Row on the airwaves over medals at U12 blitz
Gal...bally Pearses, as the biggest ‘gub’ in the country - Stephen Nolan - called them, caused a bit of a stir last weekend when they awarded medals featuring a picture of 1990 SAS victim Martin McCaughey to the winners of their U12 football blitz.
It’s nothing new for GAA clubs to recognise and honour deceased IRA volunteers and, doubtless, it will not be the last time such an event is making the headlines.
It’s understandably a hot potato for the governing bodies of the sport to deal with, whether it be at county, provincial or national level.
It is obviously an extremely delicate balancing act, trying to cope with those who are upset by this type of commemoration and those who feel it is an eminently appropriate way to honour their dead.
In referring to those who express their dissatisfaction at such happenings, I’m not referrring to people like Lord Morrow, who jumped at the chance to describe it as a step backwards in the broader GAA’s attempts to reach out to the protestant community.
There are a great many within the GAA membership who are understandably much less vocal than Morrow - not least because they are not interested in political point-scoring, but who are genuinely annoyed.
The GAA hierarchy at all levels have yet to come up with a suitable way to deal with these incidents, which crop up time and again and always will do. I’m sure they are more than capable of handling them behind the scenes but they have not developed a method of adequately coping with the media side.
That was evidenced in reported responses, whereby the onus appears to be placed on the mother of one of the medal recipients who anonymously expressed her outrage to the BBC who broke the story on Nolan Show to raise the issue with county board or Ulster Council.
Do I think she will go on the record? My experience of people with such a gripe, however strongly held, says not. But maybe I’m wrong this time.
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Weather for Dungannon
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 6 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North