Not Brazil. Norn Iron…

NORTHERN Ireland have just won their first home game at Windsor Park in four years – with TWO set piece goals! It was only Azerbaijan (who are, I believe joint 116th in the world with ourselves), but hopefully it will give the team a lift before the England match on Wednesday. No Sproule and a small victory, but – at last – a reason to be cheerful.

  • Headmelter

    ‘I’m as Irish as you…it’s just that I don’t subscribe to a myopic view of Irishness. I’m Northern Irish, British & Irish…proud of all three.’
    That’s a concept that nationalists/republicans had better get to grips with if they desire unity on this island.’

    Realist,
    I don’t subscribe to a myopic view of Northern Irishness. I’m proud of where I come from and my Ulster heritage I just don’t identify with the entire package.But each to their own. I respect the protestant culture but sometimes i wish there was a little more respect and tolerance for my own.
    I live in a predominantly loyalist area and of the many things I have learned is the protestant peoples attachment to their britishness. What ever floats your boat, but I sometimes wish these same people would stop dictating what should float mine.
    I’ve been to Windsor several times and it was not enjoyable for the reasons I have given.
    If you prefer to isolate a small proportion of one of my posts to support your distorted point of view that is your choice.

    ‘Your rhetoric is familiar, if a tad tiresome’

    So is a lot of loyalist/unionist rhetoric. Most of which seems aimed at ‘keeping me in my place’ and preventing my elected representatives from sharing power.

    ‘You resent Northern Ireland’s very existance’

    I don’t resent its existance I just don’t agree with it and a lot of things it has come to symbolise and stand for. This goes for both sides of the fence by the way.

  • willowfield

    Headmelter

    The venue wasn’t a problem to start with but after a few visits between 1980-1990, listening to nothing but sectarian chants for the majority of the 90 minutes and looking at the colours displayed on the spion kop solidified a developing personal opinion, that it was nothing but a sectarian cesspit, where members of my community were not welcome.

    So it was the sectarian chants and the colours being displayed on the Spion Kop – not the venue itself– that drove you away. That is perfectly reasonable.

    What is not reasonable, however, is then to use the venue/location as a reason not to return, even though the sectarian chants have ended and colours removed.

    Seems very odd to attend matches in which you experienced sectarianism, and then boycott them when sectarianism has been eradicated!

    You’re not making any sense.

    ‘Why is a Northern Irish (6 county) rugby team not a possibility? It would make more sense.’
    How you think this would make more sense mystifies me.

    That’s odd. You should do a bit of political and historical reading. Look into the period of Irish history around 1921!

    At least the Irish rugby team are relatively successful, having their fair share of victories to cheer about. But if you want to have a shite provincial rugby team to go along with a shite provincial soccer team then you must have some sado masochistic tendancies.

    Success is not relevant. All countries have their own teams, regardless of how successful they are. In fact, it is not possible for some teams to be successful unless others are unsuccessful! If you scrapped unsuccessful teams, logically, you would end up with only 1 team!

    I can only try and understand how willowfield and others more readily identify with a team representing N.Ireland and sure things might have changed but my initial experiences didn’t endear me to the team nor the supporters.

    Time to get some new experiences, then!

    The thing is I believe I am Irish not N.Irish.

    Er, the two aren’t mutually exclusive, you know!!

    Unfortunately I was born in a part of Ireland that was partitioned then governed by a corrupt, bigotted, sectarian govt before being occupied by a foreign power which resulted in thirty years of armed conflict.

    You being serious?

    It has seemed to me that it has always been a ‘state’ that has aimed to discriminate against,and disenfranchise me and the community from which I come. I, quite often, subsequently have difficulty recognising, identifying with and taking pride in things connected to it. Soccer at Windsor park being one of them.

    So – contrary to your earlier comments, illogical though they were, in which you claimed that it was the venue that led to your inability to support NI – the real reason is that you neither recognise, identify with or take pride in Northern Ireland or “things connected to it”.

    Why couldn’t you have been honest to begin with?

    circles

    Thanks for that willowfield! I never knew – although it is a little bit a bending of the rules. I mean what about poor old Cornwall!! The Cornish football team really should be given a crack of the whip – not to mention the Isle of Man (and Jersey).

    Neither Cornwall, nor the Isle of Man, were founding football associations.

    Henry94

    I think I’m safe in assuming that you were the only person who didn’t realise the comment was tongue-in-cheek.

    Oh, I realised it was tongue-in-cheek, all right. You clearly didn’t realise my reply was also tongue-in-cheek!

  • George

    Smcgiff,

    It’s just that there is venemous hatred on show for all to see whenever NI and ROI meet but Wednesday against England will be a British love-in at Windsor Park. Cultural respect all round. We are all proud to be British and all that.

    There just doesn’t seem to be room for Irish people and what they hold dear in the Irish pride that NI British people seem to talk about so often.

    The Irish tricolour is a rag to be burnt at every unionist cultural opportunity, the Irish national anthem an offensive piece of sectarian dirge, Irish national sports no more than a sectarian cesspit occupied by unfit papes, the Irish state a terrorist-appeasing haven, a corrupt, pathetic excuse for a nation, its leader not worthy of the respect of a handshake, the ancient Irish language the tool of terrorists, a ranting speak not worthy of merit.

    Similar sentiments are often expressed by the more rabid Irish nationalists of NI, unionism and its symbols (replace with British in above paragragh) so I suppose they are all in good company and deserve each other.

    But while equally full of venemous hatred, at least they’re not so contrary as to call themselves British in one breath and spit on everything the British hold dear in the next.

    If the British people of NI mean they are proud of their Hiberno-Britishness fine but don’t use the term Irish because it just confuses the millions of people who consider themselves Irish on this island.

    Unlike Willowfield, I am beginning to think that Irish and Northern Irish are mutually exclusive and are getting more mutually exclusive by the year.

    The church and school burnings, mob rule, peace walls and everything else are just signs of how mutually exclusive it all is.

    It just sickens me to the core at this stage.

    Take a leaf out of Lord Laird’s Ulster Scots book. Clear and to the point. Not Irish, Scottish. Just been living in Ireland for the last 300 years and always will.

    Let’s get building the Peace Pale as soon as possible. 20 metres high and 20 metres wide. You can have it in yards if you like.

    Rant over.

  • Headmelter

    Willowfield,

    ‘What is not reasonable, however, is then to use the venue/location as a reason not to return, even though the sectarian chants have ended and colours removed.

    Seems very odd to attend matches in which you experienced sectarianism, and then boycott them when sectarianism has been eradicated!’

    Has it?
    my last visit was over 14 years ago when sectarian chants were the predominant theme so if it has been eradicated I can only take your word for it if it has.

