The IFA, anthems.. but not the stadium

Yesterday’s Observer carried a report, by Henry McDonald, on the Democratic Dialogue report, commissioned by the IFA, and its recommendations for extending the Football Offences Act, an end to the policy of no soccer games on a Sunday, and replacing “God Save the Queen” with a less controversial anthem, in line with both Wales and Scotland, the anthem to be selected through a competition. Paul, The Northern Irish Magyar, adds his thoughts here – “All but one of them I’d have no problem with” – and the BBC have quotes from Robin Wilson of Democratic Dialogue on the anthem.. but not the location of the stadium.

  • “The anthem to be selected through a competition”

    This is the first new bit to the story I’ve heard. I’m not convinced though. Of the fans who have a problem with changing the anthem, there are many who don’t have an ideological objection, but feel there is no better alternative (Danny Boy just isn’t suitable for a football match or, I don’t think, as an anthem generally – but that’s a whole debate in itself).

    The debate has been done ad nauseum at OWC – and the problem always seems to come back to “replace it with what?”

    Right back to the point – I wouldn’t hold my breath on a competition producing anything remotely inspiring. It’s ok for something like the PSNI badge, but when it comes to something that people will feel strongly about, I’m fearful that the winner of any competition will be some sterilised emotionless piece – happy to be proved wrong though.

  • Keith M

    I can’t see what’s wrong with “Danny Boy”, some countries national anthems are far drearier. The Israeli national anthem is absolutly beautiful, and it’s just as maudin as “Danny Boy”.

  • John East Belfast

    I would go for the Hymn

    “Be Thou My Vision….. ”

    which is also known as St Patrick’s Breastplate – I am not sure why but I believe it has Irish connections.

    It is a truly rousing and passionate song and should be acceptable.

    However if we did dispense with it I would like England to do likewise – ie if the 4 constituent parts of the UK have their own song when they play individually then I dont think that is a bad thing.

    The strength of the Union should rely on the 4 ancient territories respecting one another individually but being United as they realise they have much more in common than divides them.

    The National Anthem of the UK is GSTQ and I am proud to be able to sing it with gusto when the occasion arises.

    I am relaxed about that not being the case when NI play at Windsor Park

  • Ringo

    Danny Boy is complete cack.

    There isn’t much point in replacing a situation where a large section of your population (nationalists) won’t go to games because the anthem makes the feel uncomfortable with a situation where a large section of your population (those with taste) won’t go to games because the anthem makes them feel like vomitting.

  • Keith M

    Ringo, if Northern Ireland fans can stomach the level of football played by the home side then I’m sure they can survive “Danny Boy”.

  • Brian Boru

    GSTQ is definitely a no-no for Northern Catholics. It might get more (any?) going to games if the anthem is dropped and replaced by “Danny Boy” or something else.

    How about “The Mountains of Mourne” alternatively?

  • iluvni

    Those with no allegiance to Northern Ireland due to an intense hatred of the very existence of the country, aren’t going to start attending and supporting us just because GSTQ isn’t played any more.

    Personally I’d prefer a change though, not to appease the ‘unappeaseable’ (new word?!!), but to identify NI more in it’s own right. GSTQ should be used on UK occasions only in my opinion, not when our individual nations are playing. Scotland and Wales have the right idea.

    Danny Boy works perfectly well at the Commonwealth Games….it’d do me at Windsor….and the world knows it too.
    Spare us some other contrived bullshit tune penned by Phil Coulter.

  • Gonzo

    What about ‘You Raise Me Up’ that Brian Kennedy sung at George Best’s funeral – any takers?

  • Mark

    No, no, no! Might no anthem at all be an option? “We’re not very good” would be a better one than Danny Boy or You Raise Me Up!

  • Jamboni

    How about “God Save The Team” ? It can work on two levels.

  • Suspect Device by the Stiffs would be a good one methinks. The opening line describes Northern Ireland perfectly “Inflamable material planted in my head….”

    Billy Bragg has an article on his website (which I have commented on) saying God Save the Queen should only be played when there is a British team, not an English team or Northern Irish team. Bragg is in favour of the English adopting Jerusalem as their sporting national anthem. If they did, where would that leave little old northern ireland?

