Union Jack at St Paddy`s?

A couple of links in todays News Letter with regards to Saint Patrick`s Day….

Sinn Fein`s Paul Butler has called for the resignation of the DUP Mayor of Lisburn after he displayed the Union Jack at a Saint Patrick`s event in Seattle.

Secondly is a rather strange determination by the Parades Commission in Kilkeel. Apparently it is non-offensive to parade in the morning but offensive to hold a return parade in the evening!

And lastly…Irish troops in the British Army should today receive fresh Shamrock`s for today`s celebrations.

  • Mark

    ShayPaul

    “In the “middle class” mixed area in which I lived my Unionist neighbours apologised at the end of every summer for flying Union flags and overtly ignoring us for 2 months. We then proceeded to live together as neighbours until the following year.”

    Thats what you described and I’ve never seen it happen. Just because you put a flag out doesnt mean you stop talking to your neighbours.

    If you disagree with the statement I made that bonfires are a predominantly working class event, and that the bitterness and hatred shown at them isn’t wholly religious but has it’s roots in other factors, just say that.

    I dont defend the naked sectarianism that takes place there, I condemn it, and if we’re going to try and stop or change that then there’s other issues which have to be addressed, including the free reign that terrorists have to run these areas and any social and economic problems.

    “The examples I gave are true and widespread”

    What examples? You mentioned a town not a estate and even then that was one example, hardly widespread.

    “As Biffo points out if you are not aware of what really goes on, it is because you don’t want to be aware.”

    I am aware of what goes on that’s why I think it should be dealt with.

  • Mark

    Oops wasn’t finished, apologies. 🙂

    “the silence on this issue from respectable, and respected by me, people who should know better is deafening ….. I think that it does more damage to community relations than the antics of the mindless thugs from all sides.”

    I totally agree with you on this, we just need to get those “respectable” people (I assume you mean politicians) to show some leadership and speak up.

    Anyways, I’m off down the pub, have a good weekend.

  • Clady Cowboy

    Alan2,

    Look mate if 6 billion people on this planet identify the Tricolour as being the flag of Ireland,i don’t really care that you and a million other unionists disagree with that. Wherever you decide to draw a border in this situation you will still be in a minority!

    Some people may not recognise St.George’s flag as its status is somewhat dubious, the union flag being the national flag of England.

    If people can’t celebrate St.Patrick’d day without waving a union jack then they have issues that we on this forum can’t deal with.
    I lived in London for years and would certainly not dream of flying a tricolour on St.George’s day as a means to REFLECT MY HERITAGE-it wouldn’t be appreciated.

    I also have friends who were London Irish with united Ireland viewpoints who would one week wear an Ireland top and the next an England top. If they can do this and tip their cap to differing identities then so should you. To suggest you can’t i’m afraid is but a confirmation of the inherent racism that pervades unionist dislike for any Irish symbol.

    Do people of British heritage in Fiji fly the union jack during Fiji’s national day?

    Did this sectarian statelet recognise St.P’s day as worthy for a holiday until recently?

    Let’s be honest, you HATE the Irish flag,its people,culture. You want to be both but part of you can’t stand the thought of it..

    ‘3 Swiss francs for a Union jack-ideal for Swiss day!’.Get a grip.

  • beano

    “I lived in London for years and would certainly not dream of flying a tricolour on St.George’s day as a means to REFLECT MY HERITAGE-it wouldn’t be appreciated.”

    “No matter that the unionist population were ‘settled’ on this island by the murdering hoardes whose descendants fly a union flag”

    Much as I hate to sink to your level, if you want to be that selective about your history, the Scotti were forced out of Ulster, apprx 1000 years previously, by the invading Gaels, so really they were reclaiming what was rightfully theirs.

  • Clady Cowboy

    Beano,

    No-one on this site has said that unionists shouldn’t celebrate the day. the argument is whether the Union flag is appropriate.
    Supposing i was born in England to Irish parents,could i fly the Tricolour during St.George’s day parade? And expect to live?

    In your attempt to stoop to my level you’ve given us some comic book history. The Scotti were Gaels and so seem to have been ‘forced out’ by themselves.

  • Biffo

    Beano

    “…the Scotti were forced out of Ulster, apprx 1000 years previously, by the invading Gaels, so really they were reclaiming what was rightfully theirs..”

    As per the “Narrow-minded Loyalist Bigot’s Fantasy History Of Ulster” by Ian Adamson et al (1981 – Jesus, Ulster, & God’s Chosen People Books Ltd).

    If you are interested in the subject I suggest you read proper history books and articles, stay away from the loyalist propaganda – it’s poorly researched bullshit!

  • smcgiff

    Limerick’s band parade took place today. The parade was lead by three flags. The Irish Tri-colour, the Union flag in the middle and the USA flag. No sign of the EU flag.

    I’m assuming these three flags were present because there were bands from the ROI, NI – Churchill and Londonderry (As stated on their drum), and the USA.

    There was no swooning that I could see. The NI bands, especially the one from Londonderry (Friendship band), seemed to get a particularly good response.

  • Clady Cowboy

    smcgiff,

    Some would say there is a sizeable population in the republic who are more comfortable with a union flag than a tricolour,the sindy’s,not me though.

    Perhaps the lack of swooning has got something to do with the lack of british military on the streets of limerick. Still it shows tolerance.
    I look forward to the day i can fly the tricolour in an orange parade

  • smcgiff

    ‘Some would say there is a sizeable population in the republic who are more comfortable with a union flag than a tricolour,the sindy’s,not me though.’

    Some people will say anything! 😉

    I don’t see the British people being a problem any longer. Muhammad from Islington, and Mr Singh’s family from Birmingham, or even John Bull Jnr from London’s Eastend couldn’t care less about who governs Northern Ireland.

    The reason NI is British is because the majority in NI desire to be British. The vast majority of those living on this island accept this.

    Now, what can’t be tolerated is the abuse of majority, which clearly happened in the past. But this has largely been dealt with, and I might add, with the help of the British government.

    The level of armed forces in NI is not desirable, but many would argue that a complete withdrawal of British troops in the current climate would have a destabilising influence. Especially as Sinn Fein have not signed up to policing.

