When the Irish Guards were accepted into the London GAA Championship last September, it was a historic moment in the history of the association. A blanket ban on British army participation had been lifted in 2001 and this was the ultimate realisation of that.
However, it seems things are not quite that simple. The decision to allow the Irish Guards to compete was only passed by one vote, 16 to 15 with London GAA chairman Noel O'Sullivan having the final say. According to the Irish Independent, a motion has since been put forward by Granuaile hurling club in Harrow to overturn that historic decision.
Such a proposal would have seen another vote going ahead, this time on whether to remove the Irish Guards from the London junior football championship. However, GAA chiefs have stepped in to prevent such a vote with president Aogán ó Fearghail confirming that Páraic Duffy, the director-general, has written to London GAA in an effort to ensure the Irish Guards are permitted to field a team.
Páraic and I have had discussions on it and Páraic, in discussion with myself, we've written to the London GAA board and we've asked them not to make a decision on that until we, as a management, have a look at that.
Ó Fearghail has said that the issue at play here is something greater than just 'one club'.
We've close to 2,000 clubs, if we accept a club into our association, having done that, then it shouldn't be so simple to just remove them.
Although the language used would suggest that GAA chiefs had simply requested that the London board not to go ahead with the vote, the president did go on to say that once the director-general gets involved, a county board would comply 'absolutely' with the request.