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."