GAA denies sanctioning Quinn rally

Fri, Aug 3, 2012, 01:00

The GAA has today denied taking an active role in last Sunday's rally in Ballyconnell in support of Seán Quinn and his family.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the organisation said that individual members were permitted to have their own views on issues.

However, it said that as an association "it would be entirely inappropriate for the GAA to become involved in matters outside its remit".

A number of leading GAA figures including Mickey Harte, Jarlath Burns, Seán Boylan and Colm O’Rourke attended the rally which drew between 3,000 and 4,000 people.

In addition, former GAA president Seán Kelly defended the support shown by members of the organisation, saying it was “an expression of moral support” for a family who had always been loyal to the association.

The Fine Gael Ireland South MEP said the Quinns had never forgotten their roots and had always committed to the GAA financially and in terms of their time. Mr Kelly later issued a clarification in which he seemed to distance himself from the Quinns.

“The rally . . . was an expression of support by people for the Quinn family. It is up to individuals to support who they wish,” he said.

Earlier this week, the GAA refused to comment on the attendance of senior figures at the protest beyond stressing that they were there in a personal capacity.

Séan Quinn's brother Peter was GAA president from 1991 to 1994. An arrest warrant was issued for his son Peter Darragh Quinn, was who was sentenced to jail in his absence last month after failing to turn up at court in Dublin.

Peter Darragh Quinn, who was last weekend pictured at two GAA matches in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, cannot be forced to return to the Republic.

Seán Quinn snr, Seán Quinn jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn were all found guilty last month of contempt of court orders restraining them from putting assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank, now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC). 

Seán Quinn jnr is currently serving a three-month sentence in the training unit at Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison.

His father avoided jail but was ordered to co-operate with the IBRC within three months.