Robinson attends first GAA match

FIRST MINISTER Peter Robinson broke new political and sporting ground when he attended his first GAA game in Armagh on Saturday…

FIRST MINISTER Peter Robinson broke new political and sporting ground when he attended his first GAA game in Armagh on Saturday night. His presence at the game was part of getting away from “them and us” politics, he said.

Mr Robinson attended the Dr McKenna Cup final in Armagh between Tyrone and Derry, which Tyrone won, accompanied by the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

He was greeted in the VIP room of the Morgan Athletic Grounds by, among others, the Ulster GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail, the Ulster provincial director Danny Murphy and Tom Daly, chairman of the Casement Park, Belfast, stadium project.

Mr McGuinness and Mr Ó Fearghail went into the stand for the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann and when it was finished Mr Robinson joined them. The same facility was afforded when former DUP sports minister Edwin Poots attended a Dr McKenna Cup game four years ago – he was the first DUP politician to officially attend a GAA match.

READ MORE

Mr Robinson spoke to reporters and also signed a number of match programmes for children.

He indicated that his attendance was part of following up on the commitment he made at the recent DUP annual conference to reach out to nationalists.

He was glad to take up the invitation to attend the game. “We have to get away from the ‘them and us’ politics. We have to be able to show respect for each other’s traditions,” he said.