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An openly gay TD and chairman says he understands the GAA wristband decision

Deputy Jerry Buttimer has said the decision relates to the GAA being a non-political organisation.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

AN OPENLY GAY TD has said he accepts the reasons behind a GAA referee being prevented from wearing a gay-pride wristband during a match.

The incident happened on Saturday in a match between Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park and was reported on in the Sunday Independent yesterday.

GAA referee David Gough was initially given permission to wear a ‘rainbow’ wristband, but this was later rescinded – with the organisation stating that they do not allow political statements.

Understanding 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Jerry Buttimer, who served as chairman of Bishopstown GAA in Cork for six years, has said that he, “understands why they did what they did”. 

On this Buttimer said:

I suppose first of all as a member of the GAA, they have made huge strides to stamp out homophobic behaviour and have been very welcoming and there has been a bit of confusion around this incident.

“The rules are quite clear and it’s an issue in terms of the referendum… I can understand where the GAA are coming from in that they are a non-political organisation,” he went on.

The GAA 

The organisation first announced its decision to operate as a non-political organisation in 1916.

Despite the success of a number of individuals associated with the body in transferring into politics – including former Taoiseach and All-Ireland medal winner Jack Lynch – the body has strict rules against party politics in its constitution. 

It states that “party political questions shall not be discussed at its meetings” and that breaking this rule can result in a suspension of up to 24 weeks.

Read: Ever hear the story of the 75-year-old Irishman who’s cost the bookmakers millions?

Also: 7 unforgettable times when Ireland came together to celebrate as one

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