Wilson tackles anthem, Queen leaving Windsor …

COULD the Queen get the boot from Windsor, worries the News Letter. Robin Wilson of Democratic Dialogue thinks the building of the new Maze stadium could be the “right time for a new song”, in the same way that the other regions of the UK have their own distinctive pre-game ‘anthems’. Why not get rid of it? It’s tediously slow and capable of rousing neither players or fans – apart from those who insist on getting in their obligatory ‘No Surrender’ just before they ‘send her victorious’!

  • Cahal

    Why is this such a big deal. I imagine everybody who attends NI games is quite happy with the English/UK National Anthem being played. Changing it will hardly attract new fans. The only people complaining are people who would never attend anyway.

  • aquifer

    New song needed. Why should regional soccer be reserved for the prods? Fans of cultural aparteid cannot expect state funding for their big stadiums and corporate boxes.

  • TOT

    cahal,
    You imagine wrong, speaking as one fan who does attend the quicker they get rid of that dirge the better, in reality it politicises a sporting occasion – and this is one fan who leaves his politics at the door and expects everyone else to do the same.

    there is a pretty healthy debate on the matter within NI fan circles so good to see it being raised elsewhere.

  • TOT

    cahal,
    You imagine wrong, speaking as one fan who does attend the quicker they get rid of that dirge the better, in reality it politicises a sporting occasion – and this is one fan who leaves his politics at the door and expects everyone else to do the same.

    there is a pretty healthy debate on the matter within NI fan circles so good to see it being raised elsewhere.

  • IanK

    So if NI football fans must sacrifice the playing of God Save the Queen in this ‘new stadium for all’ what ideas have the GAA got to replace any ‘national’ anthem that they will play before matches at the new venue?

  • Henry94

    IanK

    The GAA won’t be using the venue.

  • DN

    Henry94

    I thought the GAA had agreed to use the proposed new venue for several fixtures a year ?

  • Northern FF

    Sorry Ian K, that well worn line doesn’t wash – at GAA games, none of the teams claim to represent the nation. They are instead part of a national sporting movement and as such the playing of the national anthem is entirely understandable and welcome.

    When Northern Ireland plays, it is claiming (presumably) to represent the aspirations of everyone in Northern Ireland and the reality is that almost half of the people here will never be moved by the British national anthem.

    Any counter argument about NI being part of the UK is nonsense – of course it is for now, but so are Wales and Scotland and they manage to stand at the start of games listening to the strains of anthems that mean something to all their people.

    There are no coherent arguments for keeping GSTQ at Northern Ireland games, but the unfortunate reality is that it will stay because of the ugly underbelly of NI soccer support (minority) who simply won’t allow it.

    Henry 94 – you say that the GAA won’t use any stadium – are you sure about that? Did Danny Murphy not already confirm Ulster Council interest in the project?

  • Henry94

    DN

    They had to say that or the stadium wouldn’t be built but they have no need of it. If a game is big enough it will go to Croke Park. Otherwise the gAA has enough facilities of its own.

    Soccer and Rugby need it but the GAA was put in a position where they would have been responsible for it not bing built if they were honest about their intentions.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I really don’t care for the Queen – what about God Save The Republic?

    Anyhow, what’s really amusing about this Newsletter story is that it’s the second ‘lift’ of a story from the Sunday World by the NL that’s been blogged by Slugger, the previous one being the PSNI warning to a SW journalist that he’s targeted by Provos – as if the super slick republican media machine would get their hands dirty in such a way. (It seems to me that it was a handy way for the PSNI to deflect criticism for their lack of action in the investigation into an actual murder of a SW journalist by unionist paramilitaries/drug dealers (delete as applicable).
    Why would any one bother to pick up the Newsletter on a Monday if all they’re carrying is slightly reheated copy from the previous day’s SW?
    Oops, I forgot, the unionist tub thumping is its unique selling point now. Far from the days that it was a revolutionary newspaper in favour of the United Irishmen…..

