What do Catholic people living in non interface Belfast think of the flags crisis?

From Newsline last night… Gareth Gordon went ‘up west’ yesterday… and found there was not a great deal of sympathy, though not a great huge amount of passion either…

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  • GEF

    This 20 year old Catholic girl mentions her views on the Union Flag in her letter to the NewsLetter today:

    “I’m Catholic and love living in the UK”

    “I WAS brought up embracing Irish culture and I do Irish dancing. I have spent time learning the Irish language and have played both Gaelic and Camogie in my time. I went to a Catholic primary school and then a Catholic grammar. I also hold an Irish passport.’

    ” As we are constitutionally part of the UK, obviously we should be in line with the majority of the UK and fly the Union Flag, but the rest of the UK don’t fly it all the time, so why should Northern Ireland? Alliance created a compromise but their designated days policy has been a consistent aim and was in line with advice from the Equality Commission. Without Alliance, the Union Flag would not be on City Hall ever again.”
    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/community/your-view/i-m-catholic-and-love-living-in-the-uk-1-4692478

  • MALCOLMX

    GEF,
    I would be very suspicious of the origins of this letter from a rarely spotted unicorn. I’m not saying its not possible and yes there may well be people who think like that but just seems slightly false.

    What many people don’t grasp is what a United Ireland will actually look like, this assumption that somehow Republicans will accept the state of the 26 counties as mecca and pack up and say job well done is totally wrong. So many changed need to take place there as here before people can truly see its potential.

    As for the vox pop, don’t really think you can get a good honest flavor of an areas thinking by a few people with a 20 sec slot each. I like many other people tend to avoid journalist looking these ‘views’ for camera.

  • Trapattoni

    Not a chance that letter is real.

  • MrPMartin

    How arrogant it is to say that an article is untrue because you can’t countenance the existence of people who buck the stereotype

    I know it is true. She is my sister.

  • Ruarai

    Surley this is more about views of the protests and disruptions at this point rather than the the flag vote?

    Would be good to get people’s reactions to whether or not those actions are supported. I strongly suspect there’s very, very little support for the disruption outside the ranks of those doing the disrupting. In that sense, the protestors do have a point: they really don’t have much representation. If they want more, they should run for office like everyone else.

  • Jacques Stadacona

    If it’s your sister, P Martin, she’s a bit of a buffoon, to be frank.

    The damsel states:

    ”I am, in fact, a Catholic, Irish-learning and Irish-dancing unionist. I love being part of the United Kingdom. I love Northern Ireland. I love the Queen.”

    But judiciously bookends that declaration of amour fou with:

    ”As it happens, I do not agree with the idea of monarchy…”

    Right.

    She thence pivots to the fact that she holds an Irish passport, but, as we’ve come to expect, terminates her declamation by stating:

    ”I wanted to share my thoughts, particularly to highlight that religion does not always go hand in hand with nationality in Northern Ireland.”

    To wit, I am Irish but I am not Irish.

    If true, she’s silly and evidently confused about her sense of self.

    What is much more likely, though, is that it is the work of a wind-up artist.

    What individual from a Nationalist background, especially a 20 year old girl of all people, would be writing into the Loyalist Newsletter.

  • MrPMartin

    Jacques

    She’s not on Slugger and your comment about her was uncalled for. Her take on things is a v common one amongst her friends and they come from a pretty wide spectrum off economic backgrounds

  • MALCOLMX

    Jacques,

    Well put!

    My Favorite bit is that she loves the queen but doesn’t like monarchy! Classic!

    Could she be the female Jamie Bryson or Willie Frazer?

  • MrPMartin

    Also she wants to dip her toe into the world of political and civic engagement. She isn’t a stereotype or a cartoon. Most people aren’t

  • Granni Trixie

    Welcome to my world …infact I could have been this young woman when, in the context of the height if the troubles in 1972 in WB, I joined Alliance.

  • MrPMartin

    One can like the queen as a personage but not the institution. There’s a lot of unsophisticated thinking with respect to this but I digress

    a lot of people in northern Welsh live a life of complete Welshness and never utter a word of English but many of them actually support the union. Plaid Cymru don’t win that part of Wales completely.

    Irishness has many many subtleties, too many for the black and white world some people inhabit it seems

  • MALCOLMX

    MrPMartin,

    For someone who never had a real interest in history or politics she has made a good stab at it with her why i’m against a united Ireland, for the queen, against monarchy etc.

    He reasons against a united Ireland don’t even make sense and she loves dual nationality but depends whos in control.

    Still not convinced this is genuine and if it were to be true which is not impossible, god help this person as they dont have a clue what they are.

