Protestant GAA Player to Leave

A GAA player who was the victim of sectarian abuse because he is a Protestant has decided to immigrate to America after a weekend an arson attack on his home.Last year, Fermanagh GAA player Darren Graham threatened to quit playing Gaelic sports after receiving sectarian taunts about his Protestant religion from other GAA players.The 25-year-old, whose Ulster Defense Regiment (UDR) soldier father Cecil was shot dead by the IRA in November 1981, only agreed to keep on playing GAA games after Croke Park chiefs warned they would not tolerate sectarianism in the game.However, Graham has now decided to quit Northern Ireland for good after his Fermanagh home and car were attacked last weekend.The GAA star had been at home with his mother, three-year-old daughter and a family friend when a brick was thrown through the front window of their house in the early hours of Saturday morning. No one was injured.The family car was also set alight and destroyed during the attack.Graham says he has now has accepted an offer to play football and hurling with the Philadelphia Shamrocks, but denies that the attack on his home is forcing him to leave.He said the attack had brought back painful memories for his mother of her husband's murder."She heard the brick at the window and she thought it was a gun shot and it just brought back all the old memories," he said."Mum was so frightened she would not allow me to go out of the house. I'm angry about the whole situation. If it had anything to do with me, take it out on me, not my whole family."Graham said it was unclear if the attack on his home was connected to his decision to highlight sectarianism within the GAA."I hope it has all been worth it and I think it was because as far as I'm concerned, the problem has been sorted out."He said he had now decided to accept an offer to play Gaelic games in America for a three-month trial period but will stay if successful."I will continue to play GAA when I'm in America and it will always be a part of my life."Condemning the attack on the GAA player's home, Fermanagh/South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew said, "Sinn Fein totally condemns these attacks on the home of Darren Graham."I want to offer him my full support and encouragement. The vast majority of people across Fermanagh would also condemn theseattacks and support Darren in the stance he has taken in participating in the GAA and representing the county."

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly): http://bit.ly/1zew9ox

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: