192 3 mins 14 yrs

Nobody who has been to Auschwitz can avoid being totally overcome by the experience.  I haven’t been myself, though I have heard tales from those who have.  I remember my father telling me that after visiting there some years ago, not one person in his coach party spoke on the way back to the hotel.  They sat through their evening meal in silence and it was only at breakfast the next day when normal conversation resumed – such was the impact of the place.

Germany and Poland are no longer enemies.  Germany was compelled to respect the sovereign integrity of Poland as a precursor to unification.  Yes, their fans clashed at the World Cup, but I could not honestly imagine the Polish being so immature as to recommend the banning of the German National Anthem (Das Lied der Deutschen) during an international sporting fixture.  I’ve spent the last half-hour trawling Google to see if I could locate one story pertaining to any possible ban.  I could not locate one.

So why then are we subjected to this non-discussion about the playing of God Save the Queen in Croke Park at the forthcoming Six Nations rugby match?  Auntie Beeb has an entire article devoted to its alleged significance, and Republican Sinn Fein (the movement even more despicable than its mainstream rival) plans to demonstrate outside the ground when England meet Ireland there.  Germany’s crimes against the Poles and Polish Jews outweighs any wrongdoings we committed against the Irish a billion times over.  Moreover, our fights against them frequently took place in the context of their attacks and crimes against the island’s minority Protestant population down the centuries.

Britain’s irregular forces killed 14 people at Croke Park back in 1920.  So flaming what?  This action took place at a time when we were fighting to keep the entire island a part of the United Kingdom against an illegal guerilla army that could equal the brutality of anything meeted out by the Black and Tans.  In those days the British Army really did meet violence with violence on the island of Ireland.  It was a far cry from the role they adopted during mass deployment in Ulster after 1969.  1920 was 1920.  This is a new century.  To those Irish who bemoan the entitlement of English (and a large percentage of the Unionist population who support England) rugby fans to have GStQ played at this bastion of sport-cum-bigotry,  I say ‘grow up’!

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192 thoughts on “God Save the Queen

  1. <em>To those Irish who bemoan the entitlement of English (and a large percentage of the Unionist population who support England) </em>

    A large and growing proportion of the Unionist population feel no affinity whatsoever towards the Irish rugby team-the refusal of the IRFU to recognise that there are two traditions on the island, most recently with regards to to the upcoming match with Italy at Ravenhill proves once again that it is not a true all-Ireland team which deserves our support.

    To interpret that apathy as support for England, however, is quite wrong….

    I wouldn’t stretch that to say they would support England

  2. First off, as an Irish rugby fan, im more then happy to see England playing in croke park, and again, I be more then happy to hear God Save the Queen there as well. Why, well, because the majority of Irish and English people get on pretty well and recognise that the past is the past. Some Irish and English people havent gotten over that yet though. I also cannot understand the decision of the royals not to attend

    Irish teams play English teams in rugby quite often and there is never ever any hassle.

    I think you will find that the reaction of the Irish people and the Irish media will be a lot more respectful then tends to be the case when the English are playing Germany. Where the english media and fans attempt to relive the war over and over.

    >>So flaming what? This action took place at a time when we were fighting to keep the entire island a part of the United Kingdom against an illegal guerilla army that could equal the brutality of anything meeted out by the Black and Tans. <<

    The past is the past mate. But there is a significance to this game in this location. The significance is that its a marker in the continuingly improving relationship between the people on these islands. If the Irish fans react badly I for one will be disappointed. There never is anti english demonstrations at these games and now is not the time for them either.

    >>To those Irish who bemoan the entitlement of English (and a large percentage of the Unionist population who support England)<<

    So your saying that NI rugby players, dressed in the Irish rugby jersey, watching their ulster players playing against the English, would be supporting
    England. What gave you this idea!!

    >>A large and growing proportion of the Unionist population feel no affinity whatsoever towards the Irish rugby team-the refusal of the IRFU to recognise that there are two traditions on the island, most recently with regards to to the upcoming match with Italy at Ravenhill proves once again that it is not a true all-Ireland team which deserves our support.<<

    Paul, I agree. If this is an all island team, then its only natural that God save The Queen be played if the games are in NI. However, are you aware of a request be made for this ?

  3. For the benefit of American readers of ATW:

    "On November 21, 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Auxiliary Division. British police auxiliaries entered the ground, shooting indiscriminately into the crowd killing 13 during a Dublin-Tipperary football match. The dead included 12 spectators and one player, Michael Hogan. The latter, Tipperary’s captain, gave his name posthumously to the Hogan stand built four years later in 1924. These shootings, on the day which became known as Bloody Sunday, were a reprisal for the assassination of 12 or 13 British Intelligence officers, known as the Cairo Gang, by Michael Collins’ squad earlier that day."

    See
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croke_Park

  4. He’s right it is bloody offensive. Here is the verse added after the invading genocidal English got a bloody nose in southern Scotland :-

    Verse 6
    Lord grant that Marshal Wade
    May by thy mighty aid
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush,
    And like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush.
    God save the King!

    And not forgetting the Catholics –

    From France and Pretender
    Great Britain defend her,
    Foes let them fall;
    From foreign slavery,
    Priests and their knavery,
    And Popish Reverie,
    God save us all

    Charming. Can’t imagine why people don’t like it.

  5. Reread Andrews post again…exactly who BAR republican SF are milking victimhood ????

    Who gives a toss about RSF. Let them off. The absolute majority of Irish will not have a problem with this game and have never had a problem with GSF being played in Dublin. Martin Johnson could learn a lesson or two on respecting heads of state.

  6. Kloot

    I agree with the broad thrust of your response. The trouble is there is a small, yet significant, band of people (mostly in NI, I would think) who will rage against GStQ at Croke Park for every drop of propaganda they can milk.

  7. Any of our Northern friends fell confident enough to tell us who they will be supporting when Ireland comes up against England this weekend. πŸ™‚

    Its going to be a great game. Johnny wilkinson played a blinder the weekend

  8. >>The absolute majority of Irish will not have a problem with this game and have never had a problem with GSF being played in Dublin.<<

    GSF ??? sorry, meant God Save The Queen

  9. Samson

    So the line about ‘Saxon foe’ in the Soldier’s Song is not offensive then?

    Many National Anthems have lines in them that the petty could take offence at. Shouldn’t stop the customary propriety of playing them at any international game anywhere in the world.

    It’s about mature politics.

  10. "Paul, I agree. If this is an all island team, then its only natural that God save The Queen be played if the games are in NI. However, are you aware of a request be made for this ?"

    Kloot
    I believe there was, whether from the Ulster RFU or supporters I’m not sure. From what I understand, the IRFU have designated the match as being on *foreign* soil (OK fair enough Martyrs Memorial is just down the road from ravenhill, but the last time I looked we’re still on the same island;)).By doing this, there is no "statutory" requirement to have GSTQ played.

    For years, Unionist rugby supporters and players have stood respectfully to the Republic’s anthem and flag everytime they watched a home match in Dublin…pity the courtesy couldn’t have been returned when we the IRFU finally deigned to have amatch in Belfast.

    Proof if it were needed:
    One island, two (and rising if you count the Poles, Latvians etc!!) peoples.

  11. Paul,

    What about dropping both anthems ?

    But then we would be left with Irelands call…hmmm..crap.

  12. Would the English tolerate GStQ if it had lyrics added by Scots or Catholics eg . to do with crushing Englishmen or saving them from perfidious protestants ?

    I doubt it.

  13. "What about dropping both anthems ? "

    Both are disputed anthems in different parts of the island, so yes, it would be the least hypocritical answer for the IRFU. I won’t hold my breath though for them to see the light.

    "But then we would be left with Irelands call…hmmm..crap"

    Dear God no, I’d rather have the Boys of the Old Brigade to that tuneless dirge

  14. Samsom

    Some might disagree with you. I find ‘Saxon foe’ no more or no less offensive than the lines you quote in GStQ.

    My point is that National Anthems are played at international fixtures with no controversy. For a small section of the Irish population to make something out of this is, frankly, pathetic.

  15. "Any of our Northern friends fell confident enough to tell us who they will be supporting when Ireland comes up against England this weekend. :)"

    Neither.

    Will be cheering on our team tonight against the Welsh and finding where Liechtenstein is in the atlas for our next away beano next month;)

    Talking about the real and original and accept no substitutes, "Ireland" team of course;)

  16. >>Any of our Northern friends fell confident enough to tell us who they will be supporting when Ireland comes up against England this weekend. :)"<<

    Was ahead of myself there.. french next weekend…hangs head in embarrasment πŸ™‚ …

  17. McCann,

    For once you have a point but have ruined it by couching it in your usual bigoted nonsense.

    I have no problem with GSTQ being played whether it be in Lansdowne or Croker. We should treat our English visitors with respect. RSF are twats and represent no-one.

    I do have a problem with the suggestion of GSTQ possibly being played to represent the Irish rugby at team at Ravenhill. It is the national anthem of the UK and has nothing in it that is distinctly Irish. It would be an embarrassment if it were played.

    A bit of an extreme analogy here but I’d rather have "The Sash" played as at least it is an Irish song from one of our traditions.

    Paul is half-right though ;). The IRFU have backed themselves into a corner by their PC bullshit "we only play Amhran na bhFiann because we play in the Republic". They have been shown to be hypocrites and unionists have a right to be irritated.

  18. <Q>Both episodes were cold-blooded murder.</Q>

    Were they though ? Let’s not get carried away by spin here.

    Kloot <Q>Who gives a toss about RSF. </Q>

    Could be more important than usual this election kloot – they intend to field a lot of Candidates at the forthcoming elections – which together with people like David Hyland standing against the evil empire should make things interesting in several ways.
    1) will the Shinners have to become Greener than otherwise which won’t help their "party of reconciliation" spin
    2) will the shinners, directly or by proxy, resort to their old violent ways against their opponents – ie will baseball bat sales rocket at Curley’s ?
    3) will they cost the shinners seats ?

  19. ‘For once you have a point but have ruined it by couching it in your usual bigoted nonsense.’

    Wedge

    For once you have a point but have ruined it by couching it in your usual republican nonsense.

    Ravenhill is in the United Kingdom. The national anthem of the United Kingdom should thus be played when the Irish team meets there.

    It’s either that, or no Soldier’s Song in Dublin. Or does that concept of ‘an Ireland of equals’ not quite cut it with you?

    Insulting Unionists by referring to them as a ‘tradition’ on the island as opposed to a distinct people with a distinct birthright and national allegiance is, perhaps, one of your more revealing bits of terminology.

  20. <Q>It is the national anthem of the UK and has nothing in it that is distinctly Irish. </Q>

    It’s also the national anthem of this part of ireland for the foreseeable future Reg πŸ™‚

  21. >>Were they though ? Let’s not get carried away by spin here.<<

    Not sure what your saying here Mad, how were they not both murderous acts.

  22. <Q>Amhran na bhFiann </Q>

    Why do they refer to it as that ? Surely as it was written in English it’s adding insult to injury to use the gaelic wording? Do the IRFU follow the GAA in requiring team names in Gaelic and only on Irish paper etc etc ?

  23. Murder implies premeditation Kloot.
    It’s the word "retaliation" that makes me wonder.

    The killings, terrible though they were, happened while "in hot pursuit" of Collins thugs – who should carry most of the blame for USING the crowd at Croke Park for cover. Now , there’s no doubt that the Murder of Mellows and the others a few years later was retaliation and murder – as there was a cold-blooded decision taken to shoot helpless prisoners in custody in revenge.

    Don’t get me wrong here, What happened at Croker was wrong – but the spin is, IMO , disrespectful of the innocent spectators who died that day.

