Anger at failure to broadcast historic GAA win

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The BBC in the north of Ireland has been condemned over its refusal to accord coverage to Gaelic sports after Tyrone won the All-Ireland senior football final.

Sinn Féin assembly member Sinéad Ennis has asked when the BBC would “get real” about its coverage of Gaelic Games.

The South Down MLA, who in 2018 took the campaign ‘Fair Play For Ulster Gaels’ to the offices of the BBC and RTÉ demanding better GAA coverage, said: “What’s wrong with the BBC? 3 Ulster teams competing in All-Ireland Finals and hardly a mention?

“When will the publicly funded broadcaster get real about Gaelic Games? I have submitted a `Matter of The Day’ request to The Speaker so this can be discussed by the Assembly.”

BBC ‘Radio Ulster’ said it had covered the win as a news story, but Ms Ennis, an MLA in South Down and her party’s Assembly deputy whip, hit back.

She said: “Surely not a BBC journalist suggesting that we should genuflect, be grateful for, fall at the feet of the BBC for doing the absolute bare minimum expected of them?”

Ms Ennis added: “People are quite rightly frustrated at the inability to watch the biggest spectator sport on this island on their television screens all year round; during club games and championships.

“The GAA has over a quarter of a million members who simply want parity and equality from the broadcaster that they pay their licence fee to, and this must be reflected in their coverage”.

It is not the first time in recent years that the BBC has been criticised for institutional sectarianism. Last month its primetime Newsline TV news programme led with a segment which included loyalist soccer fans singing the obscene sectarian slogan ‘F**k the Pope’, while a petition against top talkshow host Stephen Nolan recently received more than 25,000 signatures in protest at his coverage of extreme unionism and loyalism.

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