Donegal, Ireland – In an effort to curb the perceived growing influence of ‘foreign’ culture, a west Donegal G.A.A club has taken the drastic action of banning its members from playing games such as pool and darts in its clubhouse.
The decision of Gael na Gaileanna’s senior board will see all recreational equipment, deemed ‘foreign’, removed from the clubs premises. This will include pool and billiard tables, dart boards, various board games and three sets of Connect 4.
Members of the board hope such a measure will make club players and members alike more appreciative of their Irish heritage and less inclined to the ‘perverted’ influences of non-Irish activities.
“My great-uncle Billy didn’t go toe-to-toe with the Black and Tans just so young fella’s could play pool and darts and other ‘British games’ ” said Daithi O’Murchu, a 54-year-old former chairmen of the club.
“If we get rid of these abominations then hopefully the lads will be more inclined to engage in more Irish activities. Activities like sitting in a dark corner, Jameson in hand, writing poems about drinking, and girls, and just being generally depressed”
The move has not met with consensual approval with numerous players and club officials calling it ‘unnecessary’ and ‘wholly irrational’.
“This is just ridiculous. I can’t believe the club’s hierarchy have thought it appropriate to take this measure. It’s just absurd” said James Reilly, currently a starting full-forward on the senior team.
“All the lads like to kick-back now and then, you know, have a few pints and play a few games of pool or have a go at the dartboard, harmless fun. We were even considering pitching in for a fuzzball table. It look’s like that’s now out of the window”
Despite the disapproval of Reilly and others, the club’s board has remained steadfast in their intentions to rid the club of all ‘foreign’ influences. One board member, Caoimhin Ui Neill, wants the reforms to be extended nationwide.
“It should be the duty of every Gaelic games club to preserve and promote Irish culture and traditions, not give a lending hand to the corrupting influence of the devilish ‘Sasanach’. Their only intent is for recolonization and to turn young Irishmen into mindless ‘amadans’, constantly obsessed with soccer and croquet”
The stance of O’Murchu, MacSiacais and other like-minded board members has received support elsewhere in the nation with some prominent members of the G.A.A. council reportedly set to lobby for the exclusion of all non-Irish products from G.A.A clubhouses.
Michael Lonergan, a club official from Offaly, believes that such an action should start with clubs being forced to stock Irish food products only.
“Irish people should eat and drink Irish. Why is there a need for products like Red Bull and Coca-Cola when there’s more than a satisfactory Irish alternative in TK lemonade. It’s the same for crisps, why stock Doritos when Tayto comes in three different flavours”
Whether or not such moves gain any real traction within the G.A.A. will have to be seen. Some senior officials, however, have already called such demands ‘counter-productive’, ‘parochial’ and ‘marginally retarded’.