Heartbreak at Croke

Irish hopes of a Grand Slam and a winning debut at Croke Park were shattered with a last minute French try giving the visitors a 17-20 victory

  • willowfield

    NIALL

    I think the problem here is that GSTQ is a British anthem, not a Northern Irish one. Self-respecting Southerners can take no part in it, as it explicitly asks them to accept a foreign head of state. Any unionist who thinks this is reasonable has his/her head in the sand.

    So a self-respecting Southerner cannot “take part” in GSTQ because it supposedly “asks them to accept a foreign head of state” (???), but self-respecting Northerners are expected to “take part” in the Soldier’s Song which, by the same logic, asks them to accept a foreign head of state.

    One rule for self-respecting Southerners and another rule for self-respecting Northerners?

    Ridiculous sophistry.

    Likewise, I accept unionists’ opposition to The Soldier’s Song, so it should perhaps be dropped.

    Perhaps?? Why the doubt?

    However, it does not require unionists to bow allegiance to a foreign head of state, only to commemorate a nation’s right to self-determination, something that has been accepted that Northern Ireland has a right to do as well.

    ???? What ????

    If NI has a right to self-determination, why are self-respecting Southerners not prepared to “commemorate” it, yet they expect Northerners to “commemorate” Southern self-determination??

    As for the ROI flag, I point to the fact that the orange is already there to represent the unionist population. Unionsits might not accept that but that’s their problem – when have they gone out of their way to incorporate any ‘Irish’ identity in their official iconography?

    As for the UK flag, I point to the fact that the St Patrick’s Cross is already there to represent the Irish population. Nationalists might not accept that but that’s their problem – when have they gone out of their way to incoporate any ‘British’ identity in their official iconography?

    Any suggestions for an alternative anthem, anyone?

    Ireland’s Call.

    SOUTHERN OBSERVER

    If a local anthem ,as opposed to GSTQ,is good enough for the WRFU and SRFU whose catchment areas wholly reside within the UK then an NI regional anthem ,as opposed to GSTQ, must be good enough for the IRFU and the Ulster branch, one fifth and two thirds of whose respective catchment areas reside within the UK.

    Clearly not, given that the IRFU has refused to introduce a NI anthem.

  • dougie

    Perhaps the swastika would be a better flag to represent ulster rugby

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/ulster/6373433.stm

  • British

    “Amazing – a discussion about rugby breaks out on a slugger thread about…errr… rugby.”

    Alternatively

    “Amazing, a discussion on politics/culture breaks out on a website about err … politics/culture.”

  • Southern Observer

    So looking at it this way, Stringer is probably around the 7th or 8th ranked scrum half in the tournament.
    Convincing rugby logic there from Michael et al.I’d go for Boss against England and Neil Best instead of Easterby.

  • Obejctivist

    Neil Best instead of Easterby.
    Amen.Failure to get this call right probably cost us the French match.

  • edward

    Oh dear it seems the rugger bugger fans aren’t all angels after all.

    Maybe some Glentoran fans took a wrong turn?

  • Donnacha

    I’m not a huge fan of Stringer myself, his best days are behind him, but I don’t think Boss is the whole enchillada either. I saw him play a lot down here in NZ and if he was as good as some poeple think he is, he’d still be in NZ playing. Kiwi players go overseas for money, not to improve their game and Boss knew fine well he hadn’t a shit-show of getting a black jumper, so he legged it. So, good and all as he is, oyu have to remember that he wasn’t even the fifth-best half back in New Zealand.

  • Niall

    Willowfield,

    As I said, I’d be in favour of dropping the Soldier’s Song.

    Irish nationals singing ‘God save our glorious Queen’ is not an act of commemoration, but subjugation. It is absurd in the extreme.

    Why would a supposed fan of the Irish national rugby team demand that the majority of players on that team be forced to have as their anthem a song that, apart from meaning nothing to them, would be perhaps offensive to them and to the majority of fans of the team. It doesn’t sound like you are interested in supporting the Irish team at all, but bringing political point-scoring into the realm of sport.