    Now, tell us about your furtive desire to become an OO member. Do, ya think the bowler hat would suit ya? 😉

  • beano

    To those who decided to seize on my “the scotti were forced out by invaders” I wasn’t trying to lay claim to ownership of the territory, I’m just trying to make the point that all the feckin “We were here first so go home” rubbish is pointless. If you look back far enough I’m sure everyone in NI today is the descendant of an invader.

    Would be interested in any “proper history books and articles” you could point me in the direction of though. I’m afraid the little information I have comes largely from Wikipedia and the “loyalist propaganda” websites, which seem no more far-fetched than the republican propaganda ones. Unfortunately, factual information seems thin on the ground.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I have various websites and/or books which may interest you “beano”?

    They are well-researched and go into detail about the violent and rebellious past of the Red Hand Province, known as Ulster, and the subsequent forming of Northern Ireland after the Government of Ireland Act. This was passed as law in January 1921, recognising our Britishness in Ulster, but at the same time recognising the rights of Southern Ireland, and their perceived “Irishness”.

    Six of the nine counties of Ulster became the state of NORTHERN IRELAND and the other 26 counties became known as the “Irish Free State”, before it was declared as a Republic in 1937.

    You said “the scotti were forced out by invaders”.

    You are referring to the settlers from Scotland and England who came over to settle in Ireland, but in particular the North-East of the island, in Ulster.
    This became known as “THE RETURN OF THE CRUTHIN”, who had links with the “PICTS”.
    This is because the Gaels forced their ancestors to flee Ulster, as they wished to take their land and livestock for their own.

    The story of CuChulainn, the ancient Defender of Ulster, is based on the period that the Gaels forced them to flee across the Irish Sea.

    The greedy Queen Maeve of Connaught invaded Ulster to steal one of their most prized animals, only for the renowned warrior CuChulainn to defy the Gaels and gallantly fight them almost single-handedly, keeping them at bay until he was eventually defeated and put on a stake and slaughtered!
    You can see this defiant image painted in murals throughout loyalist areas of Ulster.

    So you are absolutely correct in saying the ancestors of the Ulster-Scots people were driven from Ireland by the savage Gaels!

  • maca

    Beano
    “I’m sure everyone in NI today is the descendant of an invader”

    I doubt it. There’s a big difference between a migrant and an invader.

    “Some would say there is a sizeable population in the republic who are more comfortable with a union flag than a tricolour,the sindy’s,not me though”

    *cough bullshit*
    The sindy? That’s the new magazine from Comedy Central is it? 😉

  • maca

    Concerned Loyalist – no Beano said he doesn’t want loyalist propaganda!

  • Mike

    “By the way, when NI has played in Dublin, no NI flag was flown nor anthem for NI played either, so a consistent approach. Maybe you didn’t realise that.”

    Any comment to make of what Gav Belfast said here, Clady Cowboy? Or are you not interested in people prodining a sense of fairness and balance when you’re in the middle of a blinkered rant?

  • Mike

    And another thing:

    St Patrick is the patron saint of the whole island of Ireland, which includes both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Could I, as a Northern Irishman, celebrate my patron saint Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, with a Northern Ireland flag, as so many people do with RoI flags and emblems? Would I be welcomed? Or would I face verbal and likely physical abuse? In that case, who is it that is displaying intolerance and hatred?

  • CavanMan

    By the way, when NI has played in Dublin, no NI flag was flown nor anthem for NI played either, so a consistent approach. Maybe you didn’t realise that.”

    That was wrong the NI flag should have been flown and NI anthem played,plus like the belfast game,Away Fans should have been allowed to travel to the game.

  • maca

    Mike
    “Could I, as a Northern Irishman, celebrate my patron saint Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, with a Northern Ireland flag, as so many people do with RoI flags and emblems? Would I be welcomed? Or would I face verbal and likely physical abuse? In that case, who is it that is displaying intolerance and hatred?”

    Looks like you’ve already passed judgement there Mike.
    Answer, yes. I doubt many people (if any, bar the odd moron) would have a problem with you celebrating the “patron saint Belfast” with an NI flag – in the South, can’t speak for the North. We’ve no problem with the NI flag.

    CavanMan
    “That was wrong the NI flag should have been flown…”

    How do you know it wasn’t? It’s a bit hard check the situation at all the matches.
    Out of curiousity when was the last time NI played in Dublin?

  • Mike

    Maca –

    That should’ve read “patron saint IN Belfast”. Think I might’ve attracted the wrong sort of attention had I gone into the city centre with a NI flag (I think I can make some sort of informed judgement, having been there sans flag). In the Republic, I’m pretty sure as you say I wouldn’t have had a problem.

    NI last played in Dublin in 1999 – invited down as part of a ‘peace’ friendly but still our flag wasn’t flown. I know it wasn’t because I was there – didn’t really spoil my enjoyment I have to say as NI won 1-0;)

  • maca

    Mike,
    Ok, as I said, belfast I can’t speak for.

    NI in Dublin – the comment though referred to all the games, not just the last one. 😉
    “when NI has played in Dublin, no NI flag was flown nor anthem for NI played”

  • beano

    Maca, you’re correct, I said I didn’t want loyalist propaganda (although I was already familiar with most of what concerned loyalist said), but rather than dismiss it out of hand, you could perhaps point out the inaccuracies or point us towards what you feel to be a more reliable source. Is what he says inaccurate, or do you just feel it is irrelavant to compare 2000 year old stories with the situation in NI today?

    I also have to agree with Mike, I was toying with the idea of something similar. I own 2 green t-shirts, one of which is my Northern Ireland top. I know its become customary to wear green on St Patricks day – but I don’t think I’d be very welcome in the city centre wearing my NI top, never mind any flags.

  • Mike

    I prefer not to think about the other games maca;)

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Beano

    “I wasn’t trying to lay claim to ownership of the territory, I’m just trying to make the point that all the feckin “We were here first so go home” rubbish is pointless. If you look back far enough I’m sure everyone in NI today is the descendant of an invader.”

    Hmmmm. This old chestnut resurfaces from time to time. I’m always struck anew by the sheer self-deception required to resort to this argument.

