Multiculturalism finally slinks into Ulster?

Pol O’Muiri on Polish Mass in Dungannon and other hidden multicultural realities that hardly get a look-in in our grand bi-polar obsessions here in Northern Ireland.

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  • Crataegus

    Hope the Poles have more sense than the locals!

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    It’s strange, however,that Ó Muirí doesn’t point to the strange omission by the UUP of the Irish language from their ‘welcome’ page.

    You would think that the writer who doubles up as the ‘Irish language editor of the Irish Times’ might have noticed that.

    Then again, maybe not.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Oilbhear,

    Fair point so far as it goes, but don’t forget to keep your eye on the ball. It’s in such moments that conversations on Slugger can vere off the subject and directly into an unproductive personal quagmire.

  • Valenciano

    What an incredibly stupid article. The idea that we’ve been messed up all this time because somehow we didn’t have enough ethno-nationalist parties whinging about how *their* community is hard done by and discriminated against is hardly worth commenting on.

    What NI needs most is politicians able to look beyond the narrow interests of the community that elected them and focus on issues that are of issues to all the community. Low pay at work for example is not just an issue for immigrants.

    Equally the idea that only Poles can represent Poles and understand their problems is precisely the type of thinking that we need to get away from. We can see that type of thing on the mainland with the BNP claiming to speak for whites and with parties like Respect etc chasing the Muslim bloc vote. All it ever leads to is further polarisation along ethnic lines as politicians who owe their election to one section of the community start demanding special favours for that one section of the community. Equal rights not minority rights is the best way forward.

  • Crataegus

    Correct me if I am wrong but I though Poland was the reason for eventually declaring war against Germany? Yes Britain and America did leave all Eastern Europe to the Russian sphere of influence, but I always thought that relations between Britain and Poland were fairly good.

    On the point regarding possible ethnic parties I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen, at least not in that narrow context, yes immigrants need representatives though I must confess I can’t see too many of our existing offering an attractive proposition.

    As a matter of interest just how many immigrants are there? On anecdotal evidence I think the figure could be a lot higher than many imagine. They are becoming increasingly prevalent in shops and I am told on many building projects. Parts of Belfast, the old dole drop areas are fast becoming Eastern European enclaves.

  • Bill

    hmmm, no doubt we’ll all be hearing some whining about the ‘invading hordes of johnny foreigners’ from a certain Dunecloney-based blogger soon. ;D

  • the authority

    “It’s strange, however,that Ó Muirí doesn’t point to the strange omission by the UUP of the Irish language from their ‘welcome’ page”

    I do think that point was addressed on the relevant thread. ie. that the languages used on the UUP site were the ones most spoken in Northern Ireland by ethnic minorities. In other words to include people who may not be able to speak English well and who may have problems understanding a political party’s website. Irish speakers tend also to be able to speak English. Ulster-Scots was also omitted for this reason.

  • Baluba

    A ridiculous article. Talk of ‘real Nazis’ and how ‘our war paels in comparison to their war’ is just non-sensical rubbish. Human suffering reduced to statistics.

    Hopefully the immigrant population will open politics a bit more to real issues as those are the issues which will interest economic migrants. I suspect that SF will be at an advantage here.

  • páid

    You would think that the writer who doubles up as the ‘Irish language editor of the Irish Times’ might have noticed that.

    I think we can all be fairly sure that Pól Ó Muirí noticed.

    Much more interesting is Pól referring to Ulster Irish instead of Irish.

    He gets more like Gregory Campbell every week. 😉

  • Crataegus

    Baluba

    real issues as those are the issues which will interest economic migrants. I suspect that SF will be at an advantage here.

    Why?

  • Brian Boru

    Hope the children of the Poles come to see themselves as Irish and support a UI. Their ancestors fought against Imperial Russia. Hopefully they will see the parallels and support Irish freedom.

  • Crataegus

    Poland is a very interesting country, with a difficult history and fluid borders. Perhaps they will bring a bit of pragmatism much needed on this island of dreamers.

  • Fraggle

    I thought Poland was on the mainland. o.O

  • The Beach Tree

    All

    Perhaps we could have a more interesting conversation if we stop asking how our politics will influence the Poles et al., and think more about how the Poles et al. might influence our Politics.

    If nothing else, a ‘polish auction’, attempting to co-opt minorities into our own tribal slugfest is, in the absence of evidence of such an affilitation, fairly pointless speculation.

