In Scotland they do things differently…

Most of the threads on Slugger settle down to the subject in hand, or simply get ignored by commenters. Our soccer threads tend to be different. They largely attract a certain dull and repetitive brand of sectarian bull-baiting that is just too predictable to make them worth watching much of the time. However, at least none of our regulars are out breaking traffic lights because they take offence at the colour…

,

  • RG Cuan

    It’s so ridiculous it’s barely believable.

  • It is an utter disgrace that traffic lights are configured to display two of the colours of the Republican flag. I personally will not rest until every traffic light displays the red white and blue.

  • jpeters

    are we sure this is not so belated april fools, whats next attacking fields with weed killer?

  • Dawkins

    I’m reminded of the Kilkeel stationer who was asked to remove Fenian green-coloured school pencils from his window.

    One can’t conceive of anything too outlandish and stupid that it hasn’t occurred to at least one member of homo sapiens.

  • Aislingeach

    Actually, this sort of thing supposedly happened in parts of the US decades ago, with Irish kids breaking the red light of stop lights until the colors were reversed and the green was put on top. Childish nonsense.

  • Oiliféar

    Well, there are some in the world of green who think similarily – see Tipperary Hill, “Where Green is Alway on Top!”

  • DK

    It happened here in NI as well, but the difference was that the entire traffic light was demolished by mongs if other mongs painted it red white and blue.

    For example, It used to be that one set of traffic lights at the Westland/Cavehill Road junction was painted red white and blue and one set was left plain. The set that was painted had to have protective grills put up on it.

  • DK

    Probably the closest equivalent we have here is yet other mongs putting those “galeige anois” stickers on roadsigns, although the rival mongs haven’t yet come up with a counter sticker. Best one I saw was a sticker on a sign that said “Heysham Ferry”.

  • RG Cuan

    Come on DK, those stickers are calling for bilingual signage in areas that are pro-Gaelic. There is no comparision with people vandalising traffic lights!

    Over 96% of our placenames come from Irish and bilingual road signs are already in place in other parts of the UK (Scotland and Wales).

    I also saw stickers on signs around Newry that say ‘Heysham Ferry’. You will find however that ‘Heysham Ferry’ is not the only item written on the signs.

  • Séamaí

    By the way DK, the stickers say ‘As Gaeilge Anois’ and hardly have the same effect as broken traffic lights. It a legitmate demand in this day and age, especially since many areas in the north have significant Irish-speaking populations.

    Also the word ‘mong’ is highly offensive as it comes from ‘mongoloid’. It’s as bad as n*g^r etc.

  • Dawkins

    RG Cuan,

    Have you any relationship with Cuan Mhuire? You know, the place that’s embroiled in the scandal no one here seems to wish to cover.

    Just asking.

  • Suilven

    Poor research here Mick. Do you believe everything you see/hear on the BBC? More fool you if you do. A little more digging would have unearthed this:

    ‘Though it is the green lights which are being predominantly targeted, the local authority has refused to countenance suggestions the incidents are sectarian. Instead, South Lanarkshire Council says the green lights are being singled out because they are closest to the ground.

    A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council said: “The council’s traffic signal contractor [Siemens] has experienced problems with vandalism throughout the county and, as the green light is the lowest, this tends to be targeted the most.

    “The contractor offered to carry out a trial of a new product that protects the light with a wire grille. The council agreed to this and the trial product will be tested on new traffic signals in Hamilton, Larkhall and Lanark. If the trial proves a success we would consider using the grilles at all new installations.

    “At all the junctions which form part of the Larkhall streetscape works, the new traffic signals will have the wire grille in place.” ‘

    http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1255142007

  • The Dubliner

    There is probably money to be made from this kind of sectarianism. I’m going to speak to a venture capitalist about manufacturing genetically-modifying grass seed, with the colour changed from green to orange. It’s just the start of my ambition: soon all foliage will be available in the colour of the customer’s choice. Oh, the sweet irony that will flow from knowing that orange seed is Irish-made…

  • Suilven

    The Tipp Hill thing is unbelievable! Compare and contrast the treatment of the putative Sikh garda and his turban.

  • RG Cuan

    DAWKINS

    No link to Cuan Mhuire (Cuan means ‘haven’ or ‘habour’ in Irish) though it is terrible that the center is to close. It provides an excellent service.

    Hopefully it can be relocated somewhere else.

  • Dawkins

    What about Hillsborough Castle, RG?

    Seems to me it’s slightly surplus to requirements now that Brian Feeney’s “proconsuls” have folded their tents.

    Is there any good reason why NI’s population of a staggering 1,700,000 needs two castles to house its administrators?

    Off topic, Mick, my apologies.

  • RG Cuan

    Hillsborough Castle seems like a good idea – it’s about time it was used for something useful.

  • Dawkins

    I thought so too, RG.

    Stormont also seems a more attractive place for visiting members of la famiglia Windor to bivvy.

  • Dawkins

    Windsor even.

