IRA medals may lead to cuts in funding
THE row over a local GAA club’s ‘IRA’ medals continues to rumble after it was raised at the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The medals given to the Under-12 boys at Galbally Pearses Club in Tyrone featured Martin McCaughey.
He and IRA man Dessie Grew were shot dead by the SAS in October 1990.
The deaths caused controversy in Northern Ireland prompting allegations of a “shoot to kill” policy, when it was revealed that neither of them had fired a shot during the incident, leading to claims that the SAS had opened fire on the men without making any attempt to arrest them.
Last week at the Northern Ireland Assembly, TUP MLA Jim Allister asked the Minister of Culture whether the decision to award the medals would have any impact on future applications for funding from the club.
Minister Ní Chuilín replied: “I am aware of reports in the media that an individual has raised an issue over medals awarded by Galbally Pearses GAC following a recent GAA football blitz. Responsibility for the provision of medals at sporting events is wholly a matter for clubs and the relevant sports governing body.
“I understand that, in this case, the Tyrone County Board has agreed to look into the matter if it receives an approach from the individual concerned.”
The minister went on to say that clubs had to satisfy an equity clause before they could receive funding.
“Sport NI is responsible for the distribution of funding to sport in the north of Ireland. The assessment of funding applications from sporting organisations, including Galbally Pearses GAC, and decisions relating to eligibility are, therefore, wholly a matter for Sport NI.
“Sport NI funding programmes have an equity clause as a standard condition of their grants and I expect that future applications from all sporting clubs and organisations will be required to satisfy the terms of that clause.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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