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Joe Brolly calls on the GAA to do more to make people of all sexualities feel welcome

Joe Brolly

Joe Brolly has called on the GAA to do more to ensure people of all sexualities feel comfortable in participating in Gaelic games.

The GAA have made efforts in recent times to become more inclusive, with last summer’s “Let’s Get Visible” campaign, which invited all clubs to become allies with the LGBT+ community, perhaps the most high-profile of those efforts.

Gaelic football referee David Gough, the sport’s first openly gay top-level match official, has also done great work in recent times to create a more welcoming environment for people of all sexualities within the GAA.

Former Derry footballer Brolly was speaking on Virgin Media’s Sport Stories and acknowledged that efforts have been made in recent times but argued that people in the GAA community need to do more to make all feel welcome.

Joe Brolly on making all feel welcome.

“There’s another issue that we need to address because it’s extraordinary. Not that anybody should have to come out if they don’t want to,” Brolly said.

“We should all be colourblind, we should all be blind when it comes to people’s sex; lesbian, gay, transgender. It doesn’t make any difference. That’s people’s own business. But I think the GAA has a stronger role to play, in relation to the promotion of that.

“There have been a couple of very high-profile short campaigns by the GAA, but we need to do a lot more to make sure that people are entirely happy in their own skin and that they can participate in the GAA regardless of their sexuality.

“It’s a really, really important thing.”

‘The GAA has a really important role in relation to social matters.’

Brolly has used the GAA as a platform for important issues in the past, most notably to stress the importance of donating organs.

In fact, the Derry man has actually donated a kidney to friend and fellow GAA coach Shane Finnegan as well as spreading the message on the matter, and believes that the GAA can again be used as a platform for important issues.

“I’ll give you a good example. One of the reasons that I was able to spread the message of organ donation so electrifyingly quickly through the country was because I’m a GAA man,” Brolly explained.

“So you don’t know me, but you know me. I can go to a wee club in Donegal and I might not know anybody there, but they know me and I know them. We’re all made of the same stuff.

“The GAA has that ability to communicate because if something important is said by a GAA president or by David Gough or whoever it might be, it goes around the GAA community like wildfire because we’re as thick as thieves.

“The GAA has a really important role in relation to social matters like that.”

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