    I don’t care what it is as long as that moaning minny Brian Kennedy doesn’t sing it.

  • Cahal

    As someone who quite likes Danny Boy, I hope it isn’t hijacked by the n Ireland soccer team.

    Let them sing GSTQ. Who cares what they sing anyway? Their fans seem quite happy about it en masse. They’ll be singing the Soldiers Song soon enough anyway.

  • Ringo

    ‘You Raise Me Up’ by Brian Kennedy

    Yikes!

    Put Brian Kennedy in a box,
    put the box in to the car,
    drive the car around to the other side of the world,
    and leave it there.

  • Keith M

    “You Raise Me Up” is an interesting suggestion, it was of course written by two Eurovision Song Contest winners. So in the same vein, how’s about “All Kinds Of Everything”, it was after all sung by “a wee girl from the Bogside”.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Is it yourself that runs that Eurovision website?

  • Keith M

    Gonzo
    Guilty as charged!!
    http://www.keithm.utvinternet.ie/

  • Belfast Gonzo

    LOL!

    I was looking for you a while ago about that site, but couldn’t remember what Sluggerette it was I was after.

    Hadn’t the time to do much about it that day, but maybe you could drop me an email, if you can be bothered.

  • Realist

    “As someone who quite likes Danny Boy, I hope it isn’t hijacked by the n Ireland soccer team.”

    Why would you like it any less if it was Cahal?

  • Cahal

    Because then it would become associated with one side in the North. That, Realist, is the reality.

  • John East Belfast

    Cahal

    That’s an interesting reality – ie lets remove one anthem because it alienates ‘one side in the north’ and replace it with another so that it can also assume that mantle

    What you are saying is it is not the anthem that matters.

    Therefore why change it at all

  • John,
    “What you are saying is it is not the anthem that matters”

    I agree completely. Let’s get rid of the team altogether. Then lets get rid of the border.

    Seriously though, I do agree. I can only speak for myself, but if the n Ireland team wore tricolours and sang A Nation Once Again, they would still be the ‘Northern Ireland’ team. Rightly or wrongly, I feel zero affinity for the concept of Northern Ireland as a nation and international football is all about affinity. So logically I don’t think I would ever support them.

    The conclusion of this logic is that I am generally apathetic to anything they do, anthems, flags etc. Whatever.

    I think people who get their knickers in a knot about NI soccer XI playing GSTQ usually have other motives.

  • John East Belfast

    Cahal

    What are those other motives ?

  • “What are those other motives ?”

    Well, this being the North, any excuse to slag off and irritate the other side… don’t you think?

    Both sides have people who cant just ‘live and let live’.

    I’ve said before, I’ll only have a problem with GSTQ being sung when Windsor park is put on wheels and driven up and down my street for two weeks in July. People can do what they want where it is welcome.

  • james orr

    Cahal,
    Ever had the cojones to actually go to an international match at Windsor to find out what its really like – or are you just a woose? 😉

  • Keith M

    One last suggestion, why not adopt the original national anthem of this country; “God Save Ireland”. Keep the rousing chorus and re-write the verses for a modern context.

  • DanDaMan

    Well no debate from maybe six months ago onward concerning the Northern Ireland football team would be complete without a post from the lad who posts about little else lol

    As I have posted before, I would echo one constant opinion aired here and in general, that being that the playing of GSTQ should be reserved for occasions when the entire United Kingdom is in representation, with each member state of the Kingdom having an individual anthem reflecting a more personalised identity.

    Danny Boy has often been espoused as a possibility for Northern Ireland, though recently I have thought of “I Vow To Thee My Country”, which I think is quite a rousing tune, until I realised its perhaps a little too militaristic in tone.

