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IFA has set an example to the 'sectarian' GAA

Congratulations to the IFA on the appointment of Michael O'Neill as the new manager of the Northern Ireland football team, and best wishes to him for success in his new role.

This appointment is a further reflection of the inclusive approach of the IFA, given Michael's Catholic community background.

Of course, we have had Catholic Northern Ireland managers before, not least the legendary Peter Doherty. Likewise, Michael O'Neill represented Northern Ireland with distinction as a player. The IFA is providing a role model for Northern Ireland society.

All of this is in stark contrast to the sectarian GAA, which has no Protestant players - let alone managers. Will the monocultural GAA now follow the lead of the IFA by appointing a Protestant as manager of at least one of its six county teams?

I fear that we wait more in hope than in anticipation of this organisation freeing itself from its seemingly systemic sectarianism.

DAVID COLLINS

Belfast

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