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The GAA doesn't follow examples, it sets them

While David Collins' assertion that the GAA is sectarian is patently the delusional ranting of a fantasist (Write Back, January 13), his suggestion that it follow the 'example' set by the IFA is in equal parts laughable and terrifying.

I dread to think what 'example' this would be.

However, rather than attack the IFA and knock out a list of some of the shameful antics of its members and supporters, I would prefer to highlight the good work of the GAA.

The GAA is much more than hurling and football. It is a community-based, volunteer-led organisation that promotes pride and respect in your community and country.

It promotes the health and well-being of its members and fosters a sense of worth and belonging, particularly among its younger members.

As laid out in chapter one of its constitution, it is non-political, anti-sectarian and anti-racist. As such, I cannot say how many Protestants are members, as the GAA does not quantify people in such a way.

The GAA has engaged in a number of hugely successful cross-community initiatives, from setting up cross-community teams, such as the Belfast Cuchulainns, to endorsing the Game of Three Halves programme. The PSNI engages with the GAA on a number of community safety projects and, in recent years, we have sadly seen GAA members within the PSNI maimed and murdered.

No, the GAA does not need to follow the example of the IFA, because the GAA does not follow examples - it sets them.

BRENDAN BLAKE

Castleblaney, Co Monaghan

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