Tyrone GAA great Peter Canavan is said to be ‘going nowhere’ after he was confronted by State Troopers during his continued protest with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota who halted construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Canavan, who thanked Native Americans in person for their financial help in 1847 during the Great Famine, is said to have wholly embraced the local culture and customs and may not return to Ballygawley at all.
In return, Canavan has taught many of the Sioux Tribe the finer points of Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie. Some of the male members of the tribe, however, are worried that many of the newly born Sioux children have a head on them like Canavan’s but are willing to overlook that if they get tickets for the All-Ireland in 2017.
It’s like my spiritual home. Throw in my experience of throwing bricks and stuff during the troubles and I’m finding this fairly familiar. I don’t know if I’ll ever leave Standing Rock. Big difference to standing in the Rock listening to Gourley waffling away about teaching.”
Canavan’s tribe, made up of over 40 people from Ballygawley, Cappagh and Dungannon, have adopted local names with Peter himself now demanding he’s called ‘Shiny-Domed One’. Using his expertise in hurling which was honed during his spell with the Killyclogher Hurling Club, Canavan managed the Sioux Pearses to a 2-18 to 1-18 win over the Choctaw St Mary’s in the Standing Rock minor hurling final last weekend, earning him the admiration of local women.
A local Native American, who wished to remain anonymous, added:
“He’s a great man for the protests but he’d need to keep his head down. There are a lot of babies the spit of Canavan.”