    Windor sounds like a region of Middle Earth :0)

  • DK

    “Come on DK, those stickers are calling for bilingual signage in areas that are pro-Gaelic.”

    That’s right – they’re more like kerbstone painting. Or flags.

    “I also saw stickers on signs around Newry that say ‘Heysham Ferry’. You will find however that ‘Heysham Ferry’ is not the only item written on the signs.”

    There was no other writing on the one sign I saw.

    The one coherent point you make about your territory-pissing vandalism is that “mong” may be worse than I thought it was. I thought it was some sort of contemporary combination involving “moron” and “minger”. I take it back. They’re twats instead.

  • RG Cuan

    They’re more like kerbstone painting. Or flags.

    I’ve heard that before and, as any Irish speaker will tell you, you’re missing the point.

    The Gaelic-speaking community do not want signs to mark out territory but to acknowledge the fact that many thousands of people here in NI do not refer to Newry as Newry but An tIúr, do not go shopping in Belfast but Béal Feirste, do not like driving through Tyrone but Tír Eoghain etc.

    These are the original versions of our place names and are used by Irish speakers of all backgrounds throughout the island.

    What’s wrong with recognsing NI has a multilingual society and that the region’s indigenous tongue is very much alive and kicking?

    Welsh and Scottish Gaelic speakers are afforded such recognition, or to you think they are just territory markers as well?

  • k McLaughlin

    Why are you giving this rubbish the time of day?
    If anyone cares to read the article, they will find it is a non story.
    Please be warned, one should be sceptical of anything you read on the subject of Scotland in the “Scotsman?”. It is a virulently unionist rag whose hysterically partisan reporting at the May elections would not have been out of place in Pravda or Der Stuermer. Some of its political ‘journalists’ are ex. Labour Party apparatchiki who couldn’t hold down a job on a real paper.
    Basically,the hidden agenda here is to portray and reinforce an image of Scotland as a sectarian hell hole (subtext ” an independent Scotland will be run by crazed Proddy bigots, so you Tims had better stick with Labour”). As the descendants of those Irish Catholics who emigrated here in the 19th and early 20th centuries are still one of Labour’s largest and most loyal(perhaps even the key?) groups of supporters in Scotland, there is more on view here than just sloppy journalism. It is propaganda pure and simple.
    P.S.I detect a certain smugness about some of your Irish contributors here. It is misplaced. Just remember which flags both sets of bigots in Scotland wave and which international football jerseys they favour. They are yours!
    P.P.S. That the final defenders of the moribund British Union (New Labour) contain so many Rileys, Muldoons and Murphys is beyond my comprehension. Thus the first victims of English/British imperialism are its last footsoldiers. Could someone please explain?

  • Suilven

    k McLaughlin,

    Erm, but as I posted above, the Scotsman was the ONLY Scottish paper which, amidst the hysteria, printed the more measured response from South Lanarkshire Council? If you want the main dupes of Scottish Labour’s sectarian smokescreen, look no further than the Herald, Record, BBC Scotland (& now NI), etc.

    Besides, I thought Cardinal Devlin was happily in bed with Salmond now, no?

  • oldruss

    What seemed most disturbing about the article, regardless of whether it accurately portrayed the traffic signal vandals as sectarian vandals or whether they’re merely the run of the mill vandals, the last sentence did catch my attention.

    “And even though we now have a working Executive, Northern Ireland still tops the polls for sectarianism and bigotry.”

    The link at “bigotry” leads to a University of Ulster news release, 7 February, 2007. http://news.ulster.ac.uk/releases/2007/2980.html

    It states that across all communities, those persons living in the north of Ireland have the highest proportion of bigoted people in the western world. Quite an accomplishment, but one which probably won’t be atop the tourist board’s things to discover about NI.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    RG Cuan: “The Gaelic-speaking community do not want signs to mark out territory but to acknowledge the fact that many thousands of people here in NI do not refer to Newry as Newry but An tIúr, do not go shopping in Belfast but Béal Feirste, do not like driving through Tyrone but Tír Eoghain etc. ”

    Does this mean when the Polish-speaking community hits whatever the critical mass is for street-signs, they can have their own street signs, too?

    I mean, hey, it would be an acknowledgement that Northern Ireland is a multi-lingual community and the new-comer’s ethnic traditions are very much alive and well…

  • lib2016

    Yeah, that seems quite reasonable. When or if the Polish community has been here for a few more years and form a distinctive community then it should be acknowledged in whatever way the Polish or the Chinese community for that matter who have been here a lot longer want to have it acknowledged.

    Allowing them to have mosques, social centres or whatever would also seem like a good idea but maybe that’s too far out altogether.

  • It’s so ridiculous it’s barely believable.

    Posted by RG Cuan on Aug 23, 2007 @ 12:02 PM

    I’m from the West of Scotland sadly a story like the traffic lights being broken becuase they are green is all too believebale about the ahppy little hamlet of Larkhall.
    In the 1970s there was a rent strike when the county council painted the doors of the council houses green.