  • jeep55

    Hi Granni

    “infact I could have been this young woman when, in the context of the height if the troubles in 1972 in WB, I joined Alliance.” Isn’t that something your brother gives you an awful slaggin’ about!

  • Dixie Elliott

    Knowing the history of loyalism/Unionism I’d say that girl would need to be careful if saying the above within earshot of the wrong people.

    I doubt she’d get past ‘embracing Irish culture’.

    Anyway this is what happened to a woman on her way to City of Derry Airport who was unfortunate to run into a group of Union Jackasses.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-21039390

  • Comrade Stalin

    The News Letter, a few years ago, published a letter on the issue of child sex offences signed by an individual named “Peter File”. I don’t think they check details very carefully.

    As for the “earshot of the wrong people”, it’s a strange thing but SF heartlands these days are not dangerous places for people who are pro-union. If you’re anti-Sinn Féin, well that’s a different matter.

  • GEF

    If she is false, silly etc etc, is she any more or less silly than those loyalist teenagers who are throwing bricks and petrol bombs at the PSNI. At 20 she has a vote whereas most of those teenagers in the protests and riots are under 18 and cannot vote. In fact the parents of the ones under 16 are still claiming child benefit. At least she knows who to vote for, the Alliance party irrespective of her mixed up views.

  • MrPMartin

    I know it’s true. I won’t repeat myself

  • Comrade Stalin

    You guys are calling her silly and mixed up because she doesn’t fall neatly into your tribal pigeonholes. Shameful.

  • Comrade Stalin

    BTW In terms of the video in the original article, it’s also interesting to see Martin McGuinness expressing his disappointment. At least he is getting out and about, whereas Peter Robinson seems to be content to sit in his ivory tower and do interviews from his drawing room.

    It’s also very telling, as McGuinness says, that there has been no joint statement from both leaders. After Stewart Dickson’s office was burnt out I asked why Peter Robinson could not appear on the steps of Stormont and call the perpetrators “traitors” just as McGuinness had done following the Massereene murders.

  • David Crookes

    Sounds to me like a human being. I beware of people who can arrange all their beliefs in a perfectly logical and harmonious manner. A hardened reader of texts is rarely impressed by an immaculately consistent set of notions. He follows the rule of ‘lectio difficilior’.

    Life is simpler for the partisan reader. “A certain author claims that Edward Carson hurled, but it is a well-known fact that only the other sort hurl, so it is clear that Carson never hurled, and that the author is a liar.”

  • babyface finlayson

    Jacques
    I know catholics who share sentiments like this. I know protestants who are republican..
    Away from the world of slugger many people have mixed maybe even contradictory ideas about things. That’s people for you.
    As Comrade Stalin has said, they don’t always fit your pigeon holes.
    Are they the silly ones or the sensible ones?

  • Republic of Connaught

    I’m sure there are many Catholics like this girl, East of the Bann.

    However, to a southern person, the type of confused contradictions evident in the girl’s letter highlight what colonialism has done to many Irish Catholics in Ulster.

    They appear to the southern eye to be more like a person in England born of Irish parents rather than actually native born Irish.

  • Seamuscamp

    GEF

    “If she is false, silly etc etc, is she any more or less silly than those loyalist teenagers who are throwing bricks and petrol bombs at the PSNI. ”

    Just look at what you’ve written. You equivalence some civil remarks in a newspaper to throwing bombs at police. I don’t believe in stereotyping, but I’m prepared to make an exception in your case. Stop throwing stones.

  • David Crookes

    Holy Ireland Flegship to Ground Control:

    An authentic human being has appeared in the Borean Boreen..

    Represent her as unexistent / delusional / liar / confused / hybrid / victim.

    Then exterminate anyone who looks happy.

  • Republic of Connaught

    David,

    Are you saying this new ‘Northern Irish’ identity is not a hybrid?

  • David Crookes

    Thanks for your question, Republic of Connaught, which I want to answer without trying to score any kind of point. Of course the identity is a hybrid. Most of us are hybrids to some degree. My imaginary Flegship controller is using the word in the disapproving tone of a postcolonial theorist.

    When the New Ireland comes it will have to accommodate a multitude of hybrid forms. (I am presently British. Some of my good friends are passionately Irish and republican. Loads of people are something in between. And within the next twenty years we shall have thousands of Polish-Irish hybrid children.)

    The New Ireland will be both-and, not either-or. It may work all the better for being a hybrid. The Sweet Wivelsfield is a hybrid of Sweet William and carnation. It works.

  • Mick Fealty

    Heard two Catholic friends talking in similar term earlier today Dixie. It’s not loyalists they keep their heads down from… I think the prolonged conflict has rewired our brains somewhat.

    No party in the south takes its electorate for granted for long without feeling the lash of voter retribution. Only here do we get make blanket sectarian assumptions about who votes whom, and then get terribly upset about the terrible evil of “Sectarianism” of our neighbours.