  • Keith M

    BB “Their ancestors fought against Imperial Russia. Hopefully they will see the parallels and support Irish freedom.”

    Their ancestors also fought against the Nazis and while other countries stood by and watched the UK fought with the polls.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Keith M,

    … while other countries stood by and watched the UK fought with the polls.

    That makes no sense.

    The UK did pretty little for the Poles during the Warsaw uprising (yes, I saw the documentary on BBC the other day). So the Russians did even less – not a great comparison – and Churchill had just agreed to let Stalin ‘have’ Poland. I bet the Poles feel really grateful!

  • slug

    I have met several Poles who are full of admiration for Mrs Thatcher.

  • willis

    Were they miners?

  • nutjack

    yeh, that’s because she (Mrs Thatcher) stopped buying coal from UK mines in 1984, and started buying it from Poland for 1/3 of the price, thus boosting their coal industry and destroying ours (sorry grandad, had to tell them)

  • slug

    I don’t think it was because of the imports of coal.

  • nutjack

    destroying the trade unions then?

    the falklandski war?

    oh i give up

  • Crataegus

    Poles and other immigrants will broaden our outlook and widen our network and contacts. Their perception of Europe is very different from ours. To try to slot them into our structures and perceptions is pointless. As I have mentioned elsewhere I have a slightly different background to the norms here and I can’t get my mind around some of the local neuroses, what chance do the Poles have?

    The fun will really start when Romanians and Bulgarians also start arriving by the plane load. Welcome to Europe Ireland.

  • Rapunsel

    I would have thought that some poles like Maggie because of her support for Solidarity during the ’80’s. As to the Pol O Muiri article– read it — thought there was some irony in it — and surely the thrust was that immigrants are more likely to focus on their social and economic needs and what government — local and national might do to meet these — rather than engage in tribal zero sum game sectarian squabbling that passes for politics here.

  • James MacLochlainn

    Since most Poles are Catholic it should be quite obvious who they will vote for.
    MacLochlainn

  • Crataegus

    “Since most Poles are Catholic it should be quite obvious who they will vote for.”

    No it’s not brought up in different context!

  • Rory

    Mercy! Yes, Poles are for the most part Catholic. Yes, most Poles I have met in Britain are reactionary and pro-Thatcher. Hardly the bright young new influx though. But Irish catholics were made decidedly unwelcome in the main London Polish catholic Church in Ealing, or certainly that was the accepted understanding into the ’80’s. But these are only crude empirical observations and loaded with prejudice.

    The only response to this matter that has any real value to the issue of Polish (or any other minority immigrant community into the six counties)has been made by Valenciano and I feel somehow incredibly shamed by most of the other responses.

    It is as though an understanding of the way rhe world has changed over the past fifty years (at least)has passed by the people of the land wherein I grew to manhood. I would have thought that the experience of war would help people to grow more towards wisdom and tolerance.

  • Crataegus

    Rory

    This place never changes.

    Many see all as part of or not part of their cherish tribe. Some are naive in their assertions others dress it up in intellectual hyperbola.

    The delightful irony is that given the 45%- 55% (or whatever) if immigration continues at the current pace it may be the immigrants that decide the future of this place.

    But sadly many of our politicians may see them as potential allies in their narrow vision of things and instead of dealing with the nub of the problem ie normalising the relations and building trust between the main groupings they leap of in another exercise in avoidance.

  • bag’oshite

    multi culturism, diversity, big melting pot. call it want you want i call it the last nail in irelands economic coffin. i once made the mistake of moving to britain thats where my ex girlfriend was from. long story treated like crap paid off blah blah. i came home after 6 months. i couldnt believe my eyes the place was over run with immigrants mostly of which i believe to be illegal. i could blame them for the current lack of employment or low wages but i blame the people who left back in the 70’s went to canada and the states bemoaned and lamented about ould ireland in irish bars, then came back after the ceasefire pockets laden with money bought factories and all the available houses in west belfast turned them into luxury apartments and forced the catholics into the shit-holes. now currently hiring immigrants who get paid crap wages and crammed into flats which rightly belong to locals. to all those expats who came back i say “take your money and fuck off back to where you came from, you seriously are killing the local economies”. but there is a very serious matter to consider, i reckon britain is instead of giving illegals status to stay in britain i believe they are sending them over here to the north as legals to save paperwork and redtape. nice one britain all those that were in jail and not deported and scarpered (some rapists and murders and peados) could be moving in to a house near us