Another Good Night all round for the Irish

Both Irish international teams recorded victories tonight, with the two most prolific Irish strikers in history each adding a brace to their growing tallies. The Northern Ireland team, who won 3-1 in Belfast, will also be bouyed by the impressive 4-0 hammering dished out by the Republic of Ireland to the former’s Group opponents, Denmark. Special congratulations to Derry’s Darron Gibson, who made his international debut for the Republic making an immediate impact with his first touch of the game, setting up the third goal after coming on as a second-half substitute.

  • Realist

    I believe there was much street drinking, discarded rubbish, urinating on the road and boisterous behavoiur last night – at the Tennants Vital gig!

    Side note.

    Thirty thousand people converged on Ormeau Park last night.

    Close to fifteen thousand on Windsor Park.

    All seemed to have a good time.

    Are you listening, Mr Poots?

  • RG Cuan

    Indeed Darth, a lot more than 3 times.

    I’m just saying that i’ve never seen the same level of anti-social behaviour at CLG/GAA games. Although i do agree that drunken nonsense can take place anywhere a large crowd gathers.

  • Dec

    Many congrats to Gibson for what will be his only 45 minutes of international football, as he will soon be judged ineligible and in limbo.

    Darth

    I would suggest that both you and Mr Wells re-read your FIFA Statutes with particular emphasis on Articel 15.

  • Pounder

    Interesting point made there on the Vital Gig. Quite a large crowd yet the traffic congestion was dealt with very well and I’ve yet to hear too many serrious objections from the residents beyond the usual old bags with nothing better to do. It was mentioned on this mornings Nolan Show that the Ravenhill Road was closed off and the shuttle bus service from the city centre was very successful. Big points in favour of a stadium in Ormeau I think.

  • Cromwell

    Dec,

    Here we go again!

  • Billy

    Darth

    “Many congrats to Gibson for what will be his only 45 minutes of international football, as he will soon be judged ineligible and in limbo.”

    God Almighty! Don’t you people ever learn?

    The FAI had already checked Darron’s eligibility with FIFA. He has played at junior levels and been a substitute for the senior squad before.

    If FIFA had an issue with his eligibility, it would have been stated long before this.

    When Trinidad and Tobago tried to register J Lloyd Samuel as a player, they were turned down by FIFA on eligibility grounds IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS.

    If FIFA had any issues with Darron, they would have warned the FAI of any potential punishments should he be awarded a full cap.

    They have had ample time to advise the FAI if there was any problem with his eligibility. They haven’t done anything which is a bit of a giveaway isn’t it?

    The only reason Darron’s eligibility is still in the news is the pathetic attempt by the IFA to block it.

    At least it’ll be sorted after this. The bottom line will be that anyone born in the 6 counties is eligible to play for the RoI if they so wish and if they are selected.

    Frankly, I think NI fans are being pathetic. I wouldn’t want anyone in the RoI Team who didn’t want to play for us.

  • Darth,

    Are you for real ?? This is now sorted.

    Try and relax and you will be able to cheer on your fellow local lad Darron in Austria/Switzerland next summer…

  • anthony

    Why is NI manager continually ‘begging’ young Gibson to play for his team. It is demeaning and humiliating in the extreme and suggests that he has little or no faith in the young crop of midfielders presently in his Under 21 team.

    Will he compound his embarrassement by cold-calling Belfast lad, Tony Kane, who played in Ireland’s cracking 2-2 draw against Germany?

    Don’t BT have a way of stopping nuisance phone callers like Nerdy Nigel?

  • Georgey

    Darron Gibson sounded the death knell for a separate northern soccer team last night.

  • Dec

    Cromwell

    I make no apology for trying to introduce actual facts into a debate. However I can’t really blame NI fans for re-raising this issue ad-nauseum when their own Association continually embarrass themselves by their seemingly illiterate approach to the issue of eligibility (McLean, Gibson).

  • Cromwell

    Dec, Billy, Macswiney et al,

    Yawn, yawn, yawn. This has been covered elsewhere, as I said earlier I’m just glad its over, well done for falling into Darths trap.

  • Billy

    Cromwell

    For once, we agree.

    The issue is sorted and, as you say, I think all sensible people are glad it’s over.

    I’ll have to try and avoid these ‘traps’ in future as it’s a pointless debate.

  • Ceathrú Aodha Dhuibh

    Against my better judgement, I will try again, as the last time I spoke I was accused of being a troll.

    Some Catholics support Nothern Ireland, most dont. I am who does. What is the f—ing problem. I have no particular desire to hear GSTQ, but I have a life. I get over it. I have to think of more important things in life.

  • Cromwell

    Ceathru( what does that mean?),

    We’re very glad to have you aboard, I hope you’ll be joining us on a little trip next year!

    As for GSTQ, I’m personally not for changing it but I will say this: the constant carping & using it as some sort of pretty pathetic stick to beat Norn Iron fans will make me even less inclined to want to change it.
    Also, sometimes change is not good, can you imagine how crappy a purpose written( Irelands Call anyone; sh*te!) would be? & lets face it the gurners on here still wouldnt be happy.

  • redhaze

    Sulivan,

    “As for your other requests, maybe they’ll come to pass around the time the Dublinites quit anti-Semitic abuse and the booing of Rangers players.”

    What anti-semitic abuse is this?

  • Cromwell

    redhaze,

    Its not my place to answer other peoples posts but I would imagine he means the abuse meted out the last time RoI played Israel.

  • Cahal

    Ziznivy
    God forbid my reputation should be tarnished, Cathal is not Cahal.

  • redhaze

    Cromwell,

    What abuse is that? I’m just curious as I didn’t hear anything about it at the time and I watched the game on television, but I may have missed something.