    “Unicorns” tend to hold their views on unification lightly (though I do know some who are pretty staunch), hence the profile above was perfectly plausible before PM told us it was.

    There are also nationalist Protestants, but I suspect not as many by dint of the disruption implied in changing constitutional arrangements.

  • Republic of Connaught

    David,

    A new Ireland will encompass many people of many creeds, I agree. But the Republic already does that with African children, South East Asian children and Eastern European children very evident in all our schools and mixing happily with native Irish kids. So it won’t be anything new.

    The girl who wrote this letter, culturally and historically, is Irish. Her family’s customs are clearly Gaelic Irish, which is why she embraces Irish dancing, sports, language etc… So the idea that she would disparage a united Ireland (her own country) and proclaim herself a ‘loyal subject’ of an English Queen, is rather ludicrous were it not for the fact she lives in the part of Ireland still controlled by the historic colonial power.

    My favourite quote from Ghandi about English colonialism in India always was: “The greatest victory of English colonialism was not politically or militarily, but psychologically.’

    Reading that girl’s letter magnifies the point. She is a Catholic Irish girl brought up in Gaelic Irish traditions and can probably trace her family link to Gaelic culture back many centuries. Ireland is her country. Yet she seems to have no sense of loyalty to her own Irish nation, yet plenty for the English Queen – who hasn’t a drop of Irish blood.

    That is colonialism in action, whatever way it’s dressed up.

  • Starviking

    RoC

    Reading that girl’s letter magnifies the point. She is a Catholic Irish girl brought up in Gaelic Irish traditions and can probably trace her family link to Gaelic culture back many centuries. Ireland is her country. Yet she seems to have no sense of loyalty to her own Irish nation, yet plenty for the English Queen – who hasn’t a drop of Irish blood.

    The Irish Nation being what you define it?

    That is colonialism in action, whatever way it’s dressed up.

    You could argue that it is the result of colonialism, but not ‘in action’. However, the viewpoint that you seem to espouse – that Southerners are the arbiters of Irishness – certainly betrays a colonialist mindset

  • Republic of Connaught

    Star viking,

    “You could argue that it is the result of colonialism, but not ‘in action’. However, the viewpoint that you seem to espouse – that Southerners are the arbiters of Irishness – certainly betrays a colonialist mindset.”

    ‘Southerners’ are Leinster, Munster and Connaught and three Ulster counties. So that we have a strong say on what Irishness is, is hardly surprising given that we are most of Ireland, no? Perhaps you would prefer Englishmen in London to be arbiters of Irishness given that you’re a unionist?

    The Irish nation is made up of many people of different religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds on the island of Ireland. But whatever the Irish nation is, it will always be decided by the whole Irish nation; not a minority of Catholics or Protestants in north east Ulster who history has put in a no man’s land called Northern Ireland.

    Hence the ‘Irishness’ this girl espouses in her letter is not going to be shared by any Irish people outside of North East Ulster. She is entitled to it, but like Alliance votes, it won’t have that wide of an appeal.

  • Starviking

    ‘Southerners’ are Leinster, Munster and Connaught and three Ulster counties. So that we have a strong say on what Irishness is, is hardly surprising given that we are most of Ireland, no? Perhaps you would prefer Englishmen in London to be arbiters of Irishness given that you’re a unionist?

    I object to anyone having a say on what Irishness is. Opinions are a different matter. As a Northern Irishman, who happens to be a unionist (lucky guess RoC?). I take the viewpoint that there are many strands of Irishness, and seeing that Irishness is about how people feel, setting one group of people up to be arbiters of that identity rings of Animal Farm.

    But whatever the Irish nation is, it will always be decided by the whole Irish nation

    And what would that be?

  • Republic of Connaught

    StarViking,

    Northern Irishness isn’t Irishness. It’s provincialism exclusive to six county Ulster people, not even Donegal, Monaghan or Cavan. That isn’t Irishness you’re espousing if it isn’t inclusive of Irish people all across the island.

    “And what would that be?”

    You might be unaware of the constitutional convention going on in Dublin about changing elements of the Irish constitution. Parties from NI were all invited to participate, because they are regarded as being part of the Irish nation and entitled to air their views. Sinn Fein and the SDLP attended. I don’t now about Alliance.

    Unionist parties, of course, declined the invitation. Because they do not deem themselves part of the Irish nation.

  • aquifer

    Has a young person escaped the tribal laagers?

    Unleash the hounds!

  • Republic of Connaught

    “Unleash the hounds!”

    I believe the Unionist parties did exactly that against the Alliance party and what it stands for.

