GAA

GAA To Be Officially Represented At Dublin Pride Festival

GAA To Be Officially Represented At Dublin Pride Festival

Marking a major milestone for the association, the GAA will be represented at this year's Dublin Pride Parade and Festival, the annual event celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

The news was announced on last night's Late Late Show during an interview by host Ryan Tubridy with prominent GAA referee David Gough.

In a statement released after last night's interview, the GAA confirmed their attendance at the event in the capital, taking place on June 29.

In the statement, GAA President John Horan said:

Last February I used my address to GAA Congress to highlight the need for us to show solidarity and respect for members of the LGBTQ+ community who make a contribution to our Association.

The opportunity to take part in the Dublin Pride Festival and Parade is a follow on from that and I am delighted that we will do so.

We recently launched a manifesto hailing the GAA as Where We All Belong. This is one way of living up to that assertion, of actions speaking louder than words.

The challenge for our Association at all times is to be relevant and to try our best to positively reflect society.

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Gough, an openly gay man, spoke candidly with Tubridy last night regards his own sexuality and the coming-out process.

The referee made headlines back in 2015 when wearing a rainbow wristband - a symbol of awareness and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. The GAA's position as a "non-party political" organisation meant the referee was subsequently stopped from wearing the wristband.

However, the Meath man was complimentary of the the efforts the association have since made to become more inclusive.

Gough said:

Since 2015 up to now, they have done a huge amount to change their attitudes towards inclusivity and LGBT+ rights and that has been brought on by the sitting president, John Horan, who is extremely open, honest, accessible - a wonderful man.

Myself and Valerie Mulcahy (former Cork footballer) met him earlier this year to have a conversation with him, just around LGBT and we put a few things to him. We weren't really sure what we were going to get as a response, but we really felt strong enough that we should really be putting our LGBT+ rights on the GAA agenda and see what they come up with.

And like any good principal, he said: 'Leave it with me and I'll get back to you.'

In the months following that conversation, Horan addressed the issue in his first annual address to GAA Congress. Last night's news, however, is a significant step forward again for the organisation.

Following on from last night's interview, Gough is set to referee this evening's Connacht SFC semi-final clash between Mayo and Roscommon in Castlebar.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Jonathan Walters Fights Back The Tears Recalling Family Tragedies

Aonghus Ó Maicín

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