    ‘Unfortunately I was born in a part of Ireland that was partitioned then governed by a corrupt, bigotted, sectarian govt before being occupied by a foreign power which resulted in thirty years of armed conflict.

    You being serious?’

    Why wouldn’t I be, what part of this statement is not true?

    ‘So – contrary to your earlier comments, illogical though they were, in which you claimed that it was the venue that led to your inability to support NI – the real reason is that you neither recognise, identify with or take pride in Northern Ireland or “things connected to it”.’

    If you read all of my posts in context it the venue was a contributing factor of many.
    Try not to be so selective.

  • smcgiff

    While I have sympathy with what you say it’s not up to us to decide what being Irish means. Irish does not mean all that is good on the island of Ireland.

    If some decide that being Irish or Northern Irish means hating the ROI (not saying Realist is saying that!) then so be it.

    Those that hold the meaning of being Irish to be solely nationalist or Republican don’t have ownership. Realist is Irish by virute of claiming to be Irish, Northern Irish as well as British.

    With that said, it’s clear he’s thrown his lot in with the wrong crowd! 😉

  • George

    Smcgiff,
    Not saying for a second that Realist hates ROI or that he/she is in any way unreasonable but there are an awful lot of people on this island who do and are. Some would say the majority.

    If the self-proclaimed and voted for leader of the unionist people refuses to even shake the hand of the leader of the Irish people what part of Irishness do the British people of Northern Ireland subscribe to or respect?

    It all comes down to respect.

    It seems to me that it isn’t the same Irishness as the rest of us, which seems to actually offend (ranging from mildly to greviously) the majority of unionists.

    There seems to be nothing in their Britishness that offends them but almost everything that the “Irish” value is somehow tainted or corrupt.

    Many otherwise reasonable people even go so far as to equate Irishness with the IRA.

    I would like to know what kind of Irish pride does a British-Irish person have if they appear to have nothing but contempt for the values, symbols, culture, leaders, political system of your bog-standard Irish person – i.e. the overwhelming majority of people on this island.

    To me it’s a bit like that disgraceful rant from Robin Livingstone ending with him saying how he still loves being part of the UK and is simply British.

    It simply doesn’t add up.

  • smcgiff

    ‘It seems to me that it isn’t the same Irishness as the rest of us, which seems to actually offend (ranging from mildly to greviously) the majority of unionists.’

    But that’s their look out, George.

    I don’t subscribe to their vision of Irishness, but I’ll defend their right to call themselves Irish, even the bigots among them.

    I don’t subscribe to the view that Irish has to mean nationalist. I do accept that there may be a lack of respect for the Irish (fellow or otherwise) of a different political outlook, but again, that’s their look out. And that’s something we can argue/persuade against – Not whether they are Irish or not.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “Take a leaf out of Lord Laird’s Ulster Scots book. Clear and to the point. Not Irish, Scottish. Just been living in Ireland for the last 300 years and always will.”

    Whatever about the criticisms that Laird Lord may or may not deserve for his personal idiosyncracies, this is just a nonsense argument. Is Liam Logan, the presenter of the Ulster Scots radio programme and Westminster candidate for the SDLP not an Irish nationalist because he enthuses about the Ulster -Scots culture?

    “I would like to know what kind of Irish pride does a British-Irish person have if they appear to have nothing but contempt for the values, symbols, culture, leaders, political system of your bog-standard Irish person “

    Again pure nonsense, and this from a nationalism that airbrushed the British irish identity out of existence wherever it could- in Kingstown, Queenstown , Maryborough, SAackville Street, Rutland Square, King Street etc etc; and which still comes up with great ideas like getting rid of all the green postboxes with royal crests on them.Less than 20 years ago the War memorial at Phoenix park was an overgrown ruin, because it didn’t suit irish nationalism to admit that there was a large Irish enrolment in the British army

    What respect is there for the symbols, culture and leaders of British ireland on this thread? Nothing but sneering at Northern Ireland’s achievements in football- still greater than the Republic’s BTW, and from a smaller base too. Oh, and I think people forget who won the last time we played. We’re proud of the achievements of the irish people who built the british nation- like Wellington, Kitchener, Montgomery, and Alanbrooke. We’re proud of the British Irish scientists like Kelvin, inventors like Ferguson, Dunlop, Pantridge; proud of our American cousins like Jackson, Grant, Wilson, and a dozen other Presidnets and leaders (we’ll exclude Clinton if you please); proud of philanthropists like Hans Sloane; proud of sportsmen like Peter Doherty, Pat Jennings, Danny Blanchflower, and George Best; shucks, some of us even like Van Morrison.

    It’s not the British -Irish that took a narrow nationalistic approach of exclusivity as the basis for a national ethos. The Republic of Ireland can never aspire to the achievements of that section of the irish people that it has patronised and ignored since 1921- when it wasn’t persecuting it or discriminating against it that is. And the reason george and others demonise us is the same reason people always do- he’s insecure in his own identity and fearful of the threatening alternative – which is that all of the RoI- a few sandal wearing Gaelgoirs in Kerry excepted- is West Britain now.

  • George

    smcgiff,

    unionism can articulate where Northern Irishness fits into the overall concept of Britishness but seems incapable of articulating how its Northern Irishness fits into the overall concept of Irishness. Cue the “that’s because there’s no place for us in the Irish nation” mope.

    The British population of NI despises Irishness to such a degree that none of its parties mention the word “Irish” anywhere in their literature and the leader of the unionist people refuses to condone shaking the hand of the leader of the Irish people.

    It celebrates burning the Irish flag and cultural symbols on an annual basis and pedals lies and myths about the perversity and inferiority of the Irish nation, culture and people at every turn.

    This is the unpalatable truth that fair-minded unionists try gloss over by plamassing us by saying they are Irish but different and we have to adapt and change to accommodate them.

    Difference based on respect I can handle, difference based on hatred and a perceived superiority I cannot.

    Sure they can call themselves Irish just like others can call themselves freedom fighters.

    But I won’t adapt my moral compass so that these views and attitudes are happily paraded by all as Irish.

  • smcgiff

    ‘pedals lies and myths about the perversity and inferiority of the Irish nation, culture and people at every turn.’

    Not to belittle it, but that’s just preaching to the converted. It’s their way of reinforcing ‘self’. Nobody else believes it. As mentioned earlier on this thread its to do with insecurity.

    Such bile (not just in NI) is going to exist as long as man draws breath.

  • TAFKABO

    “This is the unpalatable truth that fair-minded unionists try gloss over by plamassing us by saying they are Irish but different and we have to adapt and change to accommodate them.”

