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Meet Na Gaeil Aeracha - Ireland’s first LGBT GAA club

 Meet Na Gaeil Aeracha - Ireland’s first LGBT GAA club

The GAA has broken many barriers over the years and another will fall in the very near future - as Ireland's first LGBTQ+ GAA club has been formed in Dublin.

The club, Na Gaeil Aeracha, will be the first that is openly and proactively LGBT-friendly, and hope to begin play in 2021, when restrictions have lifted and training can start to take place.

"We believe that setting up a GAA LGBTQ+ inclusive club means that people will feel more welcome to join in," said the club's co-founder, Caoimhe Baxter to Newstalk.

Credit: Na Gaeil Aeracha
Credit: Na Gaeil Aeracha
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"We're not saying that the GAA in general are not inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community - but whenever a club is set up as openly queer and openly accepting, it means a lot more people will feel comfortable to join whenever maybe they didn't in the first place - or maybe they were pushed out of the sport due to many different factors."

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"For whatever reason, a lot of people do not feel comfortable in a typical hetero-normalist club. And this just means that a lot of people may have not joined in the GAA... or they were pushed out."

Obviously, this is not the ideal time to be starting a new organisation based on meeting in person and doing things together, but the club hope to be able to get the club set up now and then begin play in the new year.

"At the minute we're in the initial stages of the set up of the club," said Baxter. "We've got a lot of interest in it already - we're hoping to get some game play and training started in early 2021. A lot of the people that are interested are absolute beginners - so it may take a while of actually teaching the sport. But we're really hoping to get game play next year".

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The club already has a badge: featuring a hurley, a sliotar and a football on a pink background, with a Pride flag as the backdrop. Their slogan will be "le brod agus dilseacht": "with pride and loyalty".

Topics: Ireland

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Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]