McCausland: take Irish out of the Lions

Interesting line taken by North Belfast DUP MLA, Nelson McCausland. He claims that the insertion of the term Irish into what had been the British Lions was political correctness run amok. Thanks to reader Neal for the heads up!

  • la dolorosa

    Technically Great/Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales so I don’t see why he has a problem with inserting the word Irish. Does he want the football team whose home ground is Windsor Park to be just called ‘Northern’?

  • El Matador

    Any cooperation between the islands of Britain and Ireland must be welcomed, such as in the spirit of the Lions. However, Britain and Ireland are two separate islands containing two separate sovereign states. Each should be accorded equal status, and thus neither British nor Irish should prevail in the title.

    That’s like a combined French and Italian team being called the French Lions!

  • Two Nations

    yet this island’s team is called Ireland.

    British sovereignity (and people) on part of this island should be recorded the same respect, el matador.

    If it cannot,then the Irish are just hypocrites.

  • Dec

    Two Nations

    The two states on this island are called the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively. Most would say calling the rugby team that is made up of players born on the island Ireland is a sensible option. Still, I suppose Republic of Northern is an intriguing alternative.

  • La Dolorosa


    As part of the GFA, The Republic of Ireland is now called Ireland e.g. the Irish Embassy in London is now called The Embassy of Ireland and not The Irish Embassy as it was formerly known.

    Of course some people may object to this nomenclature but this is oficially the correct/current term.

  • El Matador

    Two Nations,

    A rugby team from the island of Ireland should clearly be called ‘Ireland’. A rugby team from the islands of Britain and Ireland should clearly include reference to these two islands in its name. Regardless of political preferences, it’s a geographical fact.

  • Alan

    It is getting to the point that anything progressive is being sneeringly dismissed by the DUP and UUP as political correctness. That is now three unionist politicians who I have have heard of using the term in the past few days. It is the absence of meaning behind their use of the term that I find most depressing.

    Time, perhaps, for a major realignment after the elections.

    Personally, I would go beyond the inclusion of the term Irish and just call them the Lions.

  • fair_deal

    “As part of the GFA, The Republic of Ireland is now called Ireland”

    In which section of the Agreement is that?

    The official name is in the constitution (it wasn’t amended), the name of the state is Eire.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Wasn’t aware of that LD – personally I think it’s the height of arrogance on the part of the Irish government – 21st century Irish colonialism!. The fact that the Republic of Ireland complain about the name British Lions and have the cheek to refer to themselves as Ireland like this is rank hypocrisy!

    As for the topic itself, I’ve said elsewhere – the British Isles would roll of the tongue much easier, or just the Lions (without any prefix). Though I tend to agree that this latest change is just petty political correctness.

  • Northern FF

    Good God – it is hard to know which is worse: that clown McCausland making a fool of himself again, or these posters elevating his foolishness into a constitutional argument.

  • El Matador

    Actually, Bunreacht na hÉireann (1937) states that the nation can be known as Ireland, Republic of Ireland or Éire

  • Dec


    11 of the latest squad are Irish not British. How is recognising that fact political correctness?

  • fair_deal

    “11 of the latest squad are Irish not British”

    Eligibility for the irish rugby team is not based on citizenship.

  • Dec

    Could you identify which of those 11 isn’t an Irish citizen?
    Also, kudos, in light of the Northern Bank raid, for having the front to say ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ in response to the PSNI raid on UUP headquarters on another thread.

  • fair_deal


    I don’t know what their citizenship is but this entire debate is essentially around the different meanings of the same words have whether it is the context of statehood, geographical unit or citizenship. The example of citizenship was to make that point.

  • Jimmy Sands

    If the name is supposed to reflect the squad membership, shouldn’t it be called Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland?

  • PaddyCanuck

    I know normally it would be breaking a cardinal rule to play the man rather than the ball, but as this is a rugby thread, a game where man and ball can be played, I will transgress this once (for the first time ever, I swear!):

    Nelson is a Knob!

  • fair_deal

    “shouldn’t it be called Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland”

    If you are going with political units it should be called ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland’ Lions.