  • Comrade Stalin

    RoC:

    However, to a southern person, the type of confused contradictions evident in the girl’s letter highlight what colonialism has done to many Irish Catholics in Ulster.

    I’m an “Irish Catholic” living in Ulster.

    What has colonialism done to me ?

  • Coll Ciotach

    Comrade – how many saying that would be able to express the sentiment in gaelic?

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Republic of Connaught. The lady has made choices. Ireland where some or all people are expected to think in a certain way will never be Ireland free.

    When I say that I want to see a unified Ireland in my own lifetime, some members of my own ‘tribe’ regard me either as spouting treachery or as having flipped. Forget about free country. You aren’t allowed to believe something that the ‘tribe’ doesn’t believe.

    Colonialism has nothing to do with it. We make choices. Inherited hair colour happens. Inherited political orientation doesn’t need to happen.

    Life is funny. Some people expect members of their own ‘tribe’ to inherit a political orientation obediently, and yet they object to the idea of an inherited monarchy.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Colonialism has shaped the whole essence of this island whether we like it or not. Language, customs, traditons, attitudes, social structure, law. Apart from the weather, it has dictated the whole bloody shebang (and as we know, it was bloody).

    Then again, if it hadn’t happened (and with a big powerful island beside a smaller less powerful one that was always going to be a longshot), none of us would be here. There would be a completely different set of people on this island & I would guess a lot more of them but who knows? Ach sin sceal eile.

  • streetlegal

    Why do these protesters always set up their illegal roadblocks in the evening? Why not in the morning rush hour? Could it be because they do not work and prefer to spend their mornings lying peacefully in their beds – full english breakfast around 10.30am – then off to the bookies – then the pub until about 5pm when they take to the streets, with their union flags wrapped around their shoulders?

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    Comrade Stain [10.36] It all piles up as evidence that Robinson simply isn’t capable of leadership. His forte is followership. This flag crisis shows him up really for what he is and what he isn’t but ought to be, given his title.

  • Ginger

    Perhaps Republic of Connacht could publish an online manual, which we can all study to find out if we really are Irish, or not, as the case may be. We can then take remedial action to make sure we fit his criteria.
    Within this attitude perhaps lies at least some of the explanation as to why this island is partitioned : why erstwhile Irish Republicans in my home district (Mid-Antrim) in the late Eighteenth Century had, by the middle of the following century, become firm Unionists : if you don’t tick all the boxes as established by Irish Nationalism since the Mid-Nineteenth Century, then go away, you don’t fit, your thinking is wrong, you’re not, or cannot be Irish.
    I have no problem with my identity (insofar as I ever think about it at all). I am a citizen of the U.K.,a small u Unionist, who made a decision some time ago never to vote for either of the two main Unionist parties again, despite all the talk they always revert to tribal type. I will, of course, vote for N.I. to remain in the U.K in any border poll. I ticked the Northern Irish only box in the last census, because that’s how I feel and because, as we’ve seen in recent times, Britishness is often defined in a very narrow way here.
    So, here I am stuck in the middle, a hopeless dupe of colonialism, or is it post-colonialism? No doubt Republic of Connacht and others will be able to put me right.

  • forthman

    What would be my legal position, if I was stopped by one of these fate-filled, illegal roadblocks? There is no way I would allow these thugs to drag me, my wife and my young children from the vehicle, to possibly end up in a unionist wheelie bin with my throat cut! So what if I drove through these thugs, and over them if that’s the case, where do I stand? It is obvious that these thugs try to use their own children as human shields on roads. What are social services doing about this child abuse? Why are they not acting against clearly identifiable abusers? What has political unionism got to say about this specific problem? I promise you I will put my foot to the metal to defend my family from these sick little peace-time malcontents. So where do law abiding citizens (subjects) like me stand?

    Answers please???

  • Republic of Connaught

    David,

    Of course not everyone has to ‘think’ the same way in a united Ireland. Diversity of thought leads to a healthier society. But there has to be common agreement on the constitutional situaton or you get the lunacy we have seen for decades in the north. A normal and settled society cannot prosper out of that.

    Ginger, old chap,

    You declare yourself “Northern Irish” not Irish and then lecture me about determining whether you’re Irish? You couldn’t make it up. I have more respect for people in Northern Ireland who are either British or Irish or both, instead of the artificial “Northern Irish”, for which no passport exists.

    Like Rory McIlroy has learned, Northern Irish isn’t actually a nationality; it’s just a regional identity of Britain or Ireland, depending on your politics.

    CS:

    That you need to ask what colonialism has done to many northern Gaelic Irish is telling in itself. That a girl like the one who wrote the letter was brought up and lives on the island of Ireland in the Gaelic Irish cultural tradition would prefer to share a state with British people in Britain than an Irish nation state with her own native people in Ireland is a self evident effect of colonialism.

