The inclusion of a recruitment ad for the Six-County PSNI in the match programme for last weekend’s GAA All-Ireland Football Final has outraged Irish nationalists and republicans.
This week is believed to be the first time the organisation has advertised in an official GAA publication.
Tyrone took part in the All-Ireland minor final last weekend, attracting hundreds of ‘red hand’ supporters to Croke Park with many more also travelling from across north to take in the all-Ireland.
Republican Sinn Fein described the move as “a new low for the GAA” who said the organisation had been moving “further and further away” from the ethos of the organisation’s founders.
“Since abolishing its rule forbidding members of Britain’s occupation forces to play our national games in 2001, we have seen the GAA allow English games to be played in Croke Park, and the ruling British monarch given a tour of the scene of a massacre by her forces in 1920,” the organisation said.
“The present day leadership of the GAA seem to have been afflicted with amnesia, as they seem to have willingly abandoned or forgotten the ideals that the once great organisation was founded upon.
“It is indeed worrying that the GAA is now assisting the recruitment efforts of those who uphold Britain’s claim over six counties of Ulster and brutalise and harass Republicans on a daily basis.”
The move comes just weeks after the force launched a campaign to recruit new members, aimed mainly at those living in counties Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh, and particularly at Catholics.
The President of Republican Sinn Fein, Des Dalton, accused the leadership of the GAA of allowing itself to be used as part of the process of attempting to normalise British rule in Ireland.
“Our revolutionary history is being sanitised and the myth is being spread that Ireland is ‘at peace’ and partition has become accepted,” he said.
“The task facing us is to debunk this dangerous myth. Republicans continue to suffer from harassment, internment and media censorship, none of which are features of a normal, democratic society.
“Those who don the uniform of the RUC/PSNI are servants of the British state, and whilst attempts are made to present them as an acceptable force to the nationalist community, their primary purpose remains the defense of the undemocratic British statelet of ‘Northern Ireland’.”