It took place in the Republican stronghold of Galbally.
Our Culture Minster (Don't laugh) had this to say
"It cannot be right that a sports ground should be used for commemorating and celebrating something as offensive as the whole H-Block episode."
I agree that the Hunger Strike was offensive, offensive by the fact that the British government let 10 men die rather than face up to their responsibilities.
Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff said there were no alternative venues for the rural, largely republican community.
"We were remembering, not terrorists but inspirational, politically-motivated Irish hunger strikers,"
I don't know why Barry is trying to reason with this idiot, it's pointless.
Nelson claims that the event breaches Rule 7a of the GAA constitution.
He is incorrect!
Rule 7a states
"The Association shall be non-party political. Party
political questions shall not be discussed at its
meetings, and no Committee, Club, Council or
representative thereof shall take part, as such, in any
party political movement"
The GAA is not, nor have they taken party in a party political movement.
The Hunger Strike event was remembering 10 men, 7 IRA men and 3 INLA men.
Irish Republicanism belongs to all and all are welcome.
Nelson seems to think that the GAA is the IRFU; it's not and for good reason.
I will print below the preface to the GAA constitution and highlight parts I feel are important.
“Those who play its games, those who organise its activities and those who control its destinies see in the G.A.A. a means of consolidating our Irish identity. The games to them are more than games - they have a national significance - and the promotion of native pastimes becomes a part of the full national ideal, which envisages the speaking of our own language, music and dances. The primary purpose of the G.A.A. is the organisation of native pastimes and the promotion of athletic fitness as a means to create a disciplined, self- reliant, national-minded manhood. The overall result is the expression of a people’s preference for native ways as opposed to imported ones.”
"Since she has no control over all the national territory, Ireland’s claim to nationhood is impaired. It would be still more impaired if she were to lose her language, if she failed to provide a decent livelihood for her people at home, or if she were to forsake her own games and customs in favour of the games and customs of another nation. If pride in the attributes of nationhood dies, something good and distinctive in our race dies with it. Each national quality that is lost makes us so much poorer as a Nation. Today, the native games take on a new significance when it is realised that they have been a part, and still are a part, of the Nation’s desire to live her own life, to govern her own affairs.”
The GAA is quite clearly an Irish Republican organisation; it includes all and excludes no one.
Rules 2, 4a and 15 reinforce this position.
"The Association is a National Organisation which has as its basic aim the strengthening of the National Identity in a 32 County Ireland through the preservation and promotion of Gaelic Games and pastimes."
"It shall foster an awareness and love of the national ideals in the people of Ireland, and assist in promoting a community spirit through its clubs."
States that the National flag should be flown at all matches and when the anthem is played it should be observed in a respectful manner, failure to do so can result in a 500 fine.
Nelson doesn't seem to grasp the impact that Hunger Strike has on the Irish psyche.
Hunger Strike or "Cealacha" was a key component of Brehon Law.
As Brehon law didn't have a police force Hunger Strike was a remedy to achieve justice.
Under Brehon law, if you allowed a person to starve on your doorstep for a debt that you owed or an injustice that you perpetrated then you would find yourself charged with murder.
Thomas Ashe, Terence MacSwiney, Michael Gaughan, Frank Stagg, Bobby Sands.
All these men continue an Irish tradition of protest, in the words of MacSwiney
"It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can endure the most that will conquer"
Nelson will never understand because his bigotry does not allow him to.
We have nothing to be ashamed of and nor will we apologise to the likes of McCausland.