  • JD

    I know which one my money’s on Northern FF.

    When I hear the phrase “political correctness” bandied about here, it just seems to function as a euphemism for “thing that annoys me because I’m insecure about my culture’s ability to survive when confronted by difference/ otherness.”

  • Jimmy Sands

    FD, what does NI have to do with the squad membership?

  • La Dolorosa

    Am I right in thinking that in the local elections about 4-5 years ago, Nelson McCauseland’s election agent was a member of the BNP – allegedly unbeknown to Nelson who then swiftly discharged with his services.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Remember this is the clown who was the leader of the Lords Day Observance Society and who wanted parks closed and swings tied up on a Sunday. If you look up the word dick in a dictionary you will find a picture of Nelson Mc Causland

  • Biffo

    It’s noteworthy that political correctness didn’t just go mad, it actually ran amok on this occasion.

  • Aaron D

    The team should be known as “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland featuring the Republic of Ireland” Lions.

  • foreign correspondent

    How about calling the Lions:
    Depressing Rainsodden Island Players, or the ‘DRIP’s for short?

  • Green Party Supporter

    Nelson McCausland have done nothing but waste of space for North Belfast – what’s his obsession about tied-up swings on Sunday?

    North Belfast is slipping into a wasteland while people like Nelson go around encouraging more vandalism and hatred etc – maybe riots is his only real purpose to live, now that Belfast City Council let happy kids go on the swings and basically tear them off…

    Go and do something positive in your own turf: North Belfast – instead of whining about something that isnt in ur turf – last time I checked, Ravenhill is in South Belfast, not North Belfast

  • Peace and Justice

    Well said Nelson McCausland! Who decided on the name change? Do anyone know?

    As for the comments by members of the pan-nationalist front above, they want to take take take but never give. There is also no need for the rudeness. Unionists play for the “Ireland” team even though we hear the Soldier’s Song in Dublin and see the flag of only one part of the island flying. The other side of the coin should be that the “Ireland” players show the same respect for a BRITISH Lions team.

  • JK

    What a tool McCausland is, maybe he should go back to school and learn some geography and political entities

    For the uninitiated

    Britain (sometimes known as Great Britian) = an island that contains England, Scotland and Wales

    UK = a political entity that contains Britian and Northern Ireland

    Ireland = an island that contains the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

    Ireland Rugby team = an Ireland team with players drawn from Ireland (ie Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland)

    If folk want to name the Lions rugby team correctly, it should be named as follows

    1. The British and Irish Lions

    2. The British Isles Lions

    3. The UK and Republic of Ireland Lions

    4. The Lions

    Each of the above is an acceptable and correct description for the team

    The following are not correct

    1. The British Lions

    2. The Irish Lions

    It is very straight forward yet tools like McCausland don’t appear to grasp it.

  • Jimmy Sands

    In the spirit of pedantry that pervades such tedious discussions I’d like to object on the grounds that not one of the players is technically a lion at all.

  • Keith M

    “The British And Irish Lions” is overly wordy. The team should simply be called “The Lions”. We use the term “The New Zealand All Blacks” or “The Australian Wallabies”.

  • Keith M

    …last line should be “DO we use the term “The New Zealand All Blacks” or “The Australian Wallabies”?.

  • Davros

    “The Lions” sounds suitably British to me Keith 😉

  • Martin

    Oh, for heaven’s sake, just call them “The Lions” – everyone knows what one is talking about. Having a get together of all four nations players every four years is a sound tradition. It brings what vague common traditions connect Cork to Kent once together once every so often. Why complicate it with politics or geography?

  • maca

    “all four nations”

    5 or 2 nations or 4 countries, depending on how you look at it. 😉

  • Lafcadio

    Martin – a succint and accurate post (as well as being blindingly obvious!) And despite this little whirlpool of navel-gazing, that is what everyone in fact does call them..

    Nelson McCausland clearly has too much time on his hands.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Peace and Justice, You don’t seem to frequent Lansdowne on international days otherwise you might know that 2 flags representing Ireland are flown (the tricolour and the flag of the Ulster branch of the IRFU) and 2 anthems are played (Amhrán na bhfiann and Ireland’s Call).

