Oisin McConville Believes GAA Not 'Welcoming' Enough For Protestants

Oisin McConville Believes GAA Not 'Welcoming' Enough For Protestants

Oisin McConville believes that the GAA could be doing more to encourage members of Protestant communities to play Gaelic football and hurling.

"There's a real onus on the GAA now to continue to change," the 2002 Armagh All-Ireland winner told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback show.

"I think the GAA have made great strides. Is there more room [for change]? Absolutely.

"I'm wondering why - again, after all these years - there isn't more members of the Protestant community playing GAA. They're still few and far between.

"I'm just wondering, do we need to look at ourselves and think: 'Is it welcoming enough?'

"And I think the answer to that question right now is no - that there's too many obstacles in the way.

"But again, for that to shift, it's going to take a lot of work."


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McConville also spoke about the need for education in the North to integrate Catholic and Protestant communities.

"We live in such a diverse society, and we're still crippled with issues from 50 years ago," he said.

"Education, for me, is a very obvious thing if we are looking to build bridges, or change, or learn from the past. Education might be the right place to start.

"If there's enough will to make that happen, we certainly can push towards that. But, realistically, is it going to change anytime soon? No.

"I use the example of primary and secondary education, and the polar opposite they are to what happens when people go to college. Maybe we should look at third level education, and filter the way that we think about third level education down to secondary education."

Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

See Also: Six Winners And Losers From The Weekend's GAA Action

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PJ Browne
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