In a proposal some are calling one of the most important peace gestures in Irish history, Tyrone and Armagh GAA boards are considering combining their potential July 12th Round 2 Qualifier clash with the Twelfth celebrations on the field of play.
The scenario will only take place if Monaghan defeat Armagh in their replayed Ulster semi-final this weekend, with bookmakers reckoning this scenario will be the likely outcome.
Both county board met yesterday to thrash out an agreement on the proposal with the following details confirmed as definite:
- Instead of St Michael’s Enniskillen, the players will march behind a lone Lambeg drummer, playing any tune he likes
- Both sets of players will march wearing a sash in their county colours
- The National Anthem will be replaced by The Sash My Father Wore
- A bonfire will be lit in the corner of the field at half time with no flags to be burnt, just rubbish and spare tyres donated by spectators
- Free beer cans for all in attendance
Tyrone spokesman, Kenny Nelis, explained the gesture:
“We in the GAA pride ourselves with forward thinking and this is just a natural extension of that. There are other proposals we are considering so don’t take that list as a definite. There’s talk of marching back to the changing rooms after the game is over, if the players are fit for it. This will be a special day for everyone.”
A stumbling block has surfaced though as Armagh have demanded they walk their tradition route on the outside, closest to the crowd. However, Tyrone are refusing to also give up their right to the outside lane and there are concerns there’ll be a stand-off. PSNI officials have reminded both county boards that they’ll employ water cannons if an impasse is reached on this issue.