Rugby lessons: Focusing on barriers rather than bridges only limits the scope for the future.

I was talking to my old friend Trevor Ringland the other day (we’ve been close ever since we co-authored A Long Peace? along with David Steven). The subject of peace walls came up and he said something to the effect that “we should stop focusing on the walls, and think about building bridges”.

That way, he reasoned, people can decide for themselves, when or even whether they wanted to remove them in their own good time. Focusing on the barriers – and not the bridge – only strengthens the power of the former whilst limiting the scope (and the will) to create the latter.

On the verge of Ireland’s first Six Nations match in Edinburgh, The 42 interviewed Ringland and his one-time team-mate (former FF TD) Jim Glennon about how Ireland’s rugby side has, probably more than most codes, found ways to keep people together.

Ringland offered this from England’s first visit to Croke Park (when Landsdown was being refurbished):

Elsewhere in the stands, a policeman and friend of Ringland’s was sitting in the stadium surrounded by ‘GAA men’, most of whom were from Munster. During their conversation, the subject of national anthems came up.

God Save The Queen, Amhrán na bhFiann, and Ireland’s Call were on the playlist that day and in light of this, they reached a compromise.

“He turned around to them and said, ‘Right lads, what’s it gonna be? All three (songs) or none?’

“They all agreed to sing all three anthems and help each other with the different parts. He said the drink was flowing and the banter was great. It was just a very powerful day and we should never let go of the game. We should never let those who hate the most determine what we do.

“It just brings misery to the people of this island, whichever background they’re from. We should keep reminding ourselves of what’s possible.”

Glennon had this to say about the sometimes controversial Ireland’s Call:

“It did nothing for me,” Glennon says. “For me, in Lansdowne Road, the anthem was Amhrán na bhFiann. That was the anthem of my country and it was an extremely proud honour to stand for the national anthem with a green jersey on you.

“I just couldn’t feel the same pride for Ireland’s Call. In fact, I felt it diluted and undermined Amhrán na bhFiann. I saw the idea and I knew what they were trying to achieve, but it did absolutely nothing for me.

“I won’t say it grew on me, it still wouldn’t be my listening of choice, but I’d become used to it and I know now that it means an awful lot to an entire generation who’ve grown up with it.

“And as such, it is now representative of the Irish people who like and accept it. On that basis, I go along with that.”

For Ringland, it’s more personal: not least because Rugby helps assert his strong (still British) feelings of Irishness. Others may feel that that’s been challenged by the shenanigans of the Troubles: wherever Rugby played it retains huge strength as a bridge between to distinct forms of Irishness.

Towards the end of the piece he notes:

“When you think of those who lost loved ones during the Troubles — is it too much to ask that we allow some symbol like Ireland’s Call come through that actually builds relationships?

“Is that not the least we can do for those families who suffered so much, that we could at least start doing things a bit differently to the way that we’ve done in the past?

“We’ve tried the hate route, so why not try friendship? That’s a lot of what people who criticise Ireland’s Call don’t get.”

 

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  • Oggins

    Agree, we should look forward, instead of back at symbolism. Some people made a good point that we have enough artists on this island.

    I only see it happen if there was a general swell from irish unionists, or if there ever was a discussion on some sort of agreed Ireland.

    Its about how does it get on a platform for a discussion. The IRFU are more concentrated on the development of the game, monies and future world cup bids.

    The irony is they are focusing on the day to day and not symbolism, whilst Stormont is the opposite

  • On the fence!

    “comments like that dont help anyone.”

    No actually they do.

    It helps people like me to know what’s out there and realise that letting go entirely of our Britishness could be a very risky business indeed.

    Thus we must endeavour to tread a fine line of showing a willingness to compromise while equally being very careful not to expose weakness which some will take great delight in exploiting at every opportunity. In fact, as was proved, a deliberate policy by Sinn Fein.

    Certainly food for thought with an impending election!