    My reasoning for not objecting to the idea of creating or adopting an individual NI anthem is not grounded in a desire to encourage more people to attend matches at Windsor Park. This would be a very welcome side-effect, but my main objective would be a greater sense of personalised identity for NI, existent concurrently with a sense of unity with our fellow Britons elsewhere. One point that seems to elude people, particularly the so called “PC Brigade” is that most football supporting Nationalists will refuse to pledge allegiance or affinity to the very concept of Northern Ireland, and would therefore would not be in the slightest inclined to lend full-scale support to its representative football team. (I was discussing this very issue with a good friend and Catholic Nationalist just a few hours ago, and discovered that said friend would NEVER EVER (irony? lol) step foot inside Windsor Park for a NI match.) Granted, there may be either greater praise and/or less reason to bash the team depending on which way you look at it, from the Nationalist perspective if the anthem were changed to something more inclusive, but praise for efforts doesnt equal tickets and merchandise bought or support granted.

    Should the anthem be changed, let it be changed for positive pro-NI reasons (inclusivity included) rather than simple appeasement of people who either dont care at all and/or wont be trully satisfied until the country no longer exists.

    On another NI note, any whispers from anyone on a possible benefit match for George Best?

  • Cahal

    James Orr
    “Ever had the cojones to actually go to an international match at Windsor to find out what its really like – or are you just a woose? ;-)”

    I’m sure it’s just dandy James and I don’t feel threatened or anything sinister like that. I just have no interest, Win lose or draw – whatever.

  • Brian Boru

    The name of Windsor Park is also too divisive. Rename it George Best park or something.

  • Realist

    “if the n Ireland team wore tricolours and sang A Nation Once Again, they would still be the ‘Northern Ireland’ team. Rightly or wrongly, I feel zero affinity for the concept of Northern Ireland as a nation and international football is all about affinity. So logically I don’t think I would ever support them.”

    Cahal,

    I admire your honesty on the subject. We are well aware that many think like you (as is your right).

    You will appreciate then that those who do support the Northern Ireland team, and have it’s best interests at heart, will not be dictated to, influenced, by or reactionary to those who seek our demise.

    Brian Boru,

    How is the name of Windsor Park also divisive?

    Considering that the Stadium was named years before the “House of Windsor” came into being, I’m not quite sure what point you are making.

    I think if you look at some other sports on the island, you will find a few stadiums/teams that are named in a much more divisive fashion.

  • Mike

    Realist –

    The name of the South Stand is divisive, it reminds me of Sean South, I demand it be renamed;)

  • Realist

    Mike,

    Sure it’s all balanced out now…wasn’t the West Stand named so after the late Harry West? Or was it because it is situated at a point opposite East in the stadium? lol.

  • Mark

    It will always be the Kop!

  • Realist

    “It will always be the Kop!”

    It most certainly will Mark.

    Shhhh…I was just trying to start a rumour. lol

  • Another total Red Herring! Sectarianism has got nothing to do with the vast majority of Catholics not going to Windsor. We simply support the Republic. Full stop. Sectarianism has been reduced at Windsor yet still Catholics do not go. The local media has an endless and (pointless) obsession with forcing catholics to support the North. I have been a block booking holder at Landsdowne Road for the past 25 years. Why would I or other Republic fans want to suddenly go to Windsor Park? They can keep ‘The Queen’ for all we care… In fact, we dont…

  • Brian Boru

    “Considering that the Stadium was named years before the “House of Windsor” came into being, I’m not quite sure what point you are making.”

    Really? I thought it was called after them. Even so, the name being the same as the Royal family is offputting as people think it is called after them. Rename it.

  • Realist

    IFA Clear Up Research Impact

    IFA Chief Executive, Howard Wells, today clearly stated how the IFA will be using the findings from the Democratic Dialogue Football For All baseline survey it commissioned.

    “The research findings were presented to our Executive Committee last month. We are very pleased that the research endorses our Football For All campaign, highlighting the positive impact it has made at international level and in the wider community. We have no plans to change the national anthem. The findings have helped us focus on the following as we develop our new Football For All strategy:

    1. Continue working in partnership with Supporters at internationals to create a fun, inclusive and family orientated atmosphere.
    2. To step up our Football For All work in the Irish League.
    3. Develop the IFA’s Football For All community relations department”

    End of story.

    Brian,

    “Really? I thought it was called after them.”

