Screen Recorder and Video capture
Clare Lakelands Hotel to open as direct provision centre for asylum seekers
356 million spent on direct provision in 2022. 157 new centres opened since April 2020
Croke Park hosts thought-provoking discussion with pro-Union community
By John Harrington
Croke Park today hosted a thought-provoking discussion among members of the GAA and the pro-Union community in Northern Ireland.
Thinking Futures: Building Recongition, was a joint initiative of the GAA and the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool which removed the traditional barriers to discussion and debate in order to foster a greater mutual understanding and respect.
Welcoming all those who attended the event, GAA President Larry McCarthy emphasised the GAAs commitment to inclusivity, whilst also acknowledging that more can be done to break down barriers further.
We are as an institution best known for our promotion of sport and culture, said McCarthy. Indeed our core business is hurling and football. But we also pride ourselves on our wider contribution to our communities all over the world no matter where we are.
There are 1560 clubs on the island of Ireland and 450 others dotted around the world. We pride ourselves on that contribution to community no matter where we are.
Two of our core values are inclusiveness and respect. We've worked hard arguably to bring these to life. Our Manifesto is 'Where we all Belong', and those words act as call to action for us to be aware that barriers do exist to people participating with Gaelic games.
We continuously try to break down these barriers and introduce as many people as possible to what we consider the best games in the world by far.
But we also offer the opportunity as a community-based volunteer-led organisation that has enhanced the lives of so many people around the world by enabling them to be part of something greater and to be part of a bigger community than just sport.
We're open to new discussions and we welcome the opportunity to participate in conversations like this.
I hope that these conversations will lead to further diminishing of those barriers that I alluded to in terms of engagement with the GAA.
I hope the conversation attains the level of engagement across the GAA that it well deserves and makes a significant difference in our society.
Left to right, Brian McAvoy, Ulster GAA Secretary, Ger McTavish, GAA Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Professor Peter Shirlow, Director of the Institute of Irish Studies, Professor Colin Coulter, MU Dept of Sociology, Alison Grundle, Law Society of Northern Ireland pictured in Croke Park at the Thinking Futures: Building Recognition discussion.
The discussion was opened by Professor Peter Shirlow, Director of the Institute of Irish Studies and formerly the Deputy Director of the Institute for Conflict Transformation of Social Justice in Queens University, Belfast.
The first of four such events that will take place, one in each province, Shirlow hopes the positive engagement that will come from them will help the process of building a meaningfully shared future on the island of Ireland, North and South.
We came to the GAA and I have to say that I'm really happy we did and the GAA have made a brilliant effort and I know this is new territory for us all in terms of what we're doing, said Shirlow.
We came here because the people who are involved in this, we believe in inter-dependence. We want to build relationships across communities, we want to build relationships across this Island.
We don't want you to think that people from our community don't want to do that.
What we also want to do that is make it very clear that reconciliation is the only option. It's something we have to get involved in, it's something we have to push and develop because we can't leave the future in the hands of those who are negative.
This is going to be grinding work. It's not for those of a sensitive disposition. But it's essential to ensure we build the next generation of the Good Friday Agreement.
Three additional Thinking Futures: Building Recognition events will take place across Ireland over the next few months, one each in Munster, Connacht and Ulster. For further information about these events please email irishliverpool.ac.uk.