  24. McCann,

    "Ravenhill is in the United Kingdom. The national anthem of the United Kingdom should thus be played when the Irish team meets there."

    You could not possibly have missed the point more!

    "Insulting Unionists by referring to them as a ‘tradition’ on the island as opposed to a distinct people with a distinct birthright and national allegiance is, perhaps, one of your more revealing bits of terminology."

    It wasn’t an insult. Anyway, if a unionist is insulted by my use of the word "tradition"; I apologise to them. Not to you. It’s none of your business.

    MR,

    "Surely as it was written in English it’s adding insult to injury to use the gaelic wording?"

    Yes, we only use the Irish name to insult unionists. Or, perhaps, the Irish name is used as it is always sung in Irish at sporting events (despite being written in English – in beautiful Co. Down BTW).

  25. I see what your getting at Mad. But I disaggree that Collins sqad should take most of the blame. Most of the blame lies with those who carried out the act itself. They were members of an official british force and should not have acted in that way.

    Anyway, lets not turn this into a discussion of the past. we will all only get side tracked.

    Will you be watching the game yourself ?

  26. What’s insulting about ‘Saxon’. Personally I would rather not be associated with one of the most savage tribes that ever invaded these islands, but the English don’t usually agree. They seem to think there’s a lot to be proud of in their ‘Anglo-Saxon’ past, mud huts and all. And good luck to them.

    So you’re finding insult where no reasonable person could find it. An Englishman being called ‘Saxon’ is no more insulting (or accurate) than calling the Scotsmen ‘Celts’.

    It’s actually quite generous – all things considered !

  27. Kloot – It was part of Collins Plan that the killers should use the crowd. And I do think that it’s important that all these shinner sacred cows be culled.

    Reg – as it was written in English why is it "always sung in Irish" ? Seriously. It wasn’t even the original anthem of the free State.

  28. Can I just say that I will at the game in Croke Park? Who shall I be supporting? Simple, the team that plays good exciting rugby!I do think the anthemn thing is a major pain btw – makes political statements where most people just want to enjoy sport.

  29. "Reg – as it was written in English why is it "always sung in Irish" ?"

    Couldn’t tell you. I don’t see the problem. It sounds better in Irish anyway.

  30. MR posted:

    "Were they though ? Let’s not get carried away by spin here."

    If not cold-blooded murder, how would you describe them? Gallant acts of combat?

  31. David,

    I dont suppose you would accept a kidney or some other essential organ in return for the ticket ?

  32. Samson – surely, regardless of whether "Saxon" is insulting or not, it’s racist and the Irish are better than that ?

  33. "Can I just say that I will at the game in Croke Park?"

    David,

    Are you in the Hogan? (I don’t really care where you are sitting – just never thought I would ask YOU that!)

    Seriously though, where did you get a ticket?

  34. I suspect if some French had stood up to the Gestapo by shooting them any way they could – we wouldn’t be calling it cold-blooded murder.

    It would be a meritorious act. What’s different about shooting the British secret police, as far as the Irish are concerned ?

  35. Peter – "cold-blooded" murder would be something like happened to Mellows and co . or Oradour. Where a decision was taken to kill helpless prisoners in retaliation. Was there pre-meditation ? Did the British Government in irekland hold a meeting and tell the Army to pop down to Croker and Kill some locals in retaliation ? No – it was , regrettably, done in hot pursuit of men who WERE cold-blooded murderers – and who planned to use the Croker crowd.

    On a light-hearted note – I see that Plumber chappy who streaked at Croker was given an on-air bollocking by his ma on a radio phone-in and warned not to try and repeat his stunt (for Cystic fibrosis) at the Rugby πŸ™‚

  36. >>I see that Plumber chappy who streaked at Croker was given an on-air bollocking by his ma on a radio phone-in and warned not to try and repeat his stunt (for Cystic fibrosis) at the Rugby :)<<

    I heard that on the Joe Duffy show yesterday.. Hillarious.

  37. Samson – Oh I agree – there is a case for the pre-meditated killing of the agents being classed as an act of war. But you take the point about the difference between pre-meditated and unplanned.

  38. Samson

    The Germans invaded France in 1940 and enslaved the population, including implementing the "final solution" against French jews.

    The British were already leaving Ireland in 1920. Home Rule was on the table and a form of it was eventually agreed in the treaty at the end of the year.

    Big difference.

  39. Samson – If I referred to a job-seeker as an Irish Scally or a Polish Scally I’d be up in front of a tribunal and probably in court before you could say Mary Robinson πŸ˜‰

  40. <Q>David,

    I dont suppose you would accept a kidney or some other essential organ in return for the ticket ?</Q>

    try offering him one of Adams, McGuinness or Kelly’s vital organs and see if he bites πŸ˜‰

  41. Samson – I take your point – but my main objection is the use of the word "retaliation" in the Wikipedia article. Retaliation implies cold-blood which was not the case. It’s as dishonest as that crap in the film about armored car and machine gun. Republican mis-representation.

    Reg – of course you don’t see the problem – and I don’t mean that unpleasantly. Irish doesn’t come with the same baggage for you as it does for my community.

  42. Wedge

    An apology from you would have all the worth of an empty cardboard box. And yes, when my fellow BRITISH people are insulted by nationalist terms that are, essentially, pejorative and ignorant, an apology to them wouldn’t go amiss.

    I’m not missing any point. I repeat, for clarity: RAVENHILL IS LOCATED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. THUS, THE ANTHEM OF THE UNITED KINGDOM SHOULD BE PLAYED WHEN THE IRISH TEAM MEET THERE.

    You are the one having trouble with this, oft-repeated, republican concept of ‘equality’. I have no issues with the Soldier’s Song being played in Dublin.

    Samson

    None of the people who migrated to these islands down the years, Saxon, Roman or Celt, are whiter than white. All things considered, I think a little maturity from you would be welcome. Or are you ‘Samson’ by name, but ‘Delilah’ by conviction?

  43. Not so – apart from Jewish frenchmen, the French civilians were left pretty much alone during the war. After all, the french army we rescued from Dunkirk decided to opt out of the war and return to France to live it out in peace. They even had their own pro-German vichy government.

    Maybe Collins just couldn’t see far enough into the future to realize there was no point in fighting. Or maybe if he hadn’t fought, the British would have found an excuse to stay on .

  44. "All things considered, I think a little maturity from you would be welcome. Or are you ‘Samson’ by name, but ‘Delilah’ by conviction? "

    No, I like my English compatriots – but they have some blindspots. How about simply dropping the objectionable verses that insult your fellow Britons -that would be the sensible and mature approach.

    Then we could all sing the same song ! What say you – Andrew McCann

  45. <Q>Or maybe if he hadn’t fought, the British would have found an excuse to stay on .</Q>

    I doubt it – Southern Ireland was costing a fortune.

  46. "After all, the french army we rescued from Dunkirk decided to opt out of the war and return to France to live it out in peace."

    Really? I thought they joined DeGaulle and the Free French army.

    "Maybe Collins just couldn’t see far enough into the future to realize there was no point in fighting. Or maybe if he hadn’t fought, the British would have found an excuse to stay on."

    Home Rule was passed by the UK parliament in 1913 and would have been implemented (probably excluding Ulster) in 1914 if the First World War had not intervened. The British were not looking for an "excuse" to stay, they were looking for an honourable way to get out.

  47. Samson – are you saying that all it would take for the ROI to rejoin the Union would be for an editing of GSTQ?

  48. I doubt it – Southern Ireland was costing a fortune

    Plus c’est la meme chose, plus Γ§a change

    Northern Ireland is costing the Brits a fortune today

  49. Getting tickets has not been easy but, as with most things in life, if one persists…and I AM persistant!!! Looking forward to the game and good rugby.

  50. things is DV will you be standing proud in Croker to GSTQ, stiff upper lip n all that pomp πŸ˜‰

    also no-one goes to a game without secretly rooting for one side, camon say you’ll be supporting Ireland.

    Andrew Trimble is a class player, from Ballymena in his 3rd year at Bible College, and I believe proud to play in an Irish Rugby Shirt.

    could this be the seedlings upon which a united ireland is blooms.

    Hope its a cracker, and memorable.

  51. "Wedge"

    What age are you? LOL!

    "And yes, when my fellow BRITISH people are insulted by nationalist terms that are, essentially, pejorative and ignorant, an apology to them wouldn’t go amiss."

    None of them have been insulted so far. I suggest you are a tad over-sensitive, old bean.

    "I’m not missing any point. I repeat, for clarity: RAVENHILL IS LOCATED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. THUS, THE ANTHEM OF THE UNITED KINGDOM SHOULD BE PLAYED WHEN THE IRISH TEAM MEET THERE."

    Good man. You have just repeated what you said earlier only in block-capitals; but you are still missing the point.

    GSTQ has nothing in it that is distinctly Irish. Thus, the Irish team would be playing under an anthem that could equally (actually more so) apply to Scots, Welsh or English. That would be an embarrassment.

    I would have no objection (well, less objections!) to an anthem being played that only represented the Ulster-Scot/British identity in the north as it would still be distinctly Irish.

  52. Samson

    What say we keep all National Anthems exactly as they are; the English can join in the Soldier’s Song and the Irish can sing God Save the Queen.

    Given the difference in historical maturity between the two, I’d imagine far more English than Irish would be up for the challenge.

  53. They can do what they like ! I expect Scots will continue to disavow GStQ for as long as the English keep the anti-scottish verses, which they added AFTER the Union when we were all one big happy family supposedly.

  54. I’ve heard GStQ played many times in Scotland – at all sorts of venues.

    I never mistake ignorance for maturity. I do, however, always spot the correlation between nationalist bigotry and immaturity.

    Are you up for the GStQ challenge?

  55. "I’ve heard GStQ played many times in Scotland – at all sorts of venues."

    If that’s true – I expect there is a lot of self-selection going on there.

  56. ‘self-selection’

    Well, the IRFU, with their contradictory stance on the respective anthems, could tell you all about ‘self-selection’.

    Wedge

    Nothing to do with maturity. If someone is ignorance enough to use my surname on here with a prefix of ‘Mr’, I respond in a catty way. You’re no exception, and certainly nothing exceptional.

    So you have no problem with the Soldier’s Song being played when the British population of the island is present at a game, but have a problem with the Oirish having to sit through GStQ?

    I get your point absolutely, pal. And it’s a far cry from the ‘we republicans want to respect Unionists’ bullshit trotted out by the ‘green’ great and good.

  57. Samson
    I thought the General Wade verse tends to be dropped nowadays?
    Can’t recall the last time I heard it. I can’t actually recall the last time I heard GSTQ anyway. I remember when they used to play it in cinemas as well….

  58. "You’re no exception, and certainly nothing exceptional."

    How terribly witty.

    "So you have no problem with the Soldier’s Song being played when the British population of the island is present at a game, but have a problem with the Oirish having to sit through GStQ?"

    If it were used to represent Ireland, then yes.

    "I get your point absolutely, pal. And it’s a far cry from the ‘we republicans want to respect Unionists’ bullshit trotted out by the ‘green’ great and good."

    Nonsense. My objection to GSTQ is due to it having nothing in it that is distinctly Irish. As I have said already (more than once), I have no objection to an anthem being played, in the name of equality, that represents the unionist identity.

  59. I believe the Queen was asked to drop the ‘crush the Scots’ verse in the 70s – but conspicuously refused to do so !

  60. "This action took place at a time when we were fighting to keep the entire island a part of the United Kingdom against an illegal guerilla army that could equal the brutality of anything meeted out by the Black and Tans. In those days the British Army really did meet violence with violence on the island of Ireland"

    Britain lost the war in Ireland Andrew. Get over it.

