Irish Republican News · January 17, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
DUP Minister in anthem protest

The North’s ‘Culture Minister’, Edwin Poots of the DUP, is calling for an end to the playing of the Irish national anthem before Gaelic games in the North.

DUP politician Edwin Poots also says he wants to see an end to the naming of sports grounds after Irish patriots.

Mr Poots became the first DUP politician to attend a Gaelic match in an official capacity last night when he watched the McKenna Cup game between Donegal and Down in Newry.

He was welcomed to the game by GAA president Nicky Brennan.

However, he arrived late as part of a protest against the playing of the Irish national anthem before the game.

Earlier, he announced he plans to end funding for Irish language broadcasters.

Sinn Féin said the decision goes against the spirit and the letter of the St Andrews Agreement.

The fund received #12 million over three years but will not be renewed when it runs out in March 2009.

Sinn Féin assembly member Francie Brolly said: “It is now going to be very difficult for us to fund the projects we wanted to fund and maybe even some of the things we would have liked to maintain.”


Meanwhile, there has been widespread condemnation of a sectarian arson attack on a Gaelic sports club in County Armagh.

The fire at Collegeland club in Charlemont was reported after 8am on Saturday after a member had spotted smoke coming from the club building.

A hole had been drilled in the door and flammable liquid poured inside before being set alight. The blaze caused smoke damage.

It was the latest in a number of recent attacks on Gaelic clubs.

Last Wednesday paint was daubed on a wall at the nearby Ballyhegan club between Loughgall and Portadown.

In December a pipe bomb was left outside Ballela hurling and camogie club near Banbridge, County Down.

Assembly members for the area condemned the attacks. Sinn Féin’s Cathal Boylan said all such attacks should stop. “This is a despicable attack. It is an attack on the entire community,” he said. No group has claimed responsibilty for the attacks.

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© 2008 Irish Republican News