  • IanK

    Northern FF
    If GAA teams aren’t representing any so called nation then why play any national anthem at all? If the anthem is there to represent the nationality of the sporting movement or governing body (GAA), then is God Save the Queen not representing the nationality of the IFA?

  • Mike

    As a NI supporter and regular attender at matches for 16 years I’ve long held the view that we should have a NI-specific anthem.

  • slug

    Although I am fond of GSTQ, and it does it for me, I have no problem with a change. As the person above says, we can have something more discintively Northern Irish. If that makes some people more enthusiastic about supporting NI then all the better. We always want to maximize support for NI.

  • Slug

    Henry

    I think the idea was that the new stadium would be there for GAA as well as other sports, so as to create more shared spaces. However if the GAA actually don’t want to use it, they should be clear about this, and say that they don’t mind it going ahead without their participation, because the different pitch sizes mean that it would be better for rugby and association football to build a slightly smaller pitch.

  • foreign correspondent

    How about Slugger fielding suggestions for a new anthem for the N.I. team?
    That Paul McCartney fella is quite handy at writing a good tune so how about using one of his songs. There would be lots to choose from but imagine say the emotional atmosphere at Windsor Park if the fans started to belt out in unison…
    ´´Give Ireland back to the Irish´´
    Just a suggestion, like 🙂

  • Henry94

    Slug

    The government said that if the GAA weren’t going to use it then it wouldn’t be built at all.

  • slug

    Henry

    I believe the govt want GAA on board for ‘parity of esteem’ reasons. But if the GAA were to say its not a ‘parity of esteem’ issue for them then the government would be able to go ahead without them. I believe that this outcome would be better than building a large stadium and then the GAA not using it. I don’t think the GAA are really doing any favours to other sports if they are being dishonest. Although you are claiming they are being dishonest, I can only assume that they would not behave in that manner, which is quite reprehensible for such a major investment of public money.

  • beano

    The GAA will use the stadium, that’s why the size was increased from 30k to 42k.

    Now back on topic. Many fans will resist a move to change the anthem but many support it. I think many more would support it if someone came up with a credible alternative.

    I personally don’t have a problem with GSTQ, but I also don’t have a problem with changing it to something else, if that something else is a) distinctly Northern Irish and b) a decent song.

    Unfortunately I don’t know any song that meets both those requirements.

  • slug

    beano

    Sis you see Sunday Life’s story that the stadium is to be ajustable so that it can go from 30k to 42k depending on the game? What do the NI fans think of this idea – surely it is good?

    Do you know if the issue of pitch size has been addressed? e.g. is there there a plan for adjustability on that as well?

  • Mike

    “The GAA will use the stadium, that’s why the size was increased from 30k to 42k”

    Indeed, which unfortunately has meant the IRFU Ulster Branch are hardly going to use it and its in all likelihood going to be very unsuitable for the football as well.

  • beano

    Very true Mike. Although it might give the IRFU a little more incentive to play the odd Ireland match there. So that’s 1 game every year if we’re lucky!

    One thing that’s been mentioned the odd time – what if the Northern Ireland team was to introduce a second anthem like the Ireland rugby team have, to run alongside GSTQ?

  • Northern FF

    Ian K, I recommend you look again at my earlier post, where your questions are answered.

    If your aim is to raise a new suggestion – that all IFA games should be preceded by GSTQ, go for it. I’m sure there are plenty who’d have a view on it.

    I don’t have a view on that because I have absolutely no interest in Irish league soccer. My point, which I’ve already explained above, realtes to International games, where the stated aim of the IFA is to get everyone who lives here involved.

    One more thing – I’ve often heard Jim Boyce et al publicly wondering why some people in NI are offended by the playing of GSTQ. The truth is that I, and I expect many like me, aren’t offended at all by it. But if they want me to spend my cash and actively support the team, they need to raise the bar a little higher than not offending me.

  • Mike

    Northern FF –

    Would you go and support NI if GSTQ was replaced with a NI anthem?