  • Oggins

    OTF you cant tar us all based on comments from from one.

    If I we were all to do that, we would never get anywhere

    In fairness to AG he is a big critic of SF, for his reasonings.

  • Zig70

    I don’t really believe the call anymore from so called liberal unionists that most want a normal co-existence and there is absolutely no snifter of the IFA moving as they know what the reaction would be. DUP will be retained as the largest party and civic society stays quiet over loyalist paramilitary funding or politicians from both main parties manning flag protests etcetera. I hope I’m wrong but you are a fairly lone voice. Saying all that I fully support efforts to have an inclusive rugby team though this should be seen from the view that we are accommodating 12% of the country, not 50%. Combined with the lack of any movement to accommodate the 50% of NI, I think the Irish are currently being too generous. Sure play Ireland’s call but not exclusively. I think that’s fair. I don’t think there is any appetite for an NI rugby team. Maybe allowing those with strong allegiances to Britain to play for England would be a compromise, though being involved a bit with rugby, I know how that would go down. I don’t think anyone would be that surprised at an SF or SDLP politician at Ravenhill, it’s full of them. Also I don’t buy the both or none, just the none bit, should always be both if compromising a big beige flag just wouldn’t do.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “though this should be seen from the view that we are accommodating 12% of the country”

    In a nutshell that’s why Northern Ireland exists.

    Again you’re punishing the non-anti-Irish fans with boneheaded political unionism, that’s hardly fair.

  • the moviegoer

    Then how do you explain the descendants of the Anglo-Irish pro-Union Prods who now see themselves as Irish and have no anxieties about their identity. That integration wasn’t instantaneous but it happened at a much more divisive and insular time than now.

    The Irishness of a Belfast nationalist is already very different to the Irishness of a Cork nationalist or a Dublin Protestant so the suggestion that Irishness is not elastic enough to accommodate Northern protestants has no merit. In fact, the key point is that, as most posters on here tell the unionist posters ad nauseum, they are ALREADY Irish. So where is the doubt? Unionists don’t have to become Irish, they don’t have to “change”, they just have to accept that, by the simple fact of being born on this island, they are Irish. That doesn’t stop them being British too, the same way a Polish naturalized citizen doesn’t stop being Polish, but how they juggle the two is up to them.

    Regardless of the constitutional or All-Ireland question, the key obstacle to a cross-community civic identity being created in the North is the insistence on an exclusive British identity by a large tranche of unionists. It is a form of exceptionalism.

    The seanachai and the turf fire? When’s the last time you actually set foot in the ROI? 1950?

  • Madra Uisce

    To be fair the IFA have done a sterling job at stopping NI fans singing sectarian songs at Windsor park, however the fans still sing those songs in pubs and clubs whilst watching games as well as at away venues. Youtube is your friend .

  • John Collins

    In fairness MU the idea of having no anthem is a non runner, as every other international sides insist on having their anthems sung and played.
    It would constitute a huge deflation for any Irish team if they not reciprocate with an anthem of their own.
    I also feel that England should made have an anthem of their own. The sight of Welsh and Scotch teams listening to their own National Anthem sung to them by the ‘opposition’ is just a tad absurd.

  • Madra Uisce

    You will never get agreement on a NI specific flag or Anthem much less persuade the IRFU to change the compromise protocol that is in place at present. Bear in mind also that most of the Unionist posters on this thread have stated that they dont support the Irish team.Some wish for a six county team whist others came up with the laughable idea that a NI team should merge with Scotland. Those northern Unionists who attend Ireland games dont seem to have major objections to the set up as it stands or else i suspect they would be voting with their feet.

  • On the fence!

    You can rest easy in that respect chief.

    Firstly, I won’t change how I deal with people or treat people on the basis of anyone else’s attitude.

    Secondly, it’s completely contrary to my own experience of dealing with those of a different persuasion over many, many, years.

