Banners with Northern Ireland map removed at GAA match
GAA chiefs in Co Tyrone have said they are aware of the removal of advertising banners bearing a map of Northern Ireland from a ground at the weekend.
Four banners were removed during a club championship fixture at Galbally on Saturday evening.
The Tyrone senior, intermediate and junior championships are sponsored by Donnelly Vauxhall, which is part of the Dungannon-based Donnelly Group.
It is understood the deal is worth a five-figure sum to the county board annually.
Banners bearing ‘DonnellyGroup.co.uk’ and the map were put up by officials at several venues during championship matches at the weekend.
The Irish News understands objections were raised by a member of the Galbally club with the county board last week.
It is believed the same club member challenged officials during Saturday’s intermediate championship double header at Galbally with a copy of the 2016 GAA official guide book and argued that the map was contrary to the aims and objectives of the association.
The man then removed four banners from behind the goal posts at either end of the field.
The GAA’s official guide says that the association “is a national organisation which has as its basic aim the strengthening of the national identity in a 32 county Ireland through the preservation and promotion of Gaelic games and pastimes”.
A staunchly republican area, several people from Galbally were killed during the Troubles while hunger striker Martin Hurson also came from the area.
A spokesman for the Tyrone County Board said on Sunday night: “We are aware that an incident occurred.
“Donnelly Group have been long-time friends and supporters of Tyrone GAA and we will be endeavouring to ensure that no similar events occur in the future.”