  • Oilbhear_Chromaill

    This is the same Nelson McCausland who claims Sinn Fein are bigots because the party objects to the Royal Marine Band playing at a Belfast event. He has also claimed not to be a Celt – even though the ‘Mc’ in his surname proclaims it loud and clear.

  • Peace and Justice

    “Tochais Síoraí – 2 flags representing Ireland are flown (the tricolour and the flag of the Ulster branch of the IRFU) and 2 anthems are played (Amhrán na bhfiann and Ireland’s Call).”

    So why does the Republic of Ireland insist on playing their own anthem yet the other anthem is supposed to represent the rugby island of Ireland? And why do you equate the tricolour with the IRFU Ulster branch flag?

    Pan-nationalists are always talking about rights – it is about time they started respecting the identity of British Ulster.

    If British people in Northern Ireland play rugby for a foreign state under a foreign flag, the least the Ireland players can do is to play for the BRITISH Lions.

  • Davros

    He has also claimed not to be a Celt – even though the ‘Mc’ in his surname proclaims it loud and clear.

    setting aside any discussion about “Celts ” – does this mean that someone with the name Adams is a Brit ?

  • lionsroar

    It had been the British Lions for decades without Irish players being offended or unwilling to play. Why the problem now?

    Have the Irish become insecure about their identity that they have to have it in the title?

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “does this mean that someone with the name Adams is a Brit ?”

    I thought it was widely accepted he was of planter stock.

  • Davros

    makes things interesting though Beano – President of a Party that wants to put him out of Ireland 😉

  • maca

    “It had been the British Lions for decades without Irish players being offended or unwilling to play”

    How do you know they weren’t offended? Did you ask them?

  • George

    Fair_deal and El Matador,

    Article four of the Irish Constitution is as follows and was not affected by the GFA:

    “The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.”

    Republic of Ireland is the name of the soccer team.

    Shows how much McCausland and the DUP understand parity of esteem that they want to remove the term Irish wherever they see it. Shows how welome Irish is in unionist ideology.

  • CavanMan

    Unionists complaining about the Soldiers Song being played,in Dublin,and all this shit.You know they can do the decent thing and Make their own 6-County Rugby Team if they want,it will be as successful as the soccer team is nowadays,Since it had been called the British lions for so long,Now WE should have our turn and call it the IRISH lions, how much would the british like that?

  • Davros

    I’d laugh at the Irony of Irish people being precious about what is after all a British game 😉

  • CavanMan

    Actually by having to claim the game is british You’re showing signs of your own insecurity in your british identity Davros ;)(we all know you’re really a Fenian afterall).we know it was started in Britain,and if there is ONE good thing britain did give the world it is sport,but Mc Causland has no right to lecture Irish Rugby about wanting their own identity(seeing as a massive majority of Irish people,are NOT british)As i said before,if NI Unionists/Loyalists have such a problem with ”Irishness” in Rugby,then they should set up their own NI team.

  • maca

    Not wanting to create further division on the island but I think a Northern Ireland rugby team would be a good idea. It would solve a lot of problems concerning flags & anthems, not to mention arguments about team selections. Plus both counties might feel more attached to the teams as they would be true national sides rather than an “island side” like we have now.

  • George

    the game may be British in origin just like football but that doesn’t make all those playing the game British or the game itself British. Things have moved on since the days of Empire you know. It is 2005.

    The game today is closer to being a southern hemisphere game because they are the ones who have been leading the way for the last 50 years.

    Dummy scissors? Switch passing? Dummy plays? Running with the ball? Spinning it wide? Take it into the forwards?

  • CavanMan

    I agree Maca,unfortunately some unionists will not be happy until we are playing under the Union Flag and singing GSTQ in Dublin,it makes me laugh though,they complain about the anthem and flag we use,when their own NI soccer team by singing GSTQ and playing under the Union Flag,is excluding around 40% of its own population.Perhaps both instances should be looked at,or neither of them.

