| 15.4°C Belfast

GAA chiefs roll out the welcome mat

Close

Special guest: First Minister Peter Robinson attended the Dr McKenna Cup Final between Derry and Tyrone in Armagh

Special guest: First Minister Peter Robinson attended the Dr McKenna Cup Final between Derry and Tyrone in Armagh

©William Cherry/Presseye

Special guest: First Minister Peter Robinson attended the Dr McKenna Cup Final between Derry and Tyrone in Armagh

The Ulster GAA Council will take its ambitious integration policy to a new level on Sunday.

The Council has extended invitations to leading Unionist politicians and representatives from other sporting codes to attend the sell-out Armagh v Tyrone Ulster Championship quarter-final battle at the Morgan Athletic Grounds.

Also attending the eagerly awaited contest with be former Ireland rugby international Trevor Ringland from the ‘One Small Step’ campaign.

The Council’s Head of Public Affairs Ryan Feeney has revealed that the governing body of GAA in the province is anxious to be seen in the best possible light, particularly in terms of their integration strategy.

“This is a very big sporting occasion in an Ulster context and it is only right that we should invite those who are not from a traditional GAA background to share it with us,” said Feeney.

“We know from the feedback we are receiving that people who do not actively support the GAA nonetheless take an interest in our showpiece fixtures and we are delighted about the support we receive.

“Our president Aoghan Farrell and our chief executive Danny Murphy will host our guests at what will be an auspicious sporting occasion.”

Earlier this year First Minister Peter Robinson was a VIP guest at the Power NI Dr McKenna Cup final between Tyrone and Derry.

And four years ago the then Sports Minister Edwin Poots was a guest at the Down v Donegal McKenna Cup fixture at Pairc Esler, Newry.

The Ulster Council’s robust integration policy which has helped to forge stronger links between the communities in the province will be afforded special recognition early next month.

Danny Murphy, a driving force in launching and implementing the integration policy, is to be awarded a Doctorate by the University of Ulster for his Services to Sport and the Community.

“No one deserves the honour more and I think that this more than anything fully reflects the advances which have been made at grassroots level in nurturing better community relations, certainly in a sporting context,” said Ryan Feeney.

Belfast Telegraph