    However, it does serve up a slice of reality as to how some would view their protestant “neighbours” should we ever become a minority and it would be foolish to disregard that completely.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Quite, but that doesn’t answer my question, would you agree to it IF they could get their act together and come up with the goods?

  • Madra Uisce

    No I think the system in place at present is fine for the reasons i have set out above.

  • Oggins

    Without douby, but wont we always in any state, future have a section of the communities coming out with themuns statements?

    Just ignore, or try to. I myself bite from time

  • AntrimGael

    What about a wood chip burner on a brown envelope background?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “though this should be seen from the view that we are accommodating 12% of the country”

    Would you then consider a redhand & crown that takes up 12%of a tricolour?

  • the moviegoer

    What you’re forgetting is that sport is a business. The IRFU makes most of its money from the 2/3 full houses it gets in Lansdowne during the 6 Nations. You can talk about fans all you want but really what they/we are is customers. When it comes to commerce, the customer is always right. Removing Amhran na bhFiann would be hugely unpopular with most of the customers and directly affect the revenue situation, therefore it won’t happen. Likewise playing GTSQ would be hugely unpopular, therefore it won’t happen. The fact is the IRFU can do without Ulster participation if need be. Ulster Rugby doesn’t make a big deal about it because they get funding from the IRFU which keeps the game going in Ulster. Accommodating northerners with Ireland’s Call and flying the Ulster province flag at World Cups etc is the best it’s going to get.

    At the end of the day this isn’t a constitutional or political issue. It’s entirely up to the IRFU.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    As in “I don’t want to discuss compromise if it’s not in my favour NANANANANANANAAAAAAAAA!!!!!”

    The mask of nationalism is slipping on this thread…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Your reasons set out above were dependent on the obstacle of there being no anthem or flag for NI, when I offer you a hypothetical of this being overcome you then STILL say that a change is unacceptable (and confusingly give a circular argument as your foundation).

    Simply put, I call bullsh*t on your answer.

    Could you not just be honest and say that you just simply aren’t prepared to recognise a minority’s concerns in this topic and instead prefer cultural and symbolic hegemony of one side over the other?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    THE fans or SOME of the fans?

    I used to work in the Parkhead area of Glasgow on match days and spent a reasonable amount of time in the Barras.

    I heard some vomit inducing stuff (people were oblivious to my hun-ness).

    I consider those people to be a minority.

    Not representative of Celtic fans who are amongst some of the best fans on the globe.

    I could trawl youtube looking for videos posted by trolls like Rangers versions of Rurai Ui Cocubhar and satisfy myself that they’re bad, but, I don’t.

    I’m beginning to think that some nationalists were distraught at the good reception of NI fans during the championships.

  • On the fence!

    ……………….or a wee man wearing a bowler hat and an orange sash (which all us prods do as you know) being bent over double by a blow to the stomach by a baseball bat with “equality” written up the side of it!

    In fact for true inclusivity you could have a logo incorporating both, and represent the worst of both sides.

    Happy?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Erm, which AG?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Right, its the sound of a tree falling in the forest if no one is around to hear it then is it…?

  • Oggins

    Antrim gael lol

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I’m not forgetting that at all, businesses can be cajoled into doing the right thing and catering to the rights of minorities.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    It’s getting crowded in here, I’m sure Andrew Gallagher is raging…

  • the moviegoer

    Only within reason. Amhran na bhFiann is only played on ROI territory, already a big concession. The de facto rugby anthem is Ireland’s Call. If unionists want a NI anthem played when Ireland play in NI I think the IRFU would probably be gracious enough to accommodate that, but only if unionists are gracious enough not to insist that that anthem is God Save The Queen.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    But that’s the thing, most of us are happy with Ireland’s Call, it’s from the nationalist side that the complaints come hence the floating of other options such as the ‘2×2’.

    My preference is Ireland’s call and an all Ireland flag e.g. the golden harp, hardly worthy of a TUV conference on the 11th night.

