Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

An open letter to the President of the GAA

12 Bealtaine / May 2011

Criostóir Uasal Ó Cuanaigh


Cumann Lúthchleas Gael

Páirc an ChróaighBaile Átha Cliath

A Uachtaráin, a chara,

On behalf of Republican Sinn Féin I wish to place on record our opposition to the invitation which has been extended to the Queen of England to visit Páirc an Chrócaigh.

We object to this visit on the grounds that a visit to any part of Ireland by the head of the British State is inappropriate while that state continues to occupy part of Ireland.

Elizabeth Windsor is head of the British state and holder of the British Crown. This is a state and an institution, which claims sovereignty over six of the nine counties of Ulster, enforcing that claim with an army of occupation.

Furthermore the presence of the Queen of England on the site of a massacre of 14 unarmed Irish citizens –including a 14-year-old boy – by British Crown Forces on November 21, 1920 is particularly offensive. These events are not merely a matter of history but continue to have relevance today because of the continued British occupation of six of the nine counties of Ulster.

The purpose of this visit to the 26-County State is part of a carefully orchestrated campaign designed to normalise the partition and British occupation of Ireland.

The GAA has played and continues to play a pivotal role in the sporting and cultural life of our nation. As Uachtarán of Sinn Féin Poblachtach and also as a member of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael I wish to protest at this hijacking of our Association in support of this campaign of normalising British Rule in Ireland.

The founder of Conradh na Gaeilge Dúbhghlas de hÍde called for the de-anglicising of Ireland. Cumann Lúthchleas Gael was to the fore among the national movements who spearheaded this political, sporting and cultural revolution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This visit contradicts the very principles upon which the GAA was founded.

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 which the Irish people are rightly proud and are a symbol of our nationhood, indeed many of our members are also members of the GAA and rightly take pride in the associations contribution to the sporting, cultural and social life of communities throughout Ireland and the Irish community abroad.

We must not allow this proud history to be turned on its head by allowing our Association to be used in the Anglicisation of Ireland in the 21st Century.

Is mise

Des Dalton


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