Northern Ireland go top: Stan to get reprieve?

Yep, heard the cheering from down below, now it’s all quiet because it’s all over… (till the pubs get out)… They just expect Healy to score and he does… Meanwhile, with a 1-0 against Slovakia, maybe some of the blatantly pernicious salami slicing of Stan will stop…

  • Mike

    Two Nations,

    “Shouting No Surrender at the start of a football game is a very good thing”

    No it bloody isn’t. It pisses off the majority of us who have worked fecking hard to ensure that NI matches aren’t seen as some sort of Protestant/loyalist/unionist occasion. You want to show what a big Prod/loyalist/Briton you are? Why not do that at a more suitable occasion, like the Twelfth, or over at Ibrox even if you really must. NI matches are about supporting the NI team. (Though if you want to show how you’re a loyal British citizen, how disrespecting the National Anthem does this is beyond me).

    Dave,

    “If you take away the National Anthem then you need to remove Northern Ireland flags as well as the Union flag. The team would need to be renamed the ‘Ireland’ ”

    That’s completely illogical. How on earth would replacing GSTQ with a NI-specific anthem mean that NI flags should be removed and that the team should be renamed Ireland rather than Northern Ireland? Quite the opposite, surely – it would be more distinctively Northern Irish.

  • Dave

    No Mike because when the anthem is removed the next thing that people will be asking is for the removal of flags. Then people will say they can’t identify with the name Northern Ireland and then they will want all interviews by the manager/players done in Irish and so on and so forth.

  • Mike

    Dave,

    Sorry but that’s just daft paranoia (and actually fairly laughable). To say that because many NI fans like myself want an NI-specific anthem, we’ll soon have our team renamed Ireland, never mind Lawrie and the players talking away in Irish, is straight our of looney-tune land.

  • Dave

    Well I have heard the calls to remove flags from the game.

    In addition to this people say they wont ever accept an Northern Ireland team.

    What is wrong with the current National Anthem?

  • Two Nations

    Mike,

    I am in broad agreement with most of what you are saying. My main point was to defend the term ‘No Surrender’ as non-sectarian. I was not trying to be a big Prod. I also do not agree that the chant in anyway disrespects the anthem, it is just a Ulster twist on the British anthem.

    Whether it should be used at NI games is a different matter. No Surrender should be a great way of starting a football match (it sums up the NI team’s grit and determination pretty well), but of course it carries a lot of baggage. It is specific to one section of the NI pop. and does out of place in the nuNI. But so the GSTQ.

    I have nothing but admiration for what people like you and the rest of the GAWA have done. I believe it will have a profound effect on society at large and will act like a spur to other sports on this island. (If only Irish Rugby was just about the team!)

    NI games should be, like you state, all about the team. The GSTQ should be replaced, as well as probably the flag. I do not think the majority of the fan base will disappear. I think you will strengthen the fanbase and create an even more marvellous atomsphere.

    What needs to be bourne in mind is that the symbols we are talking about removing have a deep resonance with the average Ulster Prod. So tread carefully in case you do alienate a large swathe of fans. The mistake some people will make is to want to replace these emblems with something that is a turn off to Ulster Prods e.g. replacing GSTQ with Danny Boy (ewww)or the NI flag with the 9 County flag.

    My suggestion on the anthem is to contact someone like Gary Lightbody. That dude can write some anthems.
    A flag that is completely neutral – green, white and blue.

    Here’s to a brighter future.

  • Dinger

    C’mon Dave, you can’t pretend that you don’t realise that hearing GSTQ before matches is hugely grating, not only for Nationalists but also many others who feel that it expresses absolutely nothing about their Northern Irishness…the English have already made GSTQ their own, the Jocks have ‘Flower of Scotland’ the Taffs have ‘Land of my Father’ so surely the Northern Irish should feel secure enough in their regional identity to sing something that reflects it, ie. ‘Danny Boy’…it would also be a slap in the bake to the diehards on both sides who, for their own petty, stubborn, sectarian reasons, would be much happier if GSTQ remains…

  • Two Nations

    Dinger,

    No no no no no no no.