    Do you imagine many 20 year old Irish dancing, speaking and GAA playing girls her age in Dublin, Cork, Galway or Donegal would hold similar views?

  • Alias

    “…instead of the artificial “Northern Irish”, for which no passport exists.”

    No passport exists for the Scottish, English or Welsh identities either. In NI, it is the Northern Irish nation which has the right to self-determination, not the British or Irish nation – the former two vote under the banner of the latter.
    A ‘shared future’ means that the Northern Irish nation – which is the fastest growing nation – must continue to grow at the expense of the other two. In reality, it need only grow at the expense of the Irish nation (which has now collapsed to just 25% of NI’s population) since those who are British can maintain that identity within a Northern Irish identity.

    That, after all, is the proper function of the British identity. What is abnormal about NI was that British identity became an exclusive identity – largely in response to PIRA’s sectarian murder campaign. Prior to that campaign, unionists would have identified as Irish and British. Now the Irish don’t even identity as Irish – or, at any rate, the percentage who do has collapsed.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alias:

    “No passport exists for the Scottish, English or Welsh identities either.”

    But the Scottish, English or Welsh have no dilemma about using BRITISH passports.

    The “Northern Irish” have the option of a British or Irish passport. The girl from the letter makes it clear she’s a Queen loving Unionist, yet has an Irish not British passport. Hence the neurosis of the ‘Northern Irish’ identity is perfectly revealed.

  • Reader

    Republic of Connaught: The “Northern Irish” have the option of a British or Irish passport.
    Or both. And choosing either, or both, is perfectly practical. So in what sense is it a ‘dilemma’?
    By the way, there are hundreds of thousands of people across the rest of the UK who have the option of British or Irish passports. The following link explains how, and also illustrates a special place for British Citizens in entitlement to Irish Citizenship:
    http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/irish_citizenship/irish_citizenship_through_birth_or_descent.html

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Republic of Connaught (2.12 am). “Common agreement” will be important. The big idea of a genial, exciting, and culturally opulent UI needs to grab everyone. When it does, things will come together. Of course it will take two or three generations for everything to bed down.

  • Comrade Stalin

    What exactly has my inability to speak Irish natively cost me ?

    I’m not much of a dancer, I’m afraid, Irish or otherwise. Although I’m sure it would provide comedy to a lot of people to watch me attempting it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The girl from the letter makes it clear she’s a Queen loving Unionist, yet has an Irish not British passport.

    Bigot alert.

  • David Crookes

    Republic of Connaught, you say, “…..the neurosis of the ‘Northern Irish’ identity is perfectly revealed.”

    I don’t see the lady as neurotic in the smallest degree. My Roman Catholic neighbour in Annalong used to put a bowl of Orange lilies on her table for the Twelfth, and she wasn’t neurotic either.

  • ForkHandles

    Seems to be a bit of discussion about identity on this thread. So here is my view.
    I think that there needs to be a bit more detail on what people think that an Irish identity means, in regards to the weird world of slugger anyway. I have been living abroad for a quite a while. Well outside Europe. I have an Irish identity and I don’t see any need to be in line with any list of requirements to have such an identity, except one, I am from Ireland (island of). My strongest identity is Northern Irish because that is where I’m from. Although I identify with general Irish things, when it comes to specific details that relate to the ROI, they are not really anything to do with me. I usually let the people I know from the ROI speak about these things. There seems to be a view from slugger posters that an Irish identity means that you are supposed to pretend that you are from the ROI and that everything that relates to the ROI relates to you as if you were living there. This is absurd and is the sort of pretend nonsense that even a child would find stupid.
    I am from NI and that means that I am an Irish person and I can fully identify with anything Irish. If there is something specific to NI that is being described as Irish, then I can fully identify with it. If it specifically related to the ROI then obviously it does not relate to me.
    As I am from NI that means that I am from the UK and obviously my nationality is British and I identify with anything British. I don’t really see any conflict or problem with this and identifying with Irish things also. The problem seems to reside in the minds of people who seem to think that you have to think and act like someone from the ROI to be Irish. This is daft and should probably be explored in a separate thread.
    People in the ROI need to get into their head that what they see as being Irish is not the be all and end all. We in NI also have a say and what we say also goes.
    On the British side I think that most people in the UK understand that it consists of a variety of identities and even more so in the last few decades. No big deal.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Good post Forkhandles. I feel exactly the same even though I’m not totally enamoured of “nation” states.

  • ForkHandles

    Cheers Joe. Where I live is probably the most multi-cultural place in the world, Dubai. Middle Eastern Islamic, Asian and Western nationalities from all round the globe exist here. I sometimes feel that I am my own country and I interact with the rest of the world. What do you mean by your comment about nation states? I believe you have been living in Canada for a long time, are you your own country now???

