Can anyone explain about the England Irish rugby story?
what happened at the place they are playing and why are they making so much of it.
Croke Park is owned by the GAA, or Gaelic Athletic Association, since 1913. The GAA was set up in 1884 with the express intention of protecting and promoting national pastimes. Gaelic football and hurling quickly became the cornerstones of the GAA and Croke Park synonymous with it. Written into the GAA constitution was rule 42 - the rule that expressly forbade the playing of 'imported games from Britain' in it's headquarters. The GAA were pretty much held to ransom over it, in that government funding for the redevelopment of Croke Park was pretty much contingent on that rule being relaxed. That rankled a lot with staunch GAA men, on several grounds. One was the fact that the Landsdowne Road redevelopment (home of rugby in Ireland) had massive government funding - €160m of a total of €250m, whereas in Croke Park, the government spent a mere €110m of the total €260m cost.
Another more important reason is that the GAA was set up as a nationalist body striving to protect all things Irish in an era where Ireland was reeling from the famine, mass emigration, desperate poverty and political oppression at the hand of the British. It flies in the face of the founding principles of the organisation to be forced to open it's doors to 'foreign' or 'imported' sports being played in it's headquarters. It's a bit like being expected to pet the rabid dog that mauled you last week.
In the light of certain promises being made - or carrots, to put it another way - and the big stick of withheld funding, rule 42 was 'temporarily' relaxed in 2005, giving the GAA authority to 'lease' out the grounds for Croke Park to non-GAA fixtures.
Obviously, the English playing in Croke Park would not sit well with some GAA people, and indeed would stick in the throats of most vaguely patriotic people. In the interests of progression (and the ever present pc brigade), the general concensus was to put on the game face (no pun intended), and go with the flow, and hope the usual piggybackers wouldn't make a showcase out of it.
Hope that rather long-winded explanation has clarified things a bit.
Ireland 43, England 13 - Woo Hoo!
Without disrespect to the people who were killed there (I was sitting in a stand named after a man brutally murdered by the army of the country we were watching, the irony of which was not lost on many) we have to remember that in 1973 at the height of the "troubles" the English team was the only one which would travel to Dublin for a match, when our Celtic cousins Wales and Scotland refused to travel.
When the English had plenty of reasons to not allow the Irish anthem at twickenham (i.e. after the warrington bombing) they never stopped it being sung , despite very anti English lyrics.
I was proud of the way the Irish supporters showed respect on Saturday and think it's a sign of a country that's maturing and one that's learnt that holding grudges and not letting go of the past (that's not to say we should forget) is what has fed the hate in parts of this country for way too long, and destroyed too many lives.
Live,let live and look to the future x
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