Funding

Despite the organisers designing a multi-coloured Shamrock logo, Belfast
Council refuses St Pat’s funding on the grounds that it is not inclusive enough. Multi-coloured shamrock ? Forget the issue of inclusivity, such a cliché, IMO, merits refusal of funding on grounds
of taste.

Belfast City Council has voted not to grant £30,000 to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in the city.

Councillors decided on Monday not to overturn an earlier decision to refuse grant aid.

Unionist councillors said that while efforts were being made to make the event more inclusive, not enough been done for the council to endorse it.

One of the organisers, Conor Maskey, said they had done all they could to make sure no offence was caused.

“We as a committee designed an official logo, a multi-coloured shamrock, which would not be offensive to anybody,” he said.

“We tried to look at all the issues relating to St Patrick’s Day. This might not have been good enough for some people.”

However, Ulster Unionist councillor Chris McGimpsey said the event was not yet inclusive enough.

“They have yet to prove that they can produce an all-inclusive carnival which would be supported by and could be bought into by both sections of our community,” he said.

“Until that happens, I don’t think we are in a position to formally fund the St Patrick’s Day carnival.

“It happens anyway, but they are looking for us to fund it and endorse it, and we cannot yet do that.”

  • spirit-level

    I’ve seen multi-coloured rosary beads
    and they were tasteless enough.
    Multi-coloured shamrock?
    Political correctness gone mad.
    Too Green for Chris McGimpsey eh?

  • maca

    I’m curious how this whole thing works over there. If i’m not mistaken they have actually made efforts to make the event more inclusive, should they not be rewarded for this.
    Cynical maca: will the Irish National Holiday ever be inclusive enough?

    The OO got money to go down South (I know it’s from a different group) but what efforts have they made to be more inclusive?

    Just curious…

  • David Vance

    Refusing funding was a good idea – but why not ban this republican jamboree through the City centre? Could someone please contact the Parades Commission and advice them that this annual display of tricolor-bedecked republicanism dressed up in the livery of St. Patrick is offensive, non-inclusive and threatening to those of a non-Irish persuasion. No green feet round the City hall??

  • maca

    It’s our national holiday David. If you find that “offensive, non-inclusive [or] threatening” then tough luck to you. It appears our national holiday is inclusive enough to allow the Orange Order to march in it! Or won’t you be happy until it’s Union Flags rather than Irish Tri-colours which are flown?

  • Mike

    maca:

    Since St Patrick is the patron saint of the island of Ireland, shouldn’t the celebration of St Patrick’s Day be for all of the people of the island of Ireland, rather than just those who owe allegiance to the Tricolour? Or should the Belfast celebration only be a nationalist parade for a nationalist people?

  • DessertSpoon

    It would appear that the only real bone of contention is the Irish flag. Perhaps if the flag were not flown or used (not got a lot to do with St Patrick really has it!) and they stuck to the shamrock which is the only real emblem of St Patrick the Unionists wouldn’t have a such big problem. As for the the “green” thing – Shamrocks are green can’t really get away from that.

  • DessertSpoon

    PS – Don’t complain about getting a day off work for good old St Pat do they!!

  • Cianoc

    Perhaps Belfast could follow the example of Downpatrick, where Irish tricolours are less frequent than clowns, and self-confessed Protestant groups participate in the parade, including an Orange band!

  • maca

    Mike

    “shouldn’t the celebration of St Patrick’s Day be for all of the people of the island of Ireland”

    Firstly it’s the ROI’s national holiday.
    Secondly, is it possible to come up with a holiday which the whole island could identify with? If so i’d be happy to celebrate it.

    “Or should the Belfast celebration only be a nationalist parade for a nationalist people?”

    Obviously not.

    What problem do you have with St.Pats day? What would make it more inclusive for you?

  • Davros

    Firstly it’s the ROI’s national holiday.

    Belfast isn’t in the ROI 😉

  • Mike

    maca –

    “Firstly it’s the ROI’s national holiday”

    This doesn’t mean everyone in NI can’t celebrate the patron saint of the island of Ireland.

    “Secondly, is it possible to come up with a holiday which the whole island could identify with? If so i’d be happy to celebrate it.”

    I think St Patrick’s Day would be the perfect opportunity for such a holiday.

    “What problem do you have with St.Pats day? What would make it more inclusive for you?”

    I don’t have any porblem with St Patrick’s day as a day, just the lack of inclusiveness of the day in question. If it is for all the people, NI flags and Union flags would be as welcome as Tricolours – after all Patrick spent most of his time on this island in what is now NI, and he was British. As this is highly unlikely to work in Belfast, I would suggest that national flags be replaced by an inclusive symbol a la th Downpatrick parade – whether this be the St Patrick flag, the shamrock etc.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I think the efforts of the organising committee are to be commended. The multi-coloured shamrock may not be to Ambrose’s taste – but I suspect that the entire idea of celebrating Ireland’s national feast day is the real problem. At least the multi-coloured shamrock – and for that matter the tricolour – shows more inclusivity than the Union Jack.

    Given tthe Good Friday Agreement guarantees every citizen’s rights to their Irish identity, irrespective of the current status of the North as being ‘within the UK’.
    “We recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both”

    So, Davros, whether or not Belfast is in the Republic of Ireland, that to me reads like a guarantee that those who profess to be Irish can express their Irishness without being hindered in any way.
    In any other part of the world, be it New York, Moscow or London, St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated with gusto -and with considerable support from the public coffers. Isn’t it odd that Belfast’s Alliance Lord Mayor has to go to London to celebrate the national feast day?
    On top of that this is the same council which, professing inclusivity, is going to spend £10,000 or more on a grand old knees up for the RIR, fresh from their illegal adventure in Iraq.