    No one is telling you anything, you can adapt and accomodate, or you can perpetuate the hostility, it’s u to you.

    “Difference based on respect I can handle, difference based on hatred and a perceived superiority I cannot.”

    Well, by the same token, I can’t be expected to cater for your paranoid notion that my sense of identity is based upon a feeling of superiority over you or nyone else.
    Literaly my while life I’ve been told by nationalists that I feel superior to them, all it has done is convince me that some of them feel insecure.

    I know it sounds like common sense, but why don’t you stop telling us what we think and feel, and start listening to what we say?

  • smcgiff

    ‘The Republic of Ireland can never aspire to the achievements of that section of the irish people that it has patronised and ignored since 1921’

    It’s comments like that, Darth, that make me wonder if you’re allowed up to watch the 10 o’clock news.

  • TAFKABO

    And for the record.

    Slugger is about as fair and representative a cross slice of opinion on this island one can find.

    Looking over the thread as a whole, where is the hostility and attacks on another culture coming from?
    Is it from Unionists belittling Ireland?

    I don’t think it is.

    Wake up and smell the nationalist bile.

  • smcgiff

    Tafkabo,

    Let me introduce you to Darth, you seem to have glossed over his contribution.

  • George

    Darth,
    Every street in the England and Scotland had to change its main street to Union Street in 1771 but that kind of airbrushing of local identity is fine while changing a handful of names out of tens of thousands post independence makes Ireland a cold house. This is the type of myth pedalling that unionists live on.

    Let’s look at Dun Laoghaire (Kingstown) where my family have lived for nigh on 200 years since coming over as part of the British military machine and settling in with the settlers.

    Name of Dun Laoghaire main street? George’s Street after King George.

    Here are the streets off it. Some of these names might sound familiar.

    Adelaide, Wellington, Suffolk, Marine, Patrick, Library, Northumberland, Crofton, Convent. A lot of airbrushing there alright.

    By the way, King Street and Queen Street are both still in Dublin while Sackville Place is also just off O’Connell Street.

    But you believe your myths.

    “which still comes up with great ideas like getting rid of all the green postboxes with royal crests on them.”

    The royal crest postboxes are still all over the country and it is antique thieves who are removing them not the government.

    Or are you saying it’s just incompetence that has resulted in them still being here over 80 years after independence or is this slow airbrushing Irish style?

    If a post box is all you value wow.

    As for the War Memorial, there is nothing glorious about remembering an army that executed Irish soldiers on a whim and has yet to apologise (don’t see the unionists even asking) not to mention the attack on the democratic rights of a small nation – Ireland. But you believe it’s the Irish state that has to reform its views when it comes to the military and not the British one.

    Why?

    There is a difference between remembrance of the folly of war and glorifying it. The Irish state remembers the folly. They didn’t die for the freed of this small nation unfortunately.

    One of the greatest achievements of the Irish Republic is that it has ended the tradition of Irish military families going to fight and die for the British Empire.

    Peacekeeping yes, war no. If to accommodate Northern Irishness means to glorify meaningless slaughter of poor men by the tens of thousand then sorry there’s no room.

    Any other myths about Kingstown you’d like me to debunk?

  • TAFKABO

    SMcGIFF

    Nope, I read his contribution within the context of the thread as a whole.
    I think it’s a perfectly understandable and valid reaction to the unprovoked and inexplanable attacks that preceded it.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I think it’s a perfectly understandable and valid reaction to the unprovoked and inexplanable attacks that preceded it.’

    That comes across as ‘defending your own’, and by saying valid you agree with it.

    The fact he refers to the above luminaries, and he could add numerous more, such as Swift/Conan Doyle etc, in the context of superiority ‘can never aspire to the achievements’ is very telling.

    To be such a luminary of that time one would have to have gone to university. Look long and hard at the time in question and tell me how Catholics could possibly get a look in.

    It is such cases of distinction, rather than superiority, that argues the cause as to why 1922 had to come about.

  • Dec

    Wasn’t Kelvin Scottish? As for Wellington…

  • smcgiff

    ‘Lord Kelvin was born as William Thomsen in Belfast, Ireland, in 1824.’ – Googled.

  • willowfield

    George

    There just doesn’t seem to be room for Irish people and what they hold dear in the Irish pride that NI British people seem to talk about so often. The Irish tricolour is a rag to be burnt at every unionist cultural opportunity, the Irish national anthem an offensive piece of sectarian dirge, Irish national sports no more than a sectarian cesspit occupied by unfit papes, the Irish state a terrorist-appeasing haven, a corrupt, pathetic excuse for a nation, its leader not worthy of the respect of a handshake, the ancient Irish language the tool of terrorists, a ranting speak not worthy of merit.

    You shouldn’t judge everyone by the actions and words of a few. Very poor, George. Very poor.

    You’d be well-advised to relax, and adopt a more liberal and open mind when it comes to matters of identity.

    If the British people of NI mean they are proud of their Hiberno-Britishness fine but don’t use the term Irish because it just confuses the millions of people who consider themselves Irish on this island.

    If non-British-Irish people are confused by the concept of an Irishness that is all-inclusive, then that is their problem. I will not deny my Irishness because of the narrow-mindedness of such people.

    Headmelter

    Has it?

    Yes.

    my last visit was over 14 years ago when sectarian chants were the predominant theme so if it has been eradicated I can only take your word for it if it has.

    You obviously no nothing of the changes that have taken place in that time. Sadly you continue to judge today based on events of 14 years ago. Go to the next match and see for yourself.

    Why wouldn’t I be, what part of this statement is not true?

    Er, the bit about being “occupied by a foreign power” is not true! The rest is rather extreme opinion! LOL! Dear me, you sound like Patrick Pearse or Rory O’Brady!

    If you read all of my posts in context it the venue was a contributing factor of many. Try not to be so selective.

    You stated that the venue was the reason you would not attend. Only after you were challenged did you bring up other reasons (e.g. not recognising NI and things associated with it).

  • willowfield

    No, Dec, Kelvin wasn’t Scottish.

  • smcgiff

    ‘No, Dec, Kelvin wasn’t Scottish.’

    Born in Ireland.

  • Nick Fury

    George

    You obviously missed the recent NI v ROI under 21 game in Lurgan. An admittedly small number of ROI fans mingled with the NI fans. They sat in the stands with us during the game. No offence was caused to anyone. NI fans have moved into the 21st century after an admittedly difficult time. It’s time their detractors did as well.

    BTW, the game finished 2 – 2 , courtesy of a dubious penalty awarded to ROI.

  • slug

    Lord Kelvin was pre-Queens. He went to Glasgow University and later based himself there. He was an Ulsterman and his statue is in Botannic Gardens, Belfast. He was an early example of Ulster student crossing the water. More do it today, albeit usually with lesser academic outcomes.