  • Cahal

    Ceathrú Aodha Dhuibh

    Serious question; do you feel comfortable waving the old Stormont regime flag and all that stands for?

  • Dec

    As for GSTQ, I’m personally not for changing it but I will say this: the constant carping & using it as some sort of pretty pathetic stick to beat Norn Iron fans will make me even less inclined to want to change it.
    Also, sometimes change is not good, can you imagine how crappy a purpose written( Irelands Call anyone; sh*te!) would be? & lets face it the gurners on here still wouldnt be happy.

    In short Cromwell, lets continue to alienate almost half your potential support and resources then run crying to FIFA when (shock horror), players from that section of the community switch Associations. That’s a surefire way of ensuring future success. But hey, at least you slapped it up the begrudgers on Slugger.

  • Pig Champion RIP

    FAO Cromwell

    “Ceathrú Aodha Dhuibh” = Carryduff

    *Now turns tail flees from the ground-football thread* 😉

  • Cromwell

    Dec,

    Lets be honest here, you & the likes of you are never gonna support NI no matter what anthem they have, & anyhow if the only thing stopping you is a song you dont like then you are a pretty sad individual.

    As for, yawn, the Darren debate, you obviously arent paying attention as I’ve posted on numerous occasions that,yawn, if he doesnt want to play for us I dont want him, but,yawn, all the best to him anyhow & we’ll have him at the Glens whenever he likes!
    Also, I’m giving a personal opinion, I dont work for the IFA, so me slapping it up anyone will make no difference to anything, as I, just like you Dec, am not really very important.

    redhaze,

    Think it was covered here somewhere before, from what I remember, Israeli players were roundly abused by sections of the support & fans copped a fair bit of stick outside the stadium.
    Any player who ever had a sniff of a Rangers shirt also gets it in the ear.

    Cheers Ceathru.

  • harpo

    Top British international scorers of all time:

    1. Charlton 49
    2. Lineker 48
    3. Greaves 44
    4. Owen 37
    5. Healy 31

    Healy is now ahead of the top Scottish (Dalglish and Law on 30 each) and Welsh (Rush on 28 ) scorers. And ahead of other top English scorers like Finney, Lofthouse and Shearer (30 each).

    He is now the 5th top British international scorer of all time. Of the 4 above him only Owen is still active.

    2 more international goals for Healy last night.

    The man can’t be stopped.

    Can he beat the British record for international goals?

  • John East Belfast

    Georgey

    “Darron Gibson sounded the death knell for a separate northern soccer team last night.”

    Eh ?

    In my opinion he has done the opposite.

    The best way to change the flag and anthem (with which I agree) of NI is for it to be argued by nationalists playing their shirts off from within.

    The best way to persuade for an All Ireland Team (which I wouldnt totally close the door if it FULLY respected both nationalities on the Island)is for it to be argued once again from within.

    The problem is if nationalism withdraws in every respect then you also lose your influence.

    However if you dont want that influence then there is no point complaining when others shape the future in their own image.

  • Dec

    Lets be honest here, you & the likes of you are never gonna support NI no matter what anthem they have, & anyhow if the only thing stopping you is a song you dont like then you are a pretty sad individual.

    Cromwell

    Sorry if you missed my point (you did) but I have never made any claim that I would support Northern Ireland (nor that ‘the likes of me’ would either) – 20 years of sectarian chanting will encourage you to seek alternative pastimes. However I have no doubt that there would be many out there who are not Unionists who would actively support the Northern Ireland team if it wasn’t so beholden to Unionist imagery and iconography. Clearly you are unable to understand that point.

    Constantly disparaging anybody who has genuine qualms about the atmosphere at Windsor Park hints at a chronic paranoia. Maybe some day you’ll realise that a Nationalist has as much right to support Northern Ireland in an atmosphere where he doesn’t feel threatened or intimated as you do(that would be the ‘sad individuals’ you refer to. Tax-paying citizens in most others’ books.) Believing that maintaining the NI football team as a Unionist preserve with visiting Nationalists expected to be seen but not heard does not bode well for the team’s future. Nor indeed the dubious Football for All campaign. Fortunately, I do know that some NI supporters realise that. Therefore reactionary bigots like yourself who, humourously, attempt to portray themselves as some sort of progressive thinker won’t always have their way. I hope that dat comes sooner rather than later, for the Northern irelands team’s sake.

  • john

    John East Belfast
    The NI team is simply a loyalist team. It doesn’t represent me as an Irishman, and it doesn’t represent a large number of people like me in Northern Ireland. Its actually a little perverse that it claims to represent Northern Ireland when actually it represents 50% of Northern Ireland. I’m more comfortable supporting the RoI team as it has players from the whole island. I don’t support a football team to change the constitutional arrangement of Northern Ireland. Keep your GSTQ and union jacks, but just don’t complain when I or other Irishmen like me decide we won’t support/play for your loyalist NI team.

  • willowfield

    John

    The NI team is simply a loyalist team.

    It’s quite clearly not. What an outrageous thing to say.

    I’m more comfortable supporting the RoI team as it has players from the whole island.

    So does that mean you didn’t support ROI before they had players from NI?

  • willowfield

    Billy

    I wouldn’t want anyone in the RoI Team who didn’t want to play for us.

    Are you from the Republic?

  • patrique

    Glad to see the last of that defector/outsider, Venezuelan/Englishman Sanchez.

    Only those with a family tree of over 5 centuries should be allowed to play for a country.

    That would put an end to meaningless international matches.

  • PeaceandJustice

    The Northern Ireland team has always had players of differing religions. There is no issue about flying the Northern Ireland flag. As I saw on another forum, just because the old Stormont Government fell doesn’t mean NI became flagless! The Union Flag is the official flag for all of us in the UK but like England, Scotland and Wales, we have our own de facto regional flag.

