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Thursday, August 10, 2006

 

Did you hear the one about the GAA, the Hunger Strikers and the bottle of Bushmills...

The one local story I did follow from my holidays was the overlap between GAA and the various Hunger Strike commemorations. This weekends' event at Casement Park raised an eyebrow because I am a big fan of the primary sponsor of the GAA in County Antrim.

I contacted Bushmills via their website to enquire what their view was on the link between Antrim GAA and a republican celebration. The following has just landed in my inbox:

"Peter,

Thank you for your email regarding our sponsorship of Antrim GAA. Diageo sponsors more than 200 events and festivals that take place throughout Northern Ireland every year. This vital boost to local towns and communities represents involvement in a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from sporting and cultural programmes to the arts.

We have been assured by the County Board of Antrim GAA that it is neither hosting nor involved in the organisation of the event proposed for 13 August at Casement Park. The use of the ground is a matter between the rally organisers and the site owners and is not connected to the GAA Antrim County Board.

I hope this helps answer your query.

Kind regards,

Gordon Donoghue
Supply Director
Bushmills "

Hmm. I have replied thus:

"Mr Donoghue

thank you for your reply.

However, are you sure that this is not "connected to the GAA County Board"?

I understood that the county board had fallen foul of the GAA governing body in Dublin over its' decision to sanction the rally. Indeed the rally organisers appeared on BBC's "Talkback" to support the county boards' interpretation of the rules prohibiting party political activity. If your assertion that "the use of the ground is a matter between the rally organisers and the site owners and is not connected to the GAA Antrim County Board" is correct then why has the GAA centrally become involved?

I am afraid your reply has raised more questions, specifically the nature of the information the Antrim County Board is providing you, their primary sponsor with.

Peter"

I will keep you posted.

UPDATE 11/08/06 1349 :

"Dear Mr King,

Thank you for you continued correspondence.

We appreciate your interest in our sponsorship commitments and thank you for raising your concerns. As you will appreciate our internal discussions with sponsorship partners are confidential and cannot be discussed with external agencies.

With thanks,

Gordon Donoghue"

Especially if they are misleading you!!!

Comments:
Good on you for pressing them on this Pakman. If it was a company of whose I was a customer I'd be angry too.
 
Very interesting.....
 
Pakman

I've just emailed them as well. I hope lots of others do as well
 
aileen

I await reports of tomorrows event with interest.
 
Well done pakman!

Can we have an e mail address ?

Antrim GAA are a shower of Bast*rds - after all it was Antrim GAA who had Gerry Adams and some Kids modelling Hunger striker GAA Shirts. Hows that for combining children, politics and sport?

The Links between GAA and terrorism should not be swept under the carpet.
 
Nothing has happened yet so get a life you silly sad people.

Gaelic sports are the national games of the 32 counties of Ireland..Fact! Go to any game in Croke Park or any major venue and you'll discover families enjoying our national sport..yes NATIONAL SPORT! It's comments from the likes of you bitter sectarian bigots that have our country in the condition it is :)
 
Dear anonymous - the sports aren't the issue - it's the mixing of Sport, politics and terrorism that is problematic.
 
Anonymous

"Gaelic sports are the national games of the 32 counties of Ireland..Fact!"

Thanks for the info. I didn't see anything in pakman's post denying that fact.

" Go to any game in Croke Park or any major venue and you'll discover families enjoying our national sport..yes NATIONAL SPORT!"

Thanks for the info. I didn't see anything in pakman's post denying that fact

" It's comments from the likes of you bitter sectarian bigots that have our country in the condition it is :)"

Can you point out please the sectarianism in either the post or any of the following comments?

You also have not commented on the core point of the post, should Bushmills be involved with Antrim GAA, if it (Antrim GAA) is allowing its property to be used for a terrorist commemoration?
 
MR

use the "their website" link in the original post.
 
Thanks mate :)
 
Anonymous

"Nothing has happened yet so get a life you silly sad people."

Oh but it has the Antrim branch of the *family-orientated* sporting oraganisation you speak off has broken its own rules by organising a Provo commemoration rally.

Read on:

"From the Irish Examiner
14th August

"Sinn Féin is all take with little give

Sinn Féin defied the wishes of the GAA’s Central Council by holding what was clearly a party political commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike yesterday in Casement Park, Belfast.


Although the GAA has always been strongly identified with political views, it has studiously avoided aligning itself with any specific political party. Its officials have been representative of the broad expanse of nationalist opinion.

The association has been rightly recognised for its leading role in healing the civil war divisions, especially in areas that witnessed the worst atrocities of that fratricidal conflict.

Sinn Féin was insulting the intelligence of everyone in arguing that yesterday’s gathering was not a party affair, when the whole thing was organised by members of the party. The main speaker was Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, while the party’s MEP Mary Lou McDonald and party councillor Toireassa Ferris, the daughter of Sinn Féin Deputy Martin Ferris, took prominent parts in the proceedings.

By parading in blatant disregard for the wishes of GAA headquarters, Sinn Féin has not only walked on the association but also trampled on the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, of which it has been one of the main beneficiaries.

For that agreement to work there has to be give and take on all sides, but on Sinn Féin’s part it seems to be all take with very little give."

So quite clearly a party-political event, so technically agaist the rules of the GAA. Yet sanctioned by Antrim GAA.....