    If the Soldier’s Song is to be played in Dublin then it’s only fair that a (yet to be decided) NI theme be played at Ravenhill.

    I fail to see how I’m being unreasonable.

  • Madra Uisce

    No I will state it again in case you did not pick up what i meant correctly. The system that we have in place at present seems to be agreeable to all those both North and South who attend international matches. The clamor for change as expressed on this thread comes mainly from Unionists who have openly stated that they do not support the Irish Rugby team and dont attend matches. Why should we change things for people who dont support the team and dont go to matches at the risk of causing possible unease and resentment to the vast majority who do. Its a bit like me calling for the IFA to change what flag they fly and what anthem they play when i dont support the NI team nor would i ever go to watch them play. In fact I hope the IFA continue with this policy but that is purley for selfish football reasons as more Nationalist player will follow the example of James McClean and others. I hope this sort of clarifies what i was trying to say for you.

  • Madra Uisce

    AG I appreciate where you are coming from on this, but not playing Amhran na bhFiann in Dublin just wont fly with the vast majority of fans and dare i say it players. When Ireland played England at Croke park I stood in my local bar and watched the tears stream down the face of John Hayes as the national anthem was played It was one of the most emotional sporting moment I have ever experienced.

  • Madra Uisce

    Yes I meant some NI fans

  • the moviegoer

    The only complaints on this thread are from unionists.

    The tricolour is not flown at away fixtures. The Irish rugby flag is the four provinces on a green background so your preference is already catered for.

    “If the Soldier’s Song is to be played in Dublin then it’s only fair that a (yet to be decided) NI theme be played at Ravenhill.”

    I don’t think anybody would object to that. Perhaps they could choose Ireland’s Call as the anthem and that would save lots of trouble.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    No, the clamour for change is coming from nationalists who wish to see Ireland’s call dropped.

    Yes, we would like to see a bit more representation of the northerners who aren’t nationalist and that would lead to an increase in support for the team (as was my case once Ireland’s Call came about).

    “Its a bit like me calling for the IFA to change what flag they fly and what anthem they play when i dont support the NI team nor would i ever go to watch them play.

    Yes, that’s the difference, there are unionists who WOULD support Ireland if they felt that they weren’t being sidelined whereas you will NEVER support NI.

    That being said, the IFA should follow a simple format adopted by the other UK regions e.g. a non-partisan flag and anthem that people can get behind. Simples.

    “In fact I hope the IFA continue with this policy but that is purley for selfish football reasons as more Nationalist player will follow the example of James McClean and others.”

    An argument I use frequently to NI fans who are opposed to change, it’s just been difficult to get a nationalist to validate it for me, so, I’m grateful for the opportunity to screenshot this point for future arguments with said grouping.

    “I hope this sort of clarifies what i was trying to say for you.


    Yes, it clarifies my initial suspicions that your concern for official trappings to represent non-nationalists was a crocodile concern and have no intention of accommodating a minority (unless it’s the nationalist minority up north).

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Not true, there’s been a few nationalists on here grinding their axe with Ireland’s call e.g. Antrim Gael who called it a ‘sop to unionism.

    As for the rest of your post we broadly agree.

  • Madra Uisce

    No, the clamour for change is coming from nationalists who wish to see Ireland’s call dropped.

    I suggest you read the thread again. Most of the calls for change are from Unionists who want GSTQ played in preference to Ireland’s call. Im Happy to have Ireland’s call remain as ive previously stated.

    Yes, that’s the difference, there are unionists who WOULD support Ireland if they felt that they weren’t being sidelined whereas you will NEVER support NI.

    I believe in being upfront in my position re the NI soccer team but most of the Unionist shouting loudest for change would never support the Ireland rugby team as its an all Ireland entity

    An argument I use frequently to NI fans who are opposed to change, it’s just been difficult to get a nationalist to validate it for me, so, I’m grateful for the opportunity to screenshot this point for future arguments with said grouping.