    The point, as must surely be clear, is not that Ireland’s pro-British population should be expelled. On the contrary, 99.99999% of Ireland’s pro-Irish population would be appalled at such a prospect. The point is that the people of Ireland should have sovereignty over Ireland – that includes the pro-British people. Ending the union wouldn’t mean population shifts or putting anyone on the Larne boat. It might suit certain dire shades of unionism to frame the debate in such nihilistic terms, but it’s sheer fantasy – easily as preposterous and grotesque as Concerned Loyalist’s little history lesson.

    You say
    “I wasn’t trying to lay claim to ownership of the territory”

    But of course unionists ARE doing exactly that. See: Partition; and The Union. The problem is not that an invasion happened long ago. The problem is not that the descendants of those invaders are still here, and are going to be here for all time. The problem is that those descendants are still acting like invaders and occupiers. That was, is and will remain an unacceptable status quo for the overwhelming majority of people in Ireland, for whom Ireland is the frame of reference, and for whom consensus and common cause between all the people of Ireland is the goal.

    Pointing out that the invasion, occupation and plantation to which we owe the modern-day unionist community was not the first in Irish history is a red herring. All previous invaders eventually made common cause with the rest of Ireland, thus allowing historical grievances to become juat that – history. Our present-day division is rooted in the refusal – or inability – of the most recent invaders to reconcile themselves to the fact that this is Ireland.

    “I’m just trying to make the point that all the feckin “We were here first so go home” rubbish is pointless.”

    It certainly is. However, no-one is advocating that the unionist community “go home”. (Funny thing to say to a community that has been here for about four centuries or so!) I am aware that unionism has often taken `Brits Out’ to mean just that, but republicans will counter that they simply mean British troops and British sovereignty should be removed from Ireland or any part of it.

    So that being the case, let’s keep on-topic. What most people in Ireland want is an end to the union and partition. Nobody wants the unionist community to leave Ireland – in fact, as a passionate anti-partitionist and anti-unionist, I would prefer to see the godawful status quo preserved, rather than a united Ireland which Ulster’s Protestants felt compelled to leave in large numbers.

    “If you look back far enough I’m sure everyone in NI today is the descendant of an invader.”

    Yes but their invasions and occupations are over. Unionism’s is ongoing. What nationalists are saying is: let it go, chill out and let’s just acknowledge that we’re brothers.

  • maca

    Beano
    When people start going back to stories of Cú Chulainn I get a bit worried. Your best bet is a good history book, there’s few websites you can really trust, and I wouildn’t trust much posted here as each side has their own “version of the facts”. 😉

    Yeah, as I said to Mike I was talking about south of the border.

  • beano

    Billy,

    you make your point well but I feel your main point “The point is that the people of Ireland should have sovereignty over Ireland” is a touch flawed.

    Why draw the line around Ireland? Why not Ulster or Northern Ireland (or part thereof)? Why not the British Isles?

    Where do you decide where the people of a territory are distinct enough from others, and yet coeherent enough internally, to be soveriegn over that territory?

  • beano

    god, that was littered with typos – sorry!

  • maca

    Mike
    “I prefer not to think about the other games maca;)”

    Don’t worry. I won’t mention them again.

  • Alan2

    “I lived in London for years and would certainly not dream of flying a tricolour on St.George’s day as a means to REFLECT MY HERITAGE-it wouldn’t be appreciated.”

    The difference being that the Union flag CONTAINS St Patrick`s Cross. Indeed the Fiji flag contains a Union Jack if my memory serves me right but even if it didnt it is not the same as Fiji is not part of the UK. You seem to be trying to turn this around to a dislike of the Tri-colour. The Tri-colour is the flag of the Republic of Ireland and of Nationalists on Northern Ireland and is quite entitled to be flown on St Patrick`s day or any other day. My argument is that it is NOT the flag of the entire island and that the Union flag, St Patrick`s flag and indeed the Nothern Ireland flag are just as legitimate on St Patrick`s Day. St Patrick certainly would not recognise the Tri-colour, Northern Ireland flag or St PAtricks Cross flag and may even have disapproved of flags altogether.

    The point however remains that your definition of being Irish is what is actually in question. Quite obviously from your point of view you cannot be Irish if you do not wave the Tri-colour or take a United Ireland viewpoint. Would that be correct?

  • Alan2

    “Limerick’s band parade took place today.”

    Is this the same parade the Kilcluney Volunteer Flute Band won last year parading just as they normally do with Union Jack and Northern Ireland flag?

  • maca

    Alan
    “The difference being that the Union flag CONTAINS St Patrick`s Cross…”

    A flag which means nothing to us.

    “My argument is that it is NOT the flag of the entire island…”

    We don’t celebrate an “island day”, if I may call it that, we celebrate a “national day”. Now, what is the flag of that nation? 😉

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Billy,

    “The problem is that those descendants are still acting like invaders and occupiers”

    How are those who wish to be United with Britain any more “invaders and occupiers” than those wish there to be part of a United Ireland? Surely, both are the same?

    This argument comes up all the time. Every time, Nationalists point out it’s “natural” for the island to be one unitary state and give loads of examples. Every time, Unionists point out that it’s equally as natural for an island, or indeed any landmass, to be split politically and give loads of examples. My own opinion is that as Political entities are manmade concepts they should reflect the people who constructed them and change to reflect those people. Not the geographical entity it happens to be in, which will (usually) have existed for millions of years.

    “Our present-day division is rooted in the refusal – or inability – of the most recent invaders to reconcile themselves to the fact that this is Ireland.”

    That’s convenient! One could equally say that the “division is rooted in the refusal – or inability – of the Gaelic invaders to reconcile themselves to the fact that these are the British Isles”. Why not role back to the position prior to the invasion by the “tribe” to which you subscribe? All equal nonsense.

    Hi Biffo,

    “As per the “Narrow-minded Loyalist Bigot’s Fantasy History Of Ulster” by Ian Adamson et al (1981 – Jesus, Ulster, & God’s Chosen People Books Ltd).”

    That being the case, can you then explain…

    1.) How Scotland got it’s name. Why did it change from Caledonia?
    2.) The name changes within Ireland from those noted by Ptolemy if there wasn’t a Gaelic invasion after the maps were made.
    3.) The Dane’s cast, the Dorsey and Black Pig’s Dyke.
    4.) The ring forts in Antrim/Down (old Ulidia) used to suppress the locals, of a type similar to those on the Iberian peninsula.
    5.) Genetic studies which show strong links between Scotland and Ireland form prehistoric times.