  • El Matador

    SF aren’t having much luck with the old funding either:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4263915.stm

  • maca

    DessertSpoon
    “Perhaps if the flag were not flown or used”

    I presume you are joking. So should Ireland be the only country in the world that can’t fly its national flag while celebrating its national holiday??
    Perhaps the English flag shouldn’t be flown on St.Georges Day, not inclusive enough. 😉

  • Mike

    Hold on a minute maca. As you say St Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in the RoI, so flying the RoI Tricolour may be appropriate in the RoI, but in NI it’s a different matter. What of the people in NI who just want to celebrate the patron saint of the island of Ireland? And by what objective definition is the RoI Tricolour the “national flag” of the island of Ireland?

    And the Englsih flag is the St George’s flag, so it’s doubly appropriate on St George’s day as it represents the whole territory of England and also the patron saint. The RoI Tricolour is neither.

    OC –

    You mention Irish people celebrating their Irishness, presumably by flying the Tricolour. What of the people in Belfast and the rest of NI who don’t see themselves as Irish, or who see themselves as Irish but not in a way that the Tricolour represents? How are they to be included? Or is the parade to be not inclusive but simply for the nationalist community?

  • maca

    Davros
    “Belfast isn’t in the ROI ;)”

    Neither is New York or Washington. Where ever there are Irish people (heck they don’t even need to be Irish) the holiday can be celebrated 😉
    You can be sure there will be a celebration in Finland this year, to which you are invited by the way ;))

    Mike
    “This doesn’t mean everyone in NI can’t celebrate the patron saint of the island of Ireland.”

    Who said everyone in NI can’t celebrate it???

    “I think St Patrick’s Day would be the perfect opportunity for such a holiday.”

    Well it’s the ROI’s national holiday. Pointless having two St.Patricks Days, or have you another suggestion for either Irelands national holiday or for the All-Ireland celebration? Or perhaps don’t celebrate it at all but have a NI national day instead?

    “If it is for all the people, NI flags and Union flags would be as welcome as Tricolours”

    St.Pats day is a celebration of Irishness, IMHO, and the Tricolour is the Irish national flag. I’ve no problem with the flying of the Union flag but that, to me, is celebrating Britishness. What’s wrong with British Irish (i.e. *many* NI prods) people celebrating their Irishness for one day of the year? (I know there is more than one kind of Irishness before someone jumps down my throat)

    p.s. you want it to be more inclusive…who do you expect to carry the British flag if British people won’t get involved?

  • armaghman

    Does the City Council give money to the OO for its parades?

  • spirit-level

    The point is St.Pats is a day when many around the world dance, be merry, have fun, get drunk and generally have a good time.
    This is in the face of the sour , dour, tradition of the Unionists Marches which can only hurt, deride and despise their neighbours.
    There is nothing happy about Unionism, no parties, no music, no love, no laughter, just bigoted sectarian triumphalism.
    No wonder St.Pats is hated by a people largely out of touch with themselves, who are simply jealous of the irish free spirit at its best.
    I repeat at its best.
    Put that in your pipe Davros!

  • maca

    Mike
    “As you say St Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in the RoI, so flying the RoI Tricolour may be appropriate in the RoI, but in NI it’s a different matter.”

    It’s appropriate where ever St.Pats day is celebrated. I’d suggest you watch for news of any celebrations all over the US, Europe and Australia and see can you spot the tricolours.

    “What of the people in NI who just want to celebrate the patron saint of the island of Ireland?”

    Can’t they celebrate too?

    “And by what objective definition is the RoI Tricolour the “national flag” of the island of Ireland?”

    Who said it was? It’s the flag of the Irish state.

    “And the Englsih flag is the St George’s flag, so it’s doubly appropriate on St George’s day as it represents the whole territory of England and also the patron saint.”

    And if they celebrated St.Georges Day in Dublin (i’ve no problem if they want to) i’d expect they’d fly the English flag.

    Or if they celebrated 4th of July in Cork i’d expect they’d fly the Stars n’ Stripes.

    Anyone know…
    Why is the OO marching in Cork but not in Belfast?
    Why are they marching in Cork?
    IF the idea if to “build bridges” (which I doubt) then surely they should build them in Belfast first.

  • ricardo

    Ahhh st Paddys day – a chance for the local youth to get tanked up on WKD and go for a riot in castlecourt – love it.

    Not surprised that it was refused funding again. For everyone so keen to stress the inclusivity of the event, take a NI flag down to the celebrations. When you get out of hospital, let us know how you got on.

    Also, I don’t know who is part of the committee running it this year, but i remember that last year’s committee did not exactly mirror the spectrum of political beliefs and religions that we have in this city. Surely the first step would be for this committee to put their own house in order first, and get a committee where everyone feels they are represented?

  • ricardo

    BTW spirit levels post of 11.28 am, hilarious!

    Take a NI flag down to the celebrations spirit level, and witness ‘the love’ and ‘the laughter’!

  • maca

    Ricardo. So you have taken a NI flag there then? How did you get on?

  • David Vance

    The previous posts highlight the problem.

