A RIGHT-WING Unionist has called for a GAA football match in Co Donegal which commemorates the deaths of two IRA volunteers to be banned.
Mid-Ulster MLA Ian McCrea called on the GAA to stop the game in memory of “terrorists” from going ahead in Ballybofey this Friday.
The ‘Giants will Clash’ Harvey and McGlynn memorial cup match will see selected members from clubs around County Tyrone face a Donegal Select side from clubs around the county here. It is being held in memory of IRA men Seamus Harvey and Gerard McGlynn who died when their bomb exploded prematurely on August 10, 1973.
In a statement Mr McCrea fumed: “It has come to my attention yet again that a terrorist commemorative gaelic match between a Tyrone Select and Donegal Select team is to take place in a ground named after a republican terrorist.
“Whilst I acknowledge that the GAA have been making the right sounds on issues such as this however, this event flies in the face of all that has been said when time after time events like this GAA match in memory of IRA members Seamus Harvey and Gerard McGlynn Cup take place at MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey an associated GAA ground.
“Over the past few years a number of events have taken place across Mid-Ulster on GAA grounds and the excuse was given that they didn’t know about it, well they know about this one and it’s time to see action.”
Mr McCrea added: “Republican commemorations at GAA facilities along with the naming of grounds and competitions does not do anything to make the organisation acceptable to the Unionist community and I again make a genuine appeal to the GAA to introduce and enact a ruling that no Republican Terrorist commemorations should be held on any of their grounds and show once and for all that they are a sporting organisation with no support for terrorists.”
There was no immediate official response from organisers of the event which has taken place for several years, but one source dismissed the statement as “a rant.”
On 10 August 1973, Gerard McGlynn and Seamus Harvey were transporting a bomb and were about 200 yards from the customs post at Kilclean, on the Donegal border, when the device accidentally exploded, killing both men.
Gerard McGlynn (18) was a native of Castlederg and lived on the Castlefin Road just outside the town.
Seamus Harvey (22) was a married man with a young family. He had been living in Donegal on the run from his hometown of Castlederg for about 18 months prior to his death. A few weeks before his death Harvey and three other young men appeared in court in Dublin charged with IRA membership and possession of weapons.