    Dismissing what Beano or Concerned Loyalist said as nonsense does your argument no good unless you can put up arguments that challenge what they say…

  • beano

    Silly me, I thought it was a Saint’s day. Now, what is the flag of that Saint? I will accept any of:
    a) Cross of St Patrick
    b) Old style Cross of St Patrick
    c) He has no flag

    but not the tricolour.

    OR… if it’s a national day then how do you define the nation? The tricolour is the flag of the Irish republic, to which we do not belong.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Beano

    You ask about Concerned Loyalist’s post. Here goes.

    He writes of “the settlers from Scotland and England who came over to settle in Ireland, but in particular the North-East of the island, in Ulster”.

    Indeed there has always been a cross-fertilisation of ideas between the islands. Loyalism has grafted a political significance on to what is no more than a natual series of migrations back and forth between northestern Ulster and the Scottish lowlands. However there is no historical evidence whatsoever that any Scottish tribes or power blocs ever attempted to colonise any part of Ireland. There is no evidence of mass migrations in either direction across the Irish Sea. There is no doubt that there were long-term Scottish migrants in Ireland who gained local influence. The fantasy factory of loyalist history likes to pretend that tribal chieftains in Antrim with Scottish ancestors were forerunners to British rule in Ireland. Loyalist fantasy pretends that their conflicts with rival chieftains were forerunners to partition. In fact these migrants were simply those who had woven themselves into the existing fabric of Ireland more thoroughly than most, and who in turn brought their Scottish influences into Irish life. (See, for example, ancient and medieval Ireland’s adoption of the kilt.)

    When loyalist historians claim modern-day significance in such such things they highlight either a) their own intellectual and academic dishonesty or b) (if indeed they actually believe that what they’re writing amounts to a serious contribution) that the writer in question has not received a historian’s education and is not qualified to call himself a historian at all.

    Concerned Loyalist says “This became known as “THE RETURN OF THE CRUTHIN”, (SIC) who had links with the “PICTS”.”

    First off, the existence of the Cruithin is far from being accepted as historical fact. Indeed I am not aware of their existence ever having been mentioned before the early 80s. When he say “this became known as ….” one must ask: known to whom?

    He says the cruithin “had links with the Picts”. He does not elaborate on these links, nor on their significance.

    “This is because the Gaels forced their ancestors to flee Ulster, as they wished to take their land and livestock for their own.”

    First off, what Concerned Loyalist is describing is a massive population movement – one that presumably must have been accompanied by widespread violence – violence so successful (in that according to Concerned Loyalist it resulted in the removal of the `Cruithin’ from Ireland) as to be a textbook case of genocide.

    Yet there is no historical evidence for what must have been one of the most monumental happenings in the history of these islands. Indeed this massive cataclysm in European history was first mentioned by a couple of dubious historians about 20 years ago. It has gained little intellectual attention or popular traction since then – surprising, given that it deals with an event of such enormous significance. Especially surprising, given that it first emerged during a time of modern conflict, when the Cruithin argument was at its most helpful to unionism. Man, it could have been tailored as an answer to `Brits Out’.

    Also, Concerned Loyalist declines to mention the fact, undisputed among historians with actual history qualifications, that these ancient Irelanders were themselves Gaels. They may have fought for power and wealth against fellow Gaels, but that’s exactly what they were: fellow Gaels.

    “The story of CuChulainn, the ancient Defender of Ulster, is based on the period that the Gaels forced them to flee across the Irish Sea.”

    Actually, this is completely false. The Ulster Cycle does deal with a time of conflict between Ulster and other Irish provinces, most notably Connacht. But it is set in a context of a culturally-homogenous Gaelic Ireland in which the five Cuige are governed by warlord kings and queens constantly at war with each other. It does not deal with genocide or the expulsion of any culturally-distinct groupings from Ireland. It shows that the men of Ulster are different, but shows also that the various men of Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Tara all had their ways too. All were Gaels.

    So when Concerned Loyalist says the story of Cuchullain “is based on the period that the Gaels forced them to flee across the Irish Sea,” it’s like saying that the story of Wuthering Heights is set during the Falklands War. There is no response other than to say that it is completely and egregiously wrong. Whoever told you that was lying. (Clearly you can’t have read it yourself.)

    “The greedy Queen Maeve of Connaught invaded Ulster to steal one of their most prized animals, only for the renowned warrior CuChulainn to defy the Gaels and gallantly fight them almost single-handedly, keeping them at bay until he was eventually defeated and put on a stake and slaughtered!”

    True, except for the detail about Cuchullain “defying the Gaels”. Yes, the people he defied were Gaels, but so was Cuchullain. If you, Concerned Loyalist, got in a fight outside a pub in Sandy Row with a gang of fellow loyalists, would you talk about it as “defying the loyalists”? Or defying the Protestants? Strictly speaking you could, and strictly speaking you’d be correct. But it’d be preposterous.

    Oh, sorry, this detail is completely wrong too:

    “keeping them at bay until he was eventually defeated and put on a stake and slaughtered!”

    He wasn’t put on a stake and slaughtered. In battle he was hit by an arrow. (I believe it was fired either by Daire or Lu – my memory is failing me!) He fought on but knew he was dying. However he was determined to die on his feet, so tied himseld upright to a rock and stood guard until the last breath left him. His enemies were too afraid to approach him, even in his weakened state. Only when a raven landed on his shoulder did they know he was dead.

    (That scene is the one you have witnessed on loyalist gable ends. I’m starting to suspect that such murals are your primary source of historial evidence.)

    “You can see this defiant image painted in murals throughout loyalist areas of Ulster.”

    Ah.

    “So you are absolutely correct in saying the ancestors of the Ulster-Scots people were driven from Ireland by the savage Gaels!”

    Hmmm. Maybe so. I just can’t get past the existence of ZERO evidence for it. And the sheer unlikelihood of there being no evidence for such a huge event.

    “the Red Hand Province, known as Ulster”

    Just being a stickler here, but the enlightened loyalist has it the wrong way around. The province is, in fact, actually CALLED Ulster. The Red Hand is the provincial symbol but I have never heard of the phrase `Red Hand province’.

