GAA pundit Joe Brolly has caused uproar among many Unionists by claiming it is no-one else’s business if Gaelic clubs are named after dead terrorists.
The former Derry county footballer spoke out after criticism of the naming of some clubs after IRA men and other republicans was made following Peter Robinson’s appearance and speech at a GAA dinner on Thursday night. The barrister and RTE football pundit said he is proud that his local hurling club in Dungiven is named after INLA hunger striker Kevin Lynch.
“It’s nobody else’s business - it’s as simple as that. People can either like it or lump it,” he told the BBC. “That’s the way societies and communities work.
“Kevin played hurling for Dungiven and for Derry, and the hurling club was named for that reason. “We’re very proud of him.”
Mr Brolly said Peter Robinson’s presence at the Co-operation Ireland gala dinner at Queen’s University was important and commended him for going “as far as he can go”.
But TUV leader Jim Allister said Mr Brolly’s “let the mask slip”.
“The remarks by Joe Brolly underscore just how foolish Peter Robinson was in attending last night’s event and praising the GAA for supposedly reaching out across the divide,” said Mr Allister.
“Mr Brolly’s remarks more than suggest that when it comes to outreach it is a one way process with the GAA lapping up the praise of foolish Unionist politicians but refusing to do anything to address the issues which cause many Unionists to see the GAA as a deeply sectarian organisation which continues to glorify and defend IRA genocide.
“The GAA can send representatives on to the media who will say all manner of things to cover up the truth but Mr Brolly has let the mask slip. He has exposed the folly of Mr Robinson’s actions last night and proved that the GAA are not in the least interested in reaching out to the Unionist community”.