    Those people who consider themselves “Irish” want to use the 17th March as the republican jamboree we have come to know and loath. Those who point out that Irish tricolours have NOTHING to do with S. Pat are castigated as “dour unionists”. (as opposed to beer swilling republicans?)Around the world, the 17th March is used to celebrate “Irishness” -fair enough, but let’s stop this infantile pretence that it is “inclusive” it’s not and that’s why not ONE PENNY of ratepayers money should go to it. It’s what Patrick would have wanted…maybe republicans could loan the money to the organisers – I hear they’re a bit flush these days…

  • Davros

    OC:Ireland’s national feast day

    Bingo – and how does a “feast day” include those atheists and those of religions that don’t have feast days ? We are back to the question the definition of Irishness.

    To people like OC Irish = Gaelic + Catholic.

    The fact of the matter is that “St Patrick’s Day”
    as we understand it is a modern and politicised event.

    Will making it some saccharine, twee and utterly naff tourist-fest make it any better ?

    By all means celebrate it as a religious festival.
    some dignity would be welcome.

    But an orgy of drunkenness,pseudo-bonhomie and semi-politicised fake “Oirish” deedly-dee culture is an affront to Ireland and it’s thousands of years of heritage.

  • maca

    David, a lot of moaning but nothing in the way of actual explanation of the problems or even *suggestions* as to how it might be more inclusive. I suppose we should just ban the Irish tricolour from the event, would you be happier then?

    You must be able to save a lot of money in NI then, since there is probably no event which is really inclusive. St Pats isn’t, according to some. OO events certainly aren’t. What else is there? Giants games? 😉

  • spirit-level

    ricardo
    “Take a NI flag down to the celebrations spirit level, and witness ‘the love’ and ‘the laughter’!”
    well obviously that would be antagonistic silly
    .
    Why not embrace your neighbours for one day a year and forget your differences!

    Davros
    “But an orgy of drunkenness,pseudo-bonhomie and semi-politicised fake “Oirish” deedly-dee culture is an affront to Ireland and it’s thousands of years of heritage.”
    That’s a sobering thought 😉

  • mickhall

    When Irish men and women are abroad, whether Catholic or Protestant, from the north or south they celebrate St Patrick’s Day, vigorously in my experience. Surly the day is a celebration of Irishness, in all its forms. The world is changing and people are going to have to get used to showing just a bit more tolerance. People are moving to Ireland from all over the world these days, within one generation their children will become Irish/Irish ‘UK’, yet they will still value their forbears culture. Thus one can expect in the future a host of flags on St Patrick’s Day parades. Rejoice in diversity and by so doing show a little tolerance. Belfast Council was being mean spirited by refusing funding, If the people of London have no problem with their Mayor allocating funds for a St Pats day parade in London, what does it say about the bunch in Belfast City Hall and those who elected them? Get out of the trench and have some fun.

  • Davros

    Step one : ban the piano-accordian.

    This is progress, of sorts:

    Deirdre Puts Lambeg Into The Orchestra

  • ricardo

    Spirit level – Why would flying a flag of Northern Ireland be antagonistic at an event to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland?

    Maca – i’ve never taken a NI flag to a st patrick celebration. Many years ago, my scout troop (ahem) was invited by our catholic counterparts to lead the st pats parade in Armagh. We were delighted to accept, and as someone who took part in the parade that day, it is my view that a lot of the punters who come out onto the streets for St Pats aren’t quite ready to embrace the notions of inclusivity and multi culturalism which are being so nobly espoused on here.

  • spirit-level

    David Vance highlights the problem for unionists and gives it away:
    “threatening to those of a non-Irish persuasion”
    “jamboree we have come to know and loath”
    you sad man.

  • Davros

    If the people of London have no problem with their Mayor allocating funds for a St Pats day parade in London

    At the moment that’s the least of their problems with their Mayor Mick. I remember there was quite a lot of hostility at money being directed at some sections of the community when I lived in London in the 90’s.

  • pakman

    I would have thought given the complexion of some past advocates for funding a compromise flag would be that other fine tricolour- the Colombian one.

  • maca

    Ricardo
    “i’ve never taken a NI flag to a st patrick celebration”

    But you are sure you will end up in hospital if you do so? 😉

    “Many years ago…”

    Since then (assuming it was a while back) St.Pats has changed a lot (it’s a festival since ’95, not a simple parade). You only need to visit Dublin on the 17th to see the number of international bands taking part, not to mention the number of minority cultures showing their faces.
    Belfast may be years behind but they are making efforts from what I can see.

    Some celebrations around the world.

  • Davros

    Nice Link Maca – R. O. Ireland is at least Honest – it’s a 4 day (commercial) event rather than a National day.

  • davidbrew

    “The point is St.Pats is a day when many around the world dance, be merry, have fun, get drunk and generally have a good time.
    This is in the face of the sour , dour, tradition of the Unionists Marches which can only hurt, deride and despise their neighbours.
    There is nothing happy about Unionism, no parties, no music, no love, no laughter, just bigoted sectarian triumphalism.”

    … and there we have, in all it’s glory, the bigotry of an irish nationalist. More subtle than Uncle Andy style loyalism, but just as corrosive. How dare this nonsense go unchallenged by nationalists? If this is a general view within nationalism ( and I suspect it is), it’s a real challenge for them.
    The Twelfth of July is , amazingly enough, also a day “when people dance, be merry, have fun, get drunk ” but that wouldn’t interest you , would it? Far easier to hide behind prejudice.