    “recognising our Britishness in Ulster, but at the same time recognising the rights of Southern Ireland, and their perceived “Irishness”.”

    Love the way he refers to “perceived” Irishness, and puts the word in inverted commas. And the way Saorstat Eireann only “recognised the rights” of Irish people in the 26. (In fact it gave them the embryo of a republic.) His choice of words is revealing.

    “Six of the nine counties of Ulster became the state of NORTHERN IRELAND and the other 26 counties became known as the “Irish Free State”, before it was declared as a Republic in 1937.”

    In fact Saorstat Eireann voted by referendum to ratify a new constituion, Bunreacht na hEireann, in 1937, and chaged its name to Eire. Eire remained in the Commonwealth and was not, technically, fully sovererign. Full, dotted i and crossed t sovereignty did not come til the Republic was decared – in 1949.

  • maca

    Beano

    Yeah, silly you 😉
    It’s not either/or. Not only is St.Pats a Saints day BUT it is also a national holiday in Ireland (ROI), in fact it is our ONLY national holiday. And very simply the nation to which I refer is the one which identifies itself with said state.

    When I say “national holiday” I am not referring to two different states, I thought that was obvious.

    One of my main points earlier is that instead of complaining why don’t people in NI (i.e. the protestant community) celebrate St.Pats as a saints day while we celebrate our national holiday. Would that work for anyone do you think?

    People seem to think we all have to celebrate the day in the same way. There already is a difference, in the ROI it’s a national holiday, in NI it’s not (correct me if I am wrong).

  • beano

    Thanks Billy. Good to see an alternative version of events. The closest I’ve come so far to a “source” is on wikipedia.

    There was discussion re: making paddy’s day a public holiday a few years back. At the minute, the secretary of state has to declare it as a holiday each year, along with the 12th (and presumably the 13th). The same discussion mentioned including Ulster Day in the list of what would become national holidays, but as usual with local politics, I think there was a lot of talk followed by no action.

    http://www.ni-forum.gov.uk/debates/1997/210297.htm

  • Alan2

    “We don’t celebrate an “island day”, if I may call it that, we celebrate a “national day”. Now, what is the flag of that nation? ;)”

    Right. So it`s Irish Nationalist day then and not a celebration of Patrick bringing Christianity to the island of Ireland. Glad we cleared that one up then.

  • Alan2

    “One of my main points earlier is that instead of complaining why don’t people in NI…..”

    The only people comlaining are those that are creating a fuss about certain flags not being welcome. Why invite a DUP Mayor to a St Patrick`s parade in Seattle in the first place if it is “Irish Nationalist” day?

    “the existence of the Cruithin is far from being accepted as historical fact.”

    then to whom did the kingdom of Dalriada belong?
    Are the Ulaid the same as the Cruithin?

    it does not seem overly far fetched to consider than people dispalced upon the collapse of Dalriada moved to SW Scotland and centuries later some returned during the plantations….

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Alan.

    “Right. So it`s Irish Nationalist day then and not a celebration of Patrick bringing Christianity to the island of Ireland. Glad we cleared that one up then.”

    Clearly it’s both. You can celebrate it as a national holiday, a religious holiday, or both. Or you can choose to boycott the celebrations if it makes you happy. Whatever.

    Those of us who are of Ireland and for Ireland have focussed on the feast day of our nation’s patron saint as a day of national celebration. What’s wrong with that? Why can’t unionists at least just say good luck to us?

    If unionism chooses to sit it out, frankly, it’s unionism’s loss. Non-Irish people the world over are happy to enjoy the day with us and wear green and revel in symbols of Irishness. Sadly a naysaying Irish minority chooses to miss out. A pity, but consistent, I suppose, with the internal logic of unionism.

    Unionism’s boycott of St Patrick’s Day celebrations is best viewed as a microcosm of its more general boycott of things Irish. On St Patrick’s Day the incongruity of that boycott is magnified.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Billy/Beano,

    “However there is no historical evidence whatsoever that any Scottish tribes or power blocs ever attempted to colonise any part of Ireland. There is no evidence of mass migrations in either direction across the Irish Sea.”

    The distribution of Megalithic structures in Ireland in terms of sophistication and number show that Ireland was first settled from Scotland.
    The Kingdom of Dalriada consisted of parts of NE Ireland and Argyll. Both show the above to be incorrect.

    “First off, the existence of the Cruithin is far from being accepted as historical fact.”

    ??? There’s a place in Co. Londonderry called Duncrun, Irish Dún Cruithean, which means “fort of the Cruthin”. Also, Drumcroon – the “hill of the Cruthin”. So, I’d say that suggests they did exist. However, to say that their descendents are Ulster Prods is an oversimplification. Similar to the notion that Ireland has been Gaelic since time immemorial. Irish history is quite complicated. Recent genetic studies for instance show that Celtic influence is much less than what has been portrayed by historians. The “Irish” actually have quite a lot of genetic similarity with other peoples of the Atlantic seaboard. The adoption of Gaelic culture could be likened to the adoption of American culture. Rather than a full scale Gaelic invasion.

    “a massive population movement – one that presumably must have been accompanied by widespread violence” and “Yet there is no historical evidence for what must have been one of the most monumental happenings in the history of these islands”

    ??? Battle of Moira in 637.

  • beano

    Why can’t the Northern Irish celebrate it as a national day too? If the northern Irish (cunning use of lowercase n) can bring out their tricolours for the day, why can’t unionists celebrate their own “nation”? If we take Cllr whatshisname’s position, one would presume that we can’t without being labelled bigoted and sectarian and trying to make a political point. As I said before, I’d have been happy to join in and wear my green Northern Ireland football top but I don’t think it would go down to well with the revellers.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Alan

    “then to whom did the kingdom of Dalriada belong?”

    The Kingdom of Dalriada was an indigenous Irish kingdom, centred mostly around present day Co Antrim. The warlords of Dalriada – for that is what ancient Irish chieftains and monarchs were – expanded their influence into lowland Scotland. They went to Scotland as conquerors – not as refugees, as illiterate loyalist historians would have you believe. Eventually their influence in Scotland exceeded that in Ireland. Over a period of CENTURIES their centre of political gravity shifted and the capital of Dalriada moved from Ireland to Scotland. Their significance in Ireland diminished and Dalriada eventually passed from the scene in Ireland – not sure of exact details though. Meanwhile in Scotland the kings of Dalriada became the first recognised line of Scottish kings.

