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Mickey Harte says GAA flag and anthem changes a possibility

The Tyrone boss believes the move could happen “when the time is right”.

Mickey Harte (file pic).
Mickey Harte (file pic).
Image: Presseye/Philip Magowan/INPHO

TYRONE BOSS MICKEY Harte says the GAA could put an end to the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann and the flying of the tricolour at future matches “when the time is right”.

Harte’s comments come in the wake of GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail recently saying that the organisation would be “open-minded” to considering such changes, while adding that flags and anthems were “a very precious part of our culture and games”.

Similarly, Harte believes changes may be on the horizon.

“There was a time in the ’70s when you weren’t allowed to play, in inverted commas, foreign games and play in the GAA, so that changed,” he told the BBC.

“And then there was a time when Croke Park wasn’t open to other sport, there were times when the police force from this part of the world were not allowed to play.

So these things changed over time, but they have to change when the time is right.

“People will know if it’s the right thing to do and if it’s not the right thing to do for the greater good, then it won’t happen — so we have to wait and see and let time take care of that.”

He continued: “The status quo that exists at the moment, it’s very dear to many people not because it’s anti anybody else, it’s just in their culture.

And, I suppose, you don’t want to be moving things always to create some kind of special clone, we have to let people be as they are as long as they are not disrespectful of others.

“We don’t want to take anything away from anybody. But if the time’s right and people felt there was some movement could happen in that direction, then I think it will.”

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