GAA top brass unperturbed as GPA advocates ‘yes’ vote in referendum

The GAA have no issue with the GPA’s plans this week to advocate a yes vote in the marriage referendum on May 22.

When asked in a text message poll last month, inter-county players backed the proposal to publicly support the change to the constitution by a ratio of six to one.

The GAA in March took exception to inter-county football referee David Gough’s plans to wear an armband supporting a yes vote and gay rights during the Division 1 game between Dublin and Tyrone.

The Meath official was prevented from donning it after he sought permission from Croke Park. It was interpreted his planned action contravened rule 1.11 of the GAA’s Official Guide relating to the organisation’s “non-party political” status.

However, there is no such opposition to the GPA’s pending declaration. GAA head of communications Alan Milton yesterday told the Irish Examiner: “They are an independent entity with its own constitution that receives funding from us. The GAA won’t be taking a stance on the upcoming referendum.”

Several GAA players are part of the yes campaign including Eamon McGee, Rory O’Carroll, Michael Darragh Macauley and Eoin Murphy. Several others on social media indicated they also be voting yes on Friday fortnight. Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly yesterday tweeted: “I’m going to be honest, I’m voting no. A 21 year old President is something I just can’t agree with. #VoteYes in the #MarRef though x”

Following his interview with this newspaper in March, McGee’s stance was criticised by a Donegal priest in a Mass sermon. It was reported a number of the congregation walked out in protest at the clergyman’s comments.

Cork’s Valerie Mulcahy, said she would consider leaving Ireland if the referendum is defeated. Mulcahy will exchange vows with her long-term girlfriend in a civil partnership next month.


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