  • P Ring

    Wasn’t the Derry Air, oops, Londonderry air, feck it, Danny Boy used for events and gatherings as representing ‘Northern Ireland’ in a non-partisan way? It’s a well worn tune but familiar and comforting and surely preferable to the comically absurd and dirgey GSTQ.

  • eranu

    id like to see a new NI anthem too, something that both sides in NI can relate to…. possibley ‘Firestarter’ from The Prodigy would be suitable 🙂

  • IanK

    Northern FF
    You haven’t really answered the question. If GAA teams are not reflective of nationalities then why is the national anthem and flag of the Republic of Ireland used at games? How is this supposed to persuade me to show any support to a GAA team in my local area or county?

  • Dick Doggins

    In GAA circles especially in Ulster feelings are running high concerning any participation in this new stadium. Firstly theres the Clones issue and they for one don`t want to lose any major games and then theres Casement Park, a modern stadium which some say should now take over from Clones. Added to that, games being moved to Croke Park!
    So where are the GAA going to find the games to move to this venue??

    And an issue that some seem not to mention theres a groundswell of Ulster GAA supporters in total oposition to this new Maze stadium.

  • slug

    Dick – you guys should get together with the football and rugby people. It seems stupid that the govt would impose something on the fans.

  • Northern FF

    Ian K, to quote from my original post:

    “at GAA games, none of the teams claim to represent the nation. They are instead part of a national sporting movement and as such the playing of the national anthem is entirely understandable and welcome.”

    I think that’s pretty clear. And as I said in my second posting, you are entitled to compare like-with-like and ask whether there there should be a NI flag and anthem before Irish League games. I don’t care.

    Once again, I’m talking about INTERNATIONAL soccer games where the IFA claims to want to attract everyone from NI to come along and actively support the Northern Ireland team.

  • Northern FF

    Dick – arguments about Casement aside, do you think there would be more appetite for a 40k stadium if it was built in Belfast?

  • Northern FF

    Mike – if the IFA made the move to drop GSTQ on the basis that they were trying to allow more people to feel a part of it, I’d have to say yes. I’d buy a ticket, go along, have a look and see what’s going on.

    I can’t say that I’d turn into any major fan – I have a dislike of any sports teams that encourge catholics and Prods to support “their own” teams when they should be on the same side (ROI included). But I’d have a look.

  • Dick Doggins

    “do you think there would be more appetite for a 40k stadium if it was built in Belfast?”

    The main problem I see with any alternative venue is that the GAA are still a very insular and secretive organisation when its comes to Finances!!!
    As to any benefits of moving the stadium to Belfast, surely it`ll always come down to the traditionalists within the GGA movement being very reticent in sharing a ground with any other sport no-matter where the stadium is located.

  • Dick Doggins

    Slug

    The only games I foresee being played at the Maze site would be exhibitions.

  • IanK

    Northern FF
    My point is if GAA teams do not represent a nation then why attach national emblems such as flags and anthems to them by playing or flying these at games? Presumably at the international rules games the tricolour will be used. How can this be reflective when a number of the team (Tyrone players) do not live in the Irish Republic?

  • T.Ruth

    The business case for a new multi purpose stadium at the Maze requires the long term and whole hearted participation of all the major sports and particularly Rugby, Association Football and the G.A.A.It would be necessary for each organisation to commit to a number of major events over a lengthy period of time to make the stadium viable in terms of its future maintenance once the money -mostly from government(British) sources-is raised for the project; money that can not be transferred to other projects and only available one time for the specific purpose.
    I would contend that those sports bodies which do not commit should be denied future government funding for the development of their sport and facilities.Here is a great opportunity for cross community co-operation.
    In the matter of the National Anthem we should follow the example when games are played at major venues in the Republic-i.e. the appropriate National Anthem and any sport related anthem that would encourage solidarity.
    When I attend sporting events in the Republic I have no difficulty in standing for their National Anthem even though it is a little rascist in tone.I expect those who do not perceive themselves as British to show similar respect for the anthem of the United Kingdom when played at a venue within the United Kingdom.
    The GAA would be under no obligation to play either anthem at games and might feel the need to use an alternative song which could help make what is essentially a very exclusive sport more welcoming-less of a cold house for Protestants.
    If someone from a Nationalist background does not feel able to sing at soccer games that is also reasonable but the greater majority of fans can not be expected to submit to the tearful undemocratic moaning of the minority in matters which do not interfere with their rights..