    It would be a slap in the bake to anybody with ears.

    Twee maudlin crap.
    No Danny Boy, no Phil Coulter.

    Andy Cairns, Tim Wheeler or Gary Lightbody. Or all three.

  • Dave

    Dinger

    So we have to listen to some patronising peace song such as ‘Days like this’. The only NI song I sort of like is ‘Alternative Ulster’ but this song could never be used as an Anthem and it more a Nationalist song. I don’t want soem PC violin playing song that represents nothing and only patronises to NI population.

  • Dinger

    Errr guess it is a bit twee and maudlin but still prefer it to GSTQ by a feckin mile…guess we’re a bit screwed for an alternative anthem then..’Teenage Kicks’ anyone??

  • Mustapha Mond

    “…the elegant IFA celtic cross, virtually unchanged since 1950-aprt from a brief 1977 style disaster”

    Its handy against vampires to.

  • Cromwell

    Can we please put an end to this constant carping about replacing the National Anthem with Danny Boy from people who have obviously never read the lyrics.
    I don’t really want to drag it down to this level but;

    “Ye’ll come & find the place where I am lying,
    And kneel & say an AVE there for me.”

    Now, I don’t have a problem with the song, in fact I’ve heard it in many a country around the world, & it has been a comfort & a wee taste of home, but it can hardly be called non-denominational.
    The last time I checked Prods don’t say Aves’.
    In fact, in some circles, it could be seen as being more divisive than the current anthem.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    John East Belfast

    I think you’re being harsh on the Irish News. For example, anyone reading your posts would think the Irish News had completely ignored the story. In fact the paper’s back page had a double-lead lay-out, with both Windsor and Croker sharing the column inches fairly evenly. Both games got a reasonable amount of coverage inside. True, the IN didn’t go to town like the Tele did, but frankly I think that was fair enough. I thought it was actually fairly pathetic that the Tele’s evening edition led with the NI result – which, by the time it hit the streets, was almost 24 hours previously. Morning editions are one thing, but evening editions leading with a story from the previous day? It just reeked of journalistic laziness, to be honest – a laziness emphasised by the fact that there wasn’t even the fig leaf of a fresh new angle to the day-old story.
    Furthermore, I thought the Irish News lead story re. the price of a house on Alliance Avenue, was a cracking piece of journalism – exactly the kind of sharp, hard-working newshounding that you never, ever see in the lazy, bloated Tele. Just think about the work that had to go into that story, from the point when James Stinson (the reporter) conceived it, to the point where it appeared in the paper. Everyone knows house prices are rising fast, right? It’s probably THE hot topic for middle class Belfast right now. This reporter had the gumption to see an angle, in terms of Belfast’s more notorious addresses. Perhaps he was looking out for a house for sale in an infamous location, perhaps he simply happened across the house on Alliance Avenue, who knows? Either way, he must have been following the progress of the sale for weeks, checking in on a regular basis with the estate agent, maybe even posing as an interested party. Meanwhile he would have been trawling through the archives, looking for all the terrible events that happened in that area, coming up with no fewer than fourteen murders. (Not to mention the Holy Cross saga, which is only five minutes ago really.) Then the house, having gone on sale at £250k, hits the £800k mark. Sorry, but that’s a spectacular story: one that touches on the hot issue of property prices, as well as speaking to the sense we all have this week, that the past is now firmly in the past, and the future is here. A house on Alliance Avenue selling for more than triple the asking price is like a metaphor for Northern Ireland this week.
    A great story, and more to the point, a great piece of journalism, worked up from nothing to lead story material.

    “let’s face it the only reason this was not considered news worthy because it was NI.”

    But the Irish News DID cover the NI game in substantial detail. Not to the same extent as the Tele, but as I said, I think the Tele tends to go overboard as they so rarely have real stories of their own to go with.

    “As I said Shame on them and they really need to take a good long look at a mindset that prevents them from getting into a piece of drama like this.”