    Good luck with that. I used to have a log in for the OWC forum where the flag and anthem issue was debated on a regular basis Yes there were a lot of fans like yourself who wanted change but there was also a large group of what those NI fans called the Billy boy contingent who were against any change. It would seem that the IFA are happy to let things lie for fear of alienating them.

    Yes, it clarifies my initial suspicions that your concern for official trappings to represent non-nationalists was a crocodile concern and have no intention of accommodating a minority (unless it’s the nationalist minority up north).

    No as i have repeatedly said the present system works fine and i see no reason to change it to appease people who do not support what is an all Ireland team.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well fine, play it and play a (yet to be determined) NI anthem beside it and the job’s a good ‘un

  • Madra Uisce

    I dont see it as a sop to Unionism, I think its a dreadful dirge but can appreciate that it was an attempt to reach out to northern Unionists

  • the moviegoer

    While majoritarianism without consideration for minority rights is not true democracy, it does not automatically follow that the minority viewpoint should be given consideration on a 50:50 equal basis. If that were true, a tricolour would have been flying alongside the union jack at Stormont since 1920 and these discussions about accommodating NI in rugby circles would be moot to begin with.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I read it again, the unionist point in general from what I can see is a toss-up between:

    a/ Neutral anthem and neutral flag
    b/ 2 anthems and 2 flags

    Hardly unreasonable.

  • AntrimGael

    Are Shankill Butchers wearing their collarettes STILL marshalling Orange parades? Is the Order STILL having parades commemorating murdering terrorists like Brian Robinson. Do Orange Order members STILL hold up 5 fingers gloating about the deaths of 5 innocent Catholics murdered on this day 25 years ago? Equality and the Orange Order…. . ehhh!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    NI didn’t want to accommodate Catholics (for the greater part of it’s Stormont Mk I History), the IRFU allegedly does wish to represent non-nationalists.
    That’s a stark difference.

  • AntrimGael

    Oh compromise is off the list for Nationalists and Republicans now, haven’t you learnt this yet? Has the City Hall FLEEGGGG not taught you anything. You WILL start doing as you are told from now on.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I supported the designated days.
    I also support the flying of the tricolour from NI public buildings too (alongside an NI flag and the Union flag, we can’t discriminate now, can we?)
    So, another duff point.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I didn’t realise the thread was about the OO.
    Oh wait, all unionists, prods and the OO are the same, aren’t they…

  • Gopher

    AmG I dont think you understand the currents your running against, the vast majority of Irish fans have no wish for change unless it is the Republics national anthem played at away games if they could get it. I dont think that after all these years fans rugby from Northern Ireland are too bothered with the status quo judging by the number of rugby shirts on display about the place last night, though Ulster ones are getting more prevelant . Me, I dont understand why Northern Ireland does not have a team from a player development and financial basis to develop the game here, its a no brainer. Dont get me wrong I still wont watch them not my game but I know they would tap into a huge market up here.

  • Gopher

    You could also have any fllag or anthem you wanted if there was a Northern Ireland team.

  • AntrimGael

    Errrrrr…….you were the one who first mentioned bowler hats and Orange sashes.

  • Madra Uisce

    NI didn’t want to accommodate Catholics (for the greater part of it’s Stormont Mk I History),

    As far as symbolism goes it still dosent as evidenced by the complete lack of Nationalist symbols on display in any official capacity.

  • the moviegoer

    There is a neutral anthem – Ireland’s Call – and a neutral flag – the four provinces against a green background. The tricolour and soldier’s song are only used on ROI territory. Accommodating an NI anthem for games in NI would hardly be contentious but the failure of the NI state to have an agreed anthem and flag is hardly the fault of the IRFU.

  • AntrimGael

    Surely you must recognise that there has been a general hardening of Republican and Nationalist thinking over the past while? If you think I am a minority voice within Northern Nationalism at this current time you are wrong.