  • Setanta

    Question, If the Irish rugby team played in this new stadium would GSTQ be played ? How would the majority of supporters feel about that ?
    Flying the Tricolor at GAA games in the sick counties is just a fact of life. The GAA is an Irish cultural and sporting organisation and i dare say the flag is the national flag of all Gaels.

  • George

    T.Ruth,
    Irish anthem racist? Hmmm, that old chestnut. The men of the Pale are of Saxon stock too you know so I’d love to know how you explain that one.

    The GAA is not a cold house for Protestants but it is a cold house for people who want nothing to do with Irish games, culture, language and pastimes. There are many Irish Protestants who get on fine in the GAA.

    Or is one only a Protestant in Ireland if one considers oneself British? That’s a bit selective of you.

    Anyway, why should an organisation which is there to promote Irish culture become more British, surely it is for the British in Ireland to promote their own pastimes rather than whining that nobody is accommodating them?

    Unionists, for the most part, don’t consider themselves part of the Irish nation and I’ve never heard one say the GAA represents them.

    I don’t care what the Ulster Scots Agency does or sings when it meets up, for example.

    As for the Maze, it is not a national stadium to the best of my knowledge so why do you call it such?

  • slug

    Relax George!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “The only people complaining are people who would never attend anyway”.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head Cahal.

    As the banner read in Windsor on that never to be forgotten Wednesday September evening,
    “We’ll Show England How To Sing The Queen”.

    Northern Ireland fans are patriotic, not sectarian. We’re proud, not prejudiced.

    That is more than I can say for a large section of nationalist politicians. The conversation with Gerry Kelly, who when asked if he would support Northern Ireland against England later that evening, went along these lines;

    Kelly: “Well as you know I always like to see the English get beat”.

    Reporter: “So that means you’re supporting Northern Ireland tonight?”

    Kelly: “I’m supporting the Republic”.

    Just one example of the naked sectarian bigotry of some nationalist politicians, which should have no place in sport as far as I’m concerned. Our national side should unite, not divide us…

  • Keith M

    I like to counter foreign correspondent’s suggestion of choosing something for Paul McCarney’s drug hazed years, but instead of the nonsense of “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” why not use the follow-up single “Mary Had A Little Lamb” or perhaps something of a later vintage like “The Frog Chorus”. Yes I can see them all now in Windsor Park going “bom bom bom…”.

    Seriously Northern Ireland does need a new and agred anthem and flag. I think that “Danny Boy” might make a good anthem or failing that how’s about using Ulsterman Phil Coulter’s “Ireland’s Call”? As for a flag, I have about ten designs in my head!

    I do think that the Republic could do with a new modern anthem as well, even going back to our orginal anthem would be an improvement (and I say that a a practising agnostic!).

  • smcgiff

    “Ireland’s Call”?

    ‘One proud province of Northern Ireland’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    ‘a practising agnostic’

    Does one have to practice at being an agnostic? Is there a fear of reverting to faith. 😉

  • Keith M

    Smcgiff “One proud province of Northern Ireland” could be “One proud province of Ulster!”.

    “Does one have to practice at being an agnostic?” Absolutely, I have to sacrifice a virgin at least once a month or I’ll fall prey to the old ladies with the rosary beads!

  • Dec

    That is more than I can say for a large section of nationalist politicians. The conversation with Gerry Kelly, who when asked if he would support Northern Ireland against England later that evening, went along these lines;

    Kelly: “Well as you know I always like to see the English get beat”.

    Reporter: “So that means you’re supporting Northern Ireland tonight?”

    Kelly: “I’m supporting the Republic”.

