We were outraged today to hear of the inclusion of an RUC/PSNI recruitment ad in yesterday’s All-Ireland Football Final match programme. This is a new low for the GAA, who have been steadily moving further and further away from the ethos of the organisation’s founding fathers in recent years. Since abolishing it’s rule forbidding members of Britain’s occupation forces to play our national games in 2001, we have seen the GAA allow English games to be played in Croke Park, and the ruling British monarch given a tour of the scene of a massacre by her forces in 1920. The present day leadership of the GAA seem to have been afflicted with amnesia, as they seem to have willingly abandoned or forgotten the ideals that the once great organisation was founded upon. It is indeed worrying that the GAA is now assisting the recruitment efforts of those who uphold Britain’s claim over six counties of Ulster and brutalise and harass Republicans on a daily basis.
The leadership of the GAA is allowing itself to be used as part of the process of attempting to normalise British rule in Ireland, a process in which both partitionist governments are complicit. Our revolutionary history is being sanitised and the myth is being spread that Ireland is ‘at peace’ and partition has become accepted. The task facing us is to debunk this dangerous myth. Republicans continue to suffer from harassment, internment and media censorship, none of which are features of a normal, democratic society. Those who don the uniform of the RUC/PSNI are servants of the British state, and whilst attempts are made to present them as an acceptable force to the nationalist community, their primary purpose remains the defense of the undemocratic British statelet of ‘Northern Ireland’. We are of the view that these people should be shunned, and certainly not encouraged in their endeavors by stunts such as that pulled by the GAA yesterday.
The hierarchy of the GAA has, like so many before them, betrayed the principles the organisation was founded on in return for monetary gain. We of Republican Sinn Féin conduct ourselves in total contrast to these quislings. We maintain unbroken continuity to the proclamation of 1916 and the democratic programme of the First Dáil. The RUC/PSNI have no place on a GAA pitch nor should they be endorsed by them. Join with Republican Sinn Féin and stand against this complicit normalisation of foreign rule.
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh/ Maolmhuire Ó Raghallaigh Cumann, Sinn Féin Poblachtach.