    Well, you learn something new every day. Do some basic research before surcumbing to myth.

    “Even so, the name being the same as the Royal family is offputting as people think it is called after them.”

    They “think” wrong. Don’t be ridiculous!

    “Rename it.”

    It’s not the IFA’s to rename…owned by Linfield Football Club, who have absolutely no intention whatsoever of renaming it, I can assure you….and why should they have!

    Maybe the largest sporting organisation on the island might take up up on your challenge to rename offputtingly named grounds and clubs, if you are so concerned about such matters.

  • watchmaker

    We definitely need to change the anthem – what about “Teenage kicks” by the Undertones?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “You raise me up” by Brian Kennedy?

    Jesus, has no-one else noticed that it’s virtually identical to Danny Boy anyway?

    I love Danny Boy, by the way. James Galway once said it was “like a musical poem” and he was right.

    St Patrick’s Breastplate is an interesting idea, but it’s perhaps far too Christian, lots of invocations of poor old Christ. I mean, now that we’re all so sexy and cosmopolitan and everything.

    Oh, wait…

  • blandy

    Chaps

    When people whinge about flags, anthems and sectarian songs at windsor they seem to forget about rugby at Landsdowne.

    Here a republican flag is flown, a republican anthem played and the crowd encouraged to sing a nationalist song (analogous to the sash in terms of cross community appeal). Is the IRFU therefore sectarian.

    Despite this Northern Prods manage to come and enjoy the game.

  • blandy

    The flag of the host state is flown (i.e. the Tricolour) alongside the Ulster flag, and a neutral anthem is played (Ireland’s Call), alongside the national anthem of the host state.

    Personally, I would prefer if only Ireland’s Call was played, as is done at away fixtures, as playing two anthems makes us look like we can’t make up our minds who we are.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    As long as Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, the National Anthem, “God Save the Queen”, should be played before Northern Ireland football matches.

    I wouldn’t expect the Republic to stop playing their National Anthem, “The Soldier’s Song”, before football matches to accommodate Protestants who attend matches and feel uncomfortable, and likewise I don’t see why Northern Ireland should change their anthem to appease republicans who go out of their way to be offended and don’t support their country’s football team in the first place, but use it as a political football, pardon the pun!

  • Brian Boru

    CL, the Anthem also discriminates against Unionists who want the UK to become a “United Republic”, so bear that in mind.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I don’t understand. Which Unionists are you referring to- Southern Unionists who would support a group like the Irish Unionist Alliance, who advocate a United Ireland, but one that is within a federal United Kingdom?

  • FergusD

    CL said:
    “I don’t understand. Which Unionists are you referring to- Southern Unionists who would support a group like the Irish Unionist Alliance, who advocate a United Ireland, but one that is within a federal United Kingdom?”

    How about the millions of UK citizens (whoops, we’re subjects!) who would love to see the monarchy removed and the UK become a republic. Maybe a federal one, or some kind of federation. Anyway, “God Save the Queen”, what a terrible anthem!! Isn’t it political? It doesn’t celebrate “the country” or “the nation” but a political institution. An undemocratic one at that. I’m not a great fan of national anthems anyway, of whatever stripe, but GSTQ – yuck!

  • blandy

    Gerry

    Note the Ulster Flag – not the NI flag, with would be the correct one to fly if they seriously wanted to represent both traditons/countries in the island.

    As you say – flag and anthem of the host country – exactly as are played at NI internationals except we get slated for it. I do think that we should tack on an NI equivalent of IC, to better represent all those in NI.

    Blandy

  • jim

    “I can’t see what’s wrong with “Danny Boy”, some countries national anthems are far drearier.”

    Is there a gap in ‘Danny Boy’for the ‘no surrender’ add on ?

  • Brian Boru

    “I don’t understand. Which Unionists are you referring to- Southern Unionists who would support a group like the Irish Unionist Alliance, who advocate a United Ireland, but one that is within a federal United Kingdom? ”

    CL, I am talking about Northern Unionists who might want the UK to become a Republic.

  • finbar

    Keith M

    “One last suggestion, why not adopt the original national anthem of this country; “God Save Ireland”. Keep the rousing chorus and re-write the verses for a modern context.”

