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British troops seek to field GAA team

Irish Guards at a parade in Castlereagh in 2011. Picture by Colm O'Reilly

A BRITISH army regiment will learn next week whether it will be allowed to field an official GAA team in London.

The Irish Guards have made an application to the London GAA, asking to field a team next year.

London GAA clubs will vote on the application at Monday night's county board meeting in Ruislip, greater London.

If the application is successful, the Irish Guards will be allowed to compete at junior level next year.

For more than a century, a GAA rule banned members of the British security forces from membership of the association.

Rule 21 as it was known was introduced in 1897 and effectively banned police and British soldiers from playing Gaelic games. It was only abolished in 2001, two weeks after the establishment of the PSNI.

The Irish Guards moved from their base in Aldershot, Hampshire, to Hounslow Cavalry Barracks in London in June of this year.

The regiment will be stationed at Hounslow for the next three years.

The Irish Post reported that support for the application is split 50/50.

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