celtic League le 24/02/07 19:17

Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) have reacted angrily to the planned IRELAND V ENGLAND Rugby match to be held at Croke Park in Dublin.

Croke Park and all GAA grounds were exclusively devoted to Gaelic Games and the playing of other sports there was prohibited. However in what many regarded as a controversial decision in April 2005 the GAA's congress voted to suspend its Rule 42 ban on "foreign games" to enable the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Rugby Football Union to play their international fixtures at Croke Park while the Lansdowne Road stadium was being rebuilt.

This together with with the lifting of a ban (Rule 21) on membership by those in the British Security forces was seen as hugely offensive by some in Ireland.

To put the situation in context historically the GAA was the focus of repression by the British and Croke Park was the site of an infamous massacre on November 21, 1920. Members of the Auxiliary Division (British police auxiliaries) entered the ground, shooting indiscriminately into the crowd killing 13.

More recently during the conflict in the north many GAA premises have been vandalised and GAA members assaulted and murdered by the British forces.

In a statement RSF Vice President Des Dalton is uncompromising saying:

"This game and the decision to play it in Croke Park on February 24 is all part of the continued efforts to normalise the British occupation of Ireland. British occupation and rule in Ireland will never be either normal or acceptable; consequently the political symbolism of inviting the national team of a country which forcibly occupies part of Ireland to Croke Park is something which Irish Republicans are determined to publicly protest against.

This game, just as any proposed visit by the Queen of England to any part of Ireland, visits by the British military to the 26-Counties or the playing of GAA matches between 26-County military or police teams against British Crown forces are part of this menu of normalisation.

It is our intention to provide a political focus to those wishing to protest at the symbolism involved in the flying of the English flag and the playing of God Save the Queen in Croke Park, the scene of a massacre of Irish people by British forces in 1920. Sadly this event is not simply a matter of history as the political situation which gave rise to it, namely British rule in Ireland remains a political reality. We are determined to ensure that this illegal occupation is never considered acceptable."

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

17/02/07

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)
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