  • Peace and Justice

    “CavanMan: their own NI soccer team by singing GSTQ and playing under the Union Flag,is excluding around 40% of its own population”

    In the Republic of Ireland the culture of the minority population has been ignored for many many years. Anyone who dared display Unionist British culture was dealt with in a violent and brutal manner. But Pan-nationalists are not interested in real equality – only their own narrow version.

    It would be better to have a separate Northern Ireland rugby team (and for that matter, for every other sport as well) rather than the Republic of Ireland not recognising the Northern Ireland state incl flags and anthems. Better to be small and free than be under the boot of Eire.

  • George

    Peace and Justice,
    which minority population would this be?

    This imaginary hidden unionist minority perhaps? May I remind you that only 36,000 people voted for the unionist party outside Ulster in 1918.

    You can keep your crocidile tears for your beloved southern unionism. You don’t fool anyone south of the border, least of all those you claim to be concerned for.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Last I heard there was no Union Flag at Windsor for NI matches (do we have to start into this debate again?).

    “Perhaps both instances should be looked at,or neither of them.”

    Agreed. The IFA have kicked about the idea of a neutral anthem before and it’s probably only a matter of time. There’s easily 2 options for Irish rugby, play both anthems with both flags, or have (only) a neutral one of both.

    Is that what was meant by “some unionists will not be happy until we are playing under the Union Flag and singing GSTQ in Dublin” – parity of esteem, I believe its called.

  • George

    you have to get a new Northern Ireland anthem and flag first before we can fly two flags and have two anthems.

    The union flag and GSTQ at the moment are for one community only. So hurry up and get it done.

  • pakman

    I think it is interesting to note how an Irish tag is grafted onto a multi-national Rugby team (the Lions) to accomodate those who are not British but there is no British tag grafted on to a bi-national Rugby (“Ireland”) team to accomodate those who are not Irish.

    That aside, having been with the Lions in Australia in 2001 let me assure Nelson that no one referred to them as anything other than the British Lions. Even whilst singing “Waltzing O’Driscol”…

  • George

    it is not grafting on a tag, it is merely accepting that the Irish aren’t British. Hard to let the auld colony go I know.

    Don’t forget the British and their forces pulled down their union flag and left Dublin over 80 years ago so they should have gotten over this in the interim period.

    I can tell you that nobody I know calls them British Lions. They all call them either the Lions or the British and Irish Lions.

    These are after all the official names.

  • lorre

    A BRITISH LION is the emblem of England. It is actually a “lion passant gardant” – a walking lion, looking out at you full face, and was first used by Rollo, Duke of Normandy (father of William the Conqueror, who added the second lion.) The third was added by Henry II, and Henry VIII added a crown to the lion. In heraldry, the lion stands for “deathless courage” and the lion passant gardant for “resolution and prudence” The Scots also have a lion as their heraldic emblem: theirs is a red lion rampant (standing on its hind legs, looking straight forward.) Unfortunately there is no Lion in Irish heraldry so we must understand why Nelson is a little peeved.

  • pakman


    all I can say is that on Circular Quay in 2001 no one was using the British & Irish tag. Nor were they using it inside Stadium Australia. Interestingly some of the Aussie media would refer to the “British Isles” team. Would you prefer that?

    My point about the island of Ireland team remains unanswered.

  • maca

    “My point about the island of Ireland team remains unanswered.”

    Which one?

  • George

    if you feel that Ireland’s Call and the flag of St. Patrick aren’t “cross community” enough for you then I recommend you support another rugby team than Ireland.

    How about England? After all, many many Northern Irish football fans have cut out the middle man altogether and support the mother country rather than their local offshoot. They must think it’s better to pretend to be English than be considered Irish.

    If you are offended by the agreed Irish national anthem being played and the agreed Irish national flag being flown on sovereign Irish soil then I recommend you only travel to Ireland rugby matches on foreign soil.

    But when you settle in to the new refurbished Lansdowne road, remember it was the sovereign Irish government that stumped up the cash.

    You can sing GSTQ and wave your union flag to your heart’s content at matches at the Maze stadium when it’s built.