    Just one example of the naked sectarian bigotry of some nationalist politicians…

    Sorry , but could you highlight the ‘naked sectarian bigotry’ in that exchange for me, CL?
    Strikes me as a fairly good-humoured exchange.
    I wait with baited breath for your other examples.

  • Keith M

    Setanta : “If the Irish rugby team played in this new stadium would GSTQ be played ?” Yes, the IRFU have a very sensible arrangement on anthems. If the Irish team plays in the Republic, then “The Soldier’s Song” is plays as the Irish anthem, if they play in Northern Irelasnd “God Save The Queen” is played as the Irish anthem. They also play “Ireland’s Call” as the team anthem.

    Up to the early 1950s the Irish team used to regularly play games at Ravenhill, but today it only tends to be the odd underage game.

  • George

    slug,
    I’ll try but the “racist” comment got my dander up.

    CL,
    British patriotism by the British people in Northern Ireland is fine while Irish patriotism by the Irish people in Northern Ireland is “naked sectarian bigotry”?

    Supremely arrogant of you methinks.

  • Mike

    Keith –

    I’d be willing to bet a small fortune that if and when any Ireland rugby games are played at the new stadium in Belfast, the IRFU’s policy will miraculously change!

  • Dessertspoon

    First draft needs a lot of work…..

    Oh Norn Iron, the people, they are calling

    From glen to glen, and down to Forestside

    The summer’s gone, and all the bonfires dying

    From you, from you some go but I must bide.

    They’ll come back when summer’s in the meadow

    Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow

    But I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow

    Oh Norn Iron, oh Norn Iron, I love you so.

  • Northern FF

    “the greater majority of fans can not be expected to submit to the tearful undemocratic moaning of the minority in matters which do not interfere with their rights..”

    That kind of sums up the attitude methinks. All the talk about Northern Ireland soccer team being a team for the whole community is just that – talk.

    No one is saying that GSTQ is interfering with my rights. And I’m not offended by it. But I’m an Irish citizen living in NI and it’s a pity that the so-called ‘national’ team for where I live can’t understand that.

    Again, not offending people isn’t enough to encourage them to be part of something.

    And Ian K – you ask the ludicrous question ‘why will players from the North stand for the National Anthem suring the International Rules series when they are not from the Irish Republic?’ I imagine you’ll find that each and every one of them are Irish citizens.

    This equality thing just isn’t sinking in, is it?

  • Mike

    Northern FF –

    “And Ian K – you ask the ludicrous question ‘why will players from the North stand for the National Anthem suring the International Rules series when they are not from the Irish Republic?’ I imagine you’ll find that each and every one of them are Irish citizens.”

    Erm, an issue over ‘inclusiveness’ there surely?

    I’m proud the NI team has always been comprised of all sections of our community.

    “I can’t say that I’d turn into any major fan – I have a dislike of any sports teams that encourge catholics and Prods to support “their own” teams when they should be on the same side (ROI included).”

    Could you exlpain what you mean by this, I’m unsure as to what you’re saying?

  • foreign correspondent

    Of course there is also ´The Luck of the Irish´ by John Lennon up for consideration. Or what about a conciliatory one: ´We Can Work it Out´? Or what about ´You´ve got to hide your love away´ which could be dedicated equally to N.I supporters on the Falls and GAA fans on the Shankill. I´ll get me coat…

  • Northern FF

    Mike

    What I’m saying is that I object to ‘national’ teams that recognise the border as they encourage Catholics to support one team and Protestants to support the other. That objection extends to the Republic of Ireland soccer team.

  • Northern FF

    “I’m proud the NI team has always been comprised of all sections of our community.”

    Surely then this should be reflected by the IFA’s anthem policy Mike?

  • Mike

    Northern FF –

    “What I’m saying is that I object to ‘national’ teams that recognise the border as they encourage Catholics to support one team and Protestants to support the other. That objection extends to the Republic of Ireland soccer team.”