  • Realist

    Interesting challenges to my Irishness by George, Maca and Headmelter.

    The arrogance, intolerance and inability to accept anything other that a mono cultural, myopic view of Irishness is summed up in this comment:

    “If the British people of NI mean they are proud of their Hiberno-Britishness fine but don’t use the term Irish because it just confuses the millions of people who consider themselves Irish on this island.”

    Your dead right it “confuses” them…until it does not confuse them, we go round and round in circles.

    You see, I was born on this island (as where my forefathers), I raise a family on this island, I work on this island, I socialise on this island…but yet some have the temerity to suggest that I do not belong to this island.

    I can and do express my Irishness in many ways.

    I am Northern Irish, British & Irish…simple as that.

    What is quite fascinating, and deeply troublesome to nationalists/republicans is this question.

    If you truly wish to “unite” Ireland and all it’s people, how do you intend to incorporate the Britishness of 1,000,000 inhabitants of Northern Ireland…What kind of future do you want with your unionist/British co-inhabitants of this island?

    You have never sought the views of the very people you say you wish to unite with…the Northern Irish/British/Irish unionists who are not going away.

    Methods of persuasion to date have included death, destruction and demonising of a different Irish culture…Time to deal with the difficult questions – ones that ain’t going away either.

    The Northern Ireland football team transcends such politics…It’s a team that comes from many and varied backgrounds. That is something I am proud off.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “By the way, King Street and Queen Street are both still in Dublin”

    King Street in Cork is now Macurtain Street. The world exists beyond Dublin you know! And yes I do know there’s a Protestant Row in Dublin too.
    Oh, and tell us about the fine monument to a British monarch still cherished in Kingstown by the locals.

    And so you kept a lot of the place names- not a bit of wonder, given they were in everyday use and the locals probably didn’t want to change them- you know, like in Dingle. Hardly a gesture of parity of esteem, just a recognition of the limitations of brainwashing. Wasn’t there a serious attempt to rename the county of Donegal Tyrconnall or somesuch in the 1930s because the place name is “the fort of the foreigners” in English- hardly appropriate for a pure Irish race?

    I’m not saying my culture is necessarily superior to yours, s mcgiff, but it’s certainly far from inferior, and far from the “Lord Laird’s a planter” smear of George the “oh so guilty he makes Martin Mansergh look like Billy Wright” type of anglo-Irish who’s probably embarassed his great grandaddy was in all likelihood a Unionist. Or he could be proud of that strain of Irishness as a different and cherished part of the patchwork of the nation ( in his view) Mary McAleese could teach a few southerners a thing or two about that, for all her shortcomings.

    Of course, s mcgiff, George and I could both take equal pride in the immense achievements of the British-Irish, if only he recognised them as a valid part of the Irish tradition. It’s just that he can’t- they haven’t “gone native” like he has but are squalid colonials, looking down on the locals after 300 years .

    And that brings us back to the failure to recognise NI the football team or NI the constitutional entity- in spite of the Belfast Agreement. In 1982, I remember many decent minded southerners congratulating Bingy’s Boys for their achievements in Spain, and I guarantee most people will do so again when we win the World Cup in 2010, beating England 3-0 in the Final. But Robin Livingstone won’t, and George won’t. The fact that “we exist” is too bitter a pill to swallow.

    If he wants to stereotype and belittle British Irishness as a UVF bonfire up a loyalist estate on the 11th night, he proves my point, and his ignorance is fair game. He can’t handle the fact that we are ” no petty people”. Even Yeats- not a Unionist- finally saw irish nationalism for what it was.

  • Realist

    I suppose Pat Jennings, Martin O’Neill & Gerry Armstrong to name but three Northern Ireland legends aren’t really true “Irish” either.

    Sighs despairingly.

  • maca

    Realist
    “Interesting challenges to my Irishness by George, Maca and Headmelter.”

    It was a fair question, one which you didn’t answer.

    “I am Northern Irish, British & Irish…simple as that.”

    Again, what is this “Irish”, and is that not just “N.Irish”?
    I ask because I am not aware of any “Irish” identity which is not either Northern Irish or Irish (from or relating to the Irish state). So what is it?

  • Realist

    maca,

    I am Irish by virtue of the fact that I was born and bred on the island of Ireland.

    Could you more clearly define your comment “from or relating to the Irish state”?

    Pardon my confusion, but are you saying that I am not Irish?

    Is Nothern Ireland not really Irish?

    I thought the clue was in the name.

  • TAFKABO

    “I ask because I am not aware of any “Irish” identity which is not either Northern Irish or Irish (from or relating to the Irish state).”

    Have you heard of American Irish?, London Irish?

  • maca

    Realist
    “I am Irish by virtue of the fact that I was born and bred on the island of Ireland.”

    Personally I don’t believe in any of these geographic identities. Irish, like British can’t be simply “geographic” in my opinion, and there’s no “Irish” identity we can all subscribe to, IMHO.

    “Could you more clearly define your comment “from or relating to the Irish state”?

    What’s unclear about it?

    “Pardon my confusion, but are you saying that I am not Irish?”

    As i’ve already said, it was a question, not a statement.

    “Is Nothern Ireland not really Irish?”

    You said yourself, the clue is in the name.
    But you described yourself as N.Irish, British & Irish. I just wanted to know what this other Irish was if it’s not N.Irish.

    TAF
    “Have you heard of American Irish?, London Irish?”

    French Irish, Swedish Irish, whatever. We’re talking about identities which in general apply to those from this island. Try to stay with it.

  • TAFKABO

    “French Irish, Swedish Irish, whatever. We’re talking about identities which in general apply to those from this island.”

    Are we?, where was that decided?, and who the fuck put you in charge of what we discuss?

  • TAFKABO

    Uh, that last post of mine sounded a lot more aggressive than I meant it.
    Apologies if I offended anyone.

  • bobby

    “I suppose Pat Jennings, Martin O’Neill & Gerry Armstrong to name but three Northern Ireland legends aren’t really true “Irish” either.”

    Realist

    northern ireland legend Pat Jennings was probably more worried about the sectarian abuse he was receiving at Windsor Park throughout his playing career.The northern ireland fans made their feelings crystal clear to Pat and i doubt he was able to forget who and what he was.

    It’s sad the Neil Lennon situation,” he said. “For me there is no room for sectarianism in football, but if he’s receiving threats what else can he do?
    It’s just crazy and I experienced it right through my international career as a Catholic. I got a fair bit of stick, probably because I was closer to the support than any of the other players.
    “Neil’s always been a good player, it’s sad that it’s worse because he plays for Celtic. The last lad, Anton Rogan, got similar stick.”

