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Saturday 21 September 2019

Etchingham was a 'hero'

GAA Convention 2016

Wexford man Sean Etchingham was described as a hero of the 1916 rising by County Secretary, Margaret Doyle, in her address to the annual G.A.A. convention on Monday night last.

Buried in Riverchapel, she said that during the summer this year, Wexford G.A.A. honoured him by placing a stone and laid a wreath at his grave.

In November, she said, a plaque was erected in Innovate Wexford Park to remember him and all others associated with the rising, the First World War and the War of Independence.

She paid tribute to Breda Jacob, Oifigeach Gaeilge & Cultur, and her committee, for their work with this project.

St. Anne's (Rathangan) club delegate, Jim Berry, told convention of no games being played around the 1916 Rising, for all cultural events including G.A.A. games were banned by the military.

He said that despite all of this Wexford successfully defended their All-Ireland title in 1916, while the senior hurling and senior football championships got played in Wexford that year, with Glenbrien winning the senior hurling, and Blues and Whites winning the football.

Mr. Berry also referred to the recent statement of An Uachtaran, Aogan O Fearghaill, regarding the playing of the National Anthem and flying of the Tricolour at games.

The President said he was open to the idea of dropping the widespread use of the Irish flag and anthem in the context of what he called 'an agreed Ireland'.

He volunteered the views on the recent All Stars tour when asked whether it was time to consider relaxing the rules in this respect for overseas units, many of whose members are not Irish, a view originally floated by former G.A.A. Director, Liam Mulvihill.

However, Mr. Berry said, they had enough radicals in the G.A.A. without encouraging them, adding, that the Tricolour should not be up for debate within the G.A.A.

'Surely the diaspora are as proud of the Tricolour and National Anthem as we are, and get the same feeling in relation to it.

'The Tricolour and proclamation was given around to all the school, which was a wonderful idea. I think An Uachtara will have to look at that again,' said Mr. Berry.

However, County Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, said he believed it was an opinion piece given by An Uachtaran.

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