    Bloody Sunday was just Britain’s way of proving it had no moral authority in Ireland. We all know (nearly all) that 85 years later.

    In 2007, the England rugby team and fans will come over and everyone will enjoy a great sporting event. Like they do every year.

    There will be 82,000 in the stadium enjoying the spectacle and five outside protesting.

  61. ‘How terribly witty.’

    Yes, and incredibly apt.

    ‘If it were used to represent Ireland, then yes.’

    The problem is (and it’s a problem you republicans are too thick and/or bigoted to appreciate) is that ‘Ireland’ (as the island concept, which is what the rugby team is supposed to represent) is not a constitutional unit, but two constitutional units reflecting the very different birthrights and national allegiances of its two respective majorities.

    Again, I repeat: ‘it’s a far cry from the ‘we republicans respect Unionists’ bullshit spouted by the great and the good.

    It’s the Soldier’s Song at Dublin; GStQ at Belfast. That’s the only basis on which ‘equality’ can be achieved in the IRFU.

  62. ‘Britain lost the war in Ireland Andrew.’

    Ahem, Britain gave up what wasn’t worth keeping. Different thing.

    Britain has had no moral, economic or sovereign authority in Ireland since 1921.

    It does, however, have complete moral, sovereign, economic, social and political authority in all parts of its territory – and that includes Northern Ireland.

  63. "The problem is (and it’s a problem you republicans are too thick and/or bigoted to appreciate) is that ‘Ireland’ (as the island concept, which is what the rugby team is supposed to represent) is not a constitutional unit, but two constitutional units reflecting the very different birthrights and national allegiances of its two respective majorities."

    What bullshit.

    "The island concept"?

    The fact there are two jurisdictions in Ireland is irrelevant.

    The rugby team represents the whole country. That is to be admired. I have no problem with the two national allegiances being represented.

    I do, however, take issue with the idea that an anthem could be used to represent the whole country but not be in any way distinctly "Irish". That would be a national embarrassment. It may as well be Englamd playing; or Scotland (oh wait – the Scots use an anthem that is distinctly Scottish too).

    "It’s the Soldier’s Song at Dublin; GStQ at Belfast. That’s the only basis on which ‘equality’ can be achieved in the IRFU."

    In your opinion.

  64. "Ahem, Britain gave up what wasn’t worth keeping. Different thing."

    LOL!!

    That smacks of the typical petulant cry from losers in a schoolyard football match:

    "Tch. We let you win."

  65. ‘The fact there are two jurisdictions in Ireland is irrelevant.

    The rugby team represents the whole country.’

    No it doesn’t. It represents the whole island. There is more than one country on the island.

    ‘I do, however, take issue with the idea that an anthem could be used to represent the whole country but not be in any way distinctly "Irish".’

    On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable to have an Irish anthem played in front of people who do not identify with the country of the Republic of Ireland, are not Irish by birth or national allegiance, and find the Soldier’s Song being played without reciprocity totally hypocritical?

    What a republican wart you really are!

    Petulant? No. Schoolyard? No. Factual? Yes!

  66. There should be no problem with GSTQ being played. It is the national anthem and the team should clearly be allowed to play its own national anthem. A few nutjobs might protest but that demeans them. It is pure parochial philistene posturing that has no concept of current world relations. Anyone who doesn’t stand up should be ashamed.

  67. Mahons,

    Speaking of national anthems, are people playing "The Star Spangled Banner" more often at events in your area? I went to a local community theater musical last week for the first time in many years, and they played the national anthem before the overture. They never did that before 9/11.

  68. Alan: I don’t think they are playing it more. There may be more attention given (Yankee stadium for instance has played both the anthem and God Bless America since that time).

  69. Andrew,

    "giving up" is just "losing" in two words instead of one.

    Your use of "wasn’t worth keeping" shows that even you, the great supporter of the union, don’t hold Ireland to have ever been an equal member, more of a chattel.

    This is why the union and unionism failed. It never was a union, it was an annexation founded on convenience.

    Until Northern Ireland is no longer "worth keeping" I suppose.

    Unionism should be renamed chattelism – whores spreading themselves on the faded altar of empire.

  70. ‘giving up" is just "losing" in two words instead of one’

    Nonsense! You ‘give up’ smoking because the cons outweigh the pros. You don’t ‘lose’ smoking.

    It wasn’t worth keeping because a majority of the people then were in open rebellion and impeding the UK’s agenda elsewhere. That certainly doesn’t apply, and will not apply, in Northern Ireland.

    How anyone can claim that the world’s most enduring Union, which civilised much of the globe, is a ‘failure’ is beyond me. Such is the heady propagandistic wine on Planet Nationalist.

  71. Andrew,
    you’re missing the Downing street declaration of 1991.

    "We have no selfish, economic or strategic interest in Northern Ireland." John Major, Westminster

  72. "No it doesn’t. It represents the whole island. There is more than one country on the island."

    Extremist nonsense.

    "On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable to have an Irish anthem played in front of people who do not identify with the country of the Republic of Ireland, are not Irish by birth or national allegiance, and find the Soldier’s Song being played without reciprocity totally hypocritical?"

    Strictly speaking, the Republic of Ireland is a state not a country. The rugby team represents the whole country (which includes part of another state).

    "Not Irish by birth"??? What are you smoking?

    As I have said countless times, "reciprocity" need not mean GSTQ. That is a myopic view (supported by the PC idiocy of the IRFU).

  73. Sir Percy

    It was actually Peter Brooke what said that. It is a political statement by a politician. It has no legal standing, domestically or internationally, and did not appear in the Belfast Agreement or its enacting Parliamentary legislation.

    ‘Extremist nonsense.’

    Fact, actually!

    ‘State’ (in the sovereign sense) is synonymous with ‘country’. It is ‘nation’ that had a different context.

    Unionists want nothing to do with the Irish ‘nation’. They live on the ISLAND of Ireland (represented by the rugby team), and live in the United Kingdom (represented by GStQ).

    They are not Irish by birth (except purely in a geographical sense). They are British by birth and have the right to hear their national anthem played in their own country.

    The myopia that exists, Reg, is the republican myopia so fantastically demonstrated by you on here. ‘We want to respect the Unionists’? Don’t make me titter!!!

  74. "’State’ (in the sovereign sense) is synonymous with ‘country’."

    Not always. Scotland is a country with recognised historical borders. It is not a sovereign state. The same applied in the past to countries that made up federal entities such as the USSR, Yugoslavia etc.

    A nation is a more abstract concept and does not necessarily have recognised borders – hence, for example, the magyar nation stretches into Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine (separate states and countries).

    "They live on the ISLAND of Ireland (represented by the rugby team), and live in the United Kingdom (represented by GStQ)."

    They do live in the UK. However your assertion that Ireland is solely the name for an island is an extremist view. Most people would at least accept that Ireland is a country if not one nation.

    "The myopia that exists, Reg, is the republican myopia so fantastically demonstrated by you on here."

    Nope. Wrong again.

  75. Reg

    That’s why I wrote ‘State (in the sovereign sense)’ to distinguish sovereign states from places like Scotland or the various state that make up the USA.

    Do pay attention.

    ‘However your assertion that Ireland is solely the name for an island is an extremist view’

    I never made that assertion. I said the Irish rugby team represents the whole island – thus it represents a geographical unit with more than one country on it. ‘Ireland’ in a politically sovereign sense can, and does, refer to the RoI. The rugby team does not reprsent Ireland in the latter context; only in the former.

    ‘Ireland’ (geographical sense) is two nations, two countries. ‘Ireland’ (sovereign sense) represents the RoI and the RoI ONLY. Rugby lies in the geographical context. Are you following?

    The ‘myopia’ accusation still stands.

  76. "That’s why I wrote ‘State (in the sovereign sense)’ to distinguish sovereign states from places like Scotland…"

    Exactly. So you agree that with my assertion that "states (in the sovereign sense)" are NOT always synonymous with "countries" (such as Scotland).

    Good man.

    "’Ireland’ in a politically sovereign sense can, and does, refer to the RoI."

    You are correct. A dreadful misnomer given that it does not include all parts of the historic "country" that is Ireland.

    "Rugby lies in the geographical context."

    Wrong. The rugby team represents the historic country (and, I would argue; one nation) that is Ireland. Remember, the Irish rugby team existed long before the political dismemberment of Ireland.

    "The ‘myopia’ accusation still stands."

    Right back at ya!

  77. also Reg, Andrew Trimble ( protestant from Ballymena), attending Bible College. ie you couldn’t get more of an extreme example plays International Rugby for Ireland.
    In doing so he considers he’s playing for Ireland as one nation, so the border is irrelevant in Rugby.
    Not so in football, we should honour G.Best’s wish to see one united team

    Andrew make sense?

  78. "In doing so he considers he’s playing for Ireland as one nation, so the border is irrelevant in Rugby."

    Rugby is not the only All-Ireland entity that northerners are willing to involve themselves with.

    Soon, the Presbyterian Church in IRELAND will elect a new moderator for the entire island. Church of Ireland is similarly all Ireland in nature as is the Methodist Church…

    That said, I think we should dump all this national anthem and national flags stuff and settle for neutral songs. I would suggest John Denver’s "Country Roads" for an inoffensive and enjoyable substitute.

    Nobody should feel uncomfortable at such special getogethers, the rare few that all Irishmen can enjoy together, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.

  79. well said southernprod.

    In fact, water trickling down a mountain will always take the path of least resistance.

    It is the natural thing to do, as you say:
    "Nobody should feel uncomfortable at such special getogethers, the rare few that all Irishmen can enjoy together, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter."

    Resisting this is much harder as one is fighting against the flow, as it were. Its all uphill, and ulimately when we get to the promised land will be seen as futile effort against the grain and flow of our times.

  80. Southern Prod,

    How ’bout that other excellent John Denver song……
    "Sweet Surrender" – with No substituted for Sweet, for copyright reasons?!

  81. On the other hand, David, "Country Roads" has the line, "Almost heaven, West Virginia."

    Now, West Virginia has a lot of similarities to Northern Ireland. Foremost, WVa seceded from Virginia and remained loyal to the Union in the US Civil War.

  82. As much as there is a small population on the island milking victomhood, most people in Ireland would rather the teams just got on with it and sung whatever they wanted.

    Although I will say this, the persecution complex and hyper-nationalism is not helped by complacent and arrogant British attitudes exemplified here, telling people to "get over" what their nation hasn’t had to, and making childish sweeping statements about the nature of the conflict.

    GStQ is a symbol but Croke Park is also a symbol, one of painful conflict for some, a respectful person would appreciate the sensitivity of that and decide against GStQ.

    My experience from living in England for a few years now, is that there is an attitude of, looking elsewhere to proclaim who’s worse, instead of actually dealing with the problems the nation’s been confronted with.If you want to live it up in a good economy that has been built up for years on the back of a colonial empire and you can’t hack some people not wanting you to come tootin’ the old theme tune in their own back garden, i think they will (probably quite justifiably) tell you "get over it".

  83. SouthernProd – what’s with this "Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter" nonsense ? That belongs back in the 19th Century before the C of I was dis-established, circa 1870.

  84. I agree with southern prod! Also hopefully when there is United Ireland we can have a new song that we all can worship! but GTSQ just aint it! The Sash IS better!

    Im Irish, not saxon! my ancestors were, hundreds and hundreds of years ago. (and for catholics their ancestors were celts etc and in future some Irish will have slavic, and african ancestry) i was brought up in Donegal, in the republic, In on one of the northern most parts, on the island of Ireland and i think of myself as nothing other than an Irishman! Regardless of where our ancestors came from, Im only supporting Ireland and our Anthem!!