    For those who claim they won’t support their own country and prefer to support the Irish Republic, do you also back the right of the minority population in Eire to fly the Northern Ireland flag and support the Northern Ireland team? Up to now Sinn Fein IRA has used intimidation and violence against anyone in Eire who dared to support NI.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    John East Belfast has spoken sense.

    Irish Nationalists in NI should wholeheartedly support the NI soccer team, as I’ve said already. It is their team too, 100%. How can change come about if there is no participation from all folk. The bad old days are gone. Support your local Ulster boys, for the NI Catholic/Nationalist players give 100%
    to the team, so why not the Catholic/Nationalist supporters. Jennings, O’Neill, Armstrong, Hughes, etc…down through the years have always played their hearts out for NI.
    Irish Nationalists in NI can still support the RoI, just as Unionists support well what I thought England as I said before, but no it wasn’t the case, but let’s say Scotland then as a second team.

    And let’s all give our 100% support to the Irish rugby team now for tonights game at Ravenhill and the World Cup ahead.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Hear hear Greg
    I’m off to Ravenhill, to sing GSTQ, as the host country’s national anthem, and then cheer on the Irish-even the non-British ones.I hope that won’t be any more offensive than the Soldier’s Song at Croke Park-i.e. not at all.

    And yes, the GAWA share all celtic loathing for England- “Are you England in disguise?” being one of the crueller chants on Wednesday. Sadly our Scottish cousins aren’t really around for long in most sports apart from Deep Fried Mars Bars eating

  • WindsorRocker

    Darth,

    I don’t think that GSTQ is going to be sung tonight…… and there will be no union flag flying either….

    I was always happy supporting the Irish rugby team despite the Soldier’s Song being sung and the Tricolour being flown because I always accepted that this happened because of the country in which the matches were being played (ROI)…

    If, as I have been told, there is no UK flag and anthem tonight at Ravenhill then that goodwill I had when supporting Irish rugby and accepting the symbols of the other country in Ireland could well evaporate as those who run rugby in Ireland would be shown up for, at worst, republicans and at best, rank hypocrites.

  • willowfield

    I think cowards is another description for those who run rugby in Ireland.

  • Outsider

    Its interesting to note that the National Anthem and Union flag is banned from Ireland rugby matches but Irelands call, the Irish tricolour and soldiers songs are all acceptable.

    Could we expect the same in an all Ireland football team?

  • brian

    Strange that gstq, the stormont regime flag and loyalist chanting is quite acceptable at football games, yet unionists mope when the foot is on the other boot (no pun intended) 🙂

  • brian

    ‘when the foot is on the other boot (no pun intended) :)’

    Ach..you know what i mean 🙂

  • Outsider

    NI does not pretend to represent the ROI that is the difference.

  • Cahal

    Gréagóir O’ Frainclín
    I don’t know where to start. So I won’t. Wise up.

  • Cahal

    “NI does not pretend to represent the ROI that is the difference.”

    But it does pretend to represent the people living in the 6 counties. It is a PUL team with PUL symbols. That is the reality.

  • Outsider

    Cahal

    WhatS the Ireand rugby team then?

    The NI football team represnts NI a province most Nationalists do not recongnise so the fact there is a NI team at all is where the real problem lies with you and your cronies.

  • don

    ‘The NI football team represnts NI a province most Nationalists do not recongnise so the fact there is a NI team at all is where the real problem lies with you and your cronies’

    I can understand unionists and loyalists being protective of their football team, it’s one of the few sports that does not have an all island set up, so its natural that the would be robust in their support of all the unionist symbolism that associates football internationals in Northern Ireland

  • Cahal

    Outsider, I have no problem whatsoever in admitting that I find the existence of the northern state unfortunate.

    I have openly stated that I wouldn’t lend support to any sporting organization that lends legitamacy to the anti-democratic abomination that is “Northern Ireland”.

    Having said that I can understand why unionists are attached to their PUL team. Just don’t expect me to support it; ain’t gonna happen.

  • willowfield

    The ethnic nationalists might view the NI flag as a “unionist symbols”, but to others it’s just the flag of NI being used in an appropriate context.

    Unionists view the Southern tricolour as a “nationalist symbol” when at the front of a Provo parade, but when used by the ROI team it is entirely appropriate.

    As for Cahal claiming that NI is an “anti-democratic abomination”, perhaps he ought to examine election and referendum results in the six counties for the past 125 years.

  • harry

    willowfield

    Its a unionist flag that has no official status.Its status was abolished when the Stormont assembly was shut down in 1973.

    It’s still used by some unionist organisations like the IFA,unionist political parties & the uvf/uff.

  • John East Belfast

    Darth, Gregor

    I dont have a loathing for the English football team – indeed I wish it well.

    I may not have a passion for it like I do for NI.

    My main problem with the English Football team are the English press.

    I will never forget that Sunday am “breakfast with Jimmy Hill” thing the week before we beat them 1 – 0 at Windsor. Their arrogance was breath taking as to what they thought the result would be and indeed whining on about teams like NI should have to play a pre qualifying tournament so that England etc should not have to dirty their boots with such entities.

    However later that week my son testified to what gentlemen Beckham et al were when they tried to get autographs etc at their training ground. Even Sven was the perfect gent.

    Its the people who write in the press that piss everyone else off

  • Billy

    Willowfield

    “Billy

    I wouldn’t want anyone in the RoI Team who didn’t want to play for us.

    Are you from the Republic?”

    I’m from the North, mate.

    I’ve got my Irish Citizenship and my Irish passport. Just the same as anyone born in the North is entitled to if they so wish.

    As with thousands of other 6 county folk, the RoI is and will always be my team.