    “Are the Ulaid the same as the Cruithin?”

    `Ulaid’ is just an archaic spelling of `Uladh’ – which is simply the Irish spelling of Ulster. You sometimes here the Ulster Cycle referred to as the Ulaid Cycle, so I would guess that `Ulaid’ is simply the singluar for a person from Ulster in old Irish. (Or the Irish for Ulsterish, if you will.) But they certainly did not constitute a specific cultural or ethnic group within Ireland.

    And as for the Cruithin: I don’t know who the hell they were supposed to have been, or what their significance in terms of modern-day loyalism is supposed to have been.

    “it does not seem overly far fetched to consider than people displaced upon the collapse of Dalriada moved to SW Scotland and centuries later some returned during the plantations….”

    Of course that’s highly likely, though ultimately it is of no significance. (And we’re talking about at least a millennium here, by the way.)It’s highly unlikely that any of the planters were aware of any such links to Ireland. It’s a matter of historical record that any possible links with some mythical past civilisation was not one of the reasons the planters came to Ireland. None of the Scottish planters talked about “going home”.

    So given the fact that the Cruithin myth has no credibility whatsoever, either as history or folklore, one must wonder what the hell this made-up legend is all about? Much the same as unionism’s made-up language, Ulster Scots, one suspects. Ulster nationalism.

  • Alan2

    “What’s wrong with that? Why can’t unionists at least just say good luck to us?”

    Good luck.
    That`s the point. The Mayor of Lisburn was quite happy to participate in his own way…but apparently that is wrong.
    I have no problems with the Tri-colour or St Patrick`s day…but when people promote it as cross-community then to me that means Tri-colour, St Patrick`s Cross, NI flag, Union Jack ans whatever anyone else wants to bring.

    Someone mentioned wanting to see the Tri-colour at the Twelfth. I would have no problems with a Southern Lodge flying the Tri-colour but most Southern lodges choose to fly St Patrick`s Cross.

  • beano

    I notice a lot of republicans quick to dismiss ulster scots. I’m not big into it by a long shot, but I wonder would they be so dismissive of Irish as a modern language? Or is this just another attempt, like Cllr Butler’s resignation calls to Mayor Calvert, to stifle anything on this island which doesn’t fit into their definition of irishness.

  • Alan2

    “Ulster nationalism”

    OK. So do people suggest that Ulster Nationalism is dealt with as it obviously will not go away and will only increase I would suggest within any “United Ireland”. I have a quote floating about my head…I think to do with the Loyalist Workers Strike where the Labour NI Secretary says in parliament that there had been a huge rise in Ulster Nationalism re the UDA involvement in the LWS etc……..

  • Mike

    “but when people promote it as cross-community then to me that means Tri-colour, St Patrick`s Cross, NI flag, Union Jack ans whatever anyone else wants to bring”

    Well said Alan2.

    Billy Pilgrim:

    “Much the same as unionism’s made-up language, Ulster Scots, one suspects.”

    You do know that Scots is recognised in Scotland and has a well-documented history there, don’t you?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Congal Claen

    Re. Cruithin.

    Please, tell me more about them. The existence of places with names like Duncrun and Drumcroon is interesting but far from conclusive. `Cruithin’ may simply have been a person’s name – we don’t actually know. The evidence is thin – and I would venture that it’s thinner than one would expect if we’re talking about a civilisation here.

    “??? Battle of Moira in 637.”

    You still haven’t got over that, have you Congal?

    Seriously though, the battle of Moira in no way tallies with the loyalist myth of the Cruithin. One warlord defeated another, ending his control over part of Ireland. That’s all. No population movements, no genocide, just a new dispensation.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Billy,

    “Over a period of CENTURIES…”

    The Gaelicisation of Ireland ocurred over centuries…

    What’s your point?

    “So given the fact that the Cruithin myth…”

    Care to comment on…

    “1.) How Scotland got it’s name. Why did it change from Caledonia?
    2.) The name changes within Ireland from those noted by Ptolemy if there wasn’t a Gaelic invasion after the maps were made.
    3.) The Dane’s cast, the Dorsey and Black Pig’s Dyke.
    4.) The ring forts in Antrim/Down (old Ulidia) used to suppress the locals, of a type similar to those on the Iberian peninsula.
    5.) Genetic studies which show strong links between Scotland and Ireland from prehistoric times.”

    … as mentioned earlier?

  • Alan2

    “Much the same as unionism’s made-up language, Ulster Scots, one suspects.”

    That says quite alot and re-enforces some very sweeping stereotypes. It is quite clear from some of the literature released recently that Scots in Ulster is very real and has been here for a very long time. James Fenton`s “A Hamely Tongue” is highly recommended.

  • maca

    Alan
    “So it`s Irish Nationalist day then and not a celebration of Patrick bringing Christianity to the island of Ireland. Glad we cleared that one up then”

    Don’t twist my words. As you well know it’s our only national day. As I also said if YOU Alan want to celebrate it as “a celebration of Patrick bringing Christianity to the island of Ireland” then there’s nothing stopping you but you will not tell me how I should celebrate it.

    “The only people comlaining are those that are creating a…”

    You, and others, are obviously complaining about how we celebrate the day.

    Beano
    “Why can’t the Northern Irish celebrate it as a national day too?”

    Go right ahead, you’re entitled to.
    When did your community come out and celebrate it though, as a community? And I don’t mean waving a Union Flag at our celebration.

    Btw, there’s a big difference between Irish and Ulster Scots. Having said that i support all minority languages.
    (i’m not a republican though)

  • slug9987

    What is wrong with a bit of invention?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Beano

    “I notice a lot of republicans quick to dismiss ulster scots. I’m not big into it by a long shot, but I wonder would they be so dismissive of Irish as a modern language?”

    Sorry to be a stick in the mud about this mate, but there is a monumental disparity with your analogy – ie, that the Irish language is a language. It has been in existence for a couple of millennia at least, and is spoken to varying levels by hundreds of thousands of people today. Indeed I see `mo chuisle’ was voted one of Hollywood’s big buzz words of the year recently.

