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Cork fans fly Confederate flag in Croke Park despite Virginia violence

Cork fans with a Confederate flag yesterday in Croke Park. Picture by Seamus Loughran

CORK hurling fans faced criticism yesterday for flying a Confederate flag at Croke Park despite calls not to use it following the violence in Virginia.

White supremacists protested at Charlottesville in the US state on Saturday against plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee.

A woman was killed and 19 people were injured when a car ploughed into a crowd of counter-protesters demonstrating against racism.

Some of Cork's GAA supporters have for decades flown the Confederate flag at games despite it being seen by many as a symbol of slavery and racism.

The 'rebel army' had been urged ahead of yesterday's All-Ireland semi-final against Waterford not to bring the flag.

However, a Confederate flag could be seen on Hill 16. It appeared to be attached to another showing an image of revolutionary leader Che Guevara.

GAA supporters expressed their disapproval online.

One Twitter user asked: "Where to even begin with the Cork fan flying the Confederate flag on the same pole as one with Che Guevara?"

In 2015, Sport Against Racism Ireland called on the Confederate flag to be banned from GAA games.

It followed the murder of nine black people in a church in South Carolina by white supremacist gunman Dylann Roof, who was pictured online with the flag in the days before the attack.

In 2004 former Cork GAA board chairman Jim Forbes said most fans aren't aware of the connotations of the flag, saying supporters simply use it "because it is red and white".


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