  • smcgiff

    Darth,

    In your above post you’ve made both George’s argument and it’s response. I’ll leave George to answer the particulars. However,

    ‘if only he recognised them as a valid part of the Irish tradition.’

    I don’t remember George disowning anyone. Unless there were some that held themselves to be exclusively British – How proud was Wellington to be from the auld sod?

    ‘Even Yeats- not a Unionist- finally saw irish nationalism for what it was.’

    He may not have been to happy with the Free State post British rule (bedeviled with unrequited love as he was), but he remained a nationalist.

    Something from earlier that I couldn’t resist…

    ‘which is that all of the RoI… is West Britain now.’

    It’s similarity to Britain stems from the shared influence the ROI and UK receive from the US. What was that film lately again, oh yeah, 51st State! 😉

    I’d go further and surmise that the ROI is less British now than it’s ever been. With its main external influence coming from the US, dude, and then from the EU and the UK. But even then, the influence is not only one way.

  • smcgiff

    Re-above myriad external influences adopted by the ROI. I like to think of this as…

    Supermarket colonialisation by Consent! 🙂

  • smcgiff

    ‘Uh, that last post of mine sounded a lot more aggressive than I meant it.
    Apologies if I offended anyone.

    On behalf of those that will be inheriting this planet any day now, you’re forgiven!

    Now, two Hail Mary’s and an Our Father (and you know the version I mean!) *Said in Homer Simson voice as he strangle’s Bart*

  • Headmelter

    Willowfield,

    ‘You obviously no nothing of the changes that have taken place in that time. Sadly you continue to judge today based on events of 14 years ago. Go to the next match and see for yourself.’

    The Neil Lennon incident was much more recent than 14 yrs ago but if you’ve got a ticket for the next match I would be happy to attend in the interests of comparing the ‘new’ atmosphere at Windsor pk to that of 14 yrs ago.

    Er, the bit about being “occupied by a foreign power” is not true!

    Er your opinion I feel.

  • beano

    “The Irish tricolour is a rag to be burnt at every unionist cultural opportunity, the Irish national anthem an offensive piece of sectarian dirge, Irish national sports no more than a sectarian cesspit occupied by unfit papes, the Irish state a terrorist-appeasing haven, a corrupt, pathetic excuse for a nation, its leader not worthy of the respect of a handshake, the ancient Irish language the tool of terrorists, a ranting speak not worthy of merit.”

    George, the very fact that these are referred to as “the Irish national anthem”, and “the Irish state” shows part of the problem. There are 2 Irish states. One misleadingly refers to itself as Ireland (did someone say imperialist?) and one does not.

    Your Irish national anthem is not my type of Irish.

  • Mario el Argentino

    What is Brazil’s name doing next to NI? 😉

  • Mario el Argentino

    What is Brazil’s name doing next to NI? 😉

  • rocky

    What is Brazil’s name doing next to NI? 😉

    It’s a bit like a steamy turd sitting next to a sweet smelling rose

  • maca

    Taf
    “Are we?, where was that decided?, and who the fuck put you in charge of what we discuss?”

    That’s what Realist & I were discussing. Feel free to not contribute if the topic doesn’t interest you.

    Beano
    “There are 2 Irish states”

    2 Irish states? If i’m not mistaken NI isn’t a state but is merely part of a state.

  • slug

    There are two Irish nations.

  • Cahal

    Northern Ireland is no more a nation than my back yard is. Therein lies the problem, it is part of a distinct state (UK) and part of a distinct nation (Ireland) yet is not part of a nation state. There is no reason why it cant have a soccer team as far as I see. However, the FAI should start scouting in the north asap.

  • davo

    There are several lads from Derry,Lurgan and Belfast playing in the Ireland u17 and u19 squads at present.

  • Young Fogey

    bertie

    Can I have a pint of whatever Audley is on!

    Hunter S Thompson: “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.”

    circles

    I realise it was a super kitsch move – couldn’t resist it somehow. Could have been worse

    Yep. You could have typed, “I believe the children are our future. Treat them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty the possess inside…”

    Much worse, actually.

    maca

    At the moment we have no national rugby team, only an “island” team, I wouldn’t mind having a national team to support.

    Bloody partitionist!

    darthrumsfeld

    If he wants to stereotype and belittle British Irishness as a UVF bonfire up a loyalist estate on the 11th night

    This is where the whole Norn Iron supporting thing gets me, you know. I really want to support Norn Iron as a non-sectarian pan-cultural cutesy fluffy kind of English and Free Stater hating at the same time sort of sporting experience – just, most of their fans seem to want to turn it into a bastion of Ulster-Prod self-pitying our wee country everybody hates us we don’t care sort of thing.

    I’m not really interested in supporting a team that wants to epitomise the true form of Ulster Prod experience, not being an Ulster Prod and all that. Northern Ireland fans seem to live in this confused world where Taigs are welcome, as long as they stand respectfully for God Save the Windsors and pretend not to see a lot of Union Jacks flying about the place. Not to diss the IFA who’ve been making a serious go of making Windsor an acceptable place for everybody, but there’s still a huge perception gap to close.

    The same crap seems to drift around the Ulster rugby team these days sometimes – I remember the glory days back in the early 90s when you went to Ravenhill to watch Ulster thrash whatever team came up from the South, and lift the Interprovincial title as a matter of right. Back then it was just serious rugby fans, mostly ex-B Men with tweed jackets and pipes, but none of that really mattered because we were there to watch a rugby match and there was nary a flag in the place but a tastefully discreet Union Flag somewhere over the Memorial Arch where it didn’t get in the way of a decent view.

    Then we go professional, win the European Cup and all of a sudden all these Windsor Park retreads with Ulster Flags want to recreate their own Ulster Prod Siege of Mafeking start turning up. Not that a few fair weather supporters would stop be being behind the lads, but it did get on my tits a wee bit.

    The inclusive stuff cuts both ways – if you want Irishness and Britishness to be a happy mix, you also have to allow for a Northern identity which is distinctly Ulster but distinctly not British (plenty of it on display in Croke this month, I would imagine). What’s good for the goose and all that.

  • Young Fogey

    bertie

    Can I have a pint of whatever Audley is on!

    Hunter S Thompson: “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.”

    circles

    I realise it was a super kitsch move – couldn’t resist it somehow. Could have been worse

    Yep. You could have typed, “I believe the children are our future. Treat them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty the possess inside…”

    Much worse, actually.

    maca

    At the moment we have no national rugby team, only an “island” team, I wouldn’t mind having a national team to support.

