Irish abuse is par for the course

Sean O Domhnaill.

Discrimination against Irish speaking GAA players remains ‘rampant’ in Galway, according to one of the country’s top broadcasters.

Seán Bán Breathnach, who a decade ago as Irish Officer of Galway GAA highlighted the sledging Connemara Gaeltacht players were receiving because they were speaking ‘as Gaeilge’, said it remains an issue.

His comments come after Galway GAA confirmed it has launched an investigation into an allegation that a referee told a Gaeltacht Gaelic football team ‘not to speak Irish’.

And he was supported by former Galway All-Ireland winning midfielder, Seán Ó Domhnaill, who admitted that abuse of Irish speakers, and Connemara teams, has, does and will continue to happen.

But, he said, fluent Irish speakers also have a distinct advantage over their opponents. And the An Cheathrú Rua legend said that during his 25 playing years, he gave as good as he got!

“I could finger half the county out. Yeah, we were told to stop speaking Irish, and go back to Connemara and all that. But I used to tell them I’d no problem speaking the Queen’s language,” said Ó Domhnaill.

County Board secretary, John Hynes confirmed to RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta news that it had received official complaints from Na Piarsaigh/Ros Muc GAA Club in relation to comments allegedly made by a referee during a match at the weekend.

He confirmed that a complaint was made by the Na Piarsaigh/Ros Muc club itself, and by one of the club officials.

The alleged incident happened at the Junior A Football Championship West match between Na Piarsaigh/Ros Muc and Salthill/Knocknacarra in Ros an Mhíl on Saturday.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.