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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

GAA President appeals to Cork fans who are flying Confederate flag at matches

The controversial symbol has long been flown by Rebel GAA fans.

The flag was flown before Cork's Munster SFC final against Kerry earlier this month.
The flag was flown before Cork's Munster SFC final against Kerry earlier this month.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE GAA PRESIDENT has said that he is uncomfortable with Cork supporters flying the Confederate flag at matches.

Aogán Ó Fearghail appealed to Rebel fans to take responsibility for the use of the controversial symbol.

The Confederate flag has returned to the centre of political debate in America following its connection to the racist massacre of nine people in a South Carolina church last month.

A version of the flag has long been flown at Cork GAA matches because of its red and white colours, as well as its rebellious connotations.

Ó Fearghail said that the Association cannot introduce a stop-and-search policy for fans but urged them to consider the political symbolism.

“The Confederate flag is not a flag I personally would be comfortable with,” he said on Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t be comfortable with a Nazi symbol – it also has red.

“Stopping everybody coming in with a flag, I’m not sure we’re in a position to go do that. People need to take personal responsibility in these cases.

Certainly, anything that is racist or sectarian is against our rules.

He added: “If people wave flags and one flag is taken away and one isn’t, that will always cause unrest.

“It would be nice if people took personal responsibility and did a little investigation themselves as to what their banner means.”

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