    Ulster Scots, on the other hand, was discovered by that noted linguist Nelson McCausland of the DUP circa 1992. Frankly, your equation of the luxuriant, textured, ancient Irish language, with its world-class literature and vivid richness, to Ulster Scots only highlights your ignorance of the Irish language. There is no comparison between the two, except as sectarian bargaining chips in the internal politicking of Northern Ireland. But then Ulster Scots has no meaning outside of the sectarian squabbles of NI – the Irish language, however, is a magnificent thing.

    Ulster Scots can get back to me when it has: a grammar; a dictionary; a literature; native speakers; evidence that it has ever had native speakers; or anything else that might persuade me that it deserves to be taken seriously.

    Alan.

    “You do know that Scots is recognised in Scotland and has a well-documented history there, don’t you?”

    Yes, I did know that. Frankly, that’s a matter for the Scots. We’re talking about Ulster Scots though – which is, if anything, a dialect of a dialect (or more accurately, a deliberately exaggerated Ballymena accent). Your point does not address mine.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Billy,

    I think it’s wrong to get to hung up on the name the Cruthin. As you appear aware, there were loads of tribes in Ireland at the time and it’s far from simple to unravel all the links between them. However, I don’t think you’d be too far of the mark to suggest that there has been toing and froing between Scotland and Ireland from the earliest of times. This is why I get irratated at being termed invader/settler/planter when exactly the same thing can be said of the Gael.

    However, the good thing about the whole thing is that it shows how much we have in common. To be split into 2 tribes is frankly ridiculous and due to Irish history being oversimplified…

    Good to see you got the auld battle of Moira connection. My eye’s still stinging 😉

  • beano

    I think I’d need to do more research into the Ullans to back this up, but from what I’ve read, there are many more speakers in Northern Ireland of Ulster Scots than there are of Gaelic Irish (perhaps moreso than on the whole island).

    Regardless of whether it is a language or not (I’m not in a position to make a case either way) it would seem to have at least as much cultural value as Irish, and there appears just as much (or as little) reason for including it in signs, government publications and other expensive panderings.

  • maca

    Beano
    “there are many more speakers in Northern Ireland of Ulster Scots than there are of Gaelic Irish (perhaps moreso than on the whole island)”

    Define “speakers”.
    And how do they gauge the level of fluency in U-Scots?
    2002 census claims there are 1,570,894 speakers of varying levels of Irish in Ireland(state).

  • factfinder

    Why does Ulster-Scots not have its own name. The Scots were a celtic tribe from north of Ireland who spoke gaelic. They intregated with the Picks in Caledonia,now known as Scotland. The people who spoke so called scots were actually germanic probably from gothic germany they intregated with the english speaking anglo-saxons in lowlands Scotland.

  • maca

    “Why does Ulster-Scots not have its own name”

    It does, it’s called Ulster-Scots 😉

  • beano

    This is regards NI only:
    Ullans
    Numerical strength: The census does not include a question on the Ulster-Scots language. From studies that were done in the 1960s it was estimated that there were 168,000 native speakers with 10,000 to 15,000 monoglot speakers and the rest bilingual. It is now estimated that this has declined to 100,000 with 5,000 to 10,000 monoglot speakers. Ulster-Scots survives mainly as a spoken language with very few speakers literate in the language. There are very few revivalist speakers.

    Gaelic
    The 1991 census revealed that there are 142,003 people in Northern Ireland claiming knowledge of the language (this includes people who do not claim ability to speak the language). A 1987 survey indicated that 11% (about 100,000 people) of the population of Northern Ireland aged between 16 and 69 had some knowledge of Irish. Of this group, only 6% claimed to have full fluency, 84% never used Irish at home, 15% used the language occasionally and 1% claimed to use Irish on a daily basis.

    From EuroLang.net

  • factfinder

    Ulster-Scots is neither from Ulster nor is it SCOT. The Scots being a gaelic speaking celtic tribe from ulster or the north.

  • maca

    Factfinder
    “Ulster-Scots is neither from Ulster nor is it SCOT”

    It is an Ulster dialect of the Scots language (“Scots Language” as opposed to “language spoken by Scots”)

  • factfinder

    My point is why does it not have its own name instead of using the name of a gaelic speaking celtic tribe with which it has no connections except the uster-scots speakers stole Scots land in lowlands Scotland. Is it steal your land then steal your name.

  • maca

    well … does it matter though? 😉

  • factfinder

    Yes, I would be ready to recognise a language if it had its own history going back further than 1992.

  • maca

    Have you seen scots-online.org? Some good info there about the Scots language.
    As far as U-Scots is concerned the only problem I have is with Laird and others in the US movement who are creating some sort of ‘false U-Scots’ just to combat the Irish language. I have no problem respecting or supporting the genuine Ulster Scots dialect.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Congal Claen

    “I don’t think you’d be too far of the mark to suggest that there has been toing and froing between Scotland and Ireland from the earliest of times.”

    Spot on. Never in doubt. The affinity between Ulster and Scotland is well documented, but there is also a very strong affinity between Ireland generally and Scotland. (You should have seen Braveheart in a Dublin cinema when it came out!)

    “This is why I get irratated at being termed invader/settler/planter when exactly the same thing can be said of the Gael.”

    But you should be aware CC that no-one has any objection to your community’s being here. No-one objects to your ways and traditions. The objection is purely to your insistence on the partitioning of the country and what, to most Irish people is foreign rule in Ireland. It’s true that we are all blow-ins here: unionism differs from everyone else though in insisting on overseas rule.

  • factfinder

    I still dont see any history of the language predating the highland clearances. The site seems to suggest that the ‘scots’speakers are themselves scottish when they were planted in lowlands scotland from land confiscated from native scots. But were did the language come from. It seems to be a dialect of english or at most a hybrid of english and some other germanic language.

  • maca

    How far back do you need to go Factfinder?
    (Btw first you said 1992 so even the highland clearances are quite a bit before that ;))

    All European languages basically came from a common root, so they are all pretty much the same age though some only became identified/recognised later on:

    “Until the beginning of the 19th century the official language used in Norway was Danish. It was only with the reemergence of Norway as an independent nation that a distinct, autonomous standard Norwegian was developed – with two orthographies – Bokmål and Nynorsk”
    Would you consider Norwegian to be a language?