    Bloody partitionist!

    darthrumsfeld

    If he wants to stereotype and belittle British Irishness as a UVF bonfire up a loyalist estate on the 11th night

    This is where the whole Norn Iron supporting thing gets me, you know. I really want to support Norn Iron as a non-sectarian pan-cultural cutesy fluffy kind of English and Free Stater hating at the same time sort of sporting experience – just, most of their fans seem to want to turn it into a bastion of Ulster-Prod self-pitying our wee country everybody hates us we don’t care sort of thing.

    I’m not really interested in supporting a team that wants to epitomise the true form of Ulster Prod experience, not being an Ulster Prod and all that. Northern Ireland fans seem to live in this confused world where Taigs are welcome, as long as they stand respectfully for God Save the Windsors and pretend not to see a lot of Union Jacks flying about the place. Not to diss the IFA who’ve been making a serious go of making Windsor an acceptable place for everybody, but there’s still a huge perception gap to close.

    The same crap seems to drift around the Ulster rugby team these days sometimes – I remember the glory days back in the early 90s when you went to Ravenhill to watch Ulster thrash whatever team came up from the South, and lift the Interprovincial title as a matter of right. Back then it was just serious rugby fans, mostly ex-B Men with tweed jackets and pipes, but none of that really mattered because we were there to watch a rugby match and there was nary a flag in the place but a tastefully discreet Union Flag somewhere over the Memorial Arch where it didn’t get in the way of a decent view.

    Then we go professional, win the European Cup and all of a sudden all these Windsor Park retreads with Ulster Flags want to recreate their own Ulster Prod Siege of Mafeking start turning up. Not that a few fair weather supporters would stop be being behind the lads, but it did get on my tits a wee bit.

    The inclusive stuff cuts both ways – if you want Irishness and Britishness to be a happy mix, you also have to allow for a Northern identity which is distinctly Ulster but distinctly not British (plenty of it on display in Croke this month, I would imagine). What’s good for the goose and all that.

  • Young Fogey

    bertie

    Can I have a pint of whatever Audley is on!

    Hunter S Thompson: “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.”

    circles

    I realise it was a super kitsch move – couldn’t resist it somehow. Could have been worse

    Yep. You could have typed, “I believe the children are our future. Treat them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty the possess inside…”

    Much worse, actually.

    maca

    At the moment we have no national rugby team, only an “island” team, I wouldn’t mind having a national team to support.

    Bloody partitionist!

    darthrumsfeld

    If he wants to stereotype and belittle British Irishness as a UVF bonfire up a loyalist estate on the 11th night

    This is where the whole Norn Iron supporting thing gets me, you know. I really want to support Norn Iron as a non-sectarian pan-cultural cutesy fluffy kind of English and Free Stater hating at the same time sort of sporting experience – just, most of their fans seem to want to turn it into a bastion of Ulster-Prod self-pitying our wee country everybody hates us we don’t care sort of thing.

    I’m not really interested in supporting a team that wants to epitomise the true form of Ulster Prod experience, not being an Ulster Prod and all that. Northern Ireland fans seem to live in this confused world where Taigs are welcome, as long as they stand respectfully for God Save the Windsors and pretend not to see a lot of Union Jacks flying about the place. Not to diss the IFA who’ve been making a serious go of making Windsor an acceptable place for everybody, but there’s still a huge perception gap to close.

    The same crap seems to drift around the Ulster rugby team these days sometimes – I remember the glory days back in the early 90s when you went to Ravenhill to watch Ulster thrash whatever team came up from the South, and lift the Interprovincial title as a matter of right. Back then it was just serious rugby fans, mostly ex-B Men with tweed jackets and pipes, but none of that really mattered because we were there to watch a rugby match and there was nary a flag in the place but a tastefully discreet Union Flag somewhere over the Memorial Arch where it didn’t get in the way of a decent view.

    Then we go professional, win the European Cup and all of a sudden all these Windsor Park retreads with Ulster Flags want to recreate their own Ulster Prod Siege of Mafeking start turning up. Not that a few fair weather supporters would stop be being behind the lads, but it did get on my tits a wee bit.

    The inclusive stuff cuts both ways – if you want Irishness and Britishness to be a happy mix, you also have to allow for a Northern identity which is distinctly Ulster but distinctly not British (plenty of it on display in Croke this month, I would imagine). What’s good for the goose and all that.

  • willowfield

    Headmelter

    The Neil Lennon incident was much more recent than 14 yrs ago but if you’ve got a ticket for the next match I would be happy to attend in the interests of comparing the ‘new’ atmosphere at Windsor pk to that of 14 yrs ago.

    The Neil Lennon incident was 4½ years ago, and was itself a one-match setback for the Football for All campaign. Sectarian singing had been eradicated beforehand and has not returned since. At the next match Lennon received rousing support from the supporters (as indeed he did at the match in question by the vast majority).

    I haven’t got a ticket for the next match (it’s sold out), but there is a friendly against Portugal in November for which you will be able to buy tickets from IFA Headquarters, 20 Windsor Avenue.

    Er, the bit about being “occupied by a foreign power” is not true! … Er your opinion I feel.

    No. It’s an objective fact.

    Cahal

    Northern Ireland is no more a nation than my back yard is. Therein lies the problem, it is part of a distinct state (UK) and part of a distinct nation (Ireland) yet is not part of a nation state.

    No-one’s interested in “nations” anymore, Cahal. So old hat.

  • Realist

    Bobby,

    Like it or not, the fact is that Pat Jennings is NI’s most capped player. He is held in the highest regard amongst the Northern Ireland support, and has returned to Windsor Park on many occassions to watch the team play since his retirement. He is eulogised at Windsor Park in picture…our finest ever.

    Regarding Neil Lennon’s comments (or are they yours?), problems arose when Neil signed for Glasgow Celtic…some loyalist bigots (faithfull to Glasgow Rangers) could not bear the thought of a Celtic player captaining Northern Ireland…I suspect some nationalists/republicans couldn’t bear it either.

    Neil received no sectarian abuse during his days playing club football with Crewe and Leicester City from Northern Ireland fans.

    Catholics play at all levels for Northern Ireland…they do not receive sectarian abuse.

    Neil also is on record as praising the wide level of support he received from NI fans after the disgraceful actions of a mindless few.

    You may also be aware that a leading paper was taken to task for labelling a group of NI fans attending an Under 21 match in Scotland a couple of years ago “The Hate Mob”.

    Unfortunately they doctored their accompanying photo of the fans so that the banner they were displaying was airbrushed.

    The large banner read….”NI fans support Neil Lennon”

    The paper made an apology and donated a sizeable sum to charity on behalf of the supporters involved.

    The Lennon incidents were a catalyst…things have moved on rapidly.