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Foirkhandles,

    What I meant was that I prefer to think of all humans as fellow beings rather than someone special such as a Canadian, a South African or whatever.

  • ForkHandles

    I think I can 100% identify with that :) In my office i sit between a Palestinian Muslim and a Tamil Hindu Indian. I accept and understand that they have different identities than me. We all work around what is important to the others religious and any other identity events. I am glad that they don’t need time off for Christmas. It allows me to book my flights home :) If only people in NI could think the same way instead of needing to restrict what they don’t identify with.
    Good night. Late here and work tomorrow. Pesky weird middle Eastern weekends….

  • Republic of Connaught

    David,

    I am pretty certain there are not too many UK citizens who describe themselves as Unionist and “a loyal citizen” of the Queen yet choose to take the passport of another country before the UK’s passport.

    There is neurosis at work behind that decision, which afflicts many northern Catholic unicorns. The majority of Protestants declared themselves ‘British only’ in the census so would suffer no such problems.

    cs:

    “Bigot alert”

    If petty naming calling is the extent of your argument then you’ve clearly lost he argument.

  • http://footballcliches.wordpress.com/ footballcliches

    Interesting enough, though I don’t like extrapolating the opinion of one ‘person’ in an area and asking what do ‘people’ in an area think, though an insight is an insight nonetheless.

  • David Crookes

    Republic of Connaught, we’re never going to agree. I am mostly right-handed, but when I play pool people think I’m left-handed. Only today, after decades of unthinking blitheness, do I realize how neurotic I really am.

  • babyface finlayson

    RoC
    It seems to me what you describe as neurosis is just the way perectly normal people deal with stuff.
    Is someone from a protestant background,who feels Irish and supports a United Ireland in some way betraying their identity?
    Young people are adept at accepting what they want from different sources and discarding the rest.
    A kind of adaptation.
    This young person intends to hold both passports and seems comfortable with both aspects of her identity.
    Those yearning for purity are lost in the past.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If petty naming calling is the extent of your argument then you’ve clearly lost he argument.

    I see. I should hold myself to the high standards of a guy who called someone a “unionist Queen lover”, as clearly this is some sort of constructive and carefully-thought out contribution to the discourse.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, babyface finlayson. You say, “Those yearning for purity are lost in the past.” Indeed! And at times we’re able to see that the past wasn’t all that pure anyway. The “purity” of which you speak is often a romantic fantasy that we export backwards in time whenever we’re tempted to patronize the past.

    It’s pretty well impossible for most Europeans to be either ‘blutrein’ or ‘geistrein’.

    Here’s an old saying. “God hath made of one blood all nations of men.” Here’s another old saying. “Homo sum: nihil humani a me alienum puto” ( = I am a human being: I don’t regard any human thing as being alien to my own nature).

  • Republic of Connaught

    Babyface Finlayson:

    “Is someone from a protestant background,who feels Irish and supports a United Ireland in some way betraying their identity?”

    Of course not. But one would naturally expect them to take an Irish passport before a British one if that was their belief.

    CS:

    Being anti-monarachist does not make anyone a bigot.

    David:

    You might have heard the expression “If you’re too close to the canvas you can’t see the whole picture.”

    Those from NI perhaps should sometimes accept they cannot always notice things people from outside the province do notice about many NI citizens ‘national identity’ issues.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Being anti-monarachist does not make anyone a bigot.

    I am anti-monarchist. A bigot is a person who tries to deny that calling someone a “unionist Queen lover” is a sectarian epithet.

  • Republic of Connaught

    “A bigot is a person who tries to deny that calling someone a “unionist Queen lover” is a sectarian epithet.”

    Oh grow up, CS, and stop acting like a little child. A Queen loving Unionist, were my actual words. And while there was sarcasm in it, I find your little hissy fit calling people sectarian rather pathetic.

  • stewart1

    The police operation to bring loyalists back via Middlepath Street on Saturday worked as it should have worked last week, before loyalists broke away & ‘tooled up’.

    ‘Community workers’ cough!!! on the Newtownards Road also prevented missiles being thrown.

    Funny how the tap get’s turned on & off!!

  • stewart1

    This video shows return journey with loyalist protesters made to return via Middlepath Street rather than past homes at lower Bridge End.

  • streetlegal

    - ‘I think the most offensive thing I’ve read on this discussion is street legal having the gall to refer to our glorious god given fried breakfast as a ‘full English’…. Dear lord man, that’s hideous! -‘

    im-power-shall – I called the loyalist protesters 10.30am breakfast a ‘full English’ because it has been paid for by the English taxpayer.