    At some stage we will be asked to change the name of Ireland’s Call to Ireland and Britain’s Call, something you would undoubtedly cherish.

    As for the UK flag having a St Patrick’s Cross, I thought it had a St George’s Cross, but how and ever, the point remains the same. The UK flag is precisely that: a flag for the UK, not Ireland. Why not the EU flag if we’re going to get this ridiculous?

    “Nationalists might not accept that but that’s their problem – when have they gone out of their way to incoporate any ‘British’ identity in their official iconography?”

    I point yet again to the orange section of the tricolour. Obviously you will come back that the tricolour represents ROI and not NI. True enough, but it proves the lie of your last statement.

    The only sensible solution is to drop all political anthems, and go with Ireland’s Call (if even this loaded term is acceptable to certain unionists – maybe we should rename it the Island of Ireland’s Call). As for flags, fly both the ROI and NI flag, but no Union Jack.

  • willowfield

    NIALL

    As I said, I’d be in favour of dropping the Soldier’s Song.

    But why isn’t the IRFU?

    Irish nationals singing ‘God save our glorious Queen’ is not an act of commemoration, but subjugation. It is absurd in the extreme.

    A rather exaggerated comment, but why would Southern nationals sing “God save our glorious Queen”?

    Why would a supposed fan of the Irish national rugby team demand that the majority of players on that team be forced to have as their anthem a song that, apart from meaning nothing to them, would be perhaps offensive to them and to the majority of fans of the team.

    In the interests of fairness, given that Northern fans are forced – at every single home match – to have as their anthem a song that, apart from meaning nothing to them, would perhaps be offensive to them and to the majority of Northern fans of the team.

    It doesn’t sound like you are interested in supporting the Irish team at all, but bringing political point-scoring into the realm of sport.

    It is not me who has a political policy that insults Northern fans. On the contrary, my interest is in REMOVING such a political policy from sport.

    At some stage we will be asked to change the name of Ireland’s Call to Ireland and Britain’s Call, something you would undoubtedly cherish.

    Why on earth would anyone be asked to do that, and why would I “cherish” it? (Your comment only makes sense if you are referring to the Lions.)

    As for the UK flag having a St Patrick’s Cross, I thought it had a St George’s Cross, but how and ever, the point remains the same.

    Er, it has both!

    The UK flag is precisely that: a flag for the UK, not Ireland. Why not the EU flag if we’re going to get this ridiculous?

    The ROI flag is precisely that: a flag for the ROI, not Ireland. Why not the Connaught flag if we’re going to get this ridiculous?

    I point yet again to the orange section of the tricolour.

    I point yet again to the St Patrick’s Cross in the Union Flag.

    Obviously you will come back that the tricolour represents ROI and not NI. True enough, but it proves the lie of your last statement.

    What lie?

    The only sensible solution is to drop all political anthems, and go with Ireland’s Call (if even this loaded term is acceptable to certain unionists – maybe we should rename it the Island of Ireland’s Call).

    I already said that. Why does the IRFU not do this?

    As for flags, fly both the ROI and NI flag, but no Union Jack.

    Why fly either? Why not a single all-Ireland flag?

    (I see you failed to address your “one rule for the self-respecting Southerner and one rule for the self-respecting Northerner” hypocrisy in relation to anthems.)

  • British

    “I point yet again to the orange section of the tricolour.”

    Orange? most of the ones I’ve seen hanging from lamposts had a goldy coloured section.

  • No Dozer

    They might as well remove the orange section from their flag as the republican IRFU (along with their underlings at Ravenhill) and republicans in general, have no respect or time for anyone who does not /or will not bow the knee to their republican utopia.

