The Donegal senior football team stand accused of disrespecting the National Anthem when representing the county.
A former member of the Donegal GAA Co. Executive feels they are ‘disrespecting’ the anthem by the way they line up, with their arms around each other.
However, the accusation has been strongly refuted by a Donegal senior player, who says the players show total respect to the National Anthem
Terence McGinley, Naomh Ultan, Dunkineely, was so upset by their behaviour during last Sunday’s Donegal-Cork National Football League game, that he raised the issue at the meeting of the Donegal Co. Board on Monday night last.
“I think it is highly disrespectful that players should stand with their arms around each other during the National Anthem. It is totally unacceptable and should be addressed,” said McGinley, who is Naomh Ultan club chairman.
McGinley went on to explain how the team should respect the anthem: “They should stand to attention with their arms down by their side and not behind their backs as we see some teams do, but certainly not with their arms around each other as we witnessed in MacCumhaill Park on Sunday.
“As far I’m concerned it is totally unacceptable and highly disrespectful. It may be okay for other codes but it is totally unacceptable for a GAA team and I feel we should address the matter and something should be done about it.”
County chairman, P. J. McGowan, who seemed to be somewhat taken aback by the outburst, said he was not sure whose responsibility it was but as it was a team management issue, it was probably the responsibility of the team management.
The chairman also admitted that it was something that probably was neglected. He insisted that he did not feel it was the intention of the management or the players to be disrespectful to the National Anthem.
Donegal senior player, Rory Kavanagh, when contacted by the Democrat, totally refuted the accusation that the players were disrespecting the anthem. “We all stand to attention during the National Anthem and most of our players actually sing the anthem,” said Rory.
The St. Eunan’s man felt very strongly that the team does not disrespect the Anthem by linking together when it is being played.
On GAA protocol on the playing of Amhran na bhFiann on the Association’s website it states that teams must stand to attention and face the flag in a respectful manner during the playing of Amhran Na bhFiann.