    But they HAVE covered NI. Furthermore, IN reporter Kenny Archer has had good things to say about NI and Windsor over the last couple of years. Attitudes are thawing and, I have to say, that is reflected in the pages of the Irish News.

    “The Irish News is introducing the prejudice but at the sametime giving us regular editorial lectures on how we need to move forward.”

    No it isn’t.

    “Think of the good they could have done by running this story?”

    But they DID run this story, in some considerable depth. Furthermore, it was not editorially unreasonable to share the back page lead with the RoI game. RoI game was covered, to reflect the interests of the perceived readership, while the NI game was covered in a way that reflected the newsworthiness of the story. Fair enough.

    “Instead they chose to emphasise our division.”

    No they didn’t.

  • londonderry

    You all do realize the English have been shouting “no surrender” during GSTQ now for years.

    So it really cant be that disrespectful to the anthem.

  • BP1078

    Londonderry

    You all do realize the English have been shouting “no surrender” during GSTQ now for years.

    We are Northern Ireland.
    Who gives a toss what the English fans do, I certainly don’t use them as my role model.

    So it really cant be that disrespectful to the anthem

    Imagine it’s Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph, GSTQ starts up, would you feel it appropriate to give a big beery “No Surrender” right in the middle, in front of the Queen and all those who’ve fought for our nation?
    Would that be respectful do you think?

    So what’s the difference when it’s played before a sporting occasion, it’s exactly the same anthem.

    As an alternative (not to placate those who will never support us anyway, but because we need something which has a unique N.Irish identity) how about a medley, without lyrics which involved something from every county (e.g. Glens of Antrim, Londonderry Air,Star of the County Down, Enniskillen Dragoons and er..something from Tyrone and Armagh)?

  • JG

    “True, the IN didn’t go to town like the Tele did”

    Is the Tele the paper that made idiots of themselves after the Iceland result and now want to make it up to their readers?

    Horse racing, the sport of kings because they muck out the stalls and use horse manure on the garden.

    Association football, not the sport of kings as they use horse manure on the back pages to sell newspapers.

  • pith

    Whatever one’s politics, GSTQ as a piece of music is an awful dirge. Is there anything worse in football than hearing England supporters drone it out at the 75 minute mark?

    However, it was apparently formalised as a national anthem by James II so at least it’s cross-community. Like.

  • It was’nt just No Surrender chants at Windsor on Wednesday might. A work colleague who attended the game witnessed a steward in the Kop end intervening when dozens of fans at the rear of the stand sang a Rangers song linking Henrik Larsson and the IRA !! I will spare you the details but it wasnt the stuff of rocket science…

    Sectarianism is still rife at NI games and to pretend that it has been eradicated (as some sections of the media have done) is both factually inaccurate and also smacks of journalistic mis-information. (Darren Fullerton in The Mirror being the shining example…)

  • Realist

    macswiney,

    Any signs of the stewards intervening at ROI matches yet, when large sections of the “support” put their sectarian IRA “add ons” into the Fields Of Athenry?

    I feel your pain.

  • Realist,

    Actually, I wasnt “in pain” or anywhere even close to it…! I was just allowing a FACT to get in the way of a good story….!

  • Realist

    macswiney,

    Your “mate from work” full of facts, is he?

    Here’s a FACT – Little Northern Ireland top their qualifying group.

    Magnificant.

  • IJP

    Northern Nationalists here also are very good at coming up with all kinds of excuses not to support the Northern Ireland team.

    So a question to them – let’s say the following takes place:
    – the NI team adopts a new flag, say a green-white-blue tricolour;
    – home games are moved to a new stadium; and
    – anthem is changed to “Danny Boy”.

    Do you now support NI at least as much as RoI?

  • IJP

    Btw, the issue here is whether it is possible to get everyone in NI to support the NI team at least as much as any other international team.

    Making allegations about what happens at Republic of Ireland matches is irrelevant. Anyone can do that.