    And as for the Belfast St Patrick’s Day Committee, there have been problems with the feeder parades into the City centre, as even the Alliance Party have recognised. The APNI says that there was no engagement with the council for several months. There seems to be a convenient lack of these evil Protestants on the committee. is Conor Maskey, a relation of a certain SF MLA, BTW? We all remember how Catriona Ruane metamorphosed from a festival organiser to a SF parliamentary candidate.

    How many Prods were asked to join? Perhaps we could have had a dour-athon, and a group sulk, to show nationalists how superior they are.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Shit, I had 5 or 6 paragraphs in response to the overtly sectarian “spirit-level”, but I just erased it all!

  • Davros

    Never mind C-L – S-L wasn’t being serious 🙂

  • Davros

    Meanwhile in Newry:

    St Patrick’s Day funfair threatened (subs Required )

    Isn’t that typical of those dour Unionists ?
    Only it’s not – it’s SF and the SDLP ….
    This expression of “Irishness” has made life hell for Old people and is being cancelled.

    St Patrick’s Day funfair threatened

    By Catherine Morrison Newry Correspondent

    THE traditional St Patrick’s Day funfair in Newry may be cancelled this year after complaints from nearby residents about anti-social behaviour.

    Held in the city’s Frank Curran park, the annual carnival has been part of Newry’s celebrations for years, but last year residents said they were plagued with under-age drinking and fights near to the site.

    Local people said they witnessed teenagers involved in anti-social behaviour including urinating in the gardens of senior citizens.

    Several months ago, Newry and Mourne District Council carried out a survey and found there was little support for the fair among residents in the immediate vicinity of the park.

    A council sub-committee has recommended that the funfair should not take place this year and representatives will vote on the issue at next Monday’s council meeting.

    “There was trouble at last year’s event because of the amount of alcohol consumed and alcohol-related fights,” community worker Niall Quinn said.

    “The majority of the residents who live around Frank Curran park would be senior citizens and they were really tortured last year. They said they have had enough so another place is going to have to be found.”

    Sinn Fein Councillor Marian Mathers said the problem did not lie with the operators of the funfair who had ensured that it was adequately marshalled.

    “No doub there will be huge disappointment that it has been recommended that the funfair will not be held this year on St Patrick’s Day,” she said.

    “However the concerns of those residents living within the usual site about the anti-social problem had to be given considerable weighting.”

    SDLP councillor Pat McElroy said there was insufficient time to find another site for the fair.

    “We have taken this action as a result of the concerns expressed by residents after last year’s fair, which was marred by drunkenness and fights,” he said.

    “There is not enough time to find another location so we will spend the next year finding out, consulting with people, about where the 2006 fair could be held.”

  • Mike

    Maca

    “Who said everyone in NI can’t celebrate it???”

    If it becomes simply an occasion for one section of the community to celebrate its (version of)Irishness, then it becomes exclusive.

    “Well it’s the ROI’s national holiday. Pointless having two St.Patricks Days, or have you another suggestion for either Irelands national holiday or for the All-Ireland celebration? Or perhaps don’t celebrate it at all but have a NI national day instead?”

    I think that if the RoI want to have their national holiday on that day it’s fine, what we do in NI should be able to include all the people of NI and therefore make the day for all the people of the island of Ireland.

    “St.Pats day is a celebration of Irishness, IMHO, and the Tricolour is the Irish national flag. I’ve no problem with the flying of the Union flag but that, to me, is celebrating Britishness. What’s wrong with British Irish (i.e. *many* NI prods) people celebrating their Irishness for one day of the year? (I know there is more than one kind of Irishness before someone jumps down my throat)”

    The thing is, for the vast majority of the people you speak of, the RoI Tricolour does not form part of their kind of Irishness. And those of us from the island of Ireland who wouldn’t necessarily see ourselves as Irish have as much right to take part, being also natives of the island of Ireland. Why should it be decided for us that patron’s saint’s day is simply a “celebration of Irishness” (and semmingly only the RoI/nationalist version of Irishness at that). By the way, since Patrick was British perhaps an element of Britishness wouldn’t go amiss.

    “p.s. you want it to be more inclusive…who do you expect to carry the British flag if British people won’t get involved?”

    It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but I would think British people in NI would be a bit worried of the consequences of them turning up with a flag representing their identity or their part of Ireland (which by the way I feel would be more effectively done by a NI flag than a Union flag).

    “It’s appropriate where ever St.Pats day is celebrated. I’d suggest you watch for news of any celebrations all over the US, Europe and Australia and see can you spot the tricolours”

    Is this not perhaps a sign of the hijecking of the day by ‘Oirishry’ and in some places nationalism/republicanism?

    “Can’t they celebrate too?”

    Bit difficult if the day is defined to exclude them – ie “it’s all about a celebration of our Irishness, join in or lump it”.

    “Who said it was? It’s the flag of the Irish state”

    Which is onlt part of the island of Ireland – Patrick is the patron saint of the whole of Ireland and indeed is most associated with sites in NI.

    “And if they celebrated St.Georges Day in Dublin (i’ve no problem if they want to) i’d expect they’d fly the English flag.
    Or if they celebrated 4th of July in Cork i’d expect they’d fly the Stars n’ Stripes”

    Those would be occasions where expats would be celebrating outisde the territory concerned – Belfast and NI are as much a part of the island of Ireland as the RoI, as are all its people.

  • Fraggle

    “is most associated with sites in NI.”

    Patrick has a mountain named after him in Mayo and there are loads of other important sites associated with him elsewhere in Ireland including Lough Derg in Donegal and the rock o Cashel where he is reputed to have used the shamrock for the first time.

