GAA names aim to aid pro-treaty side score


REFERENDUM NOTEBOOK:THE SUPPORT of a number of well-known figures from the GAA world for the pro-treaty Alliance for Ireland has clearly not gone unnoticed in and around the association’s Croke Park HQ.

Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody, Dublin football manager Pat Gilroy, Cork football manager Conor Counihan and former Wexford manager Liam Griffin were among those to pledge their allegiance to the alliance, which involves seasoned European campaigners Pat Cox and Brendan Halligan. Ex-GAA president Christy Cooney and former Ireland rugby player Denis Hickie are also involved.

As scoring points in the campaign grows increasingly important, the GAA yesterday issued a short statement saying it “does not take a position, or comment in any way, on either elections or referenda”.

“The GAA is a non-party political organisation whose individual members may, of course, decide to take positions on political issues in accordance with their own personal views and commitments,“ it added.

A GAA spokeswoman said the statement followed a number of calls about the matter.

‘Arousals’, ‘orgies’ and ‘fetish’ heat up Leaders’ Questions

JUST WEEKS after a Dáil debate on abortion brought the word “fornication” into Irish political discourse, Leaders’ Questions yesterday turned into a discussion of “arousals”, “orgies” and “fetish” in relation to the fiscal treaty.

ULA TD Richard Boyd Barrett began by saying the Government’s obsession with the “austerity treaty” was bizarre and not even Germany – home to the “guru of austerity, Angela Merkel” – could get the treaty through parliament.

Labour’s German colleagues (the SPD) would not even support such a “cutback orgy”, he claimed.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said Mr Boyd Barrett’s alternative to the treaty was an extra €10 billion in taxes and a collapsed euro.

“Where does he think that will leave us?” Mr Gilmore asked.

“Greece,” chirped Labour TD Colm Keaveney supportively.

Mr Gilmore added: “It may be that what is happening in Greece is a cause for arousal in Deputy Boyd Barrett...”

Mr Boyd Barrett said it appeared the Second International (socialist body) had developed a fetish for “interesting vocabulary”, despite internal differences on the treaty.

“Could we have a question, please?” Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett weighed in. “I am getting excited waiting for the question.”

Referendum Online

* “THE EU Titanic has hit the iceberg. It is a European union of economic failure,” UKIP MEP Nigel Farage says a democratic rebellion has begun.

* Young Fine Gael explains that the six-pack is not necessarily what many Irish under25s might imagine in its fiscal treaty vocabulary guide.

Quote of the day

“I do not do the Vincent Browne programme. Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he will not take part in a TV3 debate with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to be moderated by Vincent Browne. TV3 has put its political editor, Ursula Halligan, forward as a potential replacement and issued a fresh invitation.