    Just the same as Darron Gibson, the well known RoI international footballer and, hopefully, quite a few more 6 county lads over the years to come.

    Are you getting the idea?

  • John East Belfast

    “I’m from the North, mate

    As with thousands of other 6 county folk, the RoI is and will always be my team.”

    Completely sums up the absurdity and confusion of the position of six county nationalists to support the 26 county soccer team

  • john

    John East Belfast,
    How is it absurd for an Irishman like myself (or billy) to support a team that has representation from all over the island of Ireland? I could never support a team that is so overtly loyalist as the NI team!

  • Billy

    JEB

    “Completely sums up the absurdity and confusion of the position of six county nationalists to support the 26 county soccer team”

    Why are you so arrogant as to try and dictate to people which football team they should or shouldn’t support (or play for)?

    I’m currently living and working in Australia. Down the street from me, there is a family from Bangor. Their son is 7 or 8 and was born in Australia. However, I often see him kicking the ball around with his mates in his NI shirt with Healy on the back.

    Personally I don’t see anything wrong with that -do you?

    As far as I’m concerned, if anyone from NI (Or abroad) wants to support the NI Football team or play for them if eligible – then good luck to them. I have no problem with anyone.

    Do you have a problem with Maik Taylor or Capaldi playing for NI although they weren’t born there or any of the numerous other players who have also done this over the years – I’ll bet you don’t.

    Why do you and many other NI “fans” on here constantly criticise people from the North who choose to support the RoI or players from the North who are eligible for the RoI who choose to play for them?

    Anyone born in the North is entitled to Irish citizenship if they so wish. I, and many thousands of others, have taken that option as I consider myself to be Irish.

    Unionists such as yourself consider yourself British and manintain that citizenship. I respect that as your choice and good luck to you.

    Some players born in the North from a “Nationalist” background such as Chris Baird choose to play for NI. Again I respect that and good luck to them.

    Other players from a similar background such as Darron Gibson choose to play for the RoI which they are fully entitled to do.

    The difference is that I realise that people are entitled to make these choices and I respect their decisions when they do (even if it differs from my own point of view).

    You and other NI “fans” on here simply want to impose your views on other people.

    You seem to have a problem with the fact that Nationalists from the North have a choice to support RoI if they wish and to play for RoI if they wish.

    Why can’t you just accept it instead of showing yourself up by making embarassing attacks on people for doing nothing more than exercising their legal rights?

    It was pathetic to see Worthington pleading with Darron Gibson and then resorting to baseless veiled threats.

    Personally, I wouldn’t want anyone in the RoI team who didn’t want to play for us. Nor do I want the support of anyone unless it’s freely given and genuine.

    Then again, I don’t think that I’ve got the right to dictate to people either.

  • Darth,

    Re : “I’m off to Ravenhill, to sing GSTQ, as the host country’s national anthem, and then cheer on the Irish-even the non-British ones.I hope that won’t be any more offensive than the Soldier’s Song at Croke Park-i.e. not at all”.

    Erm – What did it feel like to be the only one singing it then…? LOL 🙂

  • Pounder

    Yeah the Northern Ireland team IS overtly loyalist, as evidenced by the former hurling player that captained the team on Wednesday night, oh wait.

  • willowfield

    harry

    Its [sic] a unionist flag that has no official status.Its status was abolished when the Stormont assembly was shut down in 1973.

    That’s how you, with political motivations, choose to view it. Most people, though, recognise it as the NI flag and will continue to do so until we get another flag. “Official status” is a red herring: the English, Welsh and Scottish, and even Union (I think) flags don’t have “official status” except by convention. In sporting terms, the flag does have “official status”.

    Billy

    I’m from the North, mate.

    Yet you support the South?

    I’ve got my Irish Citizenship and my Irish passport.

    Congratulations. I’m very pleased for you.

    I’m currently living and working in Australia. Down the street from me, there is a family from Bangor. Their son is 7 or 8 and was born in Australia. However, I often see him kicking the ball around with his mates in his NI shirt with Healy on the back.

    Um, if his family is from Bangor, then supporting NI seems like a natural thing to do! (Unless you mean Bangor in Wales.)

    Why have you retracted neither your unfounded accusations against me or your lies about NI supporters and the IFA? Or, if you believe what you said to be true, why have you chosen not to back your claims up with evidence?

    John

    I’m more comfortable supporting the RoI team as it has players from the whole island.

    So does that mean you didn’t support ROI before they had players from NI?

  • willowfield

    These are Billy‘s lies that he told and then refused to either retract or back up when challenged.

    1. He said that I denied “that Windsor was ever a cold house for Catholics”. That was a lie.

    2. He said that I denied “that Linfield didn’t sign Catholics for many years”. That was a lie.

    3. He said that I deny that “anti-Catholic sectarianism blighted NI football for decades”. That was a lie.

    When challenged, he said that “Those may not be your exact words but they are clear implications of statements that you have made”. I then challenged him to post up the statements that he claimed backed up his allegations. He declined to do so.

    Surely if he had any personal integrity, unless he was able to back up these allegations, he would retract them?

    Also in response to my challenge of these lies, he referred to a previous occasion when I had (justifiably) called him a liar, as if the calling someone who has told lies a liar is worse than the telling of the lies in the first place. He has yet to retract those lies either:

    4. He stated that the IFA only started to make strides in tackling sectarianism “because the publicity they got from the Neil Lennon death threat forced them to do so”. That was untrue, as he had been told before, yet he repeated the lie.

    5. He stated that “In a match prior to the death threat, Neil Lennon had endured a torrid 90 minutes where his every touch was booed by the majority of NI fans. McIlroy more or less glossed over it and the IFA said nothing”. That was a lie.

    Does Billy have the integrity to retract these lies?