  • Starviking

    RoC

    You declare yourself “Northern Irish” not Irish and then lecture me about determining whether you’re Irish? You couldn’t make it up. I have more respect for people in Northern Ireland who are either British or Irish or both, instead of the artificial “Northern Irish”, for which no passport exists.

    I guess you have little respect for the Kurds then? They have no passports either. The fact is large amounts of people in Northern Ireland feel “Northern Irish” – that’s what counts, not ‘official’ pieces of printed paper.

    The girl from the letter makes it clear she’s a Queen loving Unionist, yet has an Irish not British passport. Hence the neurosis of the ‘Northern Irish’ identity is perfectly revealed.

    I guess it never occurred to you that the woman (she is 20 years old, after all) did not get the passport herself? Or even that she might have been in a situation where she felt pressured to get an Irish passport?

    Northern Irishness isn’t Irishness. It’s provincialism exclusive to six county Ulster people, not even Donegal, Monaghan or Cavan. That isn’t Irishness you’re espousing if it isn’t inclusive of Irish people all across the island.

    Of course it is! Northern Irish – the name says it all. As for being inclusive of all Irish people all across the island – I’m sure there are common elements shared by all, but to suggest that people in the North need some stamp of authenticity from the South to consider themselves Irish is repugnant – it smacks of elitism.

    She is a Catholic Irish girl brought up in Gaelic Irish traditions and can probably trace her family link to Gaelic culture back many centuries. Ireland is her country.

    Ah, the old birth-canal identity stamp. No place for those who don’t fit into narrow pre-defined identities in this Irish Nation of your RoC

  • tacapall

    “Hence the neurosis of the ‘Northern Irish’ identity is perfectly revealed.”

    Starviking one swallow does not make a summer and neither does one opinion define an ideology that has yet to reveal itself. Facts speak for themselves and identifying yourself as northern Irish as opposed to northern Irish and British, reflects that fact. I know of a few protestants who were in the IRA, can I say that they are those people who identified themselves as northern Irish in that they view themselves as different from the perceived view of what an Irish identity is but believe in the right of Ireland to control its own destiny.

  • Reader

    tacapall: I know of a few protestants who were in the IRA, can I say that they are those people who identified themselves as northern Irish in that they view themselves as different from the perceived view of what an Irish identity is but believe in the right of Ireland to control its own destiny.
    Wow! So they were well known to a casual observer, but never got caught and never got killed, and when the census came round they filled in ‘Northern Irish’ instead of ‘Irish’.
    Doesn’t that make you a teeny weeny bit suspicious?

  • tacapall

    Reader who said they didn’t get caught or that they didn’t get killed, maybe someday the religious breakdown of all political prisoners and what side of the fence their political views sat on will be opened to the public, im sure more than a few would be surprised. There are loads of protestants who give their lives for the ideals of republicanism, maybe you should read up on that fact.

  • David Crookes

    You need a harmonious NI before you can have a harmonious UI. If enough people from both sorts come to like and even to appropriate aspects of the other sort’s culture, the prospects for harmony are good.

    Let me tell some of you young bucks what things were like on the road that I grew up on. We had a Protestant milkman for the Protestants, and a Catholic milkman for the Catholics. That was stupid. The one milkman would have done us all rightly.

    At around the same time, many families in Malta had portraits of the Queen and the Pope in their living-rooms.

    I must have been eighteen when I first heard the sentence which I quote below. An oldish Annalong man was told that he was late for dinner, and then asked if he had been talking to people on his way home.

    “A never spoke tae cue-min [ = human],” he replied.

    Most of us aren’t neurotic. We’re cue-min..

  • Reader

    tacapall: There are loads of protestants who give their lives for the ideals of republicanism, maybe you should read up on that fact.
    Oh, I believe it, though it was long ago. However, you were talking about the ones you knew/know. If they are dead, or have already done time, there is no harm in naming them, is there?
    But maybe it’s the case that none of those you knew were ever seriously inconvenienced for the cause?

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    There are loads…

    Could you define what a load is for us and where “a brick short” fits in?

  • Reader

    David Crookes: The one milkman would have done us all rightly.
    Milkmen can be in danger (Eric and Desmond Guiney, John Ritchie, Christopher Mein), or can be a danger to others (Raymond McCreesh)

  • Comrade Stalin

    Oh grow up, CS, and stop acting like a little child. A Queen loving Unionist, were my actual words.

    That’s hardly better. It’s still very obviously sectarian language used by an small-minded individual shoehorning people with diverse opinions into a tribal box.

    And while there was sarcasm in it, I find your little hissy fit calling people sectarian rather pathetic.

    Well, let’s sort this out right now. If one of the unionists came on here and called someone a “Pope loving republican” you’d be OK with it ? Because I’d call it the language of a bigot.

