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Ex-GAA president Sean Kelly praises DUP leader Peter Robinson

Published 21/10/2013

First Minister Peter Robinson (left) is welcomed by Tyrone manager Mickey Harte (right), with the chairman of Ulster GAA Martin McAviney (second left) and the secretary of Ulster GAA Danny Murphy
First Minister Peter Robinson (left) is welcomed by Tyrone manager Mickey Harte (right), with the chairman of Ulster GAA Martin McAviney (second left) and the secretary of Ulster GAA Danny Murphy

Armagh and Tyrone's success on the GAA pitch helped pave the way for DUP leader Peter Robinson to attend a dinner honouring the gaelic games, the association's former president said yesterday.

Sean Kelly was speaking days after Northern Ireland's First Minister delivered a historic speech at a celebration of the GAA and its role in the peace process at Queen's University Belfast.

Mr Robinson, who was the guest speaker at the Co-operation Ireland gala dinner last Thursday, said his attendance would have been unimaginable a few years previously.

Speaking on RTE, former GAA president Sean Kelly said: "It's very welcome that someone in his position reflects the great work that has been done to be a more inclusive society and integrate people into society.

"The likes of the PSNI having a team and being recognised is all progress. That would have been unimaginable 10 years ago.

"When Armagh and Tyrone began to win All-Irelands, a lot of unionist politicians came down to matches without fuss and that helped create a new climate which has continued every since. We have a much better community now."

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