  • Billy

    Willowfield

    In case you didn’t understand my last post, let me make something clear. These “tactics” were first used by you and directed at me.

    You claimed that I said that someone from the NI GAWA had made the death threat to Neil Lennon – LIE!!. I never said any such thing nor would I – after growing up in NI, I am only too well aware of the dangers of such statements.

    I was clear that it was the LVF or some other “loyalist” organisation that made these threats. What I did say was that it showed there was still an anti-Catholic element in the Unionist community who resented a Catholic captaining NI which is self evidently true. There was obviously still an element among NI fans who didn’t want a Catholic captain as Neil Lennon was still getting boos during matches – we may disagree about the scale but are you truly saying that some NI fans did not boo Neil Lennon in the matches prior to his departure? – I think TV + Newspaper coverage will easily prove you wrong.

    When I pulled you up on this ridiculous and dangerous allegation – you said “that was the clear implication of your comments” – sound familiar? Like I said, it’s not nice when people comment on what they think you implied rather than what you actually said is it?

    You really make me laugh – you tell a big blatent lie about me and then come on calling me a “dirty liar” and whinging on about retractions.

    I haven’t heard anything from you about retracting the major lie you told about me. Or is it only RoI fans who have to abide by these rules while NI fans can say anything they like whether it’s true or not?

    Sorry to disappoint you but the days of “croppy lie down” are long gone. If I upset you for being an uppity Catholic and daring to answer back – tough shit!.

    I don’t need lessons in integrity from someone who starts off by telling a blatent lie, calls me
    a “dirty liar” and demands retractions while seemingly oblivious to their own scandalous claims. The word hypocrisy springs to mind.

    Anyway, I’m not replying to any more of your hypocritical shite. I’m bored stiff of your double-standards and your pathetic attempts to enforce your opinions on NI Catholics who choose to exercise their RIGHTS to support (or play for) the RoI.

    The bottom line is clear, the majority of 6 county Nationalists will continue to support our RoI team.

    Now that Darron Gibson has made the breakthrough, hopefully more and more 6 county lads will follow his example and opt for the RoI.

    Good Luck at the Maze.

  • Pounder

    If Northern ireland fans have such a problem with a catholic captaining the team why was there no death threads about Chris Baird, who as I point out above is a former GAA player, neither was he booed when on the ball. The problem seems to me here is that the Nationalist side here refuse to accept that the fans learned from their mistakes, the actions of a mindless few cost us a good player and captain. It’s actually RoI fans who have the more recent bad behaviour because even as shit as NI got before no-one ever threatened the manager with a gun.

    Now you can do what I do and accept that it was the actions of a few muppet who don’t represent the view of the RoI fans, just like the tossers who phoned in a death threat to Neil Lennon,or we can continue to tar each other with a wide and dirty brush.

  • frankie

    The thousands of Northern Ireland supporters shouting ‘No Surrender’ during God Save The Queen last Wednesday, don’t seem to have learned from their sectarian past.

  • Billy

    Pounder

    I was talking about the past. I accept that the vast majority of NI fans have moved on and have no problem with Catholic players or even Captain.

    As I’ve said before, I still think it is to the shame of the IFA that it literally took them decades to take action and there were many many shameful matches at Windsor where disgusting anti-Catholic or pro UVF/UDA chants were rife.

    I do believe there is still work to be done i.e the “No Surrender” chants during the anthem.

    However, fair play to NI for the efforts they have made.

    For Nationalists of my generation, it’s too late. There is no way that we will support NI becuase we we endured too much crap when we went along to see them.

    It is possible however, that NI may well succeed in attracting more younger Nationalist fans/players with their current policies.

    If so, good luck to them. I have NO PROBLEM with Chris Baird or anyone else who makes the choice to support/play for NI. That is their right and I respect it.

    What I cannot and will not tolerate is NI “fans” on this thread (not yourself Pounder) who think they have the right to dictate to others (really Nationalists) who they should support/play for.

    Whether or not Unionists like it, people born in the 6 counties have the right to support the RoI. They also have the right to opt to play for the RoI.

    We do not need the agreement or permission of NI “fans” to do so. It’s none of their business.

  • frankie

    ‘It is possible however, that NI may well succeed in attracting more younger Nationalist fans/players with their current policies.’

    Few ‘young Nationalists fans’ would have any time for all the unionist symbolism on show at Windsor Park on match night. Young Nationalists from South Belfast for example, have seen n.i & our wee country flags erected outside the homes of Catholic families living in predominantly Unionist areas over the summer, as a way of intimidating them & forcing them from that community. Many more n.i supporters erected their football flags alongside those of the uff & uvf in many unionist areas over the 12th period.

    Windsor park was always a ‘cold house’ for one side of the community and the actions of n.i supporters will continue that ‘cold house’ situation.

  • Billy

    Frankie

    I’m currently working abroad and wasn’t aware of that stuff.

    I truly believe that the vast majority of 6 county Nationalists will always support the RoI. I ma a big football fan and I can honestly say that I only know 1 Catholic who is an enthusiastic NI Supporter.

    I was merely pointing out that the improved actions of the IFA and improved reputation of the NI fans may well encourage younger Catholics to support them in future years.

    However, given the decades of abysmal behaviour, this will be a very slow process.

    As I said, I believe that the vast majority of 6 County Catholics/Nationalists will always support the RoI. The disgraceful behaviour of some NI “fans” that you outlined in your post can only increase that number.

    Incidentally, having lived in London for many years, I was a regular at Fulham and have many friends who are still season ticket holders.

    I heard from a couple of them about some sectarian chants from NI fans at Craven Cottage. I had a look at some of the Fulham web sites and there are few comments complaining about this.

    Have you heard anything about that?