    Personally, as an athiest, I mourn St Patrick’s day as representing the descent of ireland into credulism and godism but it is always an excuse for a good party.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Some have raised the issue of Loyal Order Parades on this thread. Comparisons between the St. Patricks Day Provo love-fest and the Twelfth are false and here’s why.

    The Orange Order makes no attempt to disguise what it is. It is a Protestant organisation, which commemorates and remembers significant events in the history of the Protestant population of Ireland i.e. 1649, 1690, 1916 etc. The Order makes no attempt to hide what it is – and why should it? That does not mean that non-Protestants can’t go along to events such as the Twelfth and have a good time – of course they can.

    The events of the 17th March in Belfast on the other hand are sold upon the basis of a lie. The lie is that it is a cross-community, inclusive event. It is not. Irish tricolours are not inclusive (btw, what have they to do with St. Patrick). Ford Escort cars containing men in balaclavas, with “Gardai” written up the side are not inclusive. That is why the council is entirely justified in refusing funding.

    As to the query re. loyal order parades – the loyal orders get no funding from the city council.

    One final observation – it’s really rather pathetic that for some people the manifestation of their Irishness is to don the football strip of a Scottish football team, get absolutely plastered and then attempt to trash a shopping centre.

    Plastic Paddies indeed….

  • Christopher Stalford

    I agree with David Vance (shock!) – a formal objection should be lodged with the Parades Commission.

  • Keith M

    Firstly I have to say that no only is St.Patrick’s not the national holiday in Nothern Ireland, it’s nit even an officially designated public holiday. I’s just a bank holiday (the same status as Good Friday in this country). I think that should be changed, so that everyone can benefit from a holiday.

    Secondly, the Irish tricolour should have no place near a St.Patrick’s Day parade in Northern Ireland. There is a perfectly good (and neutral) flag which should be used; St. Patrick’s Saltire. Any funding should be based on supporting a parade which is neutral and non-hostile to both communities.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “Which is onlt part of the island of Ireland – Patrick is the patron saint of the whole of Ireland and indeed is most associated with sites in NI.”

    Correct. Protestants/Unionists should reclaim Patrick for themselves. I think it’s positive to see the Orange Order leading the charge in this regard.

    The Church he established remains with us to this day (The Church of Ireland) and his teachings are far, far removed from those of Rome.

    Irishness = Celtic + Catholic? – Probably
    Patrick = Celtic + Catholic? – Definately Not

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I hope the unionist paramilitaries do not try and set off any car bombs like they did last St Patricks Day. If people want to celebrate in a non contentious way then they should be left in peace to do so.

  • CavanMan

    Keith M
    The St Patricks flag which you talk about is not a neutral flag but a pro unionist one.It was the Irish flag when Ireland was part of Britain,as it is part of the make-up of the union flag..for this reason it will not become commonly used by the majority of people on this island.

  • maca

    “Protestants/Unionists should reclaim Patrick for themselves.”

    LOL. Funniest thing I heard in a while. Ridiculous too.

  • Davros

    I hope the unionist paramilitaries do not try and set off any car bombs like they did last St Patricks Day.

    I’m not sure I believe you pat. To my mind that the thought even occurred to you suggests otherwise.

    This quote rings true

    “Tóibín, in an article satirising public rhetoric in Ireland, pushes the interpretation a bit
    further when he interprets the Constitution as saying the opposite of actual fact:
    ‘I began to notice that if you put the word “not” in the sentences used in public life in Ireland which did not already have it and deleted the “not” in the sentences which did, then you would get a much clearer view of what was going on’ (‘On (Not) Saying what you mean’).

  • CavanMan

    Christopher Stalford
    One final observation – it’s really rather pathetic that for some people the manifestation of their Irishness is to don the football strip of a Scottish football team, get absolutely plastered and then attempt to trash a shopping centre.

    Plastic Paddies indeed….

    Contrast This to the twelfth were some people don football strips of a scottish club of which Northern Ireland has absolutely no historical roots to(unlike celtic and ireland),get plastered,sing anti-catholic songs…make speeches on the platforms with loyalist terror chiefs,intimidate catholics/nationalists.Yes seeing as you are part of such an organisation..your comments about St Patricks Day are laughable.

  • Davros

    “Protestants/Unionists should reclaim Patrick for themselves.”

    Maca: LOL. Funniest thing I heard in a while. Ridiculous too.

    There’s been quite a lot written on this subject which was firecely debated in the 90’s maca 😉

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    think St Pats Day last year, think car bomb outside pub in University St on that evening while revellers were enjoying the craic inside. Whether you believe me or not just think about it.

  • Davros

    What has that got to do with the point I made Pat ?
    The fascinating thing over the past few weeks while your party gets deeper and deeper in the mire is that they haven’t been rescued by some political gaffe by Unionists or some criminal act by Loyalists. You have had to be on the defensive for months. Criminy, you cannot even rely on the PSNI loosing off plastic bullets at the orchestrated riots!

    IRA ‘setting up riots to keep killing unsolved’

    and I’m certain a lot of the hostility faced by the PSNI these days is because they won’t give you
    good copy by baton charging republican rent-a-mob
    “>protests.

  • David Vance

    OK – here’s how we make St. Patricks day more “inclusive”. These suggestions are copyRIGHT.

