A London GAA club has made a proposal to overturn the decision allowing a British army GAA team enter the London championship.

Granuaile Hurling Club, based in Harrow, North London, sent notification to the London County Board of their proposal to ‘rescind’ last September’s historic decision to allow a team from the Irish Guards compete in the junior championship.

The move could be viewed as significant, as the new London chairman is Granuaile stalwart John Lacey. The decision to allow in the club was divisive and only passed when then chairman, Noel O’Sullivan, cast the deciding ballot after a tied vote.

An email to the city’s clubs from the secretary of the London County Board Mark Gottsch, and forwarded to the Irish Examiner, read: “A Chara, In accordance with Rule 4.3 Voting T.O. 2015 (p58) I have been requested by Granuaile hurling club to notify all members of the London County Committee of their intention to propose the rescindment of the decision to approve the affiliation of the Irish Guards as a club to the London County Committee.

“Could all clubs please ensure that their club delegates are briefed and mandated on this proposal.”

When asked by the Irish Examiner to explain their position, Granuaile chairman Donal Corbett said: “We’re affiliated to the London County Committee and perform our business within that structure. We will disclose everything to the London County Commitee.”

Mr Corbett has been heavily involved at County Board level in recent years.

The Irish Guards are the first British army regiment to become an affiliated club in the GAA’s history. British security forces were banned from playing Gaelic games until 2001 under Rule 21.

The Irish Guards applied to join the GAA as a club several months ago after moving to London from Aldershot. At the time of the vote, Noel O’Sullivan said:

“Very simply for me I can see both sides. I can appreciate the way people feel. But we have to move forward, don’t dwell on the past.”

The regiment, nicknamed the Micks, are set to play under the name Gardaí Éireannach.

One London source expressed concern about how the move will be viewed.

“The very fact it’s been proposed portrays us in a very bad light,” he said.

The Irish Examiner

was unable to make contact with the Irish Guards at time of writing.


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