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"No place in society for discrimination against children and young people"




Pro-British loyalists have objected to the development of a GAA pitch in Victoria Park. The GAA is the largest all-Ireland sporting body and was established to promote Irish games and culture.


The field was to be used for all age groups to play Gaelic football, hurling, and camogie.

The land has been earmarked by Belfast City Council for use by East Belfast GAA, which has attracted cross-community support since it was set up in 2020.


Work had already started on pitch markings when the halt order from council officials came earlier this week.


It is understood a flurry of activity on social media by loyalists contributed to the decision to stop the work.


Jamie Bryson, a loyalist activist was reported in the Belfast based Irish News as saying,


“There are many people in areas like Sydenham who have had enough," he said. "They do not want the GAA”. Adding many unionists and loyalists view the GAA as "toxic".


Sinn Féin MP for North Belfast, John Finucane said he is "absolutely dismayed and disappointed that anyone would try to prevent children and young people from playing any sport in a public park".


“There should be no place in society for discrimination against children and young people because of their choice of sport,” he said.


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