  • frankie

    The sectarian singing has been mentioned on a few of the Fulham fans forums over the last few weeks.

    “I am not surprised that some London based NI fans will come to see us due to the influx of their players.

    However, I was concerned at the Boro game.

    I noticed a group of them waving their banners protesting about the Maze stadium and, more
    disappointingly, singing some sectarian songs.

    Frankly, this needs to be jumped on IMMEDIATELY. We do not want Fulham FC associated with
    religious bigotry and/or sectarian chanting.

    If these guys want to come along and support their players, that’s fine.

    However, if they want to bring along their bigotry, sectarian songs and emblems, then the club needs to clamp down on this as soon as possible.

    Fulham is a family friendly club with a great reputation. I, for one, don’t want to see us being mentioned in the news for the wrong reasons.”

    pretty sad for Fulham.

  • Billy

    Frankie

    Thanks for the info.

    I am very disappointed in this. I had many great times down at Craven Cottage and have a lot of really good friends there.

    The Fulham fans are great and it was always a terrific atmosphere.

    I sure hope that the genuine Fulham fans can stop this NI sectarian crap and it doesn’t end up tainting the club.

  • A bit slow on the uptake Billy/Frankie and answering your own questions. Dear oh dear.

    Some of the Fulham websites? Or just the one linked from OWC? Come on, impress me and show me more!

    You know why I know you are full of it? “always a terrific atmosphere”. More atmosphere at Newry v Limavady on a wet Tuesday in February!

    Those interested can check out the Ulster on Thames section of our forum.

    Also it just me or does the credibility of the blog decrease when the likes of Billy/Frankie are posting on it?

  • Billy

    MartyOWC

    ‘You know why I know you are full of it? “always a terrific atmosphere”.More atmosphere at Newry v Limavady on a wet Tuesday in February!

    I have been to Fulham maybe 200+ times and I never found it so.

    Out of interest – how many times have you been to Fulham before Mr Sanchez took over?

    If you think it’s so bad, why do you go there?

    “Also it just me or does the credibility of the blog decrease when the likes of Billy/Frankie are posting on it?”

    God Almighty – what about the the credibility of many of the knuckle draggers who “post” on the OWC website. If you like the terms “taigs” or “fenians”, you’ll love it over there. Charming people and absolutely no sectarian agenda at all.

    I suppose the credibilty of this blog is really enhanced by having someone of your “calibre” on it? Do you think you’re something special then?

    You are a one-trick pony. Your response to everything is:

    Norn Iron are great. The GAWA are great, in fact “the best fans in Europe” (pure fiction by the way). All accusations of sectarianism are fictional.

    Are you a tabloid journalist? You never seem to let the facts get in the way of your story.

    Why don’t you save a lot of time. Instead of replying to posts here, just put – “the usual” from MartyOWC.

    Despite your delusions of grandeur, you have no authority on here. If Mick is unhappy with something I post, then I’ll listen.

    I suspect that you don’t like the stuff that Frankie, Kensei, myself and others post because it doesn’t fit in with the idealistic image of “Norn Iron” and the GAWA that you try to portray.

    Only people who don’t know the facts would be fooled.

    Well, this is a democracy and we’re all entitled to our opinion. If you don’t like it, tough shit!

  • Democratic

    “If you think it’s so bad, why do you go there?”
    Amen to that Billy – ever think of following that advice yourself when you manage to make yourself pretty much the major player in every thread or discussion putting the boot into the Northern Ireland team (and there are too many)
    – haven’t you got a “de-facto” all Ireland team to focus your attentions on – sure doesn’t your “Ireland” team represent the whole island – why not get on with supporting them and leave us NI bigots to our own devices? – I’m sure it’ll not impact on your life too much – unless you really don’t have anything better to do – Good luck to you too.

  • willowfield

    BILLY

    You claimed that I said that someone from the NI GAWA had made the death threat to Neil Lennon – LIE!!. I never said any such thing nor would I – after growing up in NI, I am only too well aware of the dangers of such statements. I was clear that it was the LVF or some other “loyalist” organisation that made these threats.

    No you weren’t, Billy. You never made that clear. Here’s the thread – http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/a-november-night-revisited/ – read it for yourself and show me where you made it clear that it was the LVF or some other “loyalist” organisation.

    What I did say was that it showed there was still an anti-Catholic element in the Unionist community who resented a Catholic captaining NI which is self evidently true.

    Where did you say that?

    There was obviously still an element among NI fans who didn’t want a Catholic captain as Neil Lennon was still getting boos during matches – we may disagree about the scale but are you truly saying that some NI fans did not boo Neil Lennon in the matches prior to his departure? – I think TV + Newspaper coverage will easily prove you wrong.

    Aha! Is this a retraction? Are you finally admitting that you lied when you said “In a match prior to the death threat, Neil Lennon had endured a torrid 90 minutes where his every touch was booed by the majority of NI fans”? I think you are. I think we’re making some progress.

    As for your other comments – what an obvious red herring – “am I truly saying that some NI fans did not boo Neil Lennon in the matches prior to his departure?” – I never suggested anything remotely to suggest that, as you know. I am honest: I do not lie. So there is nothing for me to be proved “wrong” about.

    The issue is your lie about the majority of NI fans, which up until you now you failed to retract. Only “fans” in the West Stand were booing – 1 stand out of 4 – and only a section of them. You are also wrong to refer to “matches” in which Lennon was booed – it happened at one match. At the following match he was cheered and in subsequent matches a banner in his honour was displayed.

    You also said that “the IFA said nothing”, yet they held a press conference the next day to condemn the booing. That was another lie which you didn’t retract.

    When I pulled you up on this ridiculous and dangerous allegation – you said “that was the clear implication of your comments” – sound familiar?

