‘Demonisation of national games unacceptable’ – Ennis

Newry Times News Posted by
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Community, Politics

Sinn Féin Newry & Mourne Councillor Sinead Ennis has described alleged ‘PSNI harassment’ of young people carrying hurls as ‘completely unacceptable and wrong.’

The Crotlieve councillor was commenting following her attendance at a demonstration on Saturday 8th March on the former site of Andersonstown Barracks, Belfast.

“I attended a demonstration arranged by members of the Mairead Farrell Republican Youth group in response to ongoing instances of harassment of young people carrying hurls.

“I am passionate about Irish culture, heritage and games, as are these young people. They are perfectly entitled to carry their hurls to and from training or to have a puck about in their local parks. There is no excuse for the routine interrogations which the PSNI have been carrying out or for the confiscation of hurls.

“In 1971 Margaret Boyd Gatt, who actually attended today’s event, was sentenced to 6 months in jail for wearing a parka jacket and carrying a hurling stick – “conduct likely to lead to a breach of the peace”, according to the RUC at the time.

Ennis added, “This is 2014 and this attack on national identity will not be tolerated. As a senior football player for both County Down and my club Burren I denounce this attempted criminalisation of Gaelic games. I want to show solidarity with these young people in West Belfast and to ensure that this does not happen in South Down.”

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