Irish Guards team in doubt amid proposal to ‘rescind’ GAA affiliation

Irish Guards team in doubt amid proposal to ‘rescind’ GAA affiliation

A PROPOSAL to disallow a British Army GAA team from entering the London Junior Championship has been made by one of the capital's hurling clubs.

Granuaile have sent notification to the London County Board of their proposal to ‘rescind’ the historic decision to allow the Irish Guards to compete this year.

The move could be viewed as significant as the new London County Board Chairman, John Lacey, is a Granuaile stalwart.

The decision to include a team from the Irish Guards was made in September last year and was billed as yet another progressive step by the GAA.

However, the issue has proved divisive and was only passed when then chairman, Noel O’Sullivan, cast the deciding ballot after a tied vote.

Now Granuaile have moved to overturn that decision.

An email seen by The Irish Post and sent to the city’s clubs from London County Board secretary Mark Gottsche 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 London County Committee. Could all clubs please ensure that their club delegates are briefed and mandated on this proposal.

When asked why by The Irish Post, 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.”

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

They 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 Irish name Garda Eireannach.

One London source expressed his concern about how the proposal to rescind the decision will be viewed.

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

When contacted, the London County Board said they had no further comment.

The Irish Post were unable to make contact with the Irish Guards for comment, at time of writing.