Over 200 Irish sports stars call for ceasefire in Gaza with open letter

Over 200 Irish sports stars call for ceasefire in Gaza with open letter

Over 200 of Ireland's best-known sports stars have signed an open letter calling for an "immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza." The list of stars includes former Munster and Ireland star Keith Earls, Dublin's Bernard Brogan, former GAA pundit Joe Brolly, Ireland's James McClean, and many others.

The military campaign initiated by Israel in response to the Hamas attacks on October 7, 2023, has resulted in the deaths of more than 23,000 people and injuries to over 59,000, as reported by the health ministry in the Gaza Strip. This information is released ahead of a scheduled Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign march set to take place in Dublin on Saturday.

The letter, which has been signed by over 200 former and current Irish sports stars, includes signatures from GAA, LGFA, and Camogie All-Ireland winners, as well as former Ireland soccer and rugby internationals.

The full letter reads:

The Irish Sport for Palestine open letter reads:

"We have come together as members of the Irish sporting community to show our solidarity with the Palestinian people and to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza," started the letter.

"For over three months, we have watched in horror as over 22,330 Palestinians, more than 9,000 of them children, have been murdered and countless thousands more catastrophically injured, while 90% of the population in Gaza has been forcibly displaced.

"We ask: How many athletes, sportspeople, trainers, and those children aspiring to be have been murdered or displaced by the horrific Israeli violence?

"For decades, Israel has targeted Palestinian sportspeople, preventing them from traveling to competitions, shooting and maiming them, killing them, and destroying their facilities.

"Israel continues to target Palestinian athletes, especially footballers, many of them children and youths, and has destroyed sporting facilities in Gaza and the West Bank.

"Israeli occupation forces last month turned Gaza's Yarmouk Stadium into a detention centre, where Palestinian men, youths, and children have been held without charge, terrorised, and abused. The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) has called on the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), international and continental confederations, and all relevant bodies “to take urgent measures to end the gross violations of the Israeli occupation against the Yarmouk Stadium in Gaza and to subject it to legal accountability.”

The letter also asked the Irish government to enact "the Occupied Territories Bill and the Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill."

The Occupied Territories Bill (officially Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018) is a proposed Irish law that would ban and criminalise "trade with and economic support for illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law," most notably Israeli settlements in Israeli-occupied territories. Violators would face fines of up to €250,000 and up to five years in prison.

"The PFA has appealed for an international investigation into the treatment of Palestinian athletes and sports facilities amidst reports of Israeli forces violating the Olympic Charter by targeting sports clubs," they added.

"What is happening in Gaza is genocide. A system of apartheid—a crime against humanity—is being imposed on Palestinians. Despite criticism by the UN and respected international organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, Médecins Sans Frontières, and many more, Israel has made clear its intention to continue to violate international law.

"We encourage all sportspeople across the island to join our call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, for the illegal siege to be lifted, for humanitarian aid to be delivered, and for no further forced displacement of Palestinians.

"We advocate for sports clubs, spaces, fan groups, and communities to sign up to become Apartheid Free Zones and boycott Israeli products.

"We call on Sport Ireland, the Olympic Federation of Ireland, and all relevant sporting bodies to call for an international investigation into Israel’s violation of the Olympic Charter and impose sanctions.

"We call on the Irish government to enact the Occupied Territories Bill and the Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill. We urge them to support the investigation of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court into the situation in Palestine and submit a case of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza to the International Court of Justice, as South Africa has just done.

"After 75 years of racist oppression, Palestinians deserve freedom, justice, and equality. This is a crucial moment for humanity. The time to act is now. We must stand together, and we must not fail."

Here's the full list of 221 names who signed the letter.

GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association):