    If sport replaces war, then the line from the Irish national anthem.. "Soldiers are we, who’s lives are pledged to Ireland" is apt! im not a soldier, but im for one team only and thats Ireland!

    GSTQ means nothing to my generation of irish! catholic protestant, dissenter, Athiest or whatever! If its played at croke park for the English team, grand, but not for the Irish Rugby team!

    but anyway,
    Come on the Irish!!

  85. Chris: As an AMerican my national anthem commemorates a victory over the British in the War of 1812. To their undying credit I have never known them to protest the playing of that song (which as an ally they have done without prompting on many occassion).

    Perhaps the best example of letting bygones be bygones was Lincoln’s having a union band play Dixie (the Rebel’s anthem) upon the fall of Richmond/surrender of Lee. It is time to move on.

  86. "I believe the Queen was asked to drop the ‘crush the Scots’ verse in the 70s – but conspicuously refused to do so ! "

    I would be suprised.

    My CoI Hymnal has three verses and none of those kyrics in them. I would reckon like All things Bright and Beautiful, it has been changed to ditch that sort of stuff.

  87. As regards the Scottish verse being dropped, the Saxon Foe part of the Soldier’s Song is not a part of the National Anthem, which consists only of the Curfa. So can we quit arguing about which is more "racist" and just play Dearg Doom before all rugby matches? Popular north and south, fiery, and ineffably better than Ireland’s Call…

  88. How, exactly, are unionists not " Irish by Birth " ? How are all the McCanns, Callaghans, Raffertys, Halligans, Hollands and so forth from my bit of the North not Irish?
    Unionist, yes, but "not Irish"?? Years of intermariage, conversion and soup has left us with racial as well as political stereotypes has it?

  89. Beggin’ your pardon Mr McCann, surr!

    As I’m only a poor tick little Oirishman, I was wonderin’ if you would be after explainin’ somethin to me, at all at all? As you are well aware, us simple Oirish folk have reduced brain capacity, and have difficulty understandin’ tings, seein’ as all the spare capacity left over in us is used on drinkin’ and fightin’.

    You see, I’ve read your article (well that’s not strictly true, I got the parish priest to read it to me, as bein’ a tick little Oirishman, I can’t read at all at all), and I’m wonderin’ what is the bee you’ve got in your bonnet.

    Are you sayin’ that we’re goin’ to refuse to play God Save The Queen? Sure, why would we do dat, at all at all? Isn’t the Queen a grand woman, God bless her? *tug of the forelock*

    Or is it dat you want us to refuse to play God Save The Queen, so’s dat we conform to your crude stereotype of us treacherous, rebellious Oirish? Or maybe start a riot, with fists and shillelaghs flying, so dat den, you’ll be able to write more of yer bile-soaked diatribes about us?

    Just wonderin’, like.

    Top of the mornin’ to you, and may all your potatoes conform to EU standards.

    Darby O’Gill.

  90. Donegal Prod

    "i was brought up in Donegal, in the republic, In on one of the northern most parts, on the island of Ireland and i think of myself as nothing other than an Irishman! Regardless of where our ancestors came from, Im only supporting Ireland and our Anthem!! "

    Why do you think it’s important for you and Dublin prod to tell us your religion?
    Who cares?
    Is your argument not capable of standing up on its own merits?

    Interesting also to point out that quite a few boys from the east of your county are some of the most loyal( but not in the politicals sense;))supporters of the Northern Ireland football team. You may have even seen their flag ("East Donegal GAWA") at the various home and away matches?

    I got speaking to one of them in Copenhagen and asked them why they don’t follow the team of the country they were born in…"simply don’t identify with it" was the answer, "not our team". Which was kinda ironic I thought.

  91. Paul "Which was kinda ironic I thought."

    Why "ironic" ?

    Perhaps those supporters or their parents are economic migrants blown in from Tyrone to participate in our wonderful Celtic Tiger? Perhaps those supporters identify with the Protestant/Unionist flavour of the other Ireland soccer team (you probably did not know but there is still a strong Orange tradition in Donegal, Orange halls and 12th parade) ? Perhaps nobody flippin’ cares in the Republic? Perhaps we are not sectarian when it comes to how we look at sport?

  92. I can understand people getting pissed off when the play Amhran na bhFiann in Dublin and saying they wont play GStQ in Ravenhill.

    But can u imagine the confusion on spectators faces – im talking about the Italians, if they played GStQ for Ireland. A bit embarrassing i think.

    Would Danny Boy not be a good substitute. Or another one that represents the North.

    Amhran na bhFiann represents the south so there should definately be an anthem played that represents the north. Not an anthem that represents the england,scotland and wales.

    Any suggestions people?

  93. Paul,
    "I got speaking to one of them in Copenhagen and asked them why they don’t follow the team of the country they were born in…"simply don’t identify with it" was the answer, "not our team". Which was kinda ironic I thought"

    Not as ironic as a quarter of a million people from north of the border applying for Irish passports in the last nine years alone.

    Now that’s ironic. I wonder if Darron Gibson will get a run out tonight against San Marino. What do you think?

  94. Scary_Eire: you are spot on

    It is kind of funny that the Welsh have their own anthem, the Scots have theirs, and the Northern Irish being bereft of a sporting anthem, use the English one

    Now the sporting irony here is obvious: English is the traditional "enemy" (in the harmless sporting sense) for the rest of us here in the British Isles, so having our own anthems goes along with that. If Northern Ireland had their own rugby team, and they played the English, then we would be treated to 2 renditions of GSTQ?!

    I vote Danny Boy!

  95. Scareybilly

    <em>Why "ironic" ? </em>

    Oh dear,I seem to have touched a raw nerve here.
    Calm dowm.

    "ironic" because 80 years after the foundation of your state, some still feel no great loyalty towards it.

    You seem to put that down simply to lingering vestiges of "sectarianism", which of course you eradicated from the rest of Republic, the very momemt you got your independence.

    I don’t know, seems rather a simplistic analysis to me.

    Garfield

    "I got speaking to one of them in Copenhagen and asked them why they don’t follow the team of the country they were born in…"simply don’t identify with it" was the answer, "not our team". Which was kinda ironic I thought"

    "Not as ironic as a quarter of a million people from north of the border applying for Irish passports in the last nine years alone."

    I think you’re missing the drift of my argument here.

    I’d guess that quarter of a million were people who felt some kind of connection with the ROI, or felt that a second passport would help them when travelling to some non-Brit friendly countries…or simply they enjoyed collecting passports. Whatever reason it wasn’t "ironic" .

    The irony is people from Donegal feeling a closer affinity to the NI soccer team than the ROI one. Any thoughts why? SB has put it down soley to sectarianism, do you agree with him?

    "I wonder if Darron Gibson will get a run out tonight against San Marino. What do you think?"

    On current form, no he shouldn’t. He has been injured for a lot of his time at Antwerp and has only started playing again in the last month or so. Ferguson has decided to leave him at Antwerp for the time being until he can build up match fitness. Playing him a low key match like this could knock him back injury-wise and as a Utd fan that would not be what I want to see. Coincidently, is my old mucker, John O’Shea playing tonight??

  96. SB has put it down soley to sectarianism

    You having reading and/or comprehansion difficulties? I listed more than one POSSIBLE reason, and you misunderstood my point about sectarianism (it was your kind of attitude I was referring to not the Donegal folks)…wake up!!!

  97. "The irony is people from Donegal feeling a closer affinity to the NI soccer team than the ROI one. Any thoughts why? SB has put it down soley to sectarianism, do you agree with him?"

    Hardly ironic. People from Donegal don’t feel a closer affinity per se. You met a couple of people who say they do. Who are they? How many people are you talking about? What is their affinity with the NI team? They must have told you.

    You could meet tens of tthousands of people from Donegal who do support ROI and they would tell you why.

    Belfast is full of unionist people supporting England instead of Northern Ireland. I’m sure they can tell you why.

    O’Shea is playing. I mention Gibson because he was born north of the border but has declared for the Republic.

  98. Sportbilly
    "I listed more than one POSSIBLE reason, and you misunderstood my point about sectarianism (it was your kind of attitude I was referring to not the Donegal folks)"

    3 of the 5 reasons you listed were connected with sectarianism.
    What do you mean "my kind of attitude"?
    Because I disagree with your rather narrow concept of what constitutes "Irishness", does that make me automatically sectarian?
    Can you point out any sectarian comments I ‘ve made on this thread?
    If not, you should withdraw that remark for the sake of your own credibility.

  99. Garfield
    " You met a couple of people who say they do. Who are they? How many people are you talking about?"

    From what I can gather, there are a couple of dozen who travel regularly.
    "What is their affinity with the NI team? They must have told you."

    I did give the answer a couple of them gave me earlier; they believe it represents their identity to a greater extent than the one in Dublin.

    "You could meet tens of tthousands of people from Donegal who do support ROI and they would tell you why."

    I’m sure I could. Doesn’t them make them any more worthy of the title "irishman" than either myself or the Donegal lads I mentioned (you surely should see by now the point I’m working up to?)

    Anbody who is born on the island of Ireland is Irish. There is not one standard definition of "Irishness" (or at least I hope you’d agree there isn’t) If I or others living in NI or indeed Donegal feel that we are not comfortable with your, Sport Billy’s or whomever’s definition of Irishness that is up to us.

    If we believe that GSTQ is our anthem, it is our right( as it happens I think a specific NI anthem would be better, but that’s not the point I’m making here).

    The day our right to a British identity is accepted without question, will be the day I’ll be a bit less sceptical about the motives of those who continually push on the concept of all-Ireland teams, be it in rugby or football.

    Another interesting question for you, do you think the lads in Donegal I was speaking about are entitled to a British passport, if not why not?

    "O’Shea is playing."
    Good, I hope he has a good one.

  100. >>Anbody who is born on the island of Ireland is Irish. There is not one standard definition of "Irishness"<<

    Very fair statement. There is no monopoly on Irishness. Nice to hear someone from the Unionist tradition being assertive of their Irishness.

    >>Another interesting question for you, do you think the lads in Donegal I was speaking about are entitled to a British passport, if not why not?<<

    Seems reasonable. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

  101. Paul,
    You can’t even count well either it seems, and wasting our time slabbering on about "The day our right to a British identity is accepted without question"

    Look, 99.99% of people do not give a toss in the Republic what identity you choose for yourself wherever you are. And in fact, I did not define Irishness, so if you found a definition in there somewhere, you were raving…

    The English can give their passports to whover they bloody well like to (I’m sure I have to inform you that it is not Dublin that decides who gets British passports these days) and again 99.9% of people do not give a shit what passport the other fella carries. Like the hundreds of thousands who choose the Irish passport in NI, and those who choose British, and those who take both, good for them…

    Really you are becoming very tiresome with your lack of basic comprehension, and your apparent paranoia…

    Try reading the entries twice or three times perhaps…

  102. "Another interesting question for you, do you think the lads in Donegal I was speaking about are entitled to a British passport, if not why not?"

    Paul,

    I don’t see why not, if that’s what they want. I’ve always seen the border as arbitrary anyway and the pro-British tradition in Ireland was never just an Ulster thing (and certainly not just a 6 county thing – as Paul’s comments prove).

  103. Paul,
    "Anbody who is born on the island of Ireland is Irish."

    Not exactly true. They can be Irish, they aren’t necessarily Irish. David Vance is always saying he isn’t Irish, for example. He is British.

    "If we believe that GSTQ is our anthem, it is our right( as it happens I think a specific NI anthem would be better, but that’s not the point I’m making here)."

    Why do you want to be both British and Irish? Isn’t there enough in British for you? You can be a British person in Ireland, living in the United Kingdom.

    "The day our right to a British identity is accepted without question, will be the day I’ll be a bit less sceptical about the motives of those who continually push on the concept of all-Ireland teams, be it in rugby or football."