    ANYONE who wears the green shirt of NI will have the full backing of the GAWA.

    Young Fogey,

    Your comments demonstrate an ignorance of what NI fans feel and what happens at Windsor Park on matchdays.

    If you want to close “perception gaps”, the best way to do it is to go along yourself.

    You may remember the recent article in the Starry Plough (hardly a Loyalist/Super Prod publication) written by a member of the IRSP…it makes for sobering reading for our begrudgers/detractors.

    He went along to see for himself…I respect that.

  • Young Fogey

    Your comments demonstrate an ignorance of what NI fans feel and what happens at Windsor Park on matchdays.

    Been there, done that and one even had the Gerry Armstrong t-shirt!

    Don’t jump to conclusions.

  • Reader

    maca: But you described yourself as N.Irish, British & Irish. I just wanted to know what this other Irish was if it’s not N.Irish.

    I’m with Realist on this. Surely “Irish” doesn’t need further qualification or subdivision – we already have two states, but plenty in common too – that’s “Irish”. But, if you must, let’s just say that I’m “Inclusively Irish”. You can be “Exclusively Irish” if you wish.

  • maca

    Reader
    “Surely “Irish” doesn’t need further qualification or subdivision – we already have two states, but plenty in common too – that’s “Irish”.

    Sure we have things in common, but do we have a common identity?

    “But, if you must, let’s just say that I’m “Inclusively Irish”. You can be “Exclusively Irish” if you wish.”

    Are you now making further subdivisions?
    I’ll define my own identity thanks. “Irish” will do.

  • Realist

    Young Fogey,

    “Been there, done that and one even had the Gerry Armstrong t-shirt!”

    That’ll have been a while ago then?

    When was the last time you attended?

  • Headmelter

    Willowfield,

    ‘The Neil Lennon incident was 4½ years ago, and was itself a one-match setback for the Football for All campaign. Sectarian singing had been eradicated beforehand and has not returned since.’

    There may well be some evidence to warrant a return if this is so.
    Although;

    ‘I haven’t got a ticket for the next match (it’s sold out),’

    Do you go often? On what do you base the assertion that sectarian singing has been eradicated?

    ‘Er, the bit about being “occupied by a foreign power” is not true! … Er your opinion I feel.
    No. It’s an objective fact.’

    Is it? where are the facts ? How is it objective?

  • Realist

    Some might find this recent article from the Starry Plough interesting:

    ARE “NORTHERN IRELAND” FOOTBALL SOPPORTERS SECTARIAN?
    It was 1979 and I was 16 years old. I found myself walking towards the “Village area” of Belfast to “Windsor Park”, the home of Linfield and “Northern Ireland” football. Not a safe place for Catholics at the best of times, but today I was with thousands of other “Catholics”, we were on our way to watch Cliftonville play against Linfield. It was meant to be a home match for Cliftonville, but Linfield refused to play at Solitude, the home of Cliftonville, so all their matches against Linfield were played at “Windsor Park”. The “Blues”, as Linfield are known in “football circles” said their supporters were in danger by attending away matches at Solitude. This goes back to 1970 or 71, when the I.R.A. shot over the heads of the “Huns” (as they were known to us) as they left Solitude after a match. The I.R.A. did this in response to the damage that the “Huns” were causing in the area before and after matches, damage to homes and cars etc. Locals put pressure on the “Ra” to do something about this, hence the shots into the air.
    Well that’s how it was explained to me when I asked why all the away matches were at “Windsor Park” when they played Linfield. I don’t know if this is true or not, but Glentoran and their supporters, who always played their away games at Solitude, were never shot at, never mind shots being fired over their heads. As a matter of fact, Glentoran believed that this was an excuse to give Linfield an advantage over all the other teams in the league.
    But back to 1979, as we got into the Village area we were “tunneled” into “Windsor Park” by the R.U.C., in other words, they lined the street on either side as we walked by. This might seem like good “Policing” on the face of it, but in effect, it just made us easy targets for the stones and bottles that were thrown over the roofs into the street at us. This did not really bother me, as I knew to expect it. What really frightened me was the venom that was spat at us from elderly women, who took to their upstairs windows to make sure we saw them, and called us all the names under the Sun. They brought photos of their Queen, union jacks and any other thing they thought we might find offensive. The hatred I saw in their faces as they shouted down at us is something I will never forget. Their cheers when one of us was hit by something, or more often than not, when the R.U.C. battered one of us, was unbelievable. After the match we had to run this gauntlet of sectarian hatred again as we made our way home.
    I used to wonder what it was that these elderly women hated about us, but I was never to find the answer. I also wondered if women like my Mother could be capable of such hatred. Though I doubted it, it did make me wonder.
    So when I was asked a few weeks ago would I go to watch Northern Ireland play Germany, I had my reservations, to say the least. I was on a course and the subject came up about the support for Northern Ireland being sectarian. Of-course it is, we all know that, don’t we? One of the people on the course was a supporter, and the next day he informed us the I.F.A. was willing to give us 20 tickets for the match. So there it is, I found myself having to back up my opinions or be proved wrong, and the only way to do that was to go to the match!
    So with a little bit more than fear, I made my way to the top of Tates Avenue to where we had agreed to meet. Although our group was very mixed I thought I stood out, a prime-evil fear no doubt. But being an ex-P.O.W. only made things worse, what if some one recognised me from the prison? What was I doing among all these “Huns” and I don’t mean the German supporters? Christ I don’t even like this team, why should I put myself through all this fear just because xxxxx xxxxx said I should do this course? Why didn’t he do it himself? All sorts of thoughts were running through my head. To top it all the only green I had to wear was either a Celtic or Ireland top, and as that was not an option, I brought an “Ulster” flag that I had got in circumstances that I will not go into. As we walked towards the ground things seemed to be pleasant enough, German supporters mixed with us, some people finished of their beer before they got to the ground as no alcohol is allowed in anymore. This walk was very different from the last time I did it, no elderly women shouting abuse, no stones coming over the roofs, no “tunneling” by the R.U.C. but still I felt I was walking into the lion’s den. One of the first things that surprised me after I went through the turn styles was two blokes wearing Ireland tops, now this was unreal, was a joke being played on me? No as it turned out. Into the stands I looked around and noticed how much the place had changed since 1979, it did look a lot better. As we waited for the match to start the lad that had got us the tickets said he was surprised I actually came, no where near as surprised as I was!!! So I settled in my seat and as the match started, I listened to the crowd and the songs they were singing, I had been told that there would no “Billy boys” songs; even the “Sash” was not sung anymore. This I found hard to believe as I thought it was the only two songs they knew!! I was also told that there would be no union jacks, and this turned out to be true, there was not one in the crowd. The singing was a surprise also, not one sectarian song was sung during the whole match. They didn’t have too many songs; it seems that “Northern Ireland” is a bit of a mouth full to fit in!!
    As the match progressed I started to feel a bit more at ease, we seemed to be in the “Family stand” as there was a lot of children running about. The crowd in the opposite stand started to do the “Dam Busters Tune” to try and annoy the German supporters. It didn’t work; maybe the Germans know that it is probably the most overrated operation of world war two. As the reason that I went to the match was to observe the crowd, I didn’t show too much interest in the actual match. As you probably know the Germans, down to 10 men for most of the match, won 4 to 1. I give out a bit of stick about this, as it showed how bad the “Northern Ireland” really is. At the end of the match the result of the Ireland-Israel was given out, this seem to get the loudest cheer of the whole night!!
    At home that night I thought about the crowd, had things really changed that much? As a teenager I saw real hatred, “Windsor Park” has seen some ugly scenes over the years. Some of them made it into the local media probably the most notable were the game against Ireland. That night the sectarian hatred was so bad that Irish supporters were not allowed into the ground. I was in prison that night and was listening to the match on the radio in my cell. Even in the prison I could hear the crowd over the broadcasters talk. Things got that bad Jack Charlton, the Irish manager at that time, wouldn’t sake the hand of Billy Bingham, the “Northern Ireland” manager, at the end of the match because he was inciting the crowd in its sectarian hatred. There was even a play made about this match because of the sectarianism that night.
    This and other notable sectarian events were the hallmark of “Windsor Park”. So for me to see such a change was challenging to say the least. My first thought was, well this is against the Germans, what if it was against Ireland? Would the “Dam Busters” and chants of “Healy, Healy give us a goal” have been enough for the crowd? Then again does that matter? The fact that the I.F.A. and their supporters are doing their best to get rid of sectarianism at these matches is a step forward.
    We as Republican Socialists, should always look at progressive steps in a manner that befits our beliefs. I am not asking us to run out and support “Northern Ireland” but to ignore any move, no matter how small, that comes from the Unionists people would be a mistake on our behalf. We are about uniting people, not dividing them. We do not tell people what they should or should not believe in. We will have to except that the people I saw in “Windsor Park” that night were passionate about their team, it was part of their identity, and if they are trying to get rid of sectarianism at these matches, why should we still be ignorant of their efforts?
    I didn’t believe that these changes were possible, again it was only one match, but I did see changes, massive changes when you think about it. I still feel nothing for or identify with anything that is “Northern Irish” but these people are sharing this island with us, and if we can not work with them or try to understand and come to identify with each other, then as a working class party we will fail to ever achieve any sort of working class unity. So to me the challenge is not for the “Northern Ireland” supporters and unionism to come to our way of thinking, but for us to try to understand and work with progressive unionists to find a way towards working class unity. After all it is said that horse racing is the sport of kings and that soccer is the sport of the working class, why not try from here to find some working class unity?
    Coming out of the ground I did feel that the I.F.A. were at least trying to end the overt bigotry and their supporters were playing their part in this also. But I felt a bit of sadness as I left, not only had Ireland dropped a few points against Israel, but as an Irish supporter I could no longer call this team “Northern Ireland nil”!!
    Xxxxxx xxxxxx, Ard Comhairle IRSP

