Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

GAA club cancels INLA commemoration booking

A GAA club has cancelled an event commemorating an INLA killer due to take place in its west Belfast premises.

St Paul's Gaelic Athletic Club said it was unaware of the nature of the event when the booking was made to use its facilities for a function.

Yesterday former Democratic Unionist minister Edwin Poots condemned the plans for a fundraiser in memory of Christopher 'Crip' McWilliams who gunned down loyalist leader Billy Wright in the Maze prison in 1997.

Mr Poots said the memorial to McWilliams, who died from cancer earlier this year, damaged the GAA's reputation.

But in a statement issued today the club confirmed that the proposed function scheduled for its club rooms for November will not now take place.

A spokesman said: "The GAA is a sporting and cultural body and St Paul's is very aware of its role within it and the wider community.

"Our club committee was not aware of the nature of this booking when it was made.

"The booking has now been cancelled and we can now hopefully return to our primary function of serving our local community with sporting and cultural opportunities."

The Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) defended the event last night and said the club was being placed under political pressure by the DUP.

Last month a separate west Belfast GAA club cancelled a political discussion which was to feature leading loyalist Jackie McDonald.

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