    I know no Irish person who calls them the “British Lions” but then again it’s because of the Irish that the name is “British and Irish” Lions.

    I recommend if you travel to New Zealand this summer you travel with a more mixed bunch of people and that you put those fans who need it right on the correct name of the team.

  • Davros

    I know no Irish person who calls them the “British Lions”

    How about the Irish people posting here that refer to them as the British Lions ?

  • George

    I don’t know them Davros, I have virtual familiarity perhaps but I don’t know them.

    All I can say as an Irish person surrounded by millions of Irish people is that I know of no Irish person who calls the Lions the British Lions.

    I know no Irish person who thinks the word Irish is superfluous or who is offended by the word Irish.

  • swadboy

    I think we should all just be happy and celebrate that rugby at least unites our island happily without politics (except for France and Wales this year!) rather than build further divisions as i think a lot of people who post on here would like.
    So everyone should calm down and cheer for the lions whatever you like to call them.
    Everyone loves to blame Sinn Fein and the IRA for all the Norths ills but it is worth remembering that it is people like Nelson and his party mates who have sustained and strengthened support from otherwise moderate nationalists.

  • Human Bean

    The term “Pretannic” was used by Pytheas in 330 BC in reference to the Pretani Celtic tribes which lived there.

    So, since we on these two islands have a common Celtic heritage, the term “British” should not be offensive to anyone.

  • maca

    “So, since we on these two islands have a common Celtic heritage, the term “British” should not be offensive to anyone.”

    Back to the drawing boeard HB. They are not called the “Pretannic Isles”, if they were there probably wouldn’t be a problem.

  • Davros

    If we have a common “Celtic” heritage, then there isn’t any difference between NI being ruled form a mother Parliament in Westminster to being ruled from a mother Parliament in Dublin LOL

    All “Celts” together – The Union flag is a common “Celtic” flag and “Brits out” becomes rather silly 😉

  • cladycowboy

    Ah sure, Westminster is full of Anglo-Saxons so Dublin it is for the seat of the celts!;-)

  • Davros

    Ah sure, Westminster is full of Anglo-Saxons

    Ah sure when did Gerry and Martin take their seats ? 😉

  • cladycowboy

    Must have been after McCausland, ah thats one Celt out of the three!

    Now good luck to the interviewer who refers to Malcolm O’Kelly as a British Lion

  • Rethinking Uniuonism

    Nelson should try and limit his comments to something about which he has some modicum of knowledge. It is apparent from this comment that he understands nothing of Rugby or Rugby people particularly in Ireland. It is a pathetic attempt to point score on an issue where in the Rugby fraternity there is zero dispute.

  • pakman


    calm down.

    You are missing the point – why should an island of Ireland team be considered exclusively Irish when it is supposed to represent the Irish AND British parts of the island?

    As for the British Isles rugby team, players from the Irish state had no problem signing up when the official name did not have the Irish tag so why the need for it now. And if it is necessary to create an ungainly mouthful of a title to accomodate non British players/supporters why cannot the same logic be applied to the island of Ireland team to accomodate non Irish players/ supporters?

    BTW, thanks for your kind travel tips. What, in your valued opinion, would constitute a “more mixed bunch”?

  • George

    I am calm, in fact, I’m a picture of serenity. Are you Davros in disguise?

    Parity of esteem means exactly that. British and Irish Lions encompasses everyone on the islands of Britain and Ireland.

    You are missing the point, the Irish in the title refers to the Irish in the team not to the island of Ireland.

    “As for the British Isles rugby team, players from the Irish state had no problem signing up when the official name did not have the Irish tag so why the need for it now.”

    It’s called parity of esteem and why it happened now may have something to do with a growing national self confidence which means Ireland stands up for itself more than it used to. The Irish people aren’t British and don’t want to be called British.

    The British, who we get on very well with these days, appreciate this more than they used to and accept things have to change if they are finally to treat the Irish state as an equal.

    Maybe that’s why we get on so well now because they are finally trying/realising this. Perhaps you could take a leaf out of their book rather than living in the past.

    As for mixed bunch, why don’t you get in touch with a few Munster rugby fans from Limerick.

