REVEALED: GAA was against British Minister attending 1985 All-Ireland final 5 years ago

REVEALED: GAA was against British Minister attending 1985 All-Ireland final

30 years ago but it feels like a life-time.

The State Papers from 1985 were officially released, today, by the National Archives.

While news outlets have focused on the governmental tension between Ireland and Britain - mainly concerning The Troubles - papers relating to sport in this country have also been released.

The most interesting revelation of all is a letter from Seán Donlon, Department of Foreign Affairs secretary, to Irish Ambassador to London, Noel Dorr on March 4, 1985.

The letter refers to a trip to Dublin, planned for September of that year, by Nicholas Scott, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Northern Ireland Office.

Scott expressed to Irish officials his wish to attend the GAA's footballing showcase but was knocked back.

Scott's wishes were put to the GAA on behalf of David Kennedy, chief executive of Aer Lingus, who was considering giving the under-secretary one of his complimentary tickets for the final.


Ray Hazel under pressure from Eoin "Bomber" Liston 22/9/1985

However, in a letter highlighted today by, Donlon notes, 'The matter was referred to the GAA's Ard Chomhairle which decided to inform David Kennedy that they would not welcome Scott or any other British minister to a major GAA event.

"David Kennedy feels there is no point in raising the matter again in the foreseeable future and he is hoping Mr Scott won't press the matter.

"He has not, or course, told Mr Scott of the GAA's attitude."

30 years later but that attitude is now out in the open.

Kerry went on to defeat Dublin to claim the Sam Maguire that autumn.