Bookmark and Share
19/11/2001

Rule 21 is ‘history’ says GAA president

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has voted to scrap its controversial Rule 21 which bans members of the security forces playing Gaelic games.

The organisation made the decision at a special congress convened in Dublin on Saturday November 17.

A two-thirds majority was required in order to lift the ban and was obtained following a show of hands from the 301 delegates. GAA president Sean McCague said: “Some people will say this is a very significant move. But it had to be dealt with. Now it is history. An overwhelming majority of delegates were in favour of its deletion. Those in favour and those against all spoke. Obviously those against accepted the decision as democrats. As far as I’m concerned it’s just another day. It will be forgotten about next week.”

The move was welcomed by Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid who said: “This is a progressive decision made by an association that plays a large and important role in community life north and south. I welcome this contribution towards the creation of a more inclusive society.”

The vote on Rule 21 at Saturday’s special congress was taken following the official changeover earlier this month from the Royal Ulster Constabulary into the Police Service of Northern Ireland, as part of measures undertaken in the Good Friday Agreement. (AMcE)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 September 2016
Fresh Appeal Issued Following Death Of Gerard McMahon
A renewed appeal has been issued following the death of a man in Belfast city centre. Police used CS Spray to restrain Gerard McMahon during a "violent incident" in the Great Victoria Street area on Thursday, 08 September. Police Ombudsman investigators have renewed their appeal for anyone who saw what happened to contact them.
22 September 2016
Investigation Launched Following Post Office Robbery In Co Antrim
Police have launched an investigation after a post office was robbed in Co Antrim. A man, armed with a gun, demanded money from the owner of Aghalee Post Office at around 9.30pm on Tuesday, 20 September. The suspect made off in a silver Nissan Almera which was found burnt out in Shankill Street in Lurgan.
16 September 2016
Woman Arrested Following Six-Vehicle Crash
A woman has been arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through alcohol, in relation to a multi-car collision that occurred in Holywood on Friday morning. Shortly before 8am, six vehicles crashed on the Holywood bypass. The accident happened on the city-bound lane, causing serious delays for motorists heading into Belfast.
12 September 2016
Investigation Launched Following Suspected Sexual Assault In South Belfast
Police have launched an investigation following a suspected sexual assault in south Belfast. The incident happened in University Street. Police have cordoned off the area and enquiries are ongoing. No other information has been released.
12 September 2016
Man 'Critical' Following Hit And Run In South Belfast
A man is in a critical condition in hospital following a hit and run collision in south Belfast. The incident occurred on the Lisburn Road near Wellesley Avenue at around 10pm on Saturday, 10 September. Police believe a silver coloured car may have significant frontal damage.
08 September 2016
Man Seriously Ill Following 'Violent Incident' In Belfast
A man is seriously ill in hospital following a violent incident in Belfast city centre. Police were called to Great Victoria Street just before 5am this morning, 08 September, following reports a man had become violent. The man's injuries were sustained during the incident. The road remains closed between the Europa Hotel and the Grand Opera House.
07 September 2016
Railway Line Re-Opens Following Sudden Death
The railway line between L'Derry and Coleraine has re-opened following a sudden death on Tuesday, 06 September. The incident happened near Caw Park and the line was closed for a number of hours. Bus routes were operating and NIR tickets were being accepted.
26 September 2016
Man Critical Following Attack In Coleraine
A man is in critical condition in hospital following a serious attack in Coleraine. The victim, aged in his 50s, was assaulted outside a property on the Ballycastle Road at around 1am on Monday, 26 September. He sustained serious head injuries. Two men, aged 30 and 31, have been arrested and are in police custody.
09 August 2007
Fermanagh GAA Player Reconsiders Decision To Quit
A Lisnaskea GAA player who quit the sport due to sectarian abuse is reconsidering his decision after he received an apology from the Fermanagh GAA board. Darren Graham, 25, decided to give up the sport following incidents where he received sectarian abuse while playing for his County Fermanagh club.
16 November 2001
Down GAA breaks with tradition on Rule 21
County Down is the first Northern Ireland Gaelic Athletic Association board to vote to scrap Rule 21, which prevents members of the security forces joining. The county’s GAA board made the decision at a meeting on Thursday November 16.
13 November 2001
Cavan and Monaghan vote to scrap GAA’s Rule 21
Cavan and Monaghan Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) county committees have backed the proposal to delete the GAA’s controversial Rule 21, which bans members of the British Army from playing Gaelic games. On Monday, November 12, the majority of Monaghan GAA county committee voted to support the abolition of Rule 21.
07 November 2001
Donegal GAA County Board vote to scrap Rule 21
Donegal has become the first Ulster County to back the abolition of the Gaelic Athletic Association’s controversial Rule 21 which bans members of the British Army from playing Gaelic games.
21 August 2001
GAA repeat intent to abolish Rule 21
The GAA has confirmed its intent to abolish controversial Rule 21 which bars members of the British security forces from playing the sport.
31 October 2001
Armagh and Derry vote to retain Rule 21
The GAA county boards of Armagh and Derry have voted against scrapping Rule 21, which bans members of the RUC and British army from joining the Gaelic Athletic Association. News from the two hardcore counties against removing Rule 21 comes as results from the nine Ulster counties on the rule begin to stream in.
27 February 2013
Bomb Alert Was Hoax Says PSNI
A bomb alert in Newtownabbey has been declared a hoax. PSNI have described the security alert as an "elaborate hoax". The M5, was closed in both directions from Hazelbank to Doagh Road, on Tuesday night. All roads have re-opened.