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    I think Unionists should maybe try and understand a bit why ‘God Save the Queen’ can be offensive to Irish Nationalists. Remember it is the anthem of England and the British Empire which continuously subjugated the Irish and indeed many peoples throughout the world in the name of the sitting monarch. And if Unionists know their Irish history well, they will know that the Irish people, mainly Catholics but Presbeterians as well to a degree, suffered from second class citizenship here in Ireland. It must be noted too that Republicanism started among educated and disenfranchised Irish Presbeterians who wished to remove the yoke of ‘English tyranny’. Presbeterians today should recognise their republican history and the rather proud part their ancestors played, ie Belfast man Henry Joy McCraken etc..
    In the Irish republic today the majority of people no longer believe in the infallibility of the popes, as the pontiff has got the boot, and religion is no longer influential. Maybe the devine right of kings and queens should get the boot too to a degree in NI. We won’t have as big hang ups then about national anthems.

  • Niall

    Willowfield,

    “The ROI flag is precisely that: a flag for the ROI, not Ireland. Why not the Connaught flag if we’re going to get this ridiculous?”

    Because as a Leinster man, the Connaught flag does not represent me, or anybody from Munster or Ulster. Pretty simple really. The EU flag does represent us all, but it’s not specific enough to be represent just Ireland as opposed to, say, France, or any other team we play against. Likewise the Union Flag represents all the UK, so using it to represent the Irish team kind of goes against the spirit of the Six Nations competition in the first place, which is that each region takes pride in itself as a distinct sporting body, not part of a political whole. You don’t see Scottish, Welsh or English fans flying the Union Flag – they fly the flags and sing the songs of their particular part of the UK, in the spirit of friendly rivalry. (England, as the seat of the empire, sees itself differently, hence GSTQ, but even they tend to prefer St George’s Flags over Union Flags.)

    Another example might be when, say, Munster play in the Heineken Cup. It is a given that they are an Irish team, but they fly the flags of and represent Munster, not Ireland (‘The Fields of Athenry’ being an anomaly). It is their separate Munster identity that is important to them on that occasion. That is the way it should be with the Irish national team.

    “As I said, I’d be in favour of dropping the Soldier’s Song.

    But why isn’t the IRFU?”

    I don’t speak for the IRFU. I’d like to think my views are similar to many progressive-thinking southerners.

    The lie I referred to was when you tried to upturn my argument by saying that Irish nationalists don’t incorporate British identity into any of their iconography. I refer to the orange section of the Irish flag.

    I assumed you would cherish changing the name of reland’s Call to Ireland and Britain’s Call because some unionists seem incapable of developing a sense of identity that does not always explicitly refer to the union and the overall sense of ‘Britishness’.

    “Why fly either? Why not a single all-Ireland flag?”

    Why not a united Ireland? But that’s a moot point. There is no single crossover flag that captures the popular imagination of the two. Either side I think would see it as a dissolution of their identity, not a progressive compromise.

    “(I see you failed to address your “one rule for the self-respecting Southerner and one rule for the self-respecting Northerner” hypocrisy in relation to anthems.”

    I’m in favour of dropping The Soldier’s Song, though old habits die hard, as I’m sure you’re more than aware of.

  • willowfield

    NIALL

    Because as a Leinster man, the Connaught flag does not represent me, or anybody from Munster or Ulster. Pretty simple really.

    Yet you expect a NI man to be represented by the ROI flag. Pure hypocrisy.

    Likewise the Union Flag represents all the UK, so using it to represent the Irish team kind of goes against the spirit of the Six Nations competition in the first place, which is that each region takes pride in itself as a distinct sporting body, not part of a political whole.

    So why does the IRFU go against the spirit of the Six Nations by flying the ROI flag and playing the ROI anthem?

    Another example might be when, say, Munster play in the Heineken Cup. It is a given that they are an Irish team, but they fly the flags of and represent Munster, not Ireland (’The Fields of Athenry’ being an anomaly). It is their separate Munster identity that is important to them on that occasion. That is the way it should be with the Irish national team.

    Yet most Ireland fans fly the flag of the ROI when supporting Ireland.

    I don’t speak for the IRFU. I’d like to think my views are similar to many progressive-thinking southerners.

    You must have some thoughts, though, on why the IRFU doesn’t drop the Soldier’s Song or the ROI flag? Clearly you don’t think it is composed of progressive thinkers.

