WRITER and former GAA star JJ Barrett is to withdraw his father's medal collection from the Croke Park museum in a protest against the playing of 'God Save the Queen' at next weekend's Ireland versus England rugby match.
Mr Barrett, whose father Joe won six All-Ireland medals, has written to the director general of the GAA asking that the 23 medals be sent back to him prior to the game.
The move comes as extra measures are being put in place in the run-up to next weekend's match.
The medals in question include National League, Munster and Kerry medals, as well as a War of Independence medal. "I cannot reconcile the provocative words of 'God Save the Queen' being sung in the very stadium where Michael Hogan and others died at the hands of the crown forces on Bloody Sunday," he said. "The words run contrary to our constitution and I believe the GAA should have foreseen this problem when they rented out Croke Park and instead insisted on an 'England's Call'-type musical prelude - the sort we are confined to now when we play away from home."
In a letter to Liam Mulvihill, director general of the GAA, Mr Barrett said the GAA had a "duty of care" to GAA members past and present. "The arrogant war-mongering words of 'God Save the Queen' ringing out over Croke Park is surelypushing the boundaries of tolerance and common sense beyond what is expected in any republic."
Joe Barrett is one of the most acclaimed GAA players of all time as well as being a hero of the War of Independence.
Tomorrow, tourism body Visit Britain will host a function in the players' lounge of Croke Park celebrating English culture.
An article from the Indo today. I think its about time someone protested over whats going to happen this Saturday. Having the English rugby team play in Croker is one thing, and this alone has angered a lot of GAA members, but is allowing God Save The Queen not just adding fuel to what is quickly becoming a raging inferno? If the GAA has any princicples whatsoever and values it's members and not the money of foreign sports organisations, then it will demand another anthem be played on behalf of England this Saturday. This issue has been discussed a number of times here, and many are of the opinion that England is like any other nation and deserves to have it's national anthem played, but in reality its not like any other nation. Other nations didn't send their forces to the grounds of Croke Park to shoot dead innocent civilians, for which the British government has never even apologised for. And it amazes me how the English team can be so ignorant to the sensitivity of the issue of their team playing at Croker and they playing their national anthem, that they organise a function on the grounds of Croker celebrating English culture! Now thats really adding fuel to the blaze.