    I totally accept your right to be British but I don’t understand why you want to be Irish too but don’t want to live and work together in the same country as the rest of us.

    Sorry pal but you can’t pick and choose like that. Being Irish has its responsibilities you know. It’s not a box you tick to warm you in your UK comfort blanket.

    Be happy in your Britishness and let the Irish get on with being Irish. Form a Northern Ireland rugby team and whatever else you want. Protect your Britishness.

    "Another interesting question for you, do you think the lads in Donegal I was speaking about are entitled to a British passport, if not why not?"

    No, they are not entitled to British passports. The UK won’t give them one because they are foreigners – Irish citizens.

    You have made your British bed now lie in it. Enjoy your nationality.

  104. Garfield,

    "Not exactly true. They can be Irish, they aren’t necessarily Irish. David Vance is always saying he isn’t Irish, for example. He is British."

    If you’re born on the island of Ireland, you’re technically Irish, whether you take pride in that fact or not is your own personal choice.

    "Why do you want to be both British and Irish? Isn’t there enough in British for you? You can be a British person in Ireland, living in the United Kingdom."

    Widen the parameters a little. You wouldn’t deny a second generation Indian or Pakistani in Britain the right to define himself as Asian-British, or I daresay a 15th (only a joke!!) generation irish person in the USA as Irish-American. Why am I not entitled to take the part of both cultures and identities I’m most comfortable with? Is it because my version of Irishness doesn’t fit into the norms defined by well, whom exactly? Does my version of Irish history and culture have to be exactly the same as yours?

    "I totally accept your right to be British but I don’t understand why you want to be Irish too but don’t want to live and work together in the same country as the rest of us."

    Well, following on from Reg’s earlier definition of "country", I do live and work (or at least for most of the time) in the same country as you. And I have no problem with that, if you don’t!!

    "Sorry pal but you can’t pick and choose like that."

    Says whom? It seems to be only the Little Irelander brigade who have the problem.

    "Being Irish has its responsibilities you know. It’s not a box you tick to warm you in your UK comfort blanket."

    And what are those responsibilities?

    I don’t regard my "Irishness" as a tick in the box, I was born on the island, I have as much right to it as you.

    "Be happy in your Britishness and let the Irish get on with being Irish. Form a Northern Ireland rugby team and whatever else you want. Protect your Britishness."

    I don’t have to protect my Britishness, it’s a part of my history and identity, which can’t be taken away from me. I’m more interested to see if such an identity can be accomodated within the greater Irish "family", you presumably would say no?

    "No, they are not entitled to British passports. The UK won’t give them one because they are foreigners – Irish citizens."

    You should read Reg and Kloot’s last comments on the matter. However you’d wish it wasn’t so, the islands of Britain and Ireland are too close together physically and psychologically to continue the "ourselves alone" philosophy which may have worked 50 years ago. The mistake Unionists made at the time of the signing of the GFA was not insisting that the principle of dual nationality should be applicable throughout the island. People in the ROI, like NI, should have the right to regard themselves as British, Irish or both.

    "You have made your British bed now lie in it. Enjoy your nationality. "

    That’s not a very…mmm. united (with a small "u") Irish attitude is it, it’s almost as if you don’t want us crashing into your little cosy Irish Club-what exactly are you afraid of??

  105. Few threads on ATW ever get as lively (or as petty) as a good old Anglo v Irish constitutional/historical ding dong .

  106. Here, here Garfield.

    People in the Republic (and that includes the vast majority of the 100,000 Protestants I would say) do not suffer from an "identity crisis" and if successive polls are to be believed, and from what I gather in various blogs, Irish people are very content with their lives as Irish people, no issues there.

    If the London government decided to issue British passports to citizens of the Republic (or even specifically Donegal folk :-), most people would not bat an eyelid, it is simply not an issue in the contemporary Republic of Ireland and three cheers to those that would take them.

    By the way London did issue British passports to citizens of the Free State until 1949 and some 200,000 Irish citizens have taken up the offer since 1949 to this day (people like Sir Terry Wogan and Sir Tony O’Reilly would be in this category, entitled to British citizenship because of being born in the Republic prior to ’49).

    So, practically nobody in the Republic considers having a British passport contradicts the notion of being Irish, because being Irish is not defined in terms of which passport you hold. It seems there is a lot misunderstanding in the north on these kinds of issues pertaining to how the Republic really is.

    Lastly, there is a movement in the Republic called "The Reform Movement" who seek the reentry of Ireland into the British Commonwealth, British citizenship rights for people in the Republic for those who would
    it, and again, that’s just fine.

    I’ll go so far as to say that if Botswana allowed Irish citizens (or even Donegal people) to carry their passports, nobody would loose any sleep over it…

  107. People born in Ireland are geographically both Irish and British as Ireland is one of the British Isles. Being "Irish" does not exclude being British any more than it stops one being European – as ireland is also part of the Continent of Europe.

    Politically Irish is a very different kettle of fish.

    The "Father" ( Frankenstein more like? ) of the Republic of Ireland did after all insist that Ireland is a "Catholic" nation – Catholic of course meaning Roman Catholic. Hardly surprising that David isn’t keen to accept that label.

  108. How can any true irish man defend the playing of the english national anthem when the Queen holds six of irelands counties. Can anyone seriously suggest that GSTQ should be played on the very pitch where the Black and Tans shot dead 13 innocent people including Hogan who has a stand in Croke Park named after him. I am disgusted to hear anyone suggest that we should let that anthem be played on irish soil considering what Britain has done and continues to do in our country. Only when ‘her majesty’ hands over ireland to the irish can any irish republican (in the true sense of the word) accept the english anthem and show respect to their traditions.

  109. SportBilly,

    I think you got it spot on there.

    >>Politically Irish is a very different kettle of fish.<<

    It could be argued that the new generations are feeling less and less politically anything. Culturally they are a mix of Irish/British/European/American and what ever else is going. Even spiritually people are picking bits of every religion to make themselves feel comfortable.

  110. >>Only when ‘her majesty’ hands over ireland to the irish can any irish republican (in the true sense of the word) accept the english anthem and show respect to their traditions.<<

    Because mate, the Queen only ‘holds six of Irelands counties’ because a sizeable majority of people in those counties want her too. Its them you need to convince, not the Queen.

    >>Can anyone seriously suggest that GSTQ should be played on the very pitch where the Black and Tans shot dead 13 innocent people including Hogan who has a stand in Croke Park named after him<<

    Theres not likely a single Irish or English person alive today who was around at that time. Are you suggesting that they should carry their sins forward. It was a different time and both sides inflicted casualties on the other. Time to move on.

  111. <Q>It could be argued that the new generations are feeling less and less politically anything. Culturally they are a mix of Irish/British/European/American and what ever else is going. Even spiritually people are picking bits of every religion to make themselves feel comfortable.</Q>

    I agree – Nationalism of all sorts and Irish nationalism especially is obsolete and dangerous. Do we really need this silly "Gaelic and Free, Free and Gaelic" nonsense in the 21st century? All one has to do is look at the people the people Irish Nationalism venerates – Sean South, religious nut and anti-semite, Russell the nazi stooge and now even celebrating the "Wild Geese", a bunch of pampered treacherous aristos who took no responsibility for their people and ran away. Has no relevance to how people are today in the Island of Ireland – cultural and ethnic hybrid.

  112. I’m no opponent of reasonable nationalism (in the form of patriotism as opposed to jingoism).

    I am an opponent of bigotry, which Mad’s selective criticism of Irish nationalism could be labled. However, considering the source, it is more comical than offensive.

  113. Mahons – Sorry if it offends your sensibilities – but Nationalism has been a curse. It belongs in the past.

    Why on earth would any modern Government wish to commemorate renegade aristocrats who ran away ?
    It’s bad enough to have shinners venerate Russell and South, it’s offensive to see the Government of the ROI commemorate 1916 – while at the same time decrying the Killers of Gerry Mccabe – but the "Flight of the Earls" ?

  114. Mad: It doesn’t offend my sensibility, as any regular reader of this site is accustomed to your obsessive hostility to Irish nationalism.

    It is a hostility born of bitter and irreversible defeat. The Republic exists, it thrives and it has joined its rightful place among the nations of this earth. No petty accusations against its founders or prinicples will ever change that fact.

    Console yourself with snickering slander as the dwindling chorus of partisan poppycock flows down the drain like the slippery sewage of a yesterday’s waste.

  115. Mahons- no defeat – the people who lost were the folks of the Free state who ended up far worse off than they would have been if they had stayed in the UK πŸ™‚

    Petty accusations? you think murdering unarmed members of the DMP were petty crimes? Strange lawyer.

    Principles ?
    The ridiculous Gaeldom ?
    The "Catholicism" that disgraced it ? That people are abandoning ? That is an embarrassment when it surfaces as with Bertie and All Hallows ?

  116. Mad: I doubt any reasonable person would claim that would be the opinion of the people of the Free State. It is more likely the opinion of those few souls unable to understand the importance of freedom.

    It is your accusations that are petty in and of themselves. A harping upon a one-sided view of history, devoid of balance or context for no purpose.

  117. Reg

    Ireland (island) is two nations, not one. And I’ll happily argue that point from now until eternity.

    You ‘dismembered’ the island when you chose to break away from the Union. You can’t have your cake AND eat it.

    Darby

    A very humorous post. Can’t quite understand why asking th Oirish to sing GStQ at Croke Park (if the English sing the Soldier’s Song) can be construed as a diatribe.

    What is soooo revealing about many of the responses to this piece is that republicans say time and time again they want to understand what makes Unionists tick. They think they can win them round to their point of view. However, be demonstrating their own island-view so clearly here, they place themselves a million miles away from what Unionists either think or want.

  118. What price "freedom" if it’s bought by murdering two unarmed policemen ? "freedom" to imprison women who fell foul of the Jensenistic Catholicism in Magdalene Laundries? "freedom" to have authorised murder?

    one-sided view ? It’s accurate. You might like to swallow the propaganda, but it soon falls to bits when looked at in any depth.

    Come on Mahons – what are/were these "principles" of which you spoke ?

  119. I am aware of those East Donegal Lads, and even know a few! Its up to them! CastleDerg and castlefin ( that hotspot) are renowned for being hardcore. Which is unfortunate, and im sure over the years, they identified more with their fellow protestant brethern than the catholics!

    If there was a head count though of us prods in donegal, i guarantee, it would weigh significantly in favour of the republic soccer team! We usually all support Finn Harps as well, and enjoy thrashing Derry City our arch enemies!! If some of those lad support Norn Iron….good luck to them! who cares! Us Donegal Prods are different to southern AND Northern ones! we are very mixed! in all ways! religiously, socially and politically( and as with all Donegal people, feel seperate, in many ways and issues from north AND south Ireland)! If they want a british passport good luck to them! I Have my Irish one! not that it matters anyway since Its really a European passport anyway!!

    As for the frankenstein Jibe, More prods have been president in the republic (as is their right)than catholic PM’s in the UK. If the republic is so hostile to prods, why all the presidents? (why do the prods of southern Ireland "punch above their weight"?)
    Me and Dublin prod told you our religion because Nothern Prods THINK they speak for ALL prods on the island of Ireland! when its really not the case! im sick of people thinking (both catholic & Protestant) im Naturally British, and people taking it upon themselves to represent me, and give forward their Views as if I SUBSCRIBE to them!! So its important for other people like us,(who are protestant) to show who we are and what we stand for, or dont stand for as the case maybe!!

    In my opinion, "Irish" (as opposed to "British/unionist") protestants on the Island of Ireland. have been too Silent for too long!

