Irish and British forces in historic sports meeting

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Military sporting history will be made today when the British and Irish armed forces come face to face in a shinty-hurling clash.

Until 2001 – 80 years after the end of the Irish War for Independence – such matches were banned. The Gaelic Athletic Association, which administers sports in Ireland, had banned such contact with the British armed forces.

But Gaelic and military sporting history is to be made at Bught Park, Inverness when the shinty/hurling teams of the British and Irish armed forces play each other for the first time.

The British Army team will include a small number of players who have international experience and they will be managed on the day by Fraser MacKenzie, former Scotland manager.

The event, Iomain Nam Feachd, is being sponsored by Poppyscotland, the charity supporting ex-servicemen and women and their families in Scotland. Admission to the game is free with crowds asked to make a donation to the charity.

Poppyscotland chief executive Ian McGregor said: “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting event and although shinty has its roots in the north of Scotland, veterans and their families from all over Scotland will benefit from the proceeds of this match.

“We hope that people will come along to watch what promises to be an exciting match.”