  • Davros

    I am calm, in fact, I’m a picture of serenity. Are you Davros in disguise?

    still sulking over the baseball idiom I see 😉
    C’mon George, let’s not go down that road.

  • sean west

    God you people are ignorant.The British isles is a term of cultural imperialism.Do we call the Iberian penisula,the Spanish penisula.No we do not beacause Portugal a great sovereign nation
    is part of the penisula.We call it the Iberian
    penisula.That British Isles term makes me sick.
    Britain is Britain and Ireland is Ireland.
    Leave it like that.

  • Davros

    Sean, you kind of shoot yourself in the foot mate. Your tirade would work if the name was “The English Isles” 😉

    Spain – Iberian

    England – British.

  • sean west

    Where the hell does Iberian mean Spanish or Spain.
    Hispanic is the Roman term for Spain DUMMY

  • Ringo

    not so Davros –

    Spain like Britain is an amalgamation – Catalans, Galicians, Asturians, Basques, Castellanos etc. with Castille equating to England

  • Davros

    LOL – not the sharpest knife in the Box.

    OK – Your comparison to Spain and the Iberian peninsula would work IF these Isles were called the English Isles, but they are not. They are called the British Isles ….

    Iberian, like British, is a collective adjective for a number of countries.

    Does that help ?

  • sean west

    Think Stupid.No one in Ireland came up with the term British Isles.It was decided upon by british politicians.Like putting London before Derry.
    Derry was always called Derry (Doire)before the plantation of Ulster.

  • pakman

    Sean West

    British Isles.

    Anything else make you sick? Just for future reference.

  • Brian

    Good to see the politicians of NI working hard as usual, does McCausland have nothing better to do with his time?

    What next – the DUP criticizing local authorities because the combination of green cycle paths, double yellow lines and white road marking looks almost similar to the tricolour….oh wait, that’s been done already!!

    Pathetic, get some real work done..

  • trev

    Willie Mc Crea complained a number of years ago about the positioning of vegetables on a display outside a grocers in Magherafelt.

    He wasn’t happy about the lettuce,mushrooms and carrots sitting beside each other.

  • Davros

    No one in Ireland came up with the term British Isles.It was decided upon by british politicians

    who ?

    and have you realised that Spain:Iberia doesn’t equate ?

    Derry was always called Derry (Doire)

    Wow – people in Ireland spoke English before the English spoke English ?

  • Art MacErc


    “does this mean that someone with the name Adams is a Brit ?

    I thought it was widely accepted he was of planter stock.”

    Does this mean that Gerry is an Ulster-Scot?

  • Davros

    I’d be prepared to hazard a guess and reply – Not according to the Ulster-Scots 😉

  • sean west

    Davos, the same type of people who created the six counties and called it Northern Ireland.
    A country that never existed before 1922.
    Very like Kuwait, a part of Iraq that was cut away from that country because the west wanted cheap oil in the 1920s.
    As we are on history i will give you another example.Czechoslovakia.A country that never existed until the big powers decided it would exist at Versailles.It no longer exist because it was an artificial creation just like the six counties.
    So please think before you write.Try and think of the big picture because it is a big world outside. Unfortunately like an awful lot of British people you seem to think the world revoles round a small island in the north atlantic
    which one day maybe known as an American Isle.
    Lets see how you would like that.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Just a piece of useless info for ye boyos: when both nations joined th E.U in the seventies, the Irish Government applied to have to official name changed to ‘Northern European Isles’. who objected? the British? nope; our friends the French.

    anyway, i think the final say should go to the players. i, as an Irishman, would not represent the Lions, as i would not feel comfortable being a ‘British Lion’ as everyone outside this little statelet calls it.

  • Davros

    That’s Funny about the E.U. D_B , Paisley would doubtless say that it just goes to show that you cannot trust a RC nation 😉

  • sean west

    I trust Pope Ratzinger.Anyone for keeping Turkey out of Europe has got to be alright.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Ireland – Geographical entity, rugby team represented by players from both traditions on this island, some of whom might not describe themselves as Irish in political (or any other)terms.

