Northern Ireland

Derry GAA figures back call for Gaza ceasefire

Gaels from across north to gather in Belfast for peace march

High profile members of the GAA in Co Derry are backing a call for a ceasefire in Gaza
High profile members of the GAA in Co Derry are backing a call for a ceasefire in Gaza

High profile members of the GAA in Co Derry have backed a call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Members of the association are set to gather in Belfast on Saturday in support of people impacted by Israel’s ongoing campaign against Palestinian civilians.

Almost 28,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces since last October.

The military operation in the region began after around 1,400 people were killed during a Hamas-led attack inside Israeli territory last October during which more than 200 hostages were taken.

Members of the GAA in Derry have added their voice to calls for the violence to end, including All-Ireland winning camogie captain, Aoife Ní Chasáide, former county hurling captain, Connor Murray along with dual stars, Liam Óg Hinphey and Ashleen McCaul.

Ex players, including ladies football star Nodlaig Ni Bhrollaigh, also gathered in Dungiven this week to offer their support.

Kieran McKeever, who won an All-Ireland title with Derry in 1993, believes that sporting bodies have a role to play in highlighting the crisis faced by Palestinians.

“Sporting organisations and sports people must lead by example and Gaelic clubs are at the centre of our communities,” he said.

“This is the worst humanitarian crisis that we have ever witnessed, and we must push for a permanent ceasefire.

“The Palestinian people deserve to live in peace and dignity and after so many decades, this must be the end goal.”

Former the European super-lightweight boxing champion Paul McCloskey also backed the ceasefire call adding that “people on the ground can make a difference and we know how effective sporting sanctions and bans can be”.

“I find it so hard to look at the rising number of children that are being killed and injured every single day,” he said.

“We can’t stand by and do nothing, it’s not an option.

“Our own children and young fans are looking at what is going on in Gaza and they need to see us taking a stand against it.”

The march, organised by Antrim Gaels against Genocide in Gaza, will take place on Saturday and make its way from Writers Square to city hall at 1pm.