Spectators at last Saturday’s Connacht Scor Finals were greeted by the sight of placards and protesters after a Leitrim act that poked fun at a former President of the GAA was disqualified.
With claims of interference from Croke Park and the Connacht Council and comparisons being made in this week’s Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s GAA Club notes with the Charlie Hebdo situation in France, protesters with placcards gathered to make plain their unhappiness in Tubbercurry last Saturday.
Both Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s Leiriu act and the County Board have claimed they attempted to compromise over the content of the Leiriu act which was a comic look at the decision of former GAA President Liam O’Neill to remove the Novelty Act and Question Time events, replacing it with the Leiriu Stairiul or Historical Presentation.
Members of the O’Heslin’s act, supported by other Leitrim clubs, staged a protest before the finals after the act was officially disqualified by the County Board leading to Leitrim Scor Secretary Sean O’Suilleabhain and Irish Language & Culture Officer Marie Mulvey to resign from their positions.
Explaining their decision, Sean wrote “The act was a comic look at the Léiriú which was introduced at the direction of Liam O’Neill, former GAA President in place of the Novelty Act last year. In the act, reference was made to the former President and Connacht Council considered this to be offensive and derogatory.
“Leitrim Co Board were requested by Connacht Council to disqualify the act. Seán O’Heslin’s were annoyed that they were not allowed to perform in Tubbercurry even when they had changed the script and eliminated the offending lines.”
However, Leitrim GAA County Board Chairman Terence Boyle told the Observer that every effort had been made by the Board to facilitate the Sean O’Heslin’s Leiriu act, claiming the Ballinamore club had twice rejected opportunities to change their entry.
Mr Boyle said that Leitrim County Board, in consultation with Connacht GAA Council, had disqualified Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s Leiriu as it contravened the competition’s regulations.
Terence added that the Leiriu competition was not the right forum for O’Heslin’s to raise their objections and concerns to the structures of Scor competitions. He said that the County Board would continue to raise these concerns in the future.