    You’re referring to the song about the manchester martyrs i assume – the fenians hung by the brits for allegedly being involved in an attempt to liberate their comrades?

    I reckon your suggestion is fair enough as long as the Republic can use the catchy tune of the sash – with re-written verses and chorus of course.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    blandy,
    The flag of Northern Ireland is THE “Ulster Flag”. Type into google the words “Ulster Flag” and you’ll see which flag comes up on most or all occasions-the Red Hand and the Crown…the same flag that ULSTER rugby fans wave at Ravenhill.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I did a bit of research to make sure I wasn’t left eating my words. On the 10 sites on the first page of google, 9 of them display the Red Hand and the Crown as “The Ulster Flag”. The other site is the CAIN website, and it describes the Red Hand and the Crown as the Government of Northern Ireland (Ulster Flag) and the yellow and red flag without the crown as “Province of Ulster Flag (9 counties)”.

  • Brian Boru

    No CL. It is the Northern Ireland flag. It is not the flag of the 3 Ulster counties that are in the Republic, i.e. Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. Furthermore, no British law defines NI as “Ulster”, and the British government rejected a request by Lord Craigavon to remain NI “Ulster” after the South renamed itself “Republic of Ireland”. And the NI flag being waved at Ulster matches is the NI flag, rather than the Ulster one.

    This loyalist flag was created after partition by the statelet’s government. The 6 sided star representing the 6 counties, and the crown representing Liz Windsor’s ancestors. The Red Hand is also to be found in the Monaghan flag. The Loyalist NI flag is no longer official neway. So kindly refrain from calling it the Ulster flag. 🙂

  • Brian Boru

    Just Googled “Ulster Flag” and this came second:

    [img]http://images.google.ie/images?q=tbn:X5uKhCmRTx4J:www.vexilla-[/img]

  • Brian Boru
  • Dec

    As you say – flag and anthem of the host country – exactly as are played at NI internationals except we get slated for it. I do think that we should tack on an NI equivalent of IC, to better represent all those in NI.

    Blandy

    As far as I am aware the Irish National Anthem is only played at Lansdowne Road if the Head of State (ie the President) is in attendance so the comparison between IRFU and IFA policy is imperfect at best. As for Ireland’s Call not being representative enough, I’m sure the vast majority of fans have no issue with it (on those grounds at least). After all, they are there to support the Ireland team.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Brian Boru,
    The Red Hand and the Crown is the Ulster Flag, whether you disagree with that or not. I will not “refrain from calling it the Ulster flag” when I have never come across anyone who calls it anything different. Along with the Union Jack, the Ulster Flag symbolises the Union, and are the flags of my country.

    The 9-county province flag is, like the 9 counties, outdated and irrelevant, so therefore I do not recognise it as a representative flag of Ulster…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Dec,
    “After all they are there to support the Ireland team”.
    You have hit the nail on the head my friend. The true fans that go to Northern Ireland matches are there to support the team and have no problem with the Anthem before the game.

    It is nationalist politicians who use it as a political football. These same people, on the most part, prefer to support the Republic’s national team and have most likely never even graced the stands of Windsor Park. Yet they still have the audacity to call for the ending of the National Anthem – God Save The Queen, before matches. Their reasoning? That it will somehow make Northern Ireland matches “more inclusive”.

    Will these same men and women throw away their Eire scarf in favour of a Norn Iron one if the Anthem was to go? If so, I would take their requests a bit more seriously and could be perhaps persuaded that it was for the good of the side to have new supporters to cheer on the team, that otherwise wouldn’t come…

  • Mike

    Dec –

    “As far as I am aware the Irish National Anthem is only played at Lansdowne Road if the Head of State (ie the President) is in attendance so the comparison between IRFU and IFA policy is imperfect at best.”

    Permit me to knock this oft-repeated misconception on the head once and for all.

    President McAleese was unable to attend the recent Ireland v New Zealand match due to illness.

    Amhran na bhFiann was still played before the match.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Brian Boru,
    I looked up that 2nd google site as you suggested. It labels the Ulster Flag the “Red Hand Flag” and calls the ancient 9-County yellow and red flag the “Province of Ulster” flag.

