>> 8 Sep 2004

Gaa-Gaa for a New Stadium

It looks increasingly likely that Northern Ireland will be granted a new national stadium. Quite where the term 'national' fits in with separatist desires to destroy the Province, I'm not sure. The other positive is the likelihood of the new stadium being sited on the location of the old Maze prison. It was wholly inappropriate to suggest converting a penal institution for terrorist dregs into a museum where the apologists for those same dregs would have ample opportunity to put their propaganda skills to work.

What I find disturbing is the Government's apparent willingness to only consider a stadium if it had the backing of Ulster's GAA clubs. Asking for the backing of the GAA is akin to directly approaching 'Slab' Murphy to seek his consent for the project. GAA is a disgustingly partisan sport: the stadia are often named after IRA terrorists; the foreign flag of the Irish Republic is flown at matches; and, until recently, members of the police and HM Armed Forces were barred from membership (though I'm sure no self-respecting members of the security services would have wished to soil their reputations by mixing with GAA rabble).

The Government decreed that backing from the football and rugby associations in Northern Ireland would be insufficient to merit unswerving support for the stadium. The prols of the GAA fraternity had to give their endorsement. I cannot imagine any US Government adopting ideas from the Ku Klux Klan for a community centre in Alabama to be alternately used by the Klan and a southern black fraternity. Bearing that in mind, letting GAA members continue their sporting shenanigans at Croke Park is eminently preferable.


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