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Donegal players urged to stand to attention

Donegal players line up for the National Anthem before Sunday's game against Cork. Photo: Evan Logan

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

DONEGAL players have been urged to stand properly to attention during the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann, after a delegate at Monday night’s County Committee meeting branded the current practice ‘highly disrespectful’.

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Naomh Ultan representative Terence McGinley hit out at the manner in which the players stand, with their arms linked, and called upon the Board to intervene.

“Who is responsible for the Donegal county teams in the way they stand for Amhrán na bhFiann?,” Mr McGinley quizzed and after being informed by Chairman PJ McGowan that management had responsibility on the field and in terms of preparation of the team, the Dunkineely man voiced his displeasure.

“It is highly disrespectful for them to be standing in a line with their arms linked around each other. It is totally unacceptable,” he said.

“When the national anthem is being played people should stand to attention with their hands by their sides – not behind their backs either. To stand with their arms around each other, my God! What disrespect that shows to any country’s national anthem.”

McGowan admitted that it was something that had possibly been ‘overlooked’. He said: “Certainly, there is a code expected, but really it is something that hasn’t been addressed.”

But McGinley was very much singing off the patriotic hymnsheet.

He added: “We have lost track of our heritage. It might be okay for people in other foreign sports to do this – but it shouldn’t be in the GAA.”

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Meanwhile, Mr McGinley congratulated Donegal’s Ulster Council delegates for voting against a proposal to have the practice of conducting the business of Comhairle Uladh meetings through the Irish language.

“We were totally in favour of the meetings being held as Gaelige,” confirmed PJ McGowan.

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