Europe

GAA's central committee to discuss Army team exclusion bid

GAA
Image caption The Irish Guards become the first Army regiment to become an affiliated club within the GAA

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has said it intervened in an attempt to remove an Army team from one of its competitions in England as it is a matter for senior bosses to discuss.

A decision was made in September to include the Army's Irish Guards team after a rule banning British security forces from the GAA was overturned.

But a London hurling club has been attempting to have them excluded again.

The GAA has now moved to stop a vote that could see the Army team removed.

Suspended

The London board of Gaelic games' ruling body was due to hold a vote on Monday night on the proposal by the Harrow-based Granuaile to scrap last year's decision to allow the Irish Guards to compete in the junior football championship.

But Páraic Duffy, the director general of the Irish-based GAA, contacted the London board and it subsequently suspended the vote.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption A rule that banned British security forces from the GAA had been in place until 2001

Aogán ó Fearghail, the GAA president, said the association's central council would discuss the matter.

"We've written to the London GAA board and we've asked them not to make a decision on that until we, as a management, have a look at that," he said.

Forces

"Because it's nothing to do with one club, it's all clubs - we've close to 2,000 clubs.

"If we accept a club into our association, then it shouldn't be so simple to just remove them."

A spokesman for the GAA added that the association's management committee and central council would meet this weekend.

British security forces have been allowed to join the GAA since the rule banning them was historically lifted in 2001.

The GAA spokesman said "only [Granuaile] can confirm the rationale behind their submission" for a proposal to "revisit the affiliation processed in relation to the Irish Guards".

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