  • Headmelter

    Interesting.
    If the IFA want to give me a couple of free tickets for the next match I’d be more than happy to check it out.

  • Henry94

    Good luck to all the boys in green tonight.

  • darthrumsfeld

    A thoughtprovoking piece from IRSP man. Fogey, you should come back, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And why shouldn’t the Ulster Rugby team also benefit from working class supporters, who aren’t familiar with every single nuance of the dark arts of the front row? Believe me, Windsor park is a great success story, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate the crowd tonight

    Gaaaaawwwn Norn Iron! get stuck into them English poofs ( as I hope Kate Hoey will say)

  • Realist

    Headmelter,

    “If the IFA want to give me a couple of free tickets for the next match I’d be more than happy to check it out.”

    You should have taken me up on my “Slugger Nationalist Challenge” which I posted a while back on another Norn Iron team related thread…You would have had a “freebie” at Windsor Park last Saturday and witnessed a very rare win 🙂

    I would echo Henry94’s comments…let’s hope that ALL supporters of boys in green have something to be happy about come 10PM.

  • maca

    As I said before, if they throw in plane tickets as well i’ll be there.

  • Young Fogey

    When was the last time you attended?

    1999.

    Oh, I will be supporting NI tonight.

    If they beat England, it’ll set me up to give out workplace abuse for the next 10 years or so… 😉

  • danny e

    listen northern ireland football is better than the GAA and at least our football teams players actually come from our country unlike the republic who seems 2 me more like the england B team!!! and after wednesday night we should b able 2 tank the republic as well due to them being full of player who cant even make the england bench!!!! as for windsor park i dont think i heard NOT ONE LOYALIST SONG!!!!! ill admit norn iron arent the best team in the world but the fans and players put there heart into every match and they finally got their rewards

  • danny e

    listen northern ireland football is better than the GAA and at least our football teams players actually come from our country unlike the republic who seems 2 me more like the england B team!!! and after wednesday night we should b able 2 tank the republic as well due to them being full of player who cant even make the england bench!!!! as for windsor park i dont think i heard NOT ONE LOYALIST SONG!!!!! ill admit norn iron arent the best team in the world but the fans and players put there heart into every match and they finally got their rewards

  • danny e

    listen northern ireland football is better than the GAA and at least our football teams players actually come from our country unlike the republic who seems 2 me more like the england B team!!! and after wednesday night we should b able 2 tank the republic as well due to them being full of player who cant even make the england bench!!!! as for windsor park i dont think i heard NOT ONE LOYALIST SONG!!!!! ill admit norn iron arent the best team in the world but the fans and players put there heart into every match and they finally got their rewards

  • redt

    “least our football teams players actually come from our country unlike the republic”

    Myke taylor ??????

  • willowfield

    Headmelter

    There may well be some evidence to warrant a return if this is so.

    It is so, and you should definitely return. You will be pleasantly surprised.

    Although; ‘I haven’t got a ticket for the next match (it’s sold out),’ Do you go often?

    Every match.

    On what do you base the assertion that sectarian singing has been eradicated?

    My ears.

    Is it? where are the facts ? How is it objective?

    The fact is that NI is part of the UK. It is objective because it is true.

  • bertie

    darthrumsfeld

    just noticed this

    “Gaaaaawwwn Norn Iron! get stuck into them English poofs ( as I hope Kate Hoey will say)”

    I doubt if she would put it quite like this. Kate’s not homophobic 😉