    British & Irish Lions – Rugby team representing 4 International rugby bodies, all encompassing term to include players of both UK and Irish citizenship.

    Anthems and Flags representing Ireland Rugby teams – Messy compromises alright but these have been agreed by the IRFU branches in an awkward situation (Personally if it meant singing Humpty Dumpty and waving a pair of my Granny’s Knickers at Lansdowne to keep an all-Ireland team, I’d go along with it).
    To Peace and Justice, I suggest you contact the Ulster Branch at Ravenhill with your proposals for the betterment of rugby in N.Ireland, I’m sure they’ll be interested.

  • sean west

    That “Irelands call” is an embarrassment.
    It is also very self indulgent.An international at Lansdowne road now has the guest team anthem,
    the soldiers song,and that bloody awful Irelands call.Can you imagine if we were playing England and they started with Jerusalem as well as both anthem’s.We would be the first to complain.

  • Crafty Leek

    Sean West. Kuwait was NOT cut away from Iraq in the 1920s to give the west oil. Please ensure historical accuracy before puitting comments on this web site. Kuwait’s borders were determined under the Treaty of Uqair (1922), while oil was not struck there until 1938. You are talking rubbish. I love rugby. British and Irish Lions is the most fitting term for the team. The Unionist politician is talking absolute cr*p and just wants people to vote DUP. Any sane person soes not vote for the politics of bigotry and division. Rugby is one of the few activities that NI and Eire still have in common. Its a shame in fact that many Catholics in the North still perceive rugby as a ‘Protestant’ game, when in fact, it is more popular in (Catholic) Leinster than (Protestant) Ulster – check out the IRFC web site if you don’t believe me. I welcome the name British and Irish Lions, especially if its means boys like O’Driscoll and Hickey can play alongside Johnny Wilkinson, Gavin Henson and Shane Williams. Its only a shame that Sir Clive Woodward doesn’t recognise the name as well. Playing the outdated 2003 England World Cup winning Team team (as good as they were) against a far superior Kiwi team, is asking for trouble. If he fails to play more Celts, then the Lions will lose the 2005 series.

  • Henry94

    Is it too late to have our name taken off this tour? Far better that the “British” Lions should be humiliated by the wonderful New Zealand team than dragging us into it.

    The sterile view of the game taken by Sir Clive Woodward is not something we should associate with.

    C’mon the All-Blacks.

  • Jennifer Mc Causland

    It is stupid comments like this that make people think it’s OK to associate Ireland with Great Britain. If Nelson had any idea what he was talking about he would know that Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales and that NORTHERN Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom. Therefore I don’t see any cause to eliminate the word ‘Irish’ from the Lions title as cleary Ireland would have no ties to the team without it!!! It’s about time people started to notice the difference and accept the changes.

  • slug9987

    “Britain (sometimes known as Great Britian) = an island that contains England, Scotland and Wales”

    This isn’t right: GB and Britain are not synonyms.

  • slug9987

    “UK = a political entity that contains Britian and Northern Ireland”

    Better to write this: UK = a political entity that contains Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    “Ireland = an island that contains the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland”

    Sometimes Ireland is used politically to mean ROI.

  • Martin Dub

    The official name of the Lions Test team is the The British Isles. The “British and Irish Lions” is the official name of the team that play the midweek matches against the crappy teams. Its a bit like the All Blacks and New Zealand, they’re called New Zealand for the full Test matches, but the All Blacks for other touring matches (Munster beat the All Blacks in 1978, not New Zealand)

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I, myself, prefer the version being used by Lá – Leoin na hÉireann is na Breataine. It has a nice ring to it.

    What’s this I hear about McCausland wanting to be the next minister for Culture?

    Will the last person leaving please turn out the lights?

  • Macswiney

    Maybe we could draft Nelson’s colleague Paul Berry into the squad… Mind you he’d need to watch out for the hooker in the back row…!

  • james Orr

    Oilbhéar Chromaill:

    I presume you’re devastated that nasty nasty McCausland is supporting Belfast City Council’s first-ever decision to fund the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the City – albeit with caveats?