Reclaiming ‘Ulster’

A post on ie-politics got me thinking..

Marianne Elliot, in the prologue to her book The Catholics of Ulster, says that few Catholics today would admit to an “Ulster” identity, even less than those who adhere to a “Northern Ireland” allegiance. Elliot argues that it is surely high time for Ulster Catholics to re-assert their regional identity and challenge the view that “Ulster” necessarily means Protestant.

The point rang true with me – when I go to watch Irish rugby games, I sometimes take an Ulster flag (I wouldn’t fly the Tricolour at rugby, as it’s an all-Ireland team) – and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been abused by southernerns for a percieved Britishness (the abusers tend not to realise the meaning of the nine-county flag).

So – on this, one of the most high-profile days in ‘Ulster’ – is it time Nationalists started reclaiming the identity?