    As Ireland is partitioned into two separate entities- Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, the boundaries of the provinces should be re-aligned. These should not include Northern Ireland as it is a British state, not under Irish jurisdiction.

    I feel little or no affinity with “Old Ulster” men and women in the three Irish Republic counties, and feel that Northern Ireland is the real “Ulster”. I would support an official change to make legitimate the dual names of Northern Ireland and Ulster, just as the Republic is called Eire and the Republic of Ireland…

  • Dec

    CL

    It’s not quite the same thing but here’s one for you: what if you have someone from a Nationalist background who supports the Northern Ireland team but at the same time finds GSTQ irrelevant to their background and culture. Explain to me why the opinions of people such as these (born and bred, tax-paying residents of NI) are not as valid as your own? Are the opinions of the players who line up and twiddle their thumbs and look at the ground when that anthem is played not as valid as your own?

    Has it ever occured to you that some/a lot of the people who wish for a change don’t support the Republic and feel intimidated/pressurised into standing for an anthem that they feel no affinity for? Or is it just a lot easier for you to brand them all as provos?

    Mike

    Was her representative there? I honestly don’t know. I do know I haven’t heard it played at an away match in years, though. But if they ever play at Ravenhill GSTQ will be played so that should keep you happy.

  • Realist

    Dec,

    “what if you have someone from a Nationalist background who supports the Northern Ireland team but at the same time finds GSTQ irrelevant to their background and culture.”

    As a lobbyist for a uniquely Northerrn Irish sporting anthem, I hear what you say and respect it.

    The problem is that spokespeople on behalf of moderate nationalists make the task harder for people like me to convince folk like CL about the merits of change.

    Following the report John Dallat, on behalf of the SDLP, publicly stated that measures to change the anthem were merely “half a loaf”…then called for an All Ireland side (as if that’ll solve all the problems!)

    An All Ireland team, and anything that is construed as being a stepping stone to it, is not on the radar for the vast majority of Northern Ireland fans.

    Statements like those from Dallat, set the prospect of an anthem change back immeasurably.

  • Henry94

    NI fans take a perverse pleasure in following a side with no prospect of sucesss.

    It will stand to them in their support of Rangers during Roy Keane’s Celtic years.

  • Mike

    Yeah Henry, cos all NI fans support Rangers, and hey they’re probably evil loyalist bigots too…*rolls eyes*

  • Mike

    “But if they ever play at Ravenhill GSTQ will be played so that should keep you happy.”

    If they ever play in NI I would be very shocked if the IRFU didn’t uddenly revise its anthems policy and decide it would be Ireland’s Call only from now on…

    Realist –

    “The problem is that spokespeople on behalf of moderate nationalists make the task harder for people like me to convince folk like CL about the merits of change.

    Following the report John Dallat, on behalf of the SDLP, publicly stated that measures to change the anthem were merely “half a loaf”…then called for an All Ireland side (as if that’ll solve all the problems!)

    An All Ireland team, and anything that is construed as being a stepping stone to it, is not on the radar for the vast majority of Northern Ireland fans.

    Statements like those from Dallat, set the prospect of an anthem change back immeasurably.”

    Spot on. When I argue that NI should have its own anthem for football matches, one of the responses from sceptics is “why should we appease people who can’t be appeased and oppose the existence of the NI team anyway”?

    So here we have John Dallat, supposedly from the moderate wing of nationalism, saying that changing the anthem would be “half a loaf” and calling instead of the abolition of the NI team. Sadly, point proven for those I’d like to convinced – and how can I argue with them?

    Dallat by the way is a screaming hypocrite bearing in mind he is a member of the GAA and doesn’t seem to have made public pronouncements on his own organisation’s anthems policy.

  • Brian Boru

    “As Ireland is partitioned into two separate entities- Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, the boundaries of the provinces should be re-aligned. These should not include Northern Ireland as it is a British state, not under Irish jurisdiction.

