British & Irish Governments Plan Ceremony in Croke Park
history and heritage |
Tuesday February 20, 2007 11:34 by william
controversial game will be started by compromise gesture
Northern Ireland Minister Peter Hain has announced details of a joint ceremony before Ireland's crunch game against England in Croke Park on the 24th February.
The significance of the game is not lost on GAA followers and republicans who remember the infamous shooting of 14 players and supporters by the British Army on the 21st November 1921.
However according to GAA spokesman Ulick Magee a plan being devised by the GAA and the Northern Ireland office, will attempt to draw a line under the incident.
"We've spoken to the British government and they understand the significance of the event back in 1921. Back then 14 people were killed by British forces so in the spirit of the peace process and friendship we're proposing that we shoot 14 of their lot before the match. Then maybe have fireworks afterwards or something." Said Mr Magee.
The plan has had a mixed reaction from Downing Street. Prime Minister Tony Blair thinks the idea has merit but said that it needs to be done properly and with dignity.
"Frankly I think its a small price to pay for progression in Anglo-Irish affairs, but I think the idea of getting Ray Houghton to do the shooting would be too much for many English fans to take particularly after his goal against us back in 1988. And he's Scottish which is worse."
According to informed sources, the GAA and Number 10 have already drawn up a list of names for those to be shot. The list, which is not yet agreed, is thought to be a compromise of people that both the Irish and English public dislike. Among the names are moaney-hole singer James Blunt, foul mouth idiot Jade Goody, Trinny & Suzannah, Man Utd donkey Rio Ferdinand, cream cake expert Vanessa Feltz, "comedian" Russell Brand and any of the blokes who do outside broadcasts for Sky News.
But discussions took an ironic twist when both sides agreed on shooting Belfast singer Brian Kennedy, but neither side agreed on what nationality he was. GAA representatives claim he's British with their Foreign Office counterparts claiming he's Irish. The Irish claimed no Irishman should sing or dance in such a manner and the English saying he couldn't be a Brit because he had no tattoos on his forearm and didn't wear Ben Sherman shirts. However there was eventual consensus that he should be shot regardless of his nationality.
The shooting will be carried out my members of the 2nd Infantry Battalion from Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin. The original idea to get the FCA to carry out the executions were dropped when they revealed that their rifles are in fact made of hardened mala. Similarly the Garda Emergency Response Unit was discounted for fear they'd shoot more innocent civilians then claim overtime for it.