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Stormont diary: DUP man watches GAA on television

By David Young

It seems that unionist politicians remain fascinated by the GAA.

First new UUP leader Tom Elliott got into hot water by declaring that he would never attend a gaelic game, then Peter Robinson revealed that he had asked Gerry Kelly to explain the rules.

Now another DUP member has appeared to inadvertently reveal a passing interest in the sporting code.

The Assembly debated the Justice Bill last week and some MLAs expressed concerns that measures on tackling illegal activity around sports events could unfairly affect Irish league football.

DUP Lagan Valley representative Paul Givan said: "I am sure that all members will support the intent of promoting good behaviour at sporting events. I confess that I am not a frequent attender at GAA events, so I cannot comment on behaviour at those matches..."

The Alliance Party's Stephen Farry pounced: "Not a 'frequent' attender?"

The DUP man answered: "I should clarify that. I have not attended any GAA matches. I see only what is on the television, and, when we are looking at banning orders, I sometimes wonder whether we will end up banning some of the players for brawling on GAA pitches."

Democratic Unionist Alastair Ross later said the Assembly discussion had been a largely predictable affair: "The biggest surprise that we have heard in the debate was that my colleague Paul Givan watches the GAA on television."

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