GAA: Let’s remove the Tricolour and Amhràn na bhFiann

Jarlath Burns suggested the flying of the Irish tricolor and the playing of the Irish national anthem before GAA games be scrapped if that would help bring about reconciliation with Unionists.

Who’s Jarlath Burns?

jarlath burns

Former Armagh senior football captain.  Now chairman of the Rules Committee in GAA headquarters at Croke Park. Tipped as a future head of the GAA. Fluent Irish speaker. Member of the Eames-Bradley group that produced a controversial report on dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.

July 2015: he praised the outreach work of the Orange Order – and defended the Order after complaints that an Irish tricolour was not flown at the reopening of its Belfast museum.

When’s the Irish National Anthem played?

In finals and county matches

didn't know

What’s the GAA?

A volunteer led, community based organisation, the GAA – Gaelic Athletic Association / Cumann Lúthchleas Gael  – is a 32 county sporting and cultural organisation that has a presence on all five continents.

It is Ireland’s largest sporting organisation and is celebrated as one of the great amateur sporting associations in the world today.

irish tricolour
Nationalists/Republicans say: A sporting association that fosters an interest in Gaelic games, Gaelic language and culture.

union flag2
Unionists say: Primarily a highly politicised organisation that happens to play traditional Irish sports and promote the Irish language.

Comment: And Loyalists compare it with the Orange Order!!


How would we know if Jarlath Burns’s proposal  successfully brought about reconciliation with Unionists? 

By the number of Unionists taking up GAA sports? By  the establishment of GAA clubs in Loyalist areas like , for example, the Shankill Road in Belfast? Seeing crowds from unionist areas turning up at Clones for an Ulster final? By the number of  Ulster flags  on display at GAA matches?


What does The Mirror think of Jarlath Burns’s proposal?

mirror 3
Here we go!

This citation is adapted to the present argument. It was originally about a black Londoner living in his home town. (see ref)
“It’s a problem that many nationalist/republican people still suffer with even though we aren’t really aware of it. Even though I was no longer trying to identify as being nationalist/republican, I still sought Unionist approval. For some reason everything I did was for the approval of some nameless, faceless Unionist collective.

I wasn’t sure why I needed it, but it didn’t change my feeling that way. It’s an odd thing to understand, and an even odder one to explain, but it is a subtle hangover from colonialism and the great hunger. Since then we have unconsciously been taught by our parents, by others around us, and the general social climate to seek Unionist approval.

It probably started out as fear, but that kind of grip that one group can have by oppressing another is hard to shake. It leads to causing the oppressed to become subservient, and it is taking us a while to recover, and it can end up becoming self-sustaining.

It’s not too dissimilar to seeking the approval of an abusive parent, or partner. Even though there has been all that bad blood you still want them to accept you. It’s kind of messed up”.

It’s what Scottish nationalists call the “cringe response”
An Sionnach Fionn explored the same sort of issues some time ago

The Mirror has often discussed the dysfunctional family of nations in the UK

Comment: Appeasement of Unionism doesn’t seem to be the best approach because we will never gain enough approval.

There will always be more hoops to jump through.

GAA history

Comment:We need to be aware of where we are coming from, where we are going and how to get there.



3 thoughts on “GAA: Let’s remove the Tricolour and Amhràn na bhFiann

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