    I think that’s extrememly unfair – it basically paints any Northern Ireland team in any sport as ‘sectarian’ in composition and lauds the idea of all-Ireland teams as some sort of glowing panacea against that sort of thing. For me it goes alongside those who say things like “sure why would you object to an all-Ireland team, wouldn’t it be great if we could all come together in one team” – I really resent this position as it paints those who simply want to support the (cross-community) NI team as divisive, anti-reconcilation by nature. What’s wrong with everyone in NI uniting behind NI teams?

    “Surely then this should be reflected by the IFA’s anthem policy Mike?”

    I have to say, the argument I’ve always made for a change of anthem, aside from the belief the NI teamshould have a NI anthem, is that it’s embarrassing (to me at least) seeing half our team not singing etc, when the national anthem should act as a bit of a rallying call for the team. (By the ay if I were an Irish rugby fan I’d find the similar situation a tad embarrassing too).

  • smcgiff

    ‘The summer’s gone, and all the bonfires dying’

    The summer’s here, and all the bonfires, cars, Irish flags are blazing

  • Northern FF

    “I think that’s extrememly unfair – it basically paints any Northern Ireland team in any sport as ‘sectarian’ in composition and lauds the idea of all-Ireland teams as some sort of glowing panacea against that sort of thing.”

    No Mike,I haven’t claimed anywhere that NI teams are inherently sectarian , nor that all-Ireland teams are are any sort of panacea. It is simply my view that the reality of life on this island is that when sporting teams recognise the border, the population split along sectarian lines to support the team ‘they’re supposed to’.

    As regards your point that the anthem should be a rallying call for the whole team and its support base, I’m with you 100%, which is why I argue that dropping GSTQ is an absolute pre-requisute if the IFA is serious about encouraging nationalists to actively suppoprt the team.

    By the way, with the exception of soccer, what other team field sports have a Northern Ireland team?

  • BogExile

    NEW ANTHEM

    We shot one
    We shot two
    We shot xxx more than you (use CAIN to set figure according to denomination)
    Good crack, heart attack
    Miltown and the Somme
    Nobel peace prize and car bomb.

    That’s covered all important national characteristics/achievements surely?

  • smcgiff

    I do think an amended Danny Boy would make an excellent NI Anthem.

    Slugger Competition?

  • slug

    Londonderry Air requires too great a vocal range for most singers.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Londonderry Air requires too great a vocal range for most singers.’

    I think it could be sung in a lower key.

  • cladycowboy

    Anyone know GSTQ in Ulster-Scots? I’d give that a go for the crack 😉

  • smcgiff

    May need to rethink Danny Boy after all.

    Interesting website http://www.standingstones.com/dannyboy.html

    ‘To begin with, Danny Boy is one of over 100 songs composed to the same tune. The author was an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929), who was also a songwriter and radio entertainer. In 1910 he wrote the words and music for an unsuccessful song he called Danny Boy. In 1912 his sister-in-law in America sent him a tune called the Londonderry Air (or possibly something else, as discussed in Section 3), which he had never heard before. He immediately noticed that the melody was perfectly fitted to his Danny Boy lyrics, and published a revised version of the song in 1913. As far as is known, Weatherly never set foot in Ireland.’

  • smcgiff

    ‘Anyone know GSTQ in Ulster-Scots? I’d give that a go for the crack ;)’

    Don’t ya mean ‘craic’!

  • cladycowboy

    ‘Don’t ya mean ‘craic’!’

    Ah now, that would be my spelling but sure its ‘crack’ in U-S,although you’ve just put the thought of GSTQ in Gaelic into my mind…(would anybody sing that one)!

  • IJP

    IanK

    It took all of four posts for the ‘whataboutery’ to get started…!

    If a separate anthem is good enough for Scotland and Wales, I’d’ve thought it good enough for NI.

    If the GAA wishes to remain a Nationalist-only club, let it be judged on that. That’s nothing to do with soccer.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Ah now, that would be my spelling but sure its ‘crack’ in U-S,’

    I think doing it for the CRACK in the US has a TOTALLY different meaning!

    ‘…(would anybody sing that one)!’

    Macca could supply the lyrics!

