Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Open letter to the President of the GAA

Nioclás Uasal Ó Braonáin
Cumann Lúthchleas Gael
Páirc an Chrócaigh
Baile Átha Cliath

27ú Feabhra/February 2009

A Uachtaráin, a chara

I am writing to you to reiterate the opposition of Sinn Féin Poblachtach to the hosting of the England rugby team, the flying of the English national flag and the playing of God Save the Queen (English national anthem) in Páirc an Chrócaigh on February 28.

As pointed out in the letter which was handed in to Páirc an Chrócaigh by An tUachtaráin Sinn Féin Poblachtach Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and myself on February 24 2007, such events are part of the process of normalising British rule in our country. The dropping of Rule 21 by the GAA, the playing of Gaelic football matches between 26-County police/army teams and teams representing British forces, British royal visits, so- called ‘courtesy’ visits by British naval vessels to 26-County ports, are also part of this process. This occupation will never be normal or acceptable and such events will always be opposed by Irish Republicans.

Páirc an Chrócaigh is a place of huge cultural and historical significance for the Irish people. The senior All-Ireland hurling and football finals each year are a showcase of our national games and identity of which the Irish people are rightly proud. They symbolise the essential unity the historic Irish nation. Many of our members are also members of the GAA and rightly take pride in the association’s contribution to the sporting, cultural and social life of communities throughout Ireland and the Irish community abroad. I am proud to number myself among the ranks of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael.

The events of Bloody Sunday November 21 1920 when British forces murdered 14 people still have a deep resonance for the Irish people. However the political context within which the events of Bloody Sunday occurred is not a matter of history. As we pointed out two years ago, British rule in Ireland remains a reality. As Irish Republicans we strive for a just and lasting settlement for all of the Irish people. The lesson of Irish history is that British rule must be removed before this can happen.

British rule and the continued partition of Ireland is not normal nor is it acceptable and we would be failing in our duty as Irish Republicans if we did not raise our voice in protest at attempts to pretend that it were so

Is Mise
Des Dalton
Leas Uachtarán

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