    Well, it was the clear implication – you made comments about the death threat in a post condemning NI fans. You didn’t make any mention of “the LVF or other loyalists”.

    Now, however, that you have clarified that you do not believe the death threat was made by NI supporters, I am happy to acknowledge that and retract my charge against you. My action, of course, is in stark contrast to your own refusal to retract your many lies.

    Like I said, it’s not nice when people comment on what they think you implied rather than what you actually said is it?

    Well, then, you merely highlight your own hypocrisy, since you told lies about me, and then attempted to justify them by saying that, if I did not say it, I implied it. I’ve challenged you several times to post up what I said which you believe implies that which I deny. Each time you have declined. The only reasonable conclusion from this is that I did not, in fact, say anything which impied anything of the sort. But I give you a further opportunity – either retract the lies – or post up the statements you claim imply that I said the following:

    1. that I denied “that Windsor was ever a cold house for Catholics”.

    2. that I denied “that Linfield didn’t sign Catholics for many years”.

    3. that I deny that “anti-Catholic sectarianism blighted NI football for decades”.

    And while you’re at it, you still have to retract this lie: that the IFA only started to make strides in tackling sectarianism “because the publicity they got from the Neil Lennon death threat forced them to do so”.

    Have some integrity. Put up or shut up – either post up what I said that implied this things, or retract the lies.

  • willowfield

    Come on, Billy, have some integrity.

    Take responsibility for what you write.

  • willowfield

    Billy?

  • Billy

    Willowfield

    You were just boring to begin with but now I’m getting pissed off with you.

    Why do you feel the need to post about this on threads with no connection to the subject?

    Frankly, I think Mick should ban you if you can’t stick to the point of the thread.

    For the last time. You told a lie about me, didn’t retract it and then proceeded to call me a “dirty liar”.

    Obviously I’m not too happy about that but since you’re clearly not going to retract it, I’m not wasting time worrying about it and am moving on.

    I’m not retracting any of my points.

    We’re clearly never going to agree so I suggest that you save time and move on also.

    If you “pursue” me on any other thread about this, I will lodge an official complaint.

  • willowfield

    BILLY

    Why do you feel the need to post about this on threads with no connection to the subject?

    I should have thought that was obvious: because you ran away from the thread in which you posted lies about me, and on which I have challenged you either to retract the lies or post up the comments that you say back up your claims.

    Frankly, I think Mick should ban you if you can’t stick to the point of the thread.

    Ban someone for posting on one thread about another, but allow someone to continue who has posted lies and refused to retract them? You don’t have much of a sense of justice.

    For the last time. You told a lie about me, didn’t retract it and then proceeded to call me a “dirty liar”.

    Wrong. The sequence was:

    1. You lied about NI fans and the IFA: I called you a dirty liar. You never retracted the lies.

    2. In my opinion, you implied that NI fans issued a death threat to Neil Lennon: I said “shame on you” for doing so. You denied that you had said this, but I said it was the clear implication of what you said (given that you made the comment in a post attacking NI fans). You made no further comments and neither did I.

    3. On another thread, you told lies about me, claiming that I had claimed things that I did not. When challenged, you said that things that I had stated implied that which you claimed. You were then challenged to post up these statements: you declined to do so, yet you refused to retract the allegations.

    4. After further discussion, you eventually clarified your comments by saying that you believed the “LVF or some other loyalists” issued the threat. In response, I acknowledged that and retracted my charge against you.

    5. You still haven’t retracted the lies told about me, nor acknowledged the dishonesty of your original statements about NI fans and the IFA.

    Obviously I’m not too happy about that but since you’re clearly not going to retract it, I’m not wasting time worrying about it and am moving on.

    More lies! I have retracted it. See above. Unlike you, if I am shown to be wrong I will admit it.

    I’m not retracting any of my points.

    Well, you’ve already retracted your lie that the majority if NI fans booed Neil Lennon, so why not retract your other lies? Your lack of integrity is appalling. Take responsibility for what you say, and admit when you are wrong.

    If you “pursue” me on any other thread about this, I will lodge an official complaint.

    Poor Billy. An “official complaint”, eh? He’d rather persecute the victim than admit he was wrong. There’s something pathetic about a man who can’t bring himself to admit it when he is in the wrong. Nonetheless, I appeal to your better nature: please have the integrity to retract your unsubstantiated allegations against me.

  • John East Belfast

    Billy

    On 17th August you wrote and addressed to me on an August 8th thread – the topic of which was the GAA response to the Darren Graham affair

    “However, it’s amazing how all the posters like you on this site knew many, many UDR personnel and not one of them was anti-Catholic or sectarian in any way. These few anti-Catholic “bad apples” in the UDR/RIR must have been very busy indeed and never slept for years. In fact, in some cases they seem to have been in 2 or 3 places at once.

    Your attempt at weaseling out of answering the question that anonymous posed

    “I am sorry but this is way too infantile and boring for me”

    is transparent and pathetic.

    It is clear that you are either unwilling or unable to privide a direct answer to a direct question.

    Your childish attempt at disguising this fact doesn’t fool anyone.”

    My problem was you and anonymous kept wanting to talk about a 35 year old report on UDR collusion when I wanted to talk about the GAA and its attitude to sectarianism – ie the topic of the thread.

    Then you have the cheek to post No 19 above !

    “If you “pursue” me on any other thread about this, I will lodge an official complaint”

    Funniest thing I have heard this week – thanks

  • Just got my letter today from the FAI for the block booking tickets for Irelands home games against Germany and Cyprus in October. Both games to be 72,500 sell-outs.

    Now thats what I would really call a Green and White Army…

  • willowfield

    macswiney

    “Ireland” doesn’t have any home games against Germany or Cyprus: the Republic of Ireland does.

