In a letter, the club rejected the accusation that their proposal was motivated by politics, instead stating that the admission of the British army team violated the GAA’s community ethos and bent association rules.
“Granuaile Hurling Club believe in the principle that the Gaelic Athletic Association is a community-based organisation and as such is against the affiliation of work-based clubs. These existing structures recognise work-based units/clubs should not compete in the same structures as community-based clubs and this is acknowledged by two such diverse organisations as the British army and the Gaelic Athletic Association. Based on this recognised approach how can London GAA accept this affiliation request?”
The letter criticised the London County Committee for not properly communicating the club’s position and suggested Granuaile were discouraged by officials from offering an explanation. In January, they flatly declined numerous chances to explain their position to this and other publications.
This position left the club open to “abuse” the letter said, while stating their stance was in compliance with rule 4.3. The letter said the club had a proud record in promoting underage hurling in London “regardless of race, religious beliefs, creed, colour, ethnic origin or parental political opinions”.
Recently, Naomh Padraig became the first team from a British army unit to play an official GAA match. The inclusion of the team sparked controversy and political undertones were debated among GAA administrators before the Irish Guards affiliation in September. Croke Park and the London County Board have yet to respond.