  • the moviegoer

    The IRFU does represent and accommodate non-nationals. CJ Stander is a case in point. You are mistakenly thinking the IRFU is a political body and has a remit or obligation to mend fences. It is the body that administrates rugby on the island. Ulster Rugby buys into it because it is in their financial interest to do so. Ulster Rugby can walk anytime it likes. Most fans north and south seem broadly happy with the current setup. The people who bring up the flag/anthem thing the most are people who are not interested in rugby or compromise at all but jump on it to make cheap political points. Tell me really, what benefit would it be to a rugby supporter from the north to travel down to Lansdowne Road for a game to hear GTSQ booed by 90 per cent of the crowd? When we play England it could be booed twice!

  • On the fence!

    Every aspect of rugby in Ulster including Northern Ireland is owned and controlled by the IRFU, including the grounds and stadium at Ravenhill. Their links extend in to government, sports bodies, community groups, local rugby clubs and schools.

    A “breakaway” Northern Ireland specific team would get nowhere.

  • Oggins

    There is hardening and then shout whataboutry at people. You were shouting whataboutry. Your looking to win support. Dont start by screaming their sectarian state this.and.that. the past is past. Try winning.people over

  • On the fence!

    Errrr, “Ulster Rugby” and the IRFU are essentially the same thing.

    For Ulster Rugby to “walk” as you put it would be the IRFU pulling itself apart.

    Hardly likely!

  • On the fence!

    Even more useful to know.

    Thanks!

  • Gopher

    A break away team could have windsor park which would cut costs. Internationals in Belfast would be great for trade. Im sure those that wanted to play for Ireland still would but Im not sure they would be missed if they played for a Northern Irish team judging by their constant scapgoating in the Republics press.

    As an aside how does cricket handle the flags and anthems?

  • On the fence!

    With respect there would be no internationals as no international team would risk the wrath of the world body by participating in a game against a “rogue” team.

    The IRFU control EVERY aspect of the game on this island, up to their links with the world body, down to the mini-rugby kiddies clubs around the towns and villages.

    That won’t change in a hurry.

  • AntrimGael

    Haven’t Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein tried that over the past decade or so and had it thrown back in their faces time and time again? Isn’t that one if the main reasons Stormont collapsed? Unionism does not want to compromise, it is an ideology of supremacy, bigotry and medieval fundamentalism. Before the last Westminster election both the left and right wing Establishments went into panic at the thought of the DUP holding the balance of power in a hung parliament. Articles started to appear in their press referring to the DUP as ‘Outright bigots’, ‘Rabid Homophobes’, ‘Nutters’ and ‘Crazies’ etc. Reach out to these people? Give me a break. At the minute I would rather reach out to an alligator that hadn’t been fed for a week. I know I would get a friendlier reaction.

  • Gopher

    It is an avenue worth exploring I feel especially with the need for a team at Italy’s level in the six nations now Scotland have moved up a grade. I think in the end money will talk and broadening the limited career paths for people wanting to play rugby at a better level here should be an incentive. Perhaps if the Executive ever get back they can publish a report and allcocate finances.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    When?

  • AntrimGael

    Apologies, that post was for On The Fence.

  • AntrimGael

    To clarify, in my reply to you I should have said On The Fence mentioned the OO first NOT you!

  • Oggins

    AG the guys you were debating with, gob and on the fence, are not bigots. Sosave you chest beating for the bigots and discussions for the others?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well, playing GSTQ would ideally be in no one’s interests which is why i think playing one neutral anthem is a better idea but QED this is unacceptable to some ergo an anthem representing non nationalist northerners should be allowed.

    However, smart-assedness seemingly demands ‘official’ anthems and flags and alas GSTQ is the default ‘go to’ anthem.

    The matter could be easily settled by allowing a substitute northern anthem.

    I thought the De Burgh Ulster flag was a nice touch by the IRFU but it nearly sent some nationalists into meltdown.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    True, but as some nationalist commentators on here pointed out they’d still be opposed to whatever NI anthem that might be agreed upon, furthermore it doesn’t require an ‘official’ anthem or flag as demonstrated by team NI in the commonwealth games.