  • tacapall

    Reader maybe you should re read my 1.40 post to get my point.
    And maybe some prison officer could help you out with the protestants who were in the IRA.

  • Starviking

    tacapall

    “Hence the neurosis of the ‘Northern Irish’ identity is perfectly revealed.”

    Starviking one swallow does not make a summer and neither does one opinion define an ideology that has yet to reveal itself.

    Actually, that comment was from Republic of Connaught.

    Facts speak for themselves and identifying yourself as northern Irish as opposed to northern Irish and British, reflects that fact.

    Not sure if that is referring to me, but as for myself I’m Northern Irish, British and Irish – though my Irishness does not derive from any association with the Irish Republic, it’s just who I am.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Starviking:

    “but to suggest that people in the North need some stamp of authenticity from the South to consider themselves Irish is repugnant.”

    It’s also a fact if you want/get an Irish passport (from Dublin….in the South.)

    “Ah, the old birth-canal identity stamp. No place for those who don’t fit into narrow pre-defined identities in this Irish Nation of your RoC.”

    Please don’t accuse me of things I never said. There are two main traditons in Ireland – the Catholic and the Protestant. The Gaelic Catholic is the largest of the two and regarded as the oldest continued culture on the island. So if you belong to that tradition, like the girl in the letter evidently does, then you shouldn’t logically have any doubts about your country or national identity. The fact some Catholic Irish in the north do, is merely a result of partition.

    CS:

    Perhaps with future maturity you’ll come to realise an isolated sarcastic remark does not a bigot make. Bigotry will manifest itself on a regular basis from individuals because that’s their train of thought and they won’t give a damn what anyone else thinks about it.

    But if it pleases you to prance around threads with your holier than thou melodramatics, then go right ahead.

  • Reader

    tacapall: And maybe some prison officer could help you out with the protestants who were in the IRA.
    I had assumed you were the expert, as no one else has made any positive assertion at all.
    Anyway, I did a bit of research on CAIN/Sutton, playing around with the database tools. Out of about 400 dead republican paramilitaries, 3 were Protestant. I don’t know if they were all provos, and in fact I have a vague recollection that one of them might have been IINLA. Anyway, one oif the three was killed by the IRA, and the other two by Loyalists. CAIN doesn’t say whether they called themselves Northern Irish as you suggested, though I am still doubtful.
    Anyway, since I have done the Prods who died for a United Ireland, can you do the ones who went to prison for a United Ireland – if any?

  • Comrade Stalin

    RoC,

    Would calling someone a “pope loving republican” be taken as sarcasm then ? Or would that be holier than thou melodramatics ?

  • Republic of Connaught

    CS:

    If one of the Unionist posters called someone a ‘Pope-loving Republican’ I would take it as isolated sarcasm – unless they deliberately used similar language over the body of their posts.

    I would find anyone jumping in head first calling them a bigot because of an isolated sarcastic remark a little too eager to be holier than thou, yes.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Reader. I was merely making the point that there was a lot of needless duplication in the old days.

    In parts of the Mourne country, before the Troubles started, it was known for members of the other sort to go to the field on the Twelfth for a feed of currant bread, egg sandwiches, and iced cakes. We need a lot more of that.

  • Starviking

    “Ah, the old birth-canal identity stamp. No place for those who don’t fit into narrow pre-defined identities in this Irish Nation of your RoC.”

    Please don’t accuse me of things I never said. There are two main traditons in Ireland – the Catholic and the Protestant. The Gaelic Catholic is the largest of the two and regarded as the oldest continued culture on the island. So if you belong to that tradition, like the girl in the letter evidently does, then you shouldn’t logically have any doubts about your country or national identity. The fact some Catholic Irish in the north do, is merely a result of partition.

    First, whilst you might deny it – your approach to identity is functionally identical to the old birth-canal identity stamp.

    Secondly, your approach does not consider that individual and groups identities can evolve.

    Thirdly, that the woman in question’s identity is influenced by partition – so what? We are all affected by what precedes us in history. If she is to be condemned for being affected by historical events then we all are condemned.

  • Kensei

    @Forkhandles
    While not everything in RoI applies, a lot does and there is no need to pretend much. We get RTE, lots of people know what a reference to Giles and Dunphy or Apres Match is, my father has a borderline obsession with Winning Streak etc. People are probably more likely here to have attended Oxeygen Or the Electric Picnic than a major English one (those too, though) and many support the RoI football team. Politically interested people here can probably tell you detail on a handful of countries and those that don’t won’t know squat North ir South. Catholic grannies are also Catholic grannies whatever side of the border.

    Course therell be things like leaving certs that dont apply. But were not actually all that different.