"It's comments from the likes of you bitter sectarian bigots that have our country in the condition it is :)"

Look in the mirror pal.
You are standing up for the Antrim GAA, which has assisted in the *commemoration* of a bunch of scum, memebers of an organisation who for over 25 years murdered their fellow Irishmen simply because they didn't subscribe to their fascist views.
 
I too sent a mail to Bushmills and Coke below is their replies:
Thank you for your e-mail concerning the GAA sponsorship which has been re-routed from our marketing website. I regret it has taken time to reach me however most questions posted there are for information on the brand. Diageo sponsors more than 200 events and festivals that take place throughout Northern Ireland every year. This vital boost to local towns and communities represents involvement in a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from sporting and cultural programmes to the arts.

Diageo purchased Bushmills from Pernod Ricard in August 2005 from whom we inherited many existing sponsorships associated with the brand. Our new marketing team will review these on a commercial basis as we move forward with Bushmills and look for opportunities to enhance the brands credentials.

I hope this answers your concerns,

Gordon Donoghue
Supply Director



Thank you for contacting our website. We appreciate your interest in The Coca-Cola Company.

Your comments are appreciated and will be shared with the appropriate management.

The Coca-Cola Company is apolitical and as a business does not support or oppose individual countries, governments or political or religious causes.

If you have additional questions or comments, please visit our website again.

Sheila
Industry and Consumer Affairs
The Coca-Cola Company
 
ranger 1640

good for you!
 
I too sent a mail to Bushmills and Coke below is their replies:
Thank you for your e-mail concerning the GAA sponsorship which has been re-routed from our marketing website. I regret it has taken time to reach me however most questions posted there are for information on the brand. Diageo sponsors more than 200 events and festivals that take place throughout Northern Ireland every year. This vital boost to local towns and communities represents involvement in a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from sporting and cultural programmes to the arts.

Diageo purchased Bushmills from Pernod Ricard in August 2005 from whom we inherited many existing sponsorships associated with the brand. Our new marketing team will review these on a commercial basis as we move forward with Bushmills and look for opportunities to enhance the brands credentials.

I hope this answers your concerns,

Gordon Donoghue
Supply Director
 
http://ranger1640.blogspot.com/
 
You would think that it was the first time that a GAA ground or clubhouse was used for republican events ie the recent hunger strike event at Casement Park but as everyone knows their is not one GAA club n N Ireland that has not allowed it clubrooms to b used for rebublican fundraiseing, prisoner release homecomeing parties , rebubliacan nights were the music and song was provided by bands known as ra bands,my own local s outh derry club were famous for what was known as ra nights and also held most recently a hunger strike exbo. So why all the fuss over the Casemnt Park issue,and only recently Dungiven GAA named a hurlin team after a hunger striker Kevin Lynch and the head of the GAA Nicky Brennan attended.
 
A new GAA second pitch was recently opened in our South Derry village, a village that once had a Protestant majority,only a few Protestant families remain,mainly eldery,the young have all fled.Among those attending the offical opening cermony as invited guest and who had pride of place on the platform were the local parish priest,the lady who sold the land to the GAA the current chairman of the club,the Derry county board chairman,and other assorted special guest,like two Sinn Fein councilors,a former chairman of the club who spent many years in prison for terror related offences,and now the main sponsor of the club, one of the Sinn Fein councilors also served a lengthy prison term also terror related and is well known for his naked hatred of all things British and Protestant.The opening cermony was well reported in all the local rags but not one member of the Protestant community raised a eyebrow,as they all know the GAA and IRA are so closely linked hence the term ,The GAA is the IRA at play, It is a well known fact that that the GAA spend thousands every year on PR to try and sell the lie that they are a sporting body only ,also the main pro GAA Newspapers both north and south peddle this lie, also hopeing that as the old saying goes if you repeat a lie often enought it will one day become fact.When are those who peddle the lies that the GAA is not linked to the IRA going stop their nonsense and accept the facts that even the dogs in the streets know.
 
Following the slaughter on the 7/7/05 at the Armagh Tyrone GAA match when asked for a minutes silence for those murdered and maimed by Al Queda instead started booing whistling and jeering accompanied by pro Sinn Fein-IRA sectarian songs
 
Not all Catholics support either the GAA , or the IRA, in fact their is wide spread distaste among countless Catholic like myself in all of Ireland for both ,and their is little anyone could tell me about the covert links between the GAA and the IRA that I dont already know as fact, like how GAA clubs were used to recruit IRA members, as it was seen that being a member of the GAA you had comitted your self to Irish Nationalism. Clubrooms given over to IRA supporters to run social nights, were the music was provided by well known groups, known as ra bands, in many of these clubs ,on these nights it was like the whos - whos of of the IRA from far and near.Their was the ex terror prisoners ,known but uncovicted IRA members, hanger ons , hardline supporters, back rooms were the on the runs, as they were known would be feted and mixing freely with them in the clear knowledge of who they were mixing with.were committe members of the club. In many clubs it was not uncommon for committe members to be high ranking IRA members themselves. and over the period of the troubles several members of the club in my town have served lengthy prison terms for terror related crimes. This was a fact in a great many other clubs as well. The links between the IRA and the GAA are allready proven ,it no secret, it just that while the Catholic press , were demonising Potestant bodies like the Orange Order, no one in the Protestant side highlighted the link between the GAA and the IRA. In fact they got of very lightly. It was also quite common in many of the hardline clubs for as many as half the team to be IRA members or ex prisoners. The is no dispute that the GAA and the IRA are inextricabley linked.
 
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