  1. David Hickey (Dublin)
  2. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Dublin)
  3. Rebecca O'Keeffe (Meath)
  4. Eoghan O'Gara (Dublin)
  5. Killian O'Gara (Dublin)
  6. Mark Brady (Dublin)
  7. Michael McCarthy (Dublin)
  8. Bobby Doyle (Dublin)
  9. Odhran McGlone (Derry)
  10. Dara Lee (Derry)
  11. Cathal McGinn (Galway)
  12. Johnny Corcoran (Dublin)
  13. Philly McMahon (Dublin)
  14. Sarah McCaffrey (Dublin, LGFA)
  15. Mick Fitzsimons (Dublin)
  16. Johnny Hughes (Galway)
  17. Alan Larkin (Dublin)
  18. Joe Brolly (Derry)
  19. Aisling Reilly (Antrim, GAA Handball)
  20. Paddy Riley (Dublin)
  21. Jim Óg McAuley (Antrim)
  22. Ross McConnell (Dublin)
  23. Dean Kelly (Dublin)
  24. Paddy Cunningham (Antrim)
  25. Seamus Corr (Antrim)
  26. Jane Adams (Antrim, Camogie Association)
  27. Andrew McGowan (Antrim)
  28. Michael Byrne (Antrim)
  29. Peter Healy (Antrim)
  30. Eamon Fennell (Dublin)
  31. Michael Hickey (Dublin)
  32. Kevin Moran (Dublin/Football, Manchester United)
  33. John McCarthy (Dublin)
  34. Frank Murray (Dublin)
  35. Tommy Drumm (Dublin)
  36. Brian Crawford (Down)
  37. Colm McLarnon (Antrim)
  38. Paddy McAleer (Antrim)
  39. Ciaran Duff (Dublin)
  40. Eoghan O'Gara (Dublin)
  41. Rory O'Caroll (Dublin)
  42. Anthony Keogh (Dublin)
  43. Michael McCarthy (Dublin)
  44. Michael Mangan (Dublin)
  45. Craig Dias (Dublin)
  46. Sinéad Wylde (Dublin, LGFA)
  47. Leah Caffrey (Dublin, LGFA)
  48. Karl O'Connell (Monaghan)
  49. Bernard Brogan (Dublin)
  50. Paul Flynn (Dublin)
  51. Niamh Ferguson (Meath)
  52. Gearóid Adams (Antrim)
  53. Conor McCann (Antrim)
  54. Jonathan Fogarty (Wexford)
  55. Padraic Collins (Clare)
  56. Hugh Daly (Down)
  57. Sean Finn (Limerick)
  58. Padraig Byrne (Dublin)
  59. Ryan Murray (Antrim)
  60. Patrick McBride (Antrim)
  61. Paudie McLaughlin (Antrim)
  62. Luke Mulholland (Antrim)
  63. Oran Downey (Antrim)
  64. Daniel McNicholl (Antrim)
  65. Conor Hand (Antrim)
  66. Conhuir Johnston (Antrim)
  67. Declan Lynch (Antrim)
  68. Jim Hughes (Antrim)
  69. Eabha O Riordan (Galway)
  70. Joshua Robb (Antrim)
  71. Shay Mc Glinchey (Galway)
  72. Gary Sice (Galway)
  73. Louis Boyd (Antrim)
  74. Stephen Beatty (Antrim)
  75. Aaron Douglas (Antrim)
  76. Eoghan McCabe (Antrim)
  77. Niall Burns (Antrim)
  78. Daithi Regan (Offaly)
  79. David Seale (Laois)
  80. Timmy Hammersley (Dublin)
  81. Darragh O'Donovan (Limerick)
  82. Conor Brown (Laois)
  83. Ciaran Burke (Laois)
  84. Conall Gough (Antrim)
  85. Conor Stewart (Antrim)
  86. Damien Comer (Galway)
  87. Seamus Ruttledge (Mayo)
  88. Kevin Daly (Armagh)
  89. Neil McManus (Antrim)
  90. Cillian McCormack (Wicklow)
  91. Billy Memery (Dublin)
  92. Kieran Lillis (Laois)
  93. Dominic Mcenhill (Antrim)

Camogie Association:

  1. Jane Adams (Antrim)
  2. Ashling Thompson (Cork)
  3. Aisling Reilly (Antrim)
  4. Aisling Maher (Dublin)
  5. Orla Grey (Dublin)
  6. Aoife Deegan (Dublin)
  7. Grace O'Shea (Dublin)
  8. Aisling O'Neill (Dublin)
  9. Abby Ryan (Dublin)
  10. Aoife Heffernan (Dublin)
  11. Lauryn Campbell (Dublin)
  12. Eile O'Ceallaigh (Dublin)
  13. Jennifer Moore (Dublin)
  14. Niamh Gleeson (Dublin)
  15. Siobhan Earley (Dublin)


  1. Kevin Tobin
  2. Barry O'Connor
  3. Father Denis Hooper
  4. John Weakliam
  5. Duncan Casey
  6. Steven Hennessy
  7. Trevor Hogan
  8. Ian Keatley
  9. Cathal Sheridan
  10. Denis Hurley
  11. Jay Delaney
  12. Jerry Flannery
  13. Ciara Rohan
  14. Ian Dowling
  15. Barry O'Mahony
  16. Darragh Hurley
  17. Luke O'Dea
  18. Michael Sherry
  19. Ian Nagle
  20. Peter Clohessy
  21. Marcus Horan
  22. John Lacey
  23. Keith Earls
  24. Tommy O'Donnell
  25. David Wallace
  26. Paul Neville
  27. John E Murphy
  28. Damien Varley
  29. Andrew Thompson
  30. Barry Murphy
  31. Des Clohessy
  32. Tony Ward
  33. Joe Brady
  34. Willie Downey
  35. Mick Quinn
  36. Tony Ensor
  37. Donal Spring
  38. Fergus Aherne
  39. Kevin Toner
  40. Ray Sloan
  41. Michael Kearney
  42. Chris Moore
  43. Alex Nankivell
  44. John Robbie
  45. Patrick Campbell


  1. Oisin Fagan
  2. Patrick Hyland
  3. Jim Rock
  4. Patrick McCafferty
  5. Ralph McKay
  6. Brendan Irvine
  7. Eric Donovan
  8. Sean McComb
  9. Helen Matthews
  10. Edward Hyland
  11. Sean Duffy
  12. Karol Geraghty
  13. Suzanne Barnwell
  14. Tyrone McKenna
  15. Daragh Evans
  16. Patrick Tracey
  17. Paul Kierans
  18. Peter Weatherall
  19. Thomas McCarthy
  20. Gerard Hawkins
  21. John Paul Delaney
  22. Jamie Conlan
  23. Patrick Lavery
  24. Feargal McCrory
  25. John Mitchell
  26. Richard Kiely

MMA and kickboxing:

  1. Richard Kiely


  1. David Gillick


  1. Abdel Laadjel


  1. James McClean (Wrexham and Ireland)
  2. Joanna Byrne (Drogheda United)
  3. Declan Devine (Bohemian FC)


  1. Brian Kerr (Football, Ireland)
  2. Brian Crawford (GAA, Down)
  3. Noel Hamill (Football, Ireland)
  4. Michael McAllister (Swimming and Water Polo)
  5. Fidelma Bonass (Basketball)
  6. Scott Kinevane (Basketball)
  7. Kate Delaney (Golf)
  8. Emily Ryan (Tennis)
  9. Hayley O'Connor (Horse Racing)
  10. Neil Sands (Horse Racing)
  11. Kerri Lyons (Horse Racing)
  12. Gerard Lyons (Horse Racing)