    The lie I referred to was when you tried to upturn my argument by saying that Irish nationalists don’t incorporate British identity into any of their iconography. I refer to the orange section of the Irish flag.

    In that case, you must accept that you told a lie by saying that the British don’t incorporate Irish identity into any of their iconography. I refer to the St Patrick’s Cross in the Union Flag.

    I assumed you would cherish changing the name of reland’s Call to Ireland and Britain’s Call because some unionists seem incapable of developing a sense of identity that does not always explicitly refer to the union and the overall sense of ‘Britishness’.

    Then you assumed wrongly. Your prejudices got the better of you.

    Why not a united Ireland?

    Because people in NI wish to remain in the UK.

    But that’s a moot point. There is no single crossover flag that captures the popular imagination of the two.

    There is: the St Patrick’s Cross.

    Either side I think would see it as a dissolution of their identity, not a progressive compromise.

    How would anyone see the use of an ALL-IRELAND flag instead of a flag representing only part of Ireland as a dissolution of their Irish identity. Anyone with such an attitude has a serious identity problem.

  • Doctor Who

    “In the Irish republic today the majority of people no longer believe in the infallibility of the popes, as the pontiff has got the boot, and religion is no longer influential.”

    Oh this is news, when did the state ban the church, must have missed that one.

    I am also sick of the patronising attitude of “hey our flag the tri colour represents you because it has an orange stripe”.

    No, my British and Northern Ireland identidy is far broader than the Orange Order , in fact not being Protestant but being a Unionist and native of Ulster, the Orange Order is quite alien to me as is the flag of ROI.

    The IRFU have got away with treating their Ulster players and supporters with contempt…when once I was a regular attender at Ireland matches, now I have a near complete apathy to the team because of the lack of respect shown to my culture by the IRFU.

    It is time for them to redress the imbalance.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    The St Patrick’s Cross flag is a British invention from the late 18th century, Willowfield, originally created to replace the Harp which had revolutionary connotations. As a ‘compromise’ flag it is next to useless. It has no meaning for anyone in Ireland except perhaps for Unionists who might see it as their part of the Union flag.

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    Also it is a religious symbol. Religion doesn’t play as big a role in secular society today.

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    So the St Patricks Cross would be anachronistic. It belongs with the fairtales, myths and legends.

  • Niall

    “Yet you expect a NI man to be represented by the ROI flag. Pure hypocrisy.”

    I don’t. I think the NI flag should be flown as well, just not the Union Jack.

    I don’t think it’s any secret that the majority of people who oversee sporting bodies on this island are not progressive thinkers.

    The St Patrick’s Crosss does not represent Irish identity. It is, if anything, a Christian symbol adopted by the Ulster Protestants as a regional emblem for them.

    “I assumed you would cherish changing the name of reland’s Call to Ireland and Britain’s Call because some unionists seem incapable of developing a sense of identity that does not always explicitly refer to the union and the overall sense of ‘Britishness’.
    “Then you assumed wrongly. Your prejudices got the better of you.”

    My assumption was not based on prejudice, but a logical extrapolation. To assume prejudice on my part suggests you might have a prejudicial viewpoint yourself.

    “But that’s a moot point. There is no single crossover flag that captures the popular imagination of the two.

    There is: the St Patrick’s Cross.”

    There is not. The St patrick’s Cross has never meant anything significant to me or any other Irish person I know.

    Fans from the ROI fly the tricolour because it represents them. I’m sure fans from the North fly the NI flag or the Ulster flag. The two should be acceptable.

  • Doctor Who

    “Presbeterians today should recognise their republican history and the rather proud part their ancestors played, ie Belfast man Henry Joy McCraken etc..”

    Of course the fact that if succesful they would have then rid Ireland of “Popish superstition”, perhaps the Free Presbyterians have more in common with the boys of 1798.

    Not too sure what it has to do with this thread though fella.