    What about Afrikaans which only became “an independent language with the acquisition of its own name, orthography and standardised grammar” in the 1920’s.

  • factfinder

    The “scots’ language goes back to mid 19th century but ‘ulster-scots’ back to 1992. Afrakaans is just a dutch dialect.If you can speak dutch you can understand written afrikaans. Both these are germanic languages.

  • factfinder

    Afrikaaners invented their own language because they refused to intregate with the native people and language(s). Does this sound familiar?

  • maca

    Out of curiousity, where are you getting this 1992 from?

  • factfinder

    Someone earlier mentioned Nelson McCausland ‘inventing’ ulster-scots circa 1992′

  • factfinder

    I never heard anyone mentioning ‘ulster-scots’ in the seventies or eighties.

  • maca

    Doesn’t mean it didn’t exist just because you didn’t hear of it.
    From the BBC:

    “History of Ulster-Scots

    The Scots character of Ulster-Scots, deriving from Lallans (Lowlands Scots), is its dominant and distinguishing feature. During the 16th and 17th centuries Scots speakers brought their language from Scotland to the north-east of Ireland.

    During the 16th and 17th centuries Scots speakers brought their language from Scotland to the north-east of Ireland.
    Political events in Scotland during this time, namely the Reformation in 1560 and the Union of the Crowns in 1603 increased the use of English by making it the language of the church and administration, having a damaging impact on the status of Scots there, confining it largely to a spoken language.

    Meanwhile, for Ulster-Scots speakers in Northern Ireland, a literary tradition was boosted by the publications of the Weaver-poets at the end of the 18th century. Although Ulster-Scots continued to be used in the community and in prose works into the 20th century, it was not until the late 20th century that it began to receive greater official recognition.

    With the establishment of organisations such as the Ulster-Scots Language Society in 1992 and the Ulster-Scots Heritage Council in 1994 and the language’s recognition in the Belfast Agreement, it is hoped that the Ulster-Scots tongue will gather strength throughout the 21st century.”

  • factfinder

    Thanks for that info but because I have not heard of ‘ulster-scots’ says a lot about its common usage.

    The fact that I can understand most of written ‘scots’and the fact that I don’t speak any other language compels me to think it is a hybrid language. I have no problems with the ‘language’ itself but the name ‘scots’ is misleading.

  • beano

    I remember reading that the Ulster Scots language (or Ullans for whoever keeps insisting it doesn’t have it’s own name) derived from Middle English and is probably closer to Middle English than modern English is (hence the old addage of my English teacher who always told us that English children would have to learn around 10 times as many words reading shakespeare as those in Northern Ireland – although I think this probably applied more when she was at school!)

    “Thanks for that info but because I have not heard of ‘ulster-scots’ says a lot about its common usage.”

    A consequence of the use of Ulster Scots in the education system being dismissed as “bad English” which should be corrected.

  • factfinder

    The fact is it is a dialect. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be preserved as with all english dialects. They were all dismissed as bad english including the use of double negatives.The ‘home counties Queens english’ was always regarded as proper english.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Billy P,

    “You should have seen Braveheart in a Dublin cinema when it came out!”

    I actually watched this in a London cinema when it first came out. There were 7 of us – 2 Scots, 2 English, 2 from NI and 1 from RoI. The cinema would have held 100s. But I doubt there were more than 20 in it. We joked about how we thought the Scots were gonna rip the seats out at the end…

    “It’s true that we are all blow-ins here: unionism differs from everyone else though in insisting on overseas rule”

    But it’s not overseas rule. MPs elected here have as much of a say in the running of parts of England as English MPs do of here. In fact we have a higher weighting, as really our numbers would suggest we shouldn’t have 18 MPs.

    If you are against “overseas” rule, what are your opinions on the EU? I always thought the RoI was one of the most pro EU countries in Europe (well, at least prior to the last enlargement).

  • smcgiff

    ‘If you are against “overseas” rule, what are your opinions on the EU? I always thought the RoI was one of the most pro EU countries in Europe (well, at least prior to the last enlargement).’

    Congal Claen,

    If having 18 MPS in Westminster floats your boat, contrast the power the ROI has within the EU! 😉

  • beano

    The RoI has more power than it should have in the EU for its size, (something that will surely change post-enlargement?). One more example of why something so grossly undemocratic needs to be reformed, and not by solidifying its undemocratic structures in a constitution.

    Interestingly though, by that logic, the best course of action for Northern Ireland would be independence, then we could avail ourselves of the rights other indpendent nation states get in the EU.

  • smcgiff

    ‘The RoI has more power than it should have in the EU for its size, (something that will surely change post-enlargement?).’

    Now, now. Don’t be jealous. And any changes would require the ROI’s consent.

    ‘Interestingly though, by that logic, the best course of action for Northern Ireland would be independence, then we could avail ourselves of the rights other indpendent nation states get in the EU.’

    Or for Armagh or Tyrone etc for that matter. If it works for Luxemburg. 😉

  • factfinder

    The number of MPs from here should be equal to english MPs. 50/50. If you do it on a headcount after centuries of genecide then you only get 18.

  • beano

    “The number of MPs from here should be equal to english MPs. 50/50.”

    So Scotland and Wales don’t get representation anymore. Interesting.

    How about an upper house with greater representation from the outlying regions of the UK? For example NI would have a similar amount of votes to London, Wales etc?

  • cladycowboy

    Mike,

    ‘St Patrick is the patron saint of the whole island of Ireland, which includes both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Could I, as a Northern Irishman, celebrate my patron saint Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, with a Northern Ireland flag, as so many people do with RoI flags and emblems? Would I be welcomed? Or would I face verbal and likely physical abuse? In that case, who is it that is displaying intolerance and hatred?’

    Thread was about the union jack being displayed not the Norn Iron flag so utterly pointless… however, that flag is not agreed upon, interesting metaphysics though and St.Patrick is a Roman citizen, why not fly a Roman banner? Or a EU flag? Anything to take away from the fact he’s the Patron saint of Ireland(not north and south)

  • cladycowboy

    Billy Pilgrim,

    Excellent posts that hit the spot. One pilgrim who’s found the promised land!

  • jenny herrera

    this is wierd and after seeing the aniville horror movie its wow!