    1. The Shamrock should have a red, white and blue leaf, with a green stem. Parity for all.

    2. Let’s modernise St. Patrick – rename him St. Bono – everyone seems to worship him these days.

    3. The parade should be led by someone everyone can relate to – but in a non-threatening way. I offer up Jenny Bristow – or perhaps Aalex Higgins.

    4. The only music played should be polka.

  • David Vance

    OK – here’s how we make St. Patricks day more “inclusive”. These suggestions are copyRIGHT.

    1. The Shamrock should have a red, white and blue leaf, with a green stem. Parity for all.

    2. Let’s modernise St. Patrick – rename him St. Bono – everyone seems to worship him these days.

    3. The parade should be led by someone everyone can relate to – but in a non-threatening way. I offer up Jenny Bristow – or perhaps Aalex Higgins.

    4. The only music played should be polka.

  • Davros

    Whoops :

    protests

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    defensive really? A PSNI that cannot make any headway on a massive bank raid and whose intelligence is shown to be crap.

    A murder where the PSNI is now relying on Gerry Adams to give them a boost.

    Aye right.

  • maca

    David, the fact that you offer those “suggestions” says a lot. You don’t actually want St.Pats to be inclusive do you? You just want it done away with, am I right?

    Keith
    The St. Patrick’s Saltire is far from neutral. You want a neutral flag you’ll have to look abroad for one.

    Mike
    “what we do in NI should be able to include all the people of NI and therefore make the day for all the people of the island of Ireland.”

    That’s grand but if people in NI want to celebrate St.Pats with the Irish of the South shouldn’t they be free to do so.
    Also, any suggestions for an inclusive NI national holiday?

    “Is this not perhaps a sign of the hijecking of the day by ‘Oirishry’ and in some places nationalism/republicanism?”

    No I don’t believe so. In most cases it’s an excuse to party. You’ll find all types celebrating it, Brits & Prods included … except in NI where everything is different.

    There was a St.Pats party at one of the universities here. All the international students took part including many British students, except one group, a few protestant lads from NI.
    In this case I think it is clear, IMHO, who excluded themselves.

    “indeed is most associated with sites in NI.”

    That’s debatable.

  • davidbrew

    “Contrast This to the twelfth were some people don football strips of a scottish club of which Northern Ireland has absolutely no historical roots to(unlike celtic and ireland),get plastered,sing anti-catholic songs…make speeches on the platforms with loyalist terror chiefs,intimidate catholics/nationalists.”

    Well, Rangers FC was actually founded by seven rowers, some of whom were economic migrants from Belfast, so that’s not entirely true. And regrettably for your analogy, the platform party has none of the glamour of St Patrick’s day carnivals with Girls Aloud performing. It’s usually boring old men like me making speeches to resolutions which most people don’t listen to-sadly no blood thirsty terrorists

  • Christopher Stalford

    It comes so easy doesn’t it maca? Rather than addressing the substantive point made, revert to anti-Orange rhetoric which has no basis in fact whatsoever.

    Perhaps you would like to explain to us all why you find the prospect of Protestants celebrating St. Patrick’s day in there own way so funny? Believe it or not, I don’t think Patrick would be terribly impressed with what passes for his day.

    The message from nationalists like maca is clear: you lot have the Twelfth, we have Paddy’s day – don’t go stickin’ your nose in where it aint welcome – if you want to celebrate, do so on our terms, if not, get stuffed!

    Cultural fascism and Irish nationalism go hand in hand.

  • Malachy

    Well isn’t St Patricks day just a load of Boll*cks all over the world at this stage.

    My favourite however was a certain St Patty’s Parade “brochure” in the US showing a map of Ireland featuring Kings County and Queens County.

    When I enquired as to why there was not a modern map of Ireland I was introduced to the publisher of the brochure who told me she was a unionist!

  • Christopher Stalford

    PS. I have already stated why comparisons between St. Patrick’s Day and The Twelfth are false comparisons. Do try and keep up maca.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Sorry, not maca, CavanMan

    (do try and keep up Christopher!)

    D’oh!

  • Christopher Stalford

    Malachy

    Quite right. Although it does somewhat spoil Brian Cowen’s nick-name! No longer BIFFO, now BIFFQ!

  • maca

    Christopher
    “anti-Orange rhetoric” “Protestants celebrating St. Patrick’s day in there own way”

    Are you reading the same thread Chris??
    As you said yourself “Protestants/Unionists should reclaim Patrick for themselves” i.e. no room for Irish catholics.
    And you mention ‘fact’, fact is St.Pat belongs to us all, if you want to celebrate it in your way I have no problem with that but you won’t deny me the right to celebrate it in my way.

    “The message from nationalists like maca is clear”

    Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean you should just stick me into a cosy little box.
    Sorry to disappoint you but i’m not a nationalist.

    Btw you should actually read my posts before you decide to attack.

  • vespasian

    As far as I can remember the OO up in Ballymena hold a St Patrick’s day parade through the town or at Slemish. I suspect they probably don’t get funding either though I’m sure someone here will know!

    So why can’t the Belfast parade organisers get some OO representation on their committee? That will guarantee a grant!

  • Christopher Stalford

    “Sorry to disappoint you but i’m not a nationalist.”

    If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck….

    “As you said yourself “Protestants/Unionists should reclaim Patrick for themselves” i.e. no room for Irish catholics.”

    The speed with which mope-ish nationalist/nationalist sympathisers take offence shocks even me.

    I never said there was no room for Irish Catholics in St. Patricks Day celebrations, what I said was the St. Patricks Day event in Belfast was a singularly Catholic/Nationalist/Irish event.

