Armagh GAA responds to email controversy

June 12, 2017

The Armagh GAA County Board has responded to an email sent from its official server recently, which poured scorn on Sinn Fein’s local candidate in the Westminster election, while encouraging support for the SDLP.

Last week Sinn Fein’s Mickey Brady revealed he had received an email under the pseudonym ‘truearmaghgael’ that contained “vicious and personalized allegations” against his character and urging recipients to vote for the SDLP candidate, Justin McNulty.

It emerged the email had originated from Armagh GAA’s official database and was sent to contacts in local GAA circles.

Brady criticized the move as “underhand and illegal”, stating that Armagh GAA “belongs to our entire community” and added sporting organisations have “no place in local politics”.

Responding to the matter, Armagh County Board issued a statement to all clubs, condemning the email and revealed that this is not the first time such an incident has occurred.

The statement read: “Last week an email from ‘truearmaghgael’ was sent to various individuals connected in one way or another to Armagh GAA.  This is not the first time such an email has been sent out.  Reference to the email has appeared on social media.  Consequently we wish to state:

“Armagh GAA disassociates itself from the email released by ‘truearmaghgael’ attacking a candidate in the forthcoming parliamentary election, Mickey Brady.  This was not sent from an official GAA e-mail address and Armagh GAA has no association with it, in any way.

“We are bound under Rule 1:11 Official Guide 2017 which reads: ‘The Association shall be non party political.  Party political questions shall not be discussed at its meetings, and no Committee, Club, Council or representative thereof shall take part, as such, in any party political movement.  A penalty of up to twenty four weeks suspension may be imposed for infringement’.”

Welcoming the County Board’s intervention, Mr Brady said he hopes its response will “put an end to these personal and underhanded campaigning tactics”.

“As stated by the Board, this is not the first time the GAA has been exploited in this way. But it must be the last time,” he said.  “We must rise above these desperate and shady electoral tactics and afford the electoral process, and all candidates involved in it, respect and dignity.”