  • But not as “magnificent” as your spelling it seems…

    PS : there are 2 rounds of matches in NI’s group on June 2nd and June 6th. NI dont play at all. Spain are playing Liechtenstein annd Latvia (guaranteed 6 points) and Sweden are at home to Iceland (surely 3 points) and then away to Denmark. This will almost definitely leave NI in 3rd place and give the group a more realistic look…

  • Realist

    macswiney,

    “But not as “magnificent” as your spelling it seems…”

    Thanks for that!

    “PS : there are 2 rounds of matches in NI’s group on June 2nd and June 6th. NI dont play at all. Spain are playing Liechtenstein annd Latvia (guaranteed 6 points) and Sweden are at home to Iceland (surely 3 points) and then away to Denmark. This will almost definitely leave NI in 3rd place and give the group a more realistic look…”

    Honestly?

    Wow – for someone who doesn’t have much time for Northern Ireland, you’ve been doing your homework, haven’t you?

    PS. Sweden are in Denmark before they play Iceland.

    You’ll also know that we’ve a home match on 22nd August – the only match in the group that day.

    I think we might just sneak three points in it too 🙂

  • kensei

    “Northern Nationalists here also are very good at coming up with all kinds of excuses not to support the Northern Ireland team.

    So a question to them – let’s say the following takes place:
    – the NI team adopts a new flag, say a green-white-blue tricolour;
    – home games are moved to a new stadium; and
    – anthem is changed to “Danny Boy”.

    Do you now support NI at least as much as RoI? ”

    No. Why would I? I have a team that plays under my flag, stands for my anthem and takes players from all 32 counties.

    I am not “making excuses”. It’s just NI doesn’t represent me any more than, say, France.

  • “NI doesn’t represent me any more than, say, France.”

    Even though you live and were born there? (I know I’m making an assumption that may not be correct here but for sake of argument let’s roll with it)

  • kensei

    “Even though you live and were born there? (I know I’m making an assumption that may not be correct here but for sake of argument let’s roll with it)”

    The state doesn’t represent me either, and it against all of my politics. In fact, as I live here and have grown up here, I’m more likely to say “Northern Ireland” doesn’t represent me.

    As a Nationalist, I want to see the end of the current arrangement. As has been pointed out by others, I’m Irish and if others want to stick other things onto it, that’s up to them. But once you start tacking on those additions, you have ceased to represent me.

  • Realist,

    It’s not that I was doing my homework, its just that I was amazed at the lack of knowledge shown by some BBC presenters on Wednesday night. Even the usually well-researched Stephen Watson made the following comment.

    ” We play Liechtenstein next which means we will stretch our lead even further…”

    He clearly had no knowledge that there were 2 complete rounds of matches in June, of which Northern Ireland were not involved in any. Amazingly poor-quality journalism when you think about it…

  • Realist

    kensei,

    I respect your honesty.

    PS. Great to see Sir David grab a last minute (flukey) winner for you on Friday night – a much needed three points bagged.

  • Realist

    macswiney,

    I know what you mean – some people are losing the run of themselves!

    If we finish third in this group, I think it will be a fantastic achievement.

    Even fourth would represent progress.

    Good times tho – “feelgood factor” abounds.

  • Inver Red

    As a Northern Ireland fan, call me biased but I think in terms of being the most likely to qualify for the Finals, I would rank these countries as follows

    Most Likely 1-Northern Ireland
    2- Scotland
    3-England
    4-Wales (2 games in hand on Republic)
    5- Republic of Ireland.

    What do you think?

  • BP1078

    We’ll finish third.
    Best chance out of the other 4?
    Scotland, England, ROI, Wales.

  • Inver Red

    I can’t believe your negativity, BP. I strongly fancy us to qualify on the back of us winning our next 3 games, which we should do.
    Let’s sit back and laugh at the beggars from the south when we are confirmed qualifiers in the autumn.
    Then watch turncoats like Gibson and Kane wallow in their own shit when this happens.