    Catholicism had nothing to do with Patrick. Irishness hadn’t been invented when he was on this earth and neither had nationalism. The celebrations are therefore totally contrived and one-sided.

    That’s fine, if nationalists want to demean themselves by such a tacky celebration of “Oirishness” they are free to do so, but they should stop lieing to themselves and everyone else by claiming it’s inclusive, or expect the rate-payers of the city (of which I am one) to foot the bill.

  • Biffo

    Christopher Stalford

    “The Church he established remains with us to this day (The Church of Ireland) and his teachings are far, far removed from those of Rome.

    Irishness = Celtic + Catholic? – Probably
    Patrick = Celtic + Catholic? – Definately Not”

    Chris I hate to tell you this St Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland over 1,000 years before the Church of Ireland was introduced to the island (by the English).

    “Irishness hadn’t been invented when he was on this earth”.

    What on earth are you talking about? Please explain.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The fact that the Alliance Party sided with other unionist parties to do down the funding indicates why that party has failed to become anymore than the NIO’s little puppet that is whheled out as an example of a non existent middle ground.

    The Alliance party gets little or no support from within the nationalist community and in a seeming fit of pique has tried for a bit of revenge.

  • Davros

    Chris I hate to tell you this St Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland over 1,000 years before the Church of Ireland was introduced to the island (by the English).

    Biffo – I, in turn, hate to tell you this but Patrick didn’t introduce Christianity to Ireland.

  • Keith M

    CavanMan, “The St Patricks flag which you talk about is not a neutral flag but a pro unionist one.It was the Irish flag when Ireland was part of Britain as it is part of the make-up of the union flag.”. Actually the flag preadates the union by at least a hundred years, and was used as the flag of the Kingdom of Ireland as part of the dual Monarchy which existed prior to the 19th Century. It was also was used by the now defunct Order of Saint Patrick. It has have more connection with Saint Patrick than any other flag.

    “for this reason it will not become commonly used by the majority of people on this island”. I’ve not suggested that it becomes used by all the people of the island. The Republic has it’s national flag (the tricolour), Northern Ireland has its national flag (the union flag). It’s quite appropriate to use the tricolour in the Republic, because 17th March is the designated national holiday. Northern Ireland is a completly different matter.

  • Keith M

    Davros “I hate to tell you this St Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland over 1,000 years before the Church of Ireland was introduced to the island (by the English).”. Davros, all forms of Christiany on this island come from Britain. As well as all the good things that came with colonization, I’m afraid this was oine of the unfortunate legacies. (I’m an equial opportunity anti-christ!)

  • Davros

    I have no idea what you are on about Keith.
    I’m reminding or telling Biffo that St Patrick wasn’t the first to introduce Christianity to Ireland.

  • dave

    Er..hmmm…. Shamrock is not coloured GREEN..
    Shamrock is in fact coloured YELLOW.
    Any good gardner could tell you that.

    )

  • James

    This is all soooo unnecessary.

    All this fuss over March 17. Why do you people wanna muck up my birthday so much? Christ, every 17th it’s like the aliens have landed from the Whataboutry Nebula all of a sudden ….. even the beer turns green.

    Tell ya what, everyone mail me a 20 quid note (mainland banks only, please), stop all the brouhaha, tune back to those Coronation Street reruns on the Beeb and we’ll all call it evens.

  • maca

    Chris
    “If it walks like a duck…”

    It’s so much easier to insult people when you can slap a label on them, isn’t it Chris.
    Sad!

    Dave
    “Shamrock is in fact coloured YELLOW. Any good gardner could tell you that.”

    Too much water.
    The St. Patrick’s Day shamrock (oxalis acetosella) is dark green. Any good gardner could tell you that. 😉

  • Biffo

    Davros

    “I’m reminding or telling Biffo that St Patrick wasn’t the first to introduce Christianity to Ireland.”

    Thanks for the reminder Davros. OK, St Patrick was the third person to introduce christianity to Ireland (but the first to introduce it to Downpatrick)

    The point I was making was that he obviously couldn’t have introduced anglicanism, as Christopher Stalford says, because it came over 1,000 years later.

  • fair_deal

    The so-called moves to inclusiveness have simply been offers to ‘talk to people about their objections’. They have changed the people who are the public face of the Carnival but the message stays the same as Catriona Ruane’s time but now with a smile.

  • tebzz3

    good grief, look everybody two flies crawling up a wall, lets argue about aswell, i do hope not many people read this thread.
    the people whinging about st patricks day are the ones that want nationists wearing sackcloth and ashes 24×7. the ones biting back ought to know better.
    a more interesting point is that most evidence points to st patrick been a nobleborn gaul, but thats not really what our past masters wanted us to think…..

  • Davros

    most evidence points to st patrick been a nobleborn gaul.

    in your dreams … and he was still a victim of Irish Slavers LONG before the Brits got involved in transatlantic slavery 😉

  • maca

    “and he was still a victim of Irish Slavers LONG before the Brits got involved in transatlantic slavery”

    In fairness Davros, they were probably all at it back then, stealing women and raping cows. 😉

  • cg

    “they were probably all at it back then, stealing women and raping cows. ;)”

    Some are still at it 😉

  • Davros

    Can one ‘rape’ a cow ?
    Have you covered that area of law yet Chris ? 😉

  • cg

    “Can one ‘rape’ a cow ?
    Have you covered that area of law yet Chris ? ;)”

    Not that I know of, it’s bestiality and sick

    Thankfully we didn’t cover it in Criminal law

  • maca

    “Can one ‘rape’ a cow ?”
    If the cow doesn’t consent…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Brass neck of the year award must go to fundamentalist fanatic Nelson Mc Causland of the DUP. After voting with other unionists to withhold funding for the Belfast parade the said bigot is off to Cork with his lodge and their bizarre mission statement. The lodge is to ask Belfast City Council to fund their trip.