    Why is Irish nationalism bad/evil/curse…But waving the UnionJack for british nationalism good/pure/right???? Only a hypocrite can answer that! You cant be Unionist and portray Irish nationalism as being wrong! Unionism IS nationalism also! So which nationalism is bad now dear friends???????

    Come on the Irish!

  120. Madradin: Mr. Vance’s rules prevent me from suggesting what you might like to swallow.

    Seriously, can someone even have a real discussion with you on an this issue? You want to establish a debate with your own multiple premises as to the awful nature of the Republic. What is the point? It would be like debating Charles Manson on beard styles.

  121. Mad,

    You often state that republicans have a lot of sacred cows that need to be slayed. and very often you will get a fair debate on them here.

    What I find though, is that there is very little attempt at debating the sacred cows that the Unionist community also hold dearly.

    Donegal Prod…still want to support the ROI after that rubbish game… like watching league of Ireland players…dismal

  122. No Comment lol (staunton Must go though)…At least we didnt sing the other teams national anthem!!! like NI did (singing GSTQ) last night against wales! (who sung their own anthem!!) the sash anyone?

    I like standing on our own feet, even if we are led by the donkey (staunton)! Maybe we should be slaughtering (metaphorically speaking) sacred Donkeys (staunton) instead of sacred cows!!!

    come on the Irish!

  123. Nice to know that the banner of common sense is being borne so stoutly in my absence by DonegalProd and mahons.

    MR, mahon’s points are long overdue. You will find you can influence people, and somebody to argue with, if you try to be a bit objective, a bit more civil and tell a whole lot less lies in debate.

    e.g.
    >>What price "freedom" if it’s bought by murdering two unarmed policemen ? <<

    This coming from a guy whose hero waded through rivers of blood to get his hands on political power, killing prisoners of war, executing priests and bishops, massacring civilians, and selling scores of people – his own countrymen – into slavery!

    Oh, but killing two unarmed policemen in an attack on Dublin Castle, now THAT’s different!

  124. "Me and Dublin prod told you our religion because Nothern Prods THINK they speak for ALL prods on the island of Ireland! "

    No you just THINK that!

  125. Cowardly Cunningham joins in the attack but is still too scared to discuss Tohill.

    What Lies have I told here Cunningham ?

    Cromwell – 17th century.
    Your heroes – 20th and 21st century.

    psst – it was de valera who said he would wade through Irish Blood πŸ˜‰ Are you mixing him up with Enoch Powell and his River of Blood speech ?

  126. "Me and Dublin prod told you our religion because Nothern Prods THINK they speak for ALL prods on the island of Ireland! when its really not the case! im sick of people thinking (both catholic & Protestant) im Naturally British, and people taking it upon themselves to represent me, and give forward their Views as if I SUBSCRIBE to them!! "

    You just don’t get it Donegal and Dublin Prod.
    Your religion is completely irrelevant to the debate we’ve been on having here, indeed, to an extent it’s sectarian to even bring it up.

    Do you know what religion I am? Does it any longer matter in NI/ROI 2007?

  127. <Q>Me and Dublin prod told you our religion</Q>

    Nobody blogged here as "Dublin prod" DonegalProd –
    bit of a giveaway me old son.
    Thinking of "SouthernProd" ?
    Are you also "Lapsed Methodist" by any Chance ?
    Odd that so many people suddenly appear out of nowhere
    with their religion in their handles LOL
    Quite a few other newbies as well;)

  128. "Quite a few other newbies as well;)"

    It’s not half-term already is it?
    Schools out, the mini-trolls are out to play?

  129. Mahons – seems a bit strange that you can accuse me of "petty accusations against its founders or prinicples ", yet cannot be in any way more specific.

  130. So your telling me i CANT be protestant paul?
    (Was it you that mentioned the "Protestant" guys from East Donegal that you were chatting to???) to quote you *"I got speaking to one of them"* (the term "one of them" im assuming is a protestant)

    ok.. I accept your point. if we take religion out of the Equation you still fail to talk about my many other points that i wrote! (YOU are focusing on the religion part of my points, as if my political views are negated, made null and void by my mentioning my religion!)

    Minus the religion aspect i ALSO stated the following and i quote myself here…

    *"Why is Irish nationalism bad/evil/curse…But waving the UnionJack for british nationalism good/pure/right???? Only a hypocrite can answer that! You cant be Unionist and portray Irish nationalism as being wrong! Unionism IS nationalism also! So which nationalism is bad now dear friends???????"*

    Your reprimanding of me for my (sectarian???) religion conveniently & hilariously overlooks the fact that you completley blanked my POLITICAL (yes, non religious) View.

    If accusing me of being *"sectarian to even bring it up."* Then what can i accuse you of? ( for passing over my VALID Political views??)

    Irish Protestant & PROUD!
    COME ON THE IRISH!

  131. Paul – it used to play the same games on AOL boards, inventing all sorts of evocative screen names and then shooting down their arguments with ease. It’s the only way it could ever win a debate LOL

  132. Mad – Look, I actually think your heart is in the right place (others might wish it carved out and placed elsewhere). You are on record of deploring violence in NI no matter who the culprits might be. However, I think you might recognize a tendancy in your writing to take any possible chance to attack the Republic of Ireland and Irish nationalists and you often go into the deep past. I could write a thesis on the topic and the samples lay strewn across the archives of ATW.
    As I said above, it is a topic that is impossible to discuss with you because you don’t see or refuse to acknowledge your own habits. Plus I don’t intend to engage in the answer my every question format which leads nowhere.

  133. "Was it you that mentioned the "Protestant" guys from East Donegal that you were chatting to???) to quote you *"I got speaking to one of them"* (the term "one of them" im assuming is a protestant)"

    Hee! Hee!
    My missus uses the same convoluted logic when she reckons we *need* some more furniture

    Cheers Mad for the advice!

    And to think I wasted a good part of 30 seconds responding to their comments…

    Nighty night Donegal Prod and the rest of the Southern Ecumenical Gang…I have some toenails to cut, seeya round.

  134. Mahons – as you point out I detest Violence from all quarters in NI – so why should I not detest it in Dublin and object to it being lauded and commemorated, especially as it is used in part for justification of some of the terrorism we endured up here ?

    Try this one

    How does shooting two unarmed (RC as it happens) Irish policemen who are peacefully going about their lawful business dead square with "cherishing all the children of the nation equally" ?

    Isn’t it a bit rum for the Government of the ROI to commemorate the shooting dead of these two men ? The faux outrage about Bloody Sunday One and Bloody Sunday Two looks a bit – hypocritical ?

  135. >>How does shooting two unarmed (RC as it happens) Irish policemen who are peacefully going about their lawful business <<

    If rebels in an insurrection aren’t prepared if necessary to shoot a policeman who is trying to prevent their attack on the centre of political power in their country, they may as well stay at home.

  136. Tohill Cunningham

    <Q>If rebels in an insurrection aren’t prepared if necessary to shoot a policeman who is trying to prevent their attack on the centre of political power in their country, they may as well stay at home.</Q>

    Trying to prevent ? An unarmed man standing at a gate?
    That’s pathetic. It wasn’t a gun battle, it was a cowardly murder of someone who was totally unprepared and unarmed. It wasn’t even an attack – they didn’t attempt to take the Castle. It was cold blooded murder. And hypocrisy to pretend otherwise – especially when those who condone and celebrate it protest about Bloody Sunday One and Two …..

  137. madarin, not that i CAN or CARE to convince you, But you are, in what seems to be, (from my observation at least) in keeping with the spirit of Your own PERSONAL tradition now, TOTALLY & Utterly WRONG. (i got here from slugger o toole article, never been on this site before. Kinda glad i came, Dont know if im going to be a regular visitor, have other things to read/do/etc etc!)

    I am currently in LK (letterknny to non letterkenny based people and not the south as far as im aware) Co. Donegal. My Car is a 97 DL **** registration. I was born and reared in the south of the county, (Near Ballybofey!) and i live permanently in the sprawling town of Letterkeny. I also occasionally attend service in that town also ( I even bought teabags and Coffee in Tesco this evening, and thats the tesco in Letterkenny by the way!!)

    What amuses me, and I have to smile, is some folk on here who compare me to their ( you must have some wife if she thinks like me!!) wives!! and who use such words as "It", "trolls" "Half-Term" (Implying childishness of person giving views etc?? argumentative masterstroke!) and other such words (as if it bothers me OR invalidates my arguments!) to describe those who they suspect!!(WRONGLY in this case) and denigrate all those who disagree with their Views.

    You ability to express your points with out resorting to such behaviour, behaviour might i add that was memorably noted by Ghandi, to those on this board is as feeble as my patience to tolerate it!

    Territorial pissings was not just the name of a NIrvana song it seems!!

    If i got the other "prod" wrong its only because i cant be bothered to read through everything!

    And Aileen, (Assuming your Female of course, your unregistered as well, but im sure your well known!)
    if you think im not from here, lets arrange a little date, (Dinner, film , "the Disco" AND i wont tell my GF) and ill make sure i show you (as romantically as possible of course) how from Donegal i am!!!! (Cue Homer Simpson rawwwwr noise!)

    If accusing me falsely of being others/someoneElse is the BEST that can thought up by "regulars" on this site! Then its not as quality a site as i initially thought! And i would have to advise other viewers/readers/regulars/newbies/whatever to do the same as the guy who said he was of to cutting his toenails!! It would be time better spent to be sure!

    As a point of note Madarin, just so you remember, as far as i remember, some one accused you of being someone else further up the board, as far as i can remember of course!! ( im sure you can check it out for me, *"me old son."*)

    I know who i am and where im from. Im not confused about it, unlike some!

    Peace and good will to all on planet earth!! πŸ™‚

    COME ON THE IRISH!

  138. wow, this is getting really abstract now!

    odd? ….that i cant "handle" the irish word *"madradin"*
    (correct spelling now, is that what you meant?, are your getting on my case for spelling??..because if you are, let me put a cushion down on the floor to soften the impact, for when my mouth opens and jaw hits the floor!)

    Do i need to know OR care what it means OR how to handle it??? Its a word my friend, not a beautiful Lady!!
    Just How Should a person from Donegal "handle" the word or any Irish word (or english word) for that matter!! (a manual?)I hold my hands up! i have no idea what you mean! and i cant be bothered checking an online dictionary to shed light on what you mean by the follwoing statement

    *"Odd that somebody from Donegal cannot handle the Irish word "Madradin" ;)"*

    On a lighter note, when i read your post, and read the term you used "cannot handle the Irish word" The first thing that came in to my mind was of Ben Stiller in that meet the parents film. W
    hen hes in the little camera in the mirror at the end of the film, saying "can you handle that???..jack!" (or something to that effect) to R. DeNiro’s charachter!!!

    Honestly though, I dont know (not sure) what point your trying to convey! i think i do, but it would be such a bizarre way of expressing that point, that im not sure (cant believe) you would express your point that way, so i dont know what to say (to your post), bacuase i dont know what you mean or what your trying to convey!!

    NOW….can you handle that????..madradin ruad!!! lol πŸ™‚

    COME ON THE IRISH!

  139. "And Aileen, (Assuming your Female of course, your unregistered as well, but im sure your well known!)
    if you think im not from here, lets arrange a little date, (Dinner, film , "the Disco" AND i wont tell my GF) and ill make sure i show you (as romantically as possible of course) how from Donegal i am!!!! (Cue Homer Simpson rawwwwr noise!)"

    I somehow don’t think that that would be much fun for either of us.

    I do have a rather vague hope that you aren’t a Donegal Prod as that would give us a reasonable chance of being related, However my poin that you have in no way addressed,(which appears to be a theme),was about your broard brush swipe against NI Prods.