  • BP1078

    You seem to be suffering a bit from split loyalties there Inver…

  • robert

    “Let’s sit back and laugh at the beggars from the south when we are confirmed qualifiers in the autumn.
    Then watch turncoats like Gibson and Kane wallow in their own shit when this happens.”

    Football for all ???

    inver

    It would be more honest if you just said ‘Taig’ or ‘Fenian’.

  • “It would be more honest if you just said ‘Taig’ or ‘Fenian’. “

    Sigh. I’m tired of explaining things like this to ignorant bitter stirrers who jump to the wrong conclusions based on their own prejudice.

    The term beggars came from the Republic of Ireland’s football team developing a habit during the late eighties early nineties of running all over the world ‘begging’ foreign nationals whose grandad once drank a pint of guinness in Dublin airport to come and play for them. It has nothing to do with taigs and fenians. But don’t let the truth get in the way of a MOPE, would you?

  • kensei

    “The term beggars came from the Republic of Ireland’s football team developing a habit during the late eighties early nineties of running all over the world ‘begging’ foreign nationals whose grandad once drank a pint of guinness in Dublin airport to come and play for them. It has nothing to do with taigs and fenians. But don’t let the truth get in the way of a MOPE, would you?”

    So sneering and nasty whatever spin you put on it, and the fact the NI team has done the same apparently has no impact. I see.

    And apparently I am guilty of “idiotic and prejudical bullshit and rank hypocrisy”.

    Get some shame there beano.

  • Dave

    Most Likely 1-Northern Ireland
    2- Scotland
    3-England
    4-Wales (2 games in hand on Republic)
    5- Republic of Ireland.

    What do you think?

    I like your optimism but England have to be the favourites and then the ROI. Wales are gon and Scotland won’t qualify.

    We will qualify if we can muster up two more away victories, this is something I don’t think we can do.

  • vic

    According to a poster on owc a while back the term beggar was a simple code for taigs.

  • IJP

    Kensei

    To be fair, you’re honest.

    I’d much rather your stated position than someone who does make excuses but wouldn’t support NI anyway!

    I’d be interested to hear how you define “add-ons”. Do you accept that Britishness is an integral part of Irishness, for example?

  • kensei

    “I’d be interested to hear how you define “add-ons”. Do you accept that Britishness is an integral part of Irishness, for example?”

    I don’t understand how it could be, but then I don’t have particular insight into the Unionist mentality.

    I don’t believe “Britishness” can be accommodated within an All-Ireland state. But British people and many of the things that make up “Irish Britishness” can be.

    Exactly how you would define “add-ons” would take some thought, because there are regional identities that I do have – Belfast, Antrim, Ulster. But Northern Ireland and British-Irish are entirely alien to me.

  • Dave

    Isnt it about time people including certain journalists within the ‘Irish News’ grew up and started refering to this province as Northern Ireland instead of the ‘North’. The North is an incorrect reference anyway as it would include Donegal which is part of the ROI.

    Kensei you said

    I don’t believe “Britishness” can be accommodated within an All-Ireland state. But British people and many of the things that make up “Irish Britishness” can be.

    You wont need to worry about this as an all Ireland state does not exist and is unlikely to do so any time soon.

    Besides why can Britishness not be accomdated within an all Ireland state?

  • kensei

    “You wont need to worry about this as an all Ireland state does not exist and is unlikely to do so any time soon.”

    Depends how you define soon, doesn’t it.

    “Besides why can Britishness not be accomdated within an all Ireland state?”

    Because you always hit walls. There is no tricolour flying over Belfast City Hall due to present Constitutional arrangements, just as there could be no Union Jack in an All-Ireland scenario.
    That doesn’t speak to how people see themselves or express themselves – they could be as British as they liked – and a lot of the underlying “Britishness” here is really indigneous Ulster culture anyway and that can be catered for.

  • Dave

    But couldnt British traditions such as Remembrance Sunday be accomodated in a UI.

    As for a UI Gerry predicts 2020, that is quite soon.