    I feel little or no affinity with “Old Ulster” men and women in the three Irish Republic counties, and feel that Northern Ireland is the real “Ulster”. I would support an official change to make legitimate the dual names of Northern Ireland and Ulster, just as the Republic is called Eire and the Republic of Ireland…”

    No No No! 🙂

  • Concerned Loyalist,

    What on earth are you on about?

    “No affinity with Old Ulster Men…”. What the hell does that mean? Old in what way? My fiancee lives in Lifford Co. Donegal and people are every bit as proud of being Ulstermen (and women) as you are. Clearly the clock stopped with you a long long time ago. You cannot just get rid of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal from the province of Ulster because of some deranged whim or other… Even Willie McCrea wouldnt come out with this sort of mad-dog drivel…

  • macswiney, good luck to you marrying a Lifford woman! So where do you live, anywhere near the mighty Clady? 😉

  • Baluba

    What about just having a resident band to play freestyle jazz before, during halftime and after the match – groovy!

  • darth rumsfeld

    “My fiancee lives in Lifford Co. Donegal and people are every bit as proud of being Ulstermen (and women) as you are. ”

    doubtless you and they will be cheering for the Ulster teams in the Setanta Cup macswiney:0)
    What time will the Lifford Linfield Supporters’ Club bus be leaving the old courthouse to get to Windsor for the match against Shelbourne?

    And a propos of Roy Keane, mentioned earlier in this thread, just how will he fit in with Cellik’s supposed cavalier style of football? Didn’t there used to be a pride in the swashbuckling play at Parkhead, with an ill concealed condescension towards the Roundheads of Ibrox ( reciprocated, I might add in Govan, where a centre half was always more appreciated than a hanky ball player)?

    Dearie me, tradition ain’t what it used to be.

  • Darth,

    Thats the most bizarre post I’ve ever seen on Slugger. Have you been on the Christmas fizz? “Lifford Linfield Supporters Club”? Please explain the point of that one? Do you have to support Linfield to be an Ulsterman? Truly bizarre mate! As for supporting Ulster teams in the Setanta Cup, half her family support Finn Harps who have just been relegated(!) and two support Derry City who are quite close by and are actually in that cup. If it’s of by you, they might support them that night… All of them of course support Donegal… Are you an Antrim man yourself Darth…?

  • Dec

    And a propos of Roy Keane, mentioned earlier in this thread, just how will he fit in with Cellik’s supposed cavalier style of football?

    I take it you don’t watch much football do you? Otherwise you wouldn’t be posing nonsensical questions like that.

  • darth rumsfeld

    so macswiney, the famed “proud Ulstermen” to which you to align yourself by marriage don’t actually support Ulster teams against other Irish teams if(heaven forfend) they happen to be Prods. Quelle surprise.
    Did Cuchulain die for nothing??

    Dec
    -Cellick fans always proclaim their devotion to stylish football- like West Ham fans. Keane has many attributes, but playing the game beautifully ain’t one of them. How many red cards will he get on those rare occasions that he’s not injured?

  • Dec

    Darth

    What are you talking about? Yes, Celtic like to play with the ball on the ground but your suggestion that they filled the team with Jimmy Johnston-types doesn’t hold up. Remember that when Celtic lifted the European Cup, Billy McNeill was captain. Franz Beckenbauer, he weren’t.
    Roy Keane isn’t exactly known for punting the ball hopefully up field and I’m sure his Completed Passes rating is up there with anyone in the Premier League. By general consent he is one of the top three players ever to play in the Premiership if not the best. Yoyur portrayal of him as some midfield-clugger a la Tery Hurlock is as embarrassing (to you) as it is inaccurate.

    You really don’t watch much football do you?

  • Darth,

    “Dont actually support Ulster teams against Irish teams” Eh? What does that mean exactly? I said they follow Finn Harps and Derry (their local teams) who (last time I checked) are both Ulster teams. Now lets follow your argument. If Linfield and Glentoran get knocked out of the cup will their fans be cheering on Derry City to win it? (Ulster Team). We both know the answer to that dont we…?

    PS Re your last point. I Havent got a clue what Cuchulain has got to do with The Setanta Cup…!!