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    Ermmm …it’s about presbyterians recognising their Irish republican history,so as not to be so hung up about God Save the Queen.’Popish superstition’ is long gone, by the way, but the superstitious belief in the devine right of kings and queens seems to be thriving in NI. I doubt very much if the Free Presbyterians and the DUP have anything in common with the United Irishmen…..fella!

  • willowfield

    TOCHAIS SIORAI

    The St Patrick’s Cross flag is a British invention from the late 18th century, Willowfield, originally created to replace the Harp which had revolutionary connotations.

    My God, that’s awful. We couldn’t possibly have a flag that was in any way connected with … the British … aah, those evil people!

    Wise up.

    As a ‘compromise’ flag it is next to useless. It has no meaning for anyone in Ireland except perhaps for Unionists who might see it as their part of the Union flag.

    Well use another flag, then. A green shamrock on a white background. Would you object to that? Maybe shamrocks were imported by the evil Brits? Or white is the colour of the England team and therefore unaccetable?

    NIALL

    I don’t. I think the NI flag should be flown as well, just not the Union Jack.

    Excellent.

    The St Patrick’s Crosss does not represent Irish identity. It is, if anything, a Christian symbol adopted by the Ulster Protestants as a regional emblem for them.

    It’s been used as an all-Ireland flag for centuries. It is used by the nationalist-controlled Down District Council for St Patrick’s Day.

    My assumption was not based on prejudice, but a logical extrapolation. To assume prejudice on my part suggests you might have a prejudicial viewpoint yourself.

    So what was the logic that you extrapolated?

    There is not. The St patrick’s Cross has never meant anything significant to me or any other Irish person I know.

    Maybe it ought to. You’re too obssessed with the tricolour. You should open your eyes, broaden your horizons, have respect for your northern brethren, and recognise that the ROI tricolour is not an acceptable all-Ireland flag.

    Fans from the ROI fly the tricolour because it represents them. I’m sure fans from the North fly the NI flag or the Ulster flag. The two should be acceptable.

    By the same logic, fans from Munster should be flying the Munster flag, yet they don’t. Why?

    I note that you didn’t either admit to telling lies by saying that the British don’t incorporate Irish identity into any of their iconography, or retract your accusation that I lied. We either both lied, or neither of us.

    I note also that you didn’t explain how would anyone could see the use of an ALL-IRELAND flag instead of a flag representing only part of Ireland as a dissolution of their Irish identity.

    And I note that you STILL haven’t confronted the hypocrisy of saying that self-respecting southerners couldn’t possibly listen to the UK national anthem, while expecting self-respecting northerners to listen to the ROI anthem.

    Are these points too difficult for you?

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    As a compromise how about we fly the flag of ‘St Patrick’ and sing ‘God Save Ireland’….any objections?

  • Niall

    Willowfield,

    “Maybe it ought to.”

    I think this sums up your mentality, so it’s probably pointless to debate much further, but I will persevere.

    Maybe the Union Jack should mean something to me as well but it doesn’t, so get over it and try living in the real world.

    Why don’t Munster fans fly Munster flags at Ireland games? They don’t want to. They fly Irish flags. I think the question is about choice. If some fans want to fly the ROI flag and some want to fly NI flags, who has a right to stop them? Officially, both should be recognised.

    I don’t accept the idea that the St Patrick’s Cross represents an all-Ireland identity. It was introduced in 1783. In that year the Penal Laws were still in force, which prevented Catholics from owning land, joining the professions or holding high office. How on earth do you suppose it was an all-Ireland flag?

    The tricolour when it was developed represented an aspiration for an all-Ireland which explicitly recognised both traditions. It is in no way comparable to the St Patrick’s Cross. I respect that it means not to you but the two are in no way comparable.

    “And I note that you STILL haven’t confronted the hypocrisy of saying that self-respecting southerners couldn’t possibly listen to the UK national anthem, while expecting self-respecting northerners to listen to the ROI anthem.
    Are these points too difficult for you?”

    Not at all. In fact, I thought I had already but I will make my case again. The UK anthem doesn’t represent the Irish team. It represents the UK. Some of the team and supporters may reside in the UK but it is not a UK team.