    At a guess, GSTQ = Dia sábháil na Banríona

  • Mike

    “It is simply my view that the reality of life on this island is that when sporting teams recognise the border, the population split along sectarian lines to support the team ‘they’re supposed to’.”

    I don’t believe that necessarily has to be the case. And I think those who would refuse to support a NI team simply because it’s NI team are responsible for their own position – as indeed there are some people who would not support all-Ireland teams.

    “By the way, with the exception of soccer, what other team field sports have a Northern Ireland team?”

    The only other team field sports I can think of at all (exclsuing gaelic games which don’t really have an international game and are overseen by a nationalist organisation) are rugby union, hockey, cricket (which have all-Ireland teams – though rugby union also has a British-Irish touring side, and in hockey players from NI can opt to play for Great Britain or Ireland)) and rugby league (which has a British Isles team). I don’t see why this should have any bearing on football though, any more than the fact that England and Wales being combined in cricket means they should have a combined rugby team, or there being a Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletics team mean there should be a combined UK football team.

  • looking in

    Well, GSTQ can Go To F*ck – I am never standing up to a song with rebellious Scots to crush lyrics.

    If NI want a separate identity for the footie team it is puzzlling that they need GSTQ – Which is supposibly the British National anthem – and the region of NI is not Britain (whole) – so time to come up with a new ditty

    It is an amusing argument – NI can’t have too Irish a tune but at same time it is somewhat anchronistic in a devolved UK to resort to a Georgian dirge – will the real NI cultural idenity stand up and nominate a tune?

  • T.Ruth

    George

    Perhaps you viewed my contribution through green tinted spectacles-I did not refer to the Maze project as a national stadium-choosing deliberately the term multi-purpose stadium to avoid offending anyone’s sensitivities.
    Without full support over a prolonged period from all the major potential users the business case will not stand.
    The separate argument about those who live in Northern Ireland accepting that they live in the United Kingdom is important.

    In the future United Ireland which you so earnestly seek will people of a Unionist persuasion be required to live under the tricolour and have the “Soldiers Song” as their anthem or will those emblems and other institutions of “26 county” Ireland be hurriedly changed to accomodate the 1.1million Protestants who are to be absorbed into your dream country.

    It is time Republicans adopted the sort of pragmatic approach one hears from Alistair McDonnell which is about accepting present demographic and political realities and working to build a better Northern Ireland for all our people.
    Having held us all back for forty years with its ballot box and armalite strategy, having brought such devastation and hurt to so many families on both sides, it would be sad if Republicans held us back for another forty years with a ballot box and bank robbing approach to politics and holding out the prospect of Irish unity in any of our lifetimes. We need unity of purpose to solve our social and economic problems-the question of “the border” and political unity should be taken out of everyone’s thinking until we solve the massive problems that face us all.

  • TOT

    fairly straightforward argument in my view, any NI sporting occasion should be representitve of NI, and if there is a stand alone anthem to support that great.

    What it should not be is an occasion to demonstrate that NI is a part of UK, I cant see why anyone would have a problem with this? There is plenty of other outlets to express Britishness/Irishness or whatever or “ess” you want.

    personally I feel embarrased wheneverGSTQ is played I mean are we that incapable we cant come up with a song for ourselves.

    also think GSTQ remains an outlet for the knuckle draggers among NI support to shout No surrender – this has gone way down thanks to Football for all etc and the efforts of NI fans in particular but why keep it?

    Leaving the GAA/IRFU/NASA/UN out of this (they can look after themselves) can somebody explain to me the downside of changing the anthem?

  • Realist

    If the National Anthem is changed to a new, sporting anthem for Northern Ireland games (something which I favour strongly), what excuse will nationalists have then for not supporting their local team?

  • smcgiff

    ‘what excuse will nationalists have then for not supporting their local team?’

    It just aint cricket! 😉

  • George

    T.Ruth,
    sincerest apologies, indeed you did not mention national stadium.