    If Ireland could demonstrate that when playing in the north that the same rules apply (home flag and home anthem and ireland’s call and neutral flag )then i for one would consider the matter settled.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I’m aware of it, i just love exposing the about turn in attitudes to ‘equality’, majoritarianism and parity of esteem when the rugby boot is on the other foot.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I think that’s a noble enough suggestion.

  • Gopher

    There is none its Republic uber Alles, by and large they dont have the same relaxed attitude in the South over identity as us wee mongrels from the North. I travel alot abroad and it is eye opener, the strange thing is among the older generation one meets they are less uptight.

  • Ryan A

    My only disagreement with you is that liberal unionists do want a normal co-existence, and as such most are in the Alliance & Green parties and probably are those who voted ‘Remain’ in June. Struggling to think of any DUP representative who one would define as ‘liberal’; although I must admit I have a lot of time for Paula Bradley.

    Also slightly ingenuous that the DUP / SF are representative. The political system we have encourages the election of the nastiest of both sides; Unionist and Nationalist. It in no way is reflective of society in NI.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I agree. It applies to some of the Ireland players too, don’t forget!

  • PeterBrown

    The OO does not have a parade commemorating Brian Robinson and there has been no holding up of 5 fingers for 20+ years after those members were I understand expelled and the parade prevented from following that route (that’s alternative truth for you) – terrorists marshalling Orange parades much as I have issues with it is hardly equal to being in government though if you want to talk about equality or is it just applicable to one side (which makes something of a mockery of equality)

  • file

    Mike, I m just saying what I would do – I have no control over what other people do or did in the past. Ronan O’Gara acting the republic of Cork tool when he met the Queen with his hands in his pocket was equally embarrassing. I mean the Queen of England would never show him such disrespect.

  • file

    Are there many players from cavan, Donegal or Monaghan on the current Ulster team? Are you sure I do not have the first clue about rugby’s organisation, or are you just displaying arrogance and rudeness á la Foster?

  • Alan N/Ards

    The IRFU seem to have reneged on using a neutral flag for Ireland at the last rugby world cup, in Wales (all away games for Ireland) by using the tricolour and the ulster flag.

  • Newman

    Apologies if there was hauteur. Rugby tends to induce ever greater comment. Tommy Bowe is from Monaghan

  • file

    Fair play for the apology. It is only the snobbiness and the condescension towards GAA from some that occasionally puts me off rugby.

  • Newman

    Massive GAA fan. It is an extraordinary game and I just wish there had been greater integration growing up as in Munster in particular.

  • file

    As you know Moss Keane was only the great rugby player he was because he was first a great Gaelic football player. I fancied myself as a rugby fullback, but the Christian Brothers in our school were not minded to allow soccer never mind rugby to be played. As for the best sport, it is without a doubt hurling. But enough of this general love-in … can’t we find something to argue about?

  • grumpy oul man

    Why thank for the reference.
    But if you go back over our little chats you will realise they consist mainly of myself correcting you when it was obvious hat you didn’t understand. The post you were replying to.
    I have never claimed to be a intellectal titan but i suppose size is relative and compared to you i suppose i would be on the big side

  • Newman

    Heard that said many times about hurling. Am sure we are not ad idem on everything, but on the proper and constructive relationship between GAA and Rugby looks like hymn sheet the same. Am not a fan of post modernism, moral relativism Brexit utilitarianism..could go on!

  • Jollyraj

    Lol.

  • grumpy oul man

    you did read my post first before your LOL, Just checking you do have history after all.
    Oh i don’t know if you have checked yet but i had to correct you again on the Arlene /Irish language thread. i brought you up you date on some political developments (you do seem to be stuck in the eighties) and pointed out where you misread the post you replied to.
    anyway try to read these things before you knee jerk.