Far-right group start petition to stop Muslim Eid event in Croke Park
A hugely controversial nationalist group has launched a petition to stop a Muslim celebration from taking place at Croke Park.
The GAA announced on Monday that 500 worshippers would be permitted to Croke Park for the celebration of the Islamic festival of Eid at the stadium on July 31, provided government public health advice allowed such gathering. Gatherings of that sie will be permitted if the country moves to Phase 4 of the roadmap to reopening Ireland as planned on July 20.
Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council described the use of Croke Park for the event as "symbolic to Irish Muslims in their ‘dual-identity’ as being both Irish and Muslim" given the "significance Croke Park and the GAA have in Irish history."
“The GAA is making great strides in embracing all communities nationwide. Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council is profoundly grateful to Croke Park for facilitating “Eid in Croke Park” which is a clear demonstration of the GAA’s unflinching commitment to promote social inclusion and intercultural diversity," he added.
“The historic Muslim celebration of Eid Al Adha at Croke Park this year will be a positive representation of Ireland’s growing diversity of many different faiths. Invitations have been extended to other faith leaders and politicians in Ireland to the Eid Al Adha in Croke Park.”
The announcement of Croke Park as the venue for Eid given the closure of mosques around the country due to Covid-19 has caused very little controversy but the far-right Siol na hEireann group has launched a petition to stop the event taking place.
They say they oppose the staging of the event in Croke Park for the following reasons:
"Ireland Belongs To The Irish: we oppose the importation of foreign and dangerous creeds like Islam.
"Croke Park is important to Irish nationalism as the GAA formed the backbone of resistance to foreign rule in this country Gaelic games are an integral part of Irish culture and must take precedence over the foreign and dangerous ideology of multiculturalism.
"We oppose absurd liberal policies which place the interests of foreign people over those of the Irish people.
"Mass immigration is a danger to Irish nationality, if things continue like this we will be a minority in our own homeland."
The self-proclaimed leader of Siol na hEireann, Niall McConnell stated: "Croke Park is holy ground stained with the blood of Irish patriots, built by the hands of pure-blooded Gaelic Catholics."
"Why should we allow a foreign celebration to be held in our Gaelic grounds while Gaelic games are still not permitted? This is our Mecca, how dare the GAA sell-outs allow this desecration?"
The petition has received minimal support.