    72,500 is very impressive indeed. Football has certainly come a long way in the Republic in the last 30 or so years.

    Incidentally, why is the capacity set at 72,500? I thought Croke was 80,000+ … is part of it terracing or something; or just ridiculous UEFA restrictions?

  • Hill 16 has no seating, so it cannot be used for soccer matches.

  • UEFA have insisted that the same restrictions apply as also applied for The Wales & Slovakia games in March – ie that temporary seating must be put on Hill 16.

    Both of those games were restricted to 72,500 as well even though the FAI said that they had over 120,000 applications for tickets for both of the games.

    There are currently 10,000 on the waiting list for block bookings and many fans are now complaining that the capacity for the New Landsdowne Stadium is too small at 50,000.

    The FAI had an average ticket application of 65,000 for games at the old stadium even though the capacity was restricted to just 36,000 by UEFA.

  • willowfield

    Would the FAI be interested in permanently leasing Croke in order to get the bigger capacity (assuming the GAA lifted its xenophobic ban permanently)?

    Although in my opinion, even though the capacity will be lower, the atmosphere will be better in Lansdowne than at Croke as the fans will be close into the action.

  • willowfield

    Interesting to look at the South’s attendances over the years (source: Wikipedia)

    1940s average 31,000

    1950s average 35,000

    1960s average 28,000

    1970s average 28,000

    1980s average 27,000

    1990s average 33,000

    2000s average pre-Croker 36,000

    What’s creating the massive interest at the minute? Even during the glory years under Charlton, the Republic never sold out Lansdowne regularly – capacity was 40,000+ during the 80s and 90s – so why so much interest now?

  • George

    Willowfield,
    they did. Lansdowne Road’s seating capacity was only around 33,000 while the rugby could use the terracing which brought it up to 49,000.

  • sam

    The temp seating at Lansdowne Road was installed at the start of the 1990’s, so the capacity has been restricted to around 33-34k every since.

    I’m pretty sure every competitive game during that period was sold out.

    That’s why friendly internationals were always around 10k higher than competitive internationals – terracing in use.

  • I’ll field this one if I may Willowfield.

    The current interest is solely attributable to the novelty of games being played at Croke Park.

    See Wales attendances after the Millennium Stadium had just been opened for a similar effect.

  • Alan Anderson

    I thought they stopped playing GSTQ at start of F.A.N.I games, I have litte interest in soccer NI or IRE both associations are based on sectarian quacks with celtic tolerated by one and the Gers on the other, i dont care for either but great to see they win friendlies convincingly.

    I would advocate the disbandment of FANI and FAI and replace them with a Football Federation of Ireland, dump both anthems replace with Dani boy etc, use the old IFA crest and finally take the biggots out of soccer ban all sectarian jerseys eg Rangers Celtic(scots soccer is rubbish anyway)

    I coulnd care id Gibson was from Brazil or norn iron if hes good im sure hell do well, fair play.
    The Killers in Ormeau pk was much more enjoyable, what was great was that same people were singin “were not brazil” and “ole ole ” at same time. Finaly i think my city might be growing up a tad.

  • full house

    ‘The current interest is solely attributable to the novelty of games being played at Croke Park.
    See Wales attendances after the Millennium Stadium had just been opened for a similar effect.’

    Ireland’s home qualifying games have been consistently sold out for the best part of three decades, Ziznivy.

    Jealousy gets you nowhere….

  • willowfield

    Billy

    Have the integrity to take responsibility for what you write.

    Either retract your allegations against me, or back them up by posting up the statements you claim I made.

  • Anonymous

    Ireland’s home qualifying games have been consistently sold out for the best part of three decades, Ziznivy

    You’re wrong.
    Neither the Ireland Cricket nor Rugby Teams have been even playing “home qualifying games” for the last three decades.

  • Willowfield,

    You have got some cheek talking about attendances !!!

    Just 3-4 years ago Northern Ireland had attendances as low as low as 5-600 for qualifying matches at Windsor for The World Cup !

    There were double the number at Big Two Irish League matches for Gods sake…!

  • Correction 5-6,000 re above post

  • There were no crowds less than 7000 people, whether for friendlies or qualifiers – that is guff that has been claimed in recent years.

    Given a conservative estimate of plastic southerners in Northern Ireland at around 400,000 – 32000 works out at 0.6842% of the population of possible supporters whilst Northern Ireland attracted 0.7% of possible NI supporters to Windsor.

    🙂

  • willowfield

    macswiney

    You have got some cheek talking about attendances !!!

    I’m not sure what is “cheeky” either about expressing admiration for ROI attendances, or about asking about the upsurge.

    Just 3-4 years ago Northern Ireland had attendances as low as low as 5-600 for qualifying matches at Windsor for The World Cup !

    They didn’t.

    There were no World Cup qualifiers in 2003, but these were the attendances for Euro qualifiers:

    April 2003 v Greece, 7,187
    June 2003 v Spain, 11,365
    Sept 2003 v Armenia, 8,616

    There were two home World Cup qualifiers in 2004:

    Sept 2004 v Poland, 12,487
    Oct 2004 v Austria, 11,830

  • willowfield

    Source for the above is RSSSF – they actually seem a bit low, especially for the Austria and Poland matches, which were sold out.

  • Alan Anderson

    Ah willo did you ever sit in Croke Park on a big soccer-Rugby-GAA day? let me tell you i have attended many sports in many countries in many grounds other Irish, British, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and abroad in America, there is no more fantastic feeling than any sport in Croke Park.

    New lanzer might be good but it would want to be VERY VERY good to beat the athmosphere in Croke. Its even better that they are now self confident enough to drop the “rule”, i dont buy it was xenophobic tho i do believe it was a protectionist policy tho, which is entirely within the rights of any organisation to do.