    My response was that YOU, thought that we thought we spoke for the Prods in Ireland. Note "You" not any group to which you may [ir may not belong ;o) ]

  140. <Q>are your getting on my case for spelling??</Q>

    A very American expression – you never learn LOL
    Not quite as good as the time you tried to prove your "Irishness" by claiming that you loved Soda "Farrells" (sic) or the time you claimed that Orange Church parades were to their chapels πŸ™‚

  141. 21 November 1920:
    Morning: The IRA attacks eight addresses in central and south-central Dublin city, killing eleven men and wounding five, one of them fatally. Their victims are British Army officers, some of whom are intelligence agents (known as the "Cairo Gang"). In one case, a gun battle erupts between IRA and Auxiliaries who stumble across the scene of one assassination: two Auxiliaries are killed, and one IRA man is captured.
    Afternoon: Police, Auxiliaries, and soldiers raid Croke Park during a Gaelic football match in response to the IRA shootings that morning. For some unknown reason, police open fire on the crowd. Fourteen are killed. That evening, Dublin Castle claims that the raiding party came under fire from rebel gunmen; this claim is contradicted by the press, and, later, by the findings of military courts of inquiry, which are suppressed by the Government. The shootings are generally considered a reprisal.
    Evening: Two IRA prisoners, and a civilian friend who had been arrested with them, are "shot while trying to escape" in Dublin Castle.
    November 21, 1920 becomes known as Bloody Sunday.

    This day in Irelands sad history will never be forgotten. The black and tans released from mental Institutions and let loose on our srteets to rape our women, torture our children and kill anyone who crossed their path. I think of this everytime we (Ireland) compete against england in every sport. We never invaded england to take it for ourselves. The brave Irish fought against a powerful army and succeeded to take back most of what was ours.
    When I go to the Match and if satan take the queen or whatever its called is played I will booooooo the whole way through as will many others.

  142. <Q>The black and tans released from mental Institutions and let loose on our srteets to rape our women, torture our children and kill anyone who crossed their path.</Q>

    LOL πŸ™‚

  143. Your that bitter Madradin – you believe everything you tell yourself. Crazy how unionists can be so blind, bitter that they cant believe the truth when it doesnt sound good for them. Sad really

  144. "If you’re born on the island of Ireland, you’re technically Irish, whether you take pride in that fact or not is your own personal choice."

    Not true. You can be but you aren’t automatically. Ask David Vance. He was born here and is British.

    "Why am I not entitled to take the part of both cultures and identities I’m most comfortable with? Is it because my version of Irishness doesn’t fit into the norms defined by well, whom exactly? Does my version of Irish history and culture have to be exactly the same as yours?"

    You are allowed to take part in both identities but in the end you are either British or Irish. You can’t be both. You are British with a strong Irish identity or Irish with a strong British identity.

    You seem to have chosen (are) British with an Irish identity. If you are called up you will defend your nation above mine. If I am called upon, I will defend my nation above yours. That’s the way it is.

    "And what are those responsibilities?"

    The responsibilities that come with being an Irish citizen above others. You have decided that being British has primacy for you.

    That is your decision and brings with it the responsibilities if being British. I wish you well.

    "I was born on the island, I have as much right to it as you."

    You do but you decided to abrogate that right and take up your equal right to be British. You are British with a strong Irish identity.

    Maybe one day your Irish identity will be stronger than your British one and you will then become Irish with a British identity.

    "I don’t have to protect my Britishness, it’s a part of my history and identity, which can’t be taken away from me. I’m more interested to see if such an identity can be accomodated within the greater Irish "family", you presumably would say no?"

    You have said no, not me. You are not part of the immediate family anymore. You are a relative. You live in a foreign country, you pledge allegiance to a foreign state and don’t want to be in the same family as the rest of us on this island.

    Why can’t you just accept that and get on with it. You can’t be in two families at once.

    "You should read Reg and Kloot’s last comments on the matter."
    Doesn’t matter what they say, it is for the British government to decide who they give UK passports to.

    "The mistake Unionists made at the time of the signing of the GFA was not insisting that the principle of dual nationality should be applicable throughout the island. People in the ROI, like NI, should have the right to regard themselves as British, Irish or both."

    You can argue that now if you want. It has nothing to do with me or the Irish people who the British give passports to.

    "That’s not a very…mmm. united (with a small "u") Irish attitude is it, it’s almost as if you don’t want us crashing into your little cosy Irish Club-what exactly are you afraid of??"

    You want the island partitioned. Well you have it. Now get on with your life and stop wanting to be treated like a member of the family when you clearly don’t consider yourself one.

    I’m not afraid. It’s out of my hands. You can become Irish anytime you like. That’s what consent is all about. You want to be British, living the UK.

    Be British and live in the UK.

  145. Garfield
    I’ve got to say this is one of the most surreal online exchanges I’ve had, here’s me a Unionist begging me to be allowed to be a part of the Irish family and there’s you as an Irish nationalist telling me no!!

    Anyway rather than run down all the points again, here’s a my own feelings,

    1. David V. can answer for himself of course, as far as I’m concerned, being born on the island of Ireland entitles me to call myself Irish.

    2. I’m also proud to call myself European (prob, only one who would say that on ATW!). Despite the fcat thta conflicts may pop up between the EU and the UK as a state, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I am British and European. There is probably less divides than unites the Uk and the rest of the island of Ireland today than does between the EU and the UK-I can call myself British and Irish, the same way that those born in England can call themselves English and British..

    3. Do you consider those in the wider Irish diaspora as part of the Irish family?

    4. "Be British and live in the UK"

    I do !! But by the fact of being born on the island of Ireland I can also call myself Irish. Surely "Irishness" can accomodate more than one kind of Irishman/woman?

  146. Linnaeus sorted all this out for plants and animals.

    Using his methodology :

    Family – European

    Genus – British

    Species – Irish, English, Welsh, Scottish.

  147. Alan – I’m not sure if there’s anything analogous between the blurring/twisting of the difference between English and British in your neck of the woods.

    People have to realise that times have changed. The world is shrinking in that old boundaries are less and less meaningful. People move around far more than in the past – differences are lessening. Glasgow, London, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast – there’s far less difference than there was even 30 years ago.

  148. Paul,
    you are part of the extended Irish family, just not the immediate one.

    You have married our neighbour and now live and are building your life with them. (Or we have divorced depending how you view it).

    Sure you have a strong Irish identity but you have left our family (or we have moved out depending on how you look at Irish independence).

    Paul,
    The Irish people are working on their future together and you are working on a British future.

    We have gone our separate ways and the gap is getting bigger by the day. The Europe analogy doesn’t work because Europe isn’t a nation state.

    English and British works because English and British are both in the same nation state.

    Ireland is a different nation state to the UK. The Irish now have a nation state and you neither are nor want to be in it. Fair enough, your choice.

    You are British and you can call yourself Irish if you want but if we ever need you you will think first of the British and secondly of us. That is the reality.

    Like the cousin you now are, you will think of your immediate family first.

    "Do you consider those in the wider Irish diaspora as part of the Irish family?"

    The ones who think of themselves as Irish and Irish alone are family. The others I think of as extended family like you. Irish-Americans, for example, are Americans first and foremost.

    Irish-British are British first and foremost. You are Irish-British.

    I like my cousins but they will never be as my brothers and sisters, the ones who are there for me and who are working in the interests of the Irish people.

  149. MR,

    There is still a touch of regionalism here in the States, but even that is fading. Used to be you could tell where a fella was from based on his accent. Now we all sound like news readers on NBC, ABC or CBS.

  150. Alan: You used to be able to tell what neighborhood someone was from in New York by their accent.

  151. PS. Paul,
    I am not an Irish nationalist, I am an Irish citizen living in an independent Irish nation state. Nationalists are the Irish on this island who, in my view, are unfortunate enough to find themselves without a nation state.

    We should consider ourselves fortunate. Like me, you feel you belong in the nation you are in.

  152. Interesting post Garfield, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the core question.

    I’ll take you up on this point though:

    <em>We have gone our separate ways and the gap is getting bigger by the day</em>

    I think you probably mean (Irish!) Unionists and the rest of the island of Ireland here, but…that’s not the most important "gap"; in my opinion, that is the overall relationship between the islands of Britain and Ireland. The UK, as a whole, and the ROI are closer today economically, culturally and even to some extent, politically than at any point since the ROI obtained independence.

    As that gap closes, the relationship between Unionists and Nationalists and between NI and ROI also must change and following that through, in the medium term future it will become more difficult to assert that there is an Irish identity can exist completely independent of Britishness and vice versa.

  153. As a member of the Irish diaspora (and one who retains his Irish citizenship and passport) can I remind you all that there is a big world outside Ireland and the level of hair-splitting navel-gazing on here is truly breathtaking. Wise up, open your eyes and see what’s happening elsewhere. It will make all those little troubles you think you are suffering now (arguing over the semantics of nationality, arguing over a couple of songs to be sung before a friggin match, for example) are so utterly, utterly pathetic that I am glad I no longer live on the island of Ireland, regardless of the affection with which think of it.

  154. <Q>As that gap closes, the relationship between Unionists and Nationalists and between NI and ROI also must change and following that through, in the medium term future it will become more difficult to assert that there is an Irish identity can exist completely independent of Britishness and vice versa.</Q>

    Interesting point Paul – and worrying at same time – the closer groups who wish to differentiate themselves move the more likely violence becomes. Freud wrote about’the narcissism of minor differences’.
    To some extent that is why we see some of the outlandish claims that are made to try and increase the gap between those of us who live in this Archipelago, the British Isles.

    The Sicilians have a saying –
    Nella stessa faccia, l’occhio destro odiava il sinistro.
    [In the same face, the right eye hated the left.]

    Good paper on it by Anton Blok, helps explain what happened in Rwanda, looks at anti-semitism in Germany, NI, Asian Sub Continent and the Balkans, of Amsterdam university, The Narcissism of Minor Differences, European Journal of Social Theory 1(1): 33β€”56

  155. Paul,
    we aren’t closer. That is wishful thinking. Everything is changing. If you lived here you would know.

    True we talk a lot more to the UK now and are now getting what we want out of this relationship.

    We have many things in common with Britain like we have things in common with France and the USA. We are now talking as equals.

    Sure we put our head in the sand for decades to get over our trauma but we are recovering quickly now that the corner has been turned.

    I look at Scotland and see how hard it is to take control of your own destiny.

    The effect that Britain had from independence has diminished beyond belief compared to today.

    The punt was linked to sterling so in effect we had the same currency. Not any more.

    We used to export over 85% to the UK, today it’s less than 20%.

    Our legal system is now more effected by EU than the common law and British legislation.

    Our constitution has also sent our legal system down a whole new road.

    Our economy is developing on a completely different plain to Northern Ireland – the best comparison.

    We today look to get our share of investment compared to the UK when it comes to financial services and investment etc.

    Before we were a source of cheap labour for their economy. Now 16% of Britain’s Irish have returned home in the last 10 years.

    We have taken in per capita more foreigners in the last three years than the UK has in the last 40.

    By 2016, we will have more Poles than British unionists on this island if things go as they are.

    Our education system is completely different, our currency is different, our political system is different, our taxation system is different.

    Lithaunian television broadcast live from Dublin when the Smithfield Christmas Tree. It was their present to us.

    The world is our future. Britain is an important neigbour and in time could be a dear and close friend. But they will never be family.

  156. "we aren’t closer. That is wishful thinking. Everything is changing. If you lived here you would know."

    Politically? The presence of the British ambassador st the 1916 commemoration and the close working relationship betweeb the two governmnets as the *peace* process developed. Possible visit of the Queen to Dublin shortly. Would any of these things happen 30 years ago?

