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“Blaze at St John’s GAA Club deplorable” – Clarke

26 September, 2008


"Blaze at St John's GAA Club deplorable" - Clarke

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Willie Clarke has condemned a dawn arson attack on St John's GAA hall in Drumnaquoile.

Mr Clarke said,

"Firstly I want to condemn totally those responsible for this cowardly attack on a truly valuable rural community facility. I visited the club this morning and already large crowds had gathered, many of them young people devastated and visibly shaken by the loss of their local club. Early reports indicate that this was indeed a deliberate arson attack.

I want to make the point that this attack has come on the back of recent comments made by senior figures within the DUP against the Gaelic Athletic Association; those ill conceived comments are clearly creating a hostile attitude from within Unionism towards the GAA.

The NIO has implemented fast tracking arrangements to secure compensation for Orange halls damaged in this way; this same fast tracked process must include the GAA halls attacked in this manner also.

The GAA is a community based organisation providing cultural, community and sporting outlets across Ireland, their work with our young people in particular is priceless. The sick minded savages responsible for this attack clearly have no concept of community or indeed respect. I have no doubt the members and supporters of St John's will work tirelessly to re-establish their club."

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