A proposal has been made by a GAA club to disallow a British Army GAA team, the Irish Guards, from competing under the London County Board.
The Granuaile club have exercised their right to dispute the Irish Guards’ admission to the league, after the decision was made last September that they should be included.
In 2001, Rule 21 of the GAA was removed. This stated that members of the British security forces were not allowed to be members of the GAA. This longstanding rule, which ran from 1897 to 2001, was abolished and was one of the more divisive issues within the organisation.
According to The Irish Post, London County Board secretary Mark Gottsche sent this email to the clubs informing them of Granuaile’s stance.
A Chara, in accordance with Rule 4.3 Voting T.O. 2015 (p58) I have been requested by Granuaile Hurling Club to notify all members of the London County Committee of their intention to propose the rescindment of the decision to approve the affiliation of the Irish Guards as a club to London County Committee. Could all clubs please ensure that their club delegates are briefed and mandated on this proposal.
The Irish Guards, who will play under the name of Gardaí Éireannach, applied to join as a club several months ago.
At the time of the vote, the county board chairman Noel O’Sullivan spoke of how tricky a situation it is.
“Very simply for me I can see both sides. I can appreciate the way people feel. But we have to move forward, don’t dwell on the past.”
This is likely to cause a lot of controversy, and opens the forum for a debate on an issue which many have been reluctant to talk about.
One London source also admitted to The Irish Post that Granuaile’s proposal to rescind the decision may be viewed negatively.
“The very fact it’s been proposed portrays us in a very bad light.”
It is indeed a divisive issue, and it is likely we have not heard the last of this.