A PROMINENT figure in the Lancashire Irish community is campaigning to collect GAA jerseys to donate to people in need in Palestine.
Cathal Harkin, a Liverpool-based teacher from Derry who is also Lancashire GAA’s Public Relations Officer, came up with the idea with the intention of highlighting the plight of refugees in Palestine and Gaza.
Two years since the outbreak of a conflict that has cost the lives of around 1,500 civilians, including over 500 children, much of Gaza – a small Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea – remains in ruins.
“I will be collecting GAA tops which will go directly to the people in need,” said Mr Harkin, who is a member of St Lawrences GAA in Manchester.
“This is part of a wider campaign across Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland to support the cause of the refugees. Donations will be leaving in late October.”
So far, around 30 jerseys have been collected after just five days, 15 of which came from Scottish club Glasgow Gaels.
“I got the idea from others doing the same with soccer tops, so I just thought I could do the same with a GAA angle," Mr Harkin told The Irish Post.
“But it’s not just about providing clothes to those who need them, it’s just as important to publicise the problems that persist in Palestine.
“I’m based between Liverpool and Manchester, but we’re hoping to get contributions from all over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, just get in touch for an address.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the ‘GAA Jerseys for Palestine’ cause can get in touch with Cathal Harkin via email: [email protected]