    Economically? This article from the New Statesman is worth reading (apart from the typical New Statesman title!),

    http://www.newstatesman.com/200409130019

    it shows how much is actually owned by the British multinationals in Ireland. The UK still remains the ROI’s biggest export market and it is from the Uk that the ROI imports the most. More abstractly, with globalisation, the fact that both countries speak the same language and are on each other’s doorstep is a great advantage. Economically the countries are closer now (despite the euro) than even 20 years ago.

    Culturally? Always been close. Which football teams does the typical kid in the ROI support, what tv programmes does he watch, which newspapers have the highest circulation? I’ll bet most if not all are from the UK.

  157. " Two bestsellers in Ireland in the 1930’s were a handbook on the King’s coronation and the Irish Independent’s handbook on emigration to England."

    page 10, THE TRANSFORMATION OF IRELAND 1900-2000
    by Diarmaid Ferriter, Profile books, 2004

  158. Paul,
    the British ambassador coming is all good, doesn’t mean we are more alike than before, it means Britain and Ireland are finally developing a healthy relationship as two sovereign states.

    As for the New Statesman, Tesco, Boots etc. is not the Irish economy.

    True we are Britain’s fourth largest export market in the world so are important to them. Hardly surprising either as they are a big economy.

    Ireland makes a lot of cash out of Britain too though. We are the largest property investors there, for example. The way it should be and the way we like it.

    Imports Jan-Oct 2006: 14.5 billion
    Exports Jan-Oct 2006: 11.4 billion

    Lots of cash going around.

    Ireland’s biggest export to the UK is food products. Look at how much of the stuff Tesco sell that is Irish. We do quite well out Tesco thank you.

    As for Boots, look at what they sell. We have quite a nice pharmaceutical industry going on thank you very much.

    That’s what it is all about.

    As for TV, sure we watch lots of British and American programmes. But RTE is still the most popular.

    The main newspaper is owned by an Irish company, the same one that owns the Belfast Telegraph and the London Indpendent and many others.

    If you want to feel we are the same economically that is your prerogative.

    You didn’t grow up in the Republic, you don’t know how different it is. PIAB, PRTB, SSIA, Section 23 etc. means nothing to you.

    Sure I can shop in Tesco just like someone in Bangkok.

    They are the top supermarket chain in the world, they deserve their success.

  159. Dear Mr MAdradin…..YOU SAID THE FOLLOWING..(quoting me at the start)

    *" <Q>are your getting on my case for spelling??</Q>
    A very American expression – you never learn LOL
    Not quite as good as the time you tried to prove your "Irishness" by claiming that you loved Soda "Farrells" (sic) or the time you claimed that Orange Church parades were to their chapels πŸ™‚ "*
    ===================================================

    Madradin,
    ???? NOW I REALLY DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE ON ABOUT! i reiterate my statment from earlier! AND since i only started blogging here AND NEVER ONCE mentioned soda farls or Mentioned ANYTHING Orange, whatsoever, YOU ONCE AGAIN are wrong! And Anyway, I Dont have to prove anything! You cant bully ME of the Baord!!! You can try but…..

    So again ill say!!!!….I dont know (not sure) what point your trying to convey! i think i do, but it would be such a bizarre way of expressing that point, that im not sure (cant believe) you would express your point that way, so i dont know what to say (to your post), bacuase i dont know what you mean or what your trying to convey!!

    Aileen! Hopefully indeed we are not related!!! (and i mean that in a good way, so you can feel free to come to Letterkenny and have a date!!!!! πŸ˜‰ )
    You are trying to get me to change MY observation ? (which i believe to be true)
    when you said i just THINK that? All you said to me was that I was wrong and YOU were right! And thats not the case! I stick by my Views! And you cant make me change!! You have to get it in to your head that other people have Views as well and MAY BE RIGHT!!! And Why Aileen, have you conveniently Brushed off ALL my other valid Views, and are concentrating on this one???

    Dear Madradin,
    Its Laughable how, since you cant discredit my ARGUMENTS, you attempt to discredit ME by saying im not who i am!!! Everyone Can see what your at, and only someone who has serious arrogance (not backed up by argumentative qualitys) Like you …resorts to the trying to discredit the person as opposed to arguing back their arguments!!!

    Also no matter how close we are to the UK culturally, still no reason to join them!!! i can appreciate American culture, (music, film, food etc)….but im sure as hell not wanting to be part of the states!!! regardless of Superpower status!!!

    COME ON THE IRISH!!

  160. all i see you doing on this board Madradin Ruad is talking about the past! not the present! and i agree with you, you are right, the past in the republic was totally Crap, BUT lets see you knock the republic ….say from the year 2000 onwards!!!!! Not even the harshest critic can!!! The "South" has changed soooo much! It now is the way it SHOULD ALWAYS have been!! it took a while but now its right and proper!!

    YOU CANT knock it!! and if being part of the UK is SOOOOOO great, why was NI (Which was and still is part of the UK) such a backwards, sectarian, Nationalist state!(Unionism branch!) You keep mentioning Ireland in the 30’s and everything else…etc etc. (ad nauseum) BUT….the WORLD (including english people) can see what NI was!!!!
    Not a peep out of you on that matter eh?? AND thats why you pass by my other BALANCED arguments and try to say IM not who i am!!!! RUBBISH!!!!!! that what i say to you and your ultra feeble arguments!!! (everyone can see it)

    IRISH, PROTESTANT and PROUD
    COME ON THE IRISH!

  161. "You are trying to get me to change MY observation" No it is not your obesrvation as you haven;t observed us all and even if you did you would not observe that unless we each said "I/we speak for all Prods in Ireland"

    Why Aileen, have you conveniently Brushed off ALL my other valid Views, and are concentrating on this one"

    Because I find comments such as "Northern Prods think……" almost regardless of what follows irritating and an illogical presumption to say the least. You do not know us all and you know not what we all think, unless yo can exprapolate dierectly from our religion, i.e. Northern Prods beleive that Jesus is the son of God.

    As to the rest, I can’t take seriously anything that anyone says that can also make such a statemant and Paul is doing a great job on his own,

  162. Aileen, Now im not sure what YOU are on about!! But
    apologies if i am irritating you! that was not my intention!! You are focusing too much on a particular wording i wrote.. i think! See past the little
    stumbling point, if you can!!! If you cant! you cant!(now imagine me shrugging my shoulders in a not caring manner!)

    Aileen, If you have to try to Belittle my views so be it.(It seems to be what the "regulars" on this board do, when stumped by a decent View or post!!) To be brutally honest though, you are doing a better job than madradin (at least you pick up on other things i have said!!), Madradin is fixated on me being someone else,. who im not! (madradins whole rebuttal so far has been im not who i say i am and backs this up by picking on my spelling!, on posts which i havnt even read/seen to be honest!!!! laughable!!)

    These facts remain though Aileen!
    I am a northern Prod! (dont live in the UK part but still a Northern prod with plenty of relations in the UK part!!) I am entitled to say what i want about my people!!! Especially AS everyone from the unionist party/DUP/whoever etc etc seem to think only they can say it for us!!! (its all we ever hear really!)

    you are agreeing with me by saying *"You do not know us all"* (Am i not part of you’s??) and thats the root of MY point! people THINK that people from the North, of the protestant persuasion have one view, and thats Unionist, because the Northern Unionist protestants are the only ones in the media speaking, compared to IRISH protestants who say nothing really, perhaps because we dont care that much anymore?? There’s a lot of us who think differently to what the others put forward!! (particularly in Donegal!)

    I can barely remember what i wrote when i stumbled on to this blog (Via the mighty Slugger OToole!)
    So im not sure whats the point of these arguments anymore!! (Madradin seems to have lost his thread and facultys completly when communicating his points to me!!)

    From what i have read and understood, (from your points to me), is that you wont entertain my other VERY VALID POINTS due to the fact i said
    *"Northern Prods think……"*
    (Which i am one of by the way Aileen!)
    and i just dont get why you are nitpicking over that i guess!! Not that i care really!! (If you cant see the merit in my other Views! well… its a reflection on you isnt it, not me!!) but as i said it matters not!!

    Have you heard the new Arcade fire album Aileen? (great album!) Theres one particular great song on it, and i thought of you when i was listening to it! its called "no cars go" you should check it out Aileen! It can be OUR anthem!! OK in my Mind, im making it OUR official anthem Aileen! (just me And you!) Sssshhhhhh!!! πŸ™‚
    (If you can… play the album & in particular that song, and drive around the coast of Donegal!! its magic!!)

    I guess thats where im at!! Or rather where i was earlier, unhurried and unworried!

    Im not sure if ill be posting back here, Aileen! it hasnt been the most intellectually invigorating thing ive been reading, or contributing to!! 1916 is too far back for me to care, or any of that stuff that Madradin goes on about. Thus perhaps i have to bid adieu! (Weekends here!! :))

    Madradin take note. Im totally Bored by you (and your quiver of mindnumbingly Idiotic replys to me)…Not defeated!!! Just remember that *"my old son"*

    Enjoy your warholian existence on this board Madradin!

    The weekend is here, and im going AWOL Aileen!! (come to LK!!!!) Donegal Prod…over and out!! (of this rubbish!)

    IRISH, PROTESTANT and ULTRA PROUD NOW
    COME ON THE IRISH!

  163. <em>I am a northern Prod! (dont live in the UK part but still a Northern prod with plenty of relations in the UK part!!) I am entitled to say what i want about my people!!!</em>

    "Your people"? tad presumptious DP there!!!

    But apart from that, yeah, feel free to fire away; "I believe in no suppression, long live free expression", as I think Willie McCrea once sang.

    "Especially AS everyone from the unionist party/DUP/whoever etc etc seem to think only they can say it for us!!! (its all we ever hear really!)"

    They can think what they want, we all have a minds of our own, even unionists. I think the DUP are going to find out this fact to their cost in March.

  164. Do any of you actually realise that England have already represented at Croke Park, and stood to their anthem God Save the Queen already?

    Probably not….

    As it was played & respected the first time at Croke Park, so it should be for the second.

  165. listen lads.ireland sing the crappy Irelands call in place of our national anthem because it may have offended some people and playing god save the queen in Croke Park will without doubt offend a hell of a lot of people.some of the victims of that day still have living relations.im a big sport fan.i love gaa,soccer and rugby and i always show and feel respect for other countries anthems but i think this time the england team could avoid tensions and show a bit of respect and sing something else.how about Swing low sweet chariot? we will be singing Ireland call.Time to move on but history is what makes a country and should never be forgotten.and with that pride in your country there comes certain sensitivties and this is one.Croke Park was Irish.where we could celebrate our culture and traditions when we were not allowed for a long time.it was the last pure irish place and now thats over.welcome in the new years but one thing at a time folks.can you see the people of iraq welcoming the singing of the american national anthem in iraq within the next 85 years?

  166. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN IS THE B-R-I-T-I-S-H NATIONAL ANTHEM SO I DON’T THINK EITHER THE ENGLAND RUGBY OR FOOTBALL TEAMS SHOULD BE USING IT, REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE GAMES ARE BEING PLAYED. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT WAS ADOPTED BY THE ENGLAND RUGBY TEAM AND LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY HAS BEEN USED BY THE FOOTBALL TEAM – WHAT’S WRONG WITH USING THESE AGAIN? IT WOULD ALSO AVOID ANY PROBLEMS IN IRELAND TOMORROW.

  167. "Do any of you actually realise that England have already represented at Croke Park, and stood to their anthem God Save the Queen already?"

    Good point Unga!!

    I presume you mean at the Special Olympics.

    Sadly, pointing out the truth would spoil the tabloid-esque sensationalism surrounding this match.

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