    Sad that Mc Causland will appeal to the baser elements in the ghettoes in order to get one over the Taigs but then in a breath taking somersault go off to tricolour bedecked Cork.

  • dave

    Maca

    The real Shamrock is Trifolium dubium. Common names:
    Lesser Trefoil, sometimes called Lesser Yellow Trefoil, or the Small Hop Suckling Clover or even the Hop Clover, occasionally called the Least Hop Clover which is actually Trifolium minus.
    So when we say shamrock other say Trifolium dubium = Small hop clover; Suckling clover; Lesser yellow trefoil; Low hop clover; Yellow clover, So its called Shamrock.

    Shamrock is in fact Yellow, however you believe what you will

  • maca

    Dave,
    “the real shamrock”? There are actually quite a number of varieties of shamrock, some yellow, some green and some even with pink flowers.
    The shamrock used for St.Pats day is the three leafed dark green type (oxalis acetosella). The “official irish shamrock” is a different variety.
    Have you ever seen shamrock?

  • ricardo

    Maca ‘Have you ever seen shamrock?’

    No, but I have seen Sham 69. And they rock, er, ‘man’.

    I’ll get my coat . . . .

  • Keith M

    Pat Mc L; Regarding Nelson McCausland, the reason why the ratepayer is not funding the St.Patrick’s Day is that because N McC and others didn’t see sufficient effort being made to include both communities in the event. Now consider the Orange Order marching in the Republic, if ever an event screamed the promotion of cross community activity it must be a St.Patrick’s Day Parade in the Republic.

    A (genuine) question, in the republic the ratepayer subsidises the parades on our national day,in Nothern Ireland does the ratepayer fund the parades on July 12th? I’m genuinely curious.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    KeithM,

    I believe you are being deliberately naive on this subject. Nationalists in the city see this as unionists playing the Orange card, especially close to the elections. The sight of nationalists in the city centre is something that unionist politicians still cannot stomach

    I hope that the organisers of the Cork Parade read the mission statement of the lodge that is marching there, something tells me they have not.

    I do know that the tax payers have to fund the rise in police overtime caused by the trouble emanating from coat trailing parades.

  • Davros

    Athboy rather damages your case pat.

  • Davros
  • Biffo

    Keith M

    “Now consider the Orange Order marching in the Republic, if ever an event screamed the promotion of cross community activity it must be a St.Patrick’s Day Parade in the Republic.”

    It’s good to see, but there isn’t any cross community conflict in the republic, so it’s hardly a big deal.

  • dave

    maca
    “Have you ever seen shamrock?”

    If the truth were to be told, the only time I have ever seen Shamrock was when it was pinned to my lapel on St Patrick’s Day, this only took place once a year over a period of twenty five years.

    The IFs and BUTs of this side thread is that you really don’t know what colour Irish Shamrock is. True Irish shamrock is Yellow and fragile it is very difficult to grow and transport hence the reason why the more sturdy variety green in colour is grown and sold to Joe public.

    Lets just agree on this, I’m right and you are definitely wrong.

  • ShayPaul

    Stalford

    “Some have raised the issue of Loyal Order Parades on this thread. Comparisons between the St. Patricks Day Provo love-fest and the Twelfth are false and here’s why.

    The Orange Order makes no attempt to disguise what it is. It is a Protestant organisation, which commemorates and remembers significant events in the history of the Protestant population of Ireland i.e. 1649, 1690, 1916 etc. The Order makes no attempt to hide what it is – and why should it? That does not mean that non-Protestants can’t go along to events such as the Twelfth and have a good time – of course they can.

    The events of the 17th March in Belfast on the other hand are sold upon the basis of a lie. The lie is that it is a cross-community, inclusive event. It is not. Irish tricolours are not inclusive (btw, what have they to do with St. Patrick).

    As to the query re. loyal order parades – the loyal orders get no funding from the city council.

    Plastic Paddies indeed….”

    Nobody gives a monkeys about your disloyal orders. Stop getting yourself in an orange tantrum.

    The Tri-colour’s history is based on inclusion of both traditions.

    I loved the line about “non-protestants” enjoying the 12th. Only a blind bigot sax player with Dr NO and the DUPes would fall for that one.

    Now chill out and leave the people alone to party, only your disloyal dis-orders could be happy about the sectarian solution found by the city council.

    The times they are a changing …

  • maca

    Dave
    “I’m right and you are definitely wrong”
    You don’t know nearly as much as you think you do.

    “the more sturdy variety green in colour is grown and sold to Joe public.”
    lol. And what did my 12:25 PM say only that it’s the green one which is used for St.Pats day.
    So now you agree with me. Thanks.

  • irish in brum

    Sad reflection on Northern society.
    it,s that old thing again flags

    I am proud to say i now live in england,in the best city of birmingham.

    We had a parade last weekend for st patrick.
    100.000 people attended

    WE had irish flags. ulster flags. from both sides the union flag the flag of st george

    if you find the flag of Ireland offensive bring your own

    Simple

  • irish in brum

    I look foward to all replies