  • kensei

    “But couldnt British traditions such as Remembrance Sunday be accomodated in a UI.”

    Sure, but as I said, there are always going to be limits, and if Nationalism is going to sell a UI, it has to recognise that. I think there would be gains in other places though.

    “As for a UI Gerry predicts 2020, that is quite soon.”

    There are chains of events where 2020 is possible, but I would say very unlikely. But it’s been 80 years so far. If it’s another 80, we are over half way 🙂

  • Beano
    “The term beggars came from the Republic of Ireland’s football team developing a habit during the late eighties early nineties of running all over the world ‘begging’ foreign nationals…”

    Kensei’s right, it’s nasty.
    What ROI does is no different that what other teams do. Anything we do is within the rules set by FIFA.

    Inver Red
    “Most Likely 1-Northern Ireland
    2- Scotland
    3-England
    4-Wales (2 games in hand on Republic)
    5- Republic of Ireland.”

    That’s a joke right? Wales are 7 points the top 3 (same no of games as Germany, 1 less than CzRep) but you think they’ll qualify?? Have you been following the competition at all?
    NI & Scotland ahead of England?

  • IJP

    Maca

    Good to see you back.

    One can only assume the order is a joke, as it just “happens” to have NI on top and RoI at the bottom.

    And we wonder why the NI team’s not popular with many RoI fans!

    I suspect he’ll regret printing that list come October.

    Dave

    Isnt it about time people including certain journalists within the ‘Irish News’ grew up and started refering to this province as Northern Ireland instead of the ‘North’.

    Only if the Belfast Telegraph grows up and starts referring to “Northern Ireland” by its proper name too, instead of this constant “Ulster” rubbish.

    The North is an incorrect reference anyway as it would include Donegal which is part of the ROI.

    And “Ulster” includes two more. So the Tele is even further out.

    Funny how people are so one-sided in the things they notice…

  • IJP

    Kensei

    I don’t believe “Britishness” can be accommodated within an All-Ireland state.

    Again, at least you’re honest so we know what we’re dealing with.

    In fact, I’ve no doubt Britishness would have to be integral to an All-Ireland state. Just as NI doesn’t work because it’s divided into sectarian camps, an all-Ireland State would fail if it too were so divided.

    But that’s hypothetical. Dave is right at least when he says it won’t be happening soon. We each have a responsibility to make the best of a bad deal in the mean time.

  • kensei

    “Again, at least you’re honest so we know what we’re dealing with.”

    Selectively quoting, then being a condescending git works wonders, doesn’t it?

    “In fact, I’ve no doubt Britishness would have to be integral to an All-Ireland state. Just as NI doesn’t work because it’s divided into sectarian camps, an all-Ireland State would fail if it too were so divided.”

    The nature of Irishness would have to change, and many of the things that make up “Irish Britishness” would need to be integral. But the state would have to be indivisibly Irish, or else it is not independent.

  • IJP the GFA included recognition of the legitimacy of Northern Ireland and its place in the UK. It included no such recognition of the present-day boundaries of Ulster, which is not a legally defined entity.

  • kensei

    “IJP the GFA included recognition of the legitimacy of Northern Ireland and its place in the UK. It included no such recognition of the present-day boundaries of Ulster, which is not a legally defined entity.”

    Are you not dizzy from all that spinning beano? Everyone knows what the boundaries of the four provinces are.

    We could start asking – what flag is on Belfast’s “Ulster Hall”? How many counties does the Rugby team represent? When Ulster said no, how many counties where they referring to, or did the people signing the Covenant in Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal not count?

  • Posted by MACSWINEY on Mar 31, 2007 @ 12:31 PM

    A work colleague who attended the game witnessed a steward in the Kop end intervening when dozens of fans at the rear of the stand sang a Rangers song linking Henrik Larsson and the IRA !! I will spare you the details but it wasnt the stuff of rocket science…

    Up there with Sammy Mac’s Protestant Army ha ha ha.

    Might have fallen for it if you hadn’t mentioned the ‘steward intervening’.