Author Topic: Fermanagh GAA player quits over sectarian abuse?  (Read 3165 times)

john mcgill

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Re: Fermanagh GAA player quits over sectarian abuse?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2007, 08:44:35 AM »
Today's (Monday 6 August) London Times has a whole page spread on this issue.  (page 15).  Sorry I do not know how to post the article.  Perhaps someone can.

Armagh Exile

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Re: Fermanagh GAA player quits over sectarian abuse?
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2007, 09:28:38 AM »
Protestant quits Gaelic football accusing fellow players of bigotry
For much of his life sport has been Darren Graham’s only religion, but in recent years his biggest challenge on the pitch has been religious bigotry.
Last week, the 25-year-old joiner decided that he could no longer take the constant sectarian abuse he received as a Protestant Gaelic football player and walked off during a game for his club, Lisnaskea Emmets.
Graham is the only non-Roman Catholic player of Gaelic games in Fermanagh, and his departure is a blow to the efforts by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) to recruit Protestants.
His story is a salutary reminder of just how far Northern Ireland still has to travel before its wounds heal.
Graham’s mother is Catholic. His father, Cecil, a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, was murdered by the Provisional IRA in 1981 as he visited his wife, who was staying with her parents in a Republican area because Darren was premature and needed constant attention. Two of Graham’s uncles were also killed by the Provisional IRA.
The Province has a deeply ingrained sporting code in which Catholics play Gaelic football and hurling and Protestants play rugby and hockey. Catholics support Glasgow Celtic while Protestants cheer for Rangers.
Graham began playing Gaelic Games at 12, but it was only when he began to show a real talent that the sectarian abuse began. He said: “I’ve been getting it from opponents and supporters. It was not really bad until I got to senior level, when I was 18. It’s definitely because I’m a Protestant. I’ve been told Protestants shouldn’t be allowed in the GAA.”
The final straw came Sunday last week. He said: “I told my club I was quitting and I’m not going back until something is done about it.”He said that he could name up to a dozen players who had subjected him to verbal hatred and referees who failed to protect him from taunts.
It was not until 2001 that the GAA lifted its ban on members of Northern Ireland’s security forces joining. The rule banning anyone who played “foreign” games such as rugby or football was also dropped. The last great taboo was broken earlier this year when England played Ireland in the Six Nations Rugby Championship at Croke Park in Dublin, the home of Gaelic games.
Graham said: “The GAA is asking for Protestants to get more into the sport. But what’s the point if they are going to listen to stuff like that? Unless there’s a formal apology by the County, I won’t be back.”
Deirdre Donnelly, a spokeswoman for Fermanagh County Board, said: “If Darren has an issue he should go through his club. We are awaiting a referee’s report from the game. Abuse of any description is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Nickey Brennan, president of the GAA, said: “I’d be more than happy to meet the young man and invite him to Croke Park to one of the big games and let him see that we want all religions to be part of the GAA.”
Graham said that the offer was a positive move, but only if the real problem was dealt with.
London Times (Mon 6 August 2007)

haveaharp

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Re: Fermanagh GAA player quits over sectarian abuse?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2007, 10:45:27 AM »
there is more to this story than meets the eye

Enlighten us

thejuice

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Re: Fermanagh GAA player quits over sectarian abuse?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 09:53:33 AM »
This is probably already been said else where but he's coming back to play again after he got an apology from the county board and there will be a meeting to discuss sectarianism and ways of dealing with it. Apparently there will be "severe penalties" for any clubs or players involved in sectarian incidents.
It won't be the next manager but the one after that Meath will become competitive again - MO'D 2016

orangeman

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Re: Fermanagh GAA player quits over sectarian abuse?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 10:34:39 AM »
Sounds like there is more to this story than has already been told !!!

full back

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Re: Fermanagh GAA player quits over sectarian abuse?
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2007, 10:38:55 AM »
I wonder will he be disciplined when/if he does come back, for striking another player after the final whistle?