    “In the future United Ireland which you so earnestly seek will people of a Unionist persuasion be required to live under the tricolour and have the “Soldiers Song” as their anthem or will those emblems and other institutions of “26 county” Ireland be hurriedly changed to accomodate the 1.1million Protestants who are to be absorbed into your dream country.”

    That is for the people of Ireland to decide if that day comes, not me. As a citizen, it is for me to live with the democratic wishes of the people of Ireland. If they want Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer as the national anthem, I won’t be happy but I’ll live it.

    There are around 700,000 Protestants to be “absorbed” as you put it, not 1.1 million.

    The bomb and ballot republicans won 5 out of 166 seats where I come from so that is their relevance to the Irish Republic in 2005.

    If the IRA has really gone and the bomb is gone then SF might get more next time around.

    Looking to the future, I live in hope that one day unionists do work to build a better Ireland and not just a better Northern Ireland. Pragmatism doesn’t stop at the border.

    I look forward to the day unionism respects my country and my country’s symbols.

    But if the majority in Northern Ireland see a better Northern Ireland can only come about as part of a unitary Irish state, I will not be the one to say “not in my lifetime”.

    Unity of purpose should not preclude unity just as it should not preclude the continuation of partition.

    You want to solve the massive problems but that means you have to keep all options open, including unification.

    That said, you’d be surprised at how many southerners are rooting for you to succeed in making this partition thing last a bit longer.

    But the onus is on unionism to make partition work as it is unionism’s dream, not mine. Best of luck with your dream, but if you don’t mind I’ll keep working to show Irish self-determination is the way forward for this island in the 21st century.

  • T.Ruth

    George
    I greatly respect your country,its people and its emblems-I am merely asking that people respect mine.
    The people who demean your flag are those who have mis-appropriated it and use it to foment discord.It has been commandeered here in NI by Sinn Fein/IRA and in Unionist eyes it seems it is often used to promote sectarian strife which we all deplore.
    Unionists are not going to leave- they are a fact of life-and a peaceful future must require that they are granted parity of esteemm,equality and freedom to express their culture and observe their traditions-as equal partners with all who inhabit the island of Ireland.

  • Alan McDonald

    More on the “Danny Boy issue. Malachy McCourt (brother of Frank) even wrote a book on the subject. It says the song was “recorded by everyone from Tony Bennett to Joan Baez to Black 47.” That’s enough to give one pause right there.

  • Dec

    Equal partners, eh? Let’s put that down to the test. You say you want to march down my street. The residents of my street say no. What happens then?

  • smcgiff

    ‘What happens then?’

    I’m guessing it’s too much to expect everyone to get a life?

  • willowfield

    Northern FF

    Sorry Ian K, that well worn line doesn’t wash – at GAA games, none of the teams claim to represent the nation. They are instead part of a national sporting movement and as such the playing of the national anthem is entirely understandable and welcome.

    But why is the Southern anthem played in Northern Ireland?

    But I’m an Irish citizen living in NI and it’s a pity that the so-called ‘national’ team for where I live can’t understand that.

    You mean you’re an ROI citizen living in NI. If you lived in Scotland, would you expect the ‘national’ team for Scotland to “understand that”, presumably by playing a different anthem?

    What I’m saying is that I object to ‘national’ teams that recognise the border as they encourage Catholics to support one team and Protestants to support the other. That objection extends to the Republic of Ireland soccer team.

    So, you expect unionists to be magnanimous and to support an all-Ireland team, yet nationalists should not be expected magnanimously to support a NI team? That is terrible hypocrisy.

    Setanta

    Question, If the Irish rugby team played in this new stadium would GSTQ be played ?

    According to IRFU policy, then, yes, it would. I imagine they would desperately try and change the policy, though, if the prospect looked like it was going to become reality.

    Flying the Tricolor at GAA games in the sick counties is just a fact of life. The GAA is an Irish cultural and sporting organisation and i dare say the flag is the national flag of all Gaels.

    All “Gaels” – what’s with this seemingly racist distinction? If the GAA is an Irish “cultural and sporting organisation”, presumably this covers the whole island, and not just the Republic?