Flag controversy is a non-issue - Eamon McGee

DONEGAL GAA ANNUAL BANQUET

Flag controversy is a non-issue - Eamon McGee
Gerry McLaughlin sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

One of the two Donegal players who retired from intercounty football has expressed the view that the recenty comments by the GAA President on flags and anthems is a 'non-issue'.

Eamon McGee and Colm McFadden were honoured at Saturday night's annual Banquet and afterwards when asked about President Aogan O Fearghaill's recent comments on the national anthem and flying the flag, McGee said he had no strong feelings on the issue.

“A flag is a flag and at the end of the day, is it keeping many people away from Gaelic games?

“Those people who stay away from the games are going to find a reason not to play Gaelic.

“I have no real strong feelings on it but if we sit down in a few years time and find that a large portion of people are not going to play GAA or are offended because of the playing of the national anthem and flying of the flag then we will probably have to look at it”.

“But it is really a non-issue”.

When asked if he thought the President had gone on a solo run in the heat of Dubai, he said:

“I think the President was asked a question and he made a comment on it and he gave his opinion and it is probably a bit of knee jerk reaction going on in terms of the President says this and the President says that.

“He is not saying we are getting rid of the flag and anthem; he is saying we are open to having a conversation about them in an agreed Ireland of the future.

“But nobody is saying that the flag and the anthem are going. What they will do is that they will look at it.

“Flags and anthems don’t bother me; if there is a game on I turn up to play a game.

“But the flag and the anthem is very important to a lot of people so you would probably have to take their opinions more into account than mine. “I just don’t feel strongly enough about it," said McGee.

The Gaoth Dobhair man, who played 154 times for Donegal, was given the 'green jacket' to mark his retirment, as was St. Michael's Colm McFadden, who represented Donegal a record 173 times, scoring 25-434 in the process.

McGee did not score as much, but as Ulster GAA President, Michael Hasson, pointed out, he did his best to keep the score down at the other end. But there was a clip shown of Eamon scoring a goal against Mayo in a league match in Castlebar.

See Pages 26-27 for full coverage of the Donegal GAA Banquet.