    It would be absurd to play England, Scotland or Wales and play their political anthem as our anthem, when the majority of players and supporters are not under sovereignty of the UK. Our opponents would have fits of laughter.

    An agreed NI anthem and the ROI anthem I would have no problem with; alternatively, drop ANB, as I have already said I would be in favour of.

    “I note also that you didn’t explain how would anyone could see the use of an ALL-IRELAND flag instead of a flag representing only part of Ireland as a dissolution of their Irish identity.”

    This is just the impression I get from observiaton. Either side appears to want to hold on to their distinct emblems. I myself would have no problem with an all-Ireland flag, but the issue is choice. You can’t tell people what means something to them.

  • willowfield

    NIALL

    Maybe the Union Jack should mean something to me as well but it doesn’t, so get over it and try living in the real world.

    Not sure why the Union Flag should mean something to you if you are not from the UK.

    Why don’t Munster fans fly Munster flags at Ireland games? They don’t want to. They fly Irish flags. I think the question is about choice.

    Obviously. Why do they choose not to fly Munster flags but to fly ROI flags? Why do they choose not fly all-Ireland flags?

    If some fans want to fly the ROI flag and some want to fly NI flags, who has a right to stop them?

    Er, no-one. Now: answer the question. Why do they fly ROI flags when they are supporting an all-Ireland team?

    I don’t accept the idea that the St Patrick’s Cross represents an all-Ireland identity. It was introduced in 1783. In that year the Penal Laws were still in force, which prevented Catholics from owning land, joining the professions or holding high office. How on earth do you suppose it was an all-Ireland flag?

    Quite simple. It was, and is, an all-Ireland flag because it represents all-Ireland.

    The tricolour when it was developed represented an aspiration for an all-Ireland which explicitly recognised both traditions. It is in no way comparable to the St Patrick’s Cross. I respect that it means not to you but the two are in no way comparable.

    So if you have a problem with the St Patrick’s Cross, use another all-Ireland flag!

    Not at all. In fact, I thought I had already but I will make my case again. The UK anthem doesn’t represent the Irish team. It represents the UK. Some of the team and supporters may reside in the UK but it is not a UK team.

    Er, the ROI anthem doesn’t represent the Irish team. It represents the ROI. Some of the team and supporters may reside in the ROI but it is not an ROI team!

    It would be absurd to play England, Scotland or Wales and play their political anthem as our anthem, when the majority of players and supporters are not under sovereignty of the UK. Our opponents would have fits of laughter.

    So it’s OK to insult NI by playing the ROI anthem, because it is a minority; but it would be wrong to insult ROI by playing the NI anthem? Outrageous chauvinism and hypocrisy.

    An agreed NI anthem and the ROI anthem I would have no problem with; alternatively, drop ANB, as I have already said I would be in favour of.

    Yeah, obviously that is the solution and we are agreed on it: that’s the not the issue. The issue is your hypocrisy in claiming that it is offensive for southerners to listen to the NI anthem, but not for northerners to listen to the ROI anthem.

    I note that you STILL haven’t either admitted to telling lies by saying that the British don’t incorporate Irish identity into any of their iconography, or retracted your accusation that I lied. We either both lied, or neither of us. Shame on you.

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    How have you been. We don’t hear much from you these days. You must have found something constructive to do with your time.

    Some of the team and supporters may reside in the ROI but it is not an ROI team!

    It is an IRFU team and the IRFU are entitled to put in place any arrangements they like. It is open to members from Ulster or elsewhere to propose changes.

    From what I can gather there is no proposal on the table. So the members must be either content or unconcerned.

    When GAA members wanted changes they were not slow to put motions before their Congress. There is no reason the IRFU should be different.

    It is entirely their business.

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    The English team and God Save the Queen were given a rousing reception at Croke Park after. No immature disrespectful booing but enthusiastic cheers and applause instead.
    Great night overall, and what made it even better was that Ireland won!