    Also the swings and rounabout in a chuildren’s park was also painted green by the council-some civic minded folk gave it the red white and blue makeovre.
    Larkhall is like that I’m afraid-it wasnt isnt Northen Ireland’s problem

  • Dawkins

    Word reaches me that a Scottish organization is determined to torch as much of the countryside as they can in the coming weeks. I can’t confirm it but I believe it’s because they resent all that verdure.

  • RG Cuan

    DREAD & CO.

    Yes, Polish and other communites here should receive appropriate recognition however it is highly unlikely they will ever constitute enough of the population to warrant signage etc.

    The point about Irish road signs is that our place names come from Irish, not English, Polish or Ulster Scots. On top of this, governments throughout the world promote their indigenous tongues and cater for their speakers. It’s about time the significant Gaelic-speaking popluation of NI was recognised.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Quick question: how many people in NI have Irish as their first language?

  • Dawkins

    I got it, Gonzo!

    NI is of course the country code of Nicaragua. There are two peeps there who have Irish as their first language.

    1. The Irish ambassador’s wife

    and

    2. The owner of The Fiddler’s Fuck, the finest Irish pub in Managua.

  • K McLaughlin

    Dear Suilven,
    Re. Your last posting about a Cardinal Devlin being in cahoots with Alex Salmond.
    Are you trying to recycle that old Irish favourite “Home Rule is Rome Rule” in a modern Scottish context.
    You cannot be serious!
    I know the old jokes are often the best, but this one is positively geriatric.
    P.S. I know who Salmond is, I voted for his party last time but who the hell is the Cardinal Devlin you speak of?? Stop listening to the little flute band playing inside your head and tell us, does he exist or is he a figment of your imagination.

  • RG Cuan

    This has been discussed extensively in other threads fellas but the number of people who use Irish Gaelic as their first language or language of choice in the North is about 20,000.

    This figure has been obtained from last month’s Millward Brown study, the recent NI Life and Times Survey and the last census.

    Many more are fluent speakers but do not use it on a daily basis. They would if they had the opportunities.

  • Suilven

    K McLaughlin,

    Cardinal Devlin was a simple mix-up of titles and names between Cardinal O’Brien and Bishop Devine:

    Cardinal O’Brien: “Cardinal happy to see UK break-up”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6052552.stm

    Bishop Devine: “Bishop warns Labour: Don’t count on the Catholic vote”

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=388562007
    (your favourite newspaper again)

    I could continue. Don’t get me wrong here, I think an SNP dialogue with the Catholic Church is a sensible political move for them given Labour’s divisive approach in recent years.

    I suspect that you, like me, watched Jack McConnell and Scottish Labour’s attempt to paint Scotland as a ‘sectarian hellhole’ with growing bemusement. Having spent the first 17 years of my life in NI, I feel qualified to comment. I view the (failed) attempt to force all Scots to wear the hairshirt of religious prejudice as a mere smokescreen from the last Labour Executive’s ineptitude and policy vacuity. All this from a Labour party which has a fairly chequered record in terms of religious tolerance itself (Monklands council, west-coast selection processes, etc.)

    For the record, I’m a unionist, and voted accordingly, but despite this, I welcomed the SNP’s win (or perhaps more accurately Labour’s defeat) as a victory for the people of Scotland, in getting rid of the previous corrupt, morally bankrupt administration.

    Oh, and I think you’ll find the flute bands are all in your head, thanks very much.

  • K McLaughlin

    Dear Suilven,
    Now that you have turned down the volume and your head has cleared sufficiently to sort out the names of the clerics concerned, could you now proceed to think the thing through to the end. You must know that these two had no intentions of throwing their church’s weight behind the SNP; their brief flirtations with the SNP were only a bargaining ploy to bring Labour to heel. Remember that Brown and a delegation of the RCs amongst Labour’s Scottish contingent of MPs was dispatched to confer with the Cardinal immediately after his “easy about independence” speech. That some sort of deal was then done with Labour may be deduced from O’Brien’s infamous “Punch a Pape” carefully calculated outburst a short time later which could not have been better timed to serve Labour’s interest in creating and perpetuating sectarian division ahead of the May elections.
    You say you are a Unionist; how can you support a Union which depends on the artificial creation of such bigotry for its continued existence. Did you not get enough of this crap in Northern Ireland ?
    P.S. If you are one of those waiting for a revival of the Tories in Scotland, don’t hold your breath. Elvis will sing at the Pope’s wedding before that happens.
    Free (secular) Scotland!!

  • Dawkins

    “Elvis will sing at the Pope’s wedding before that happens.”

    LOL!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    RG Cuan: “Yes, Polish and other communites here should receive appropriate recognition however it is highly unlikely they will ever constitute enough of the population to warrant signage etc. ”

    Wouldn’t want them staking a claim or getting the idea they belong, now would we…

    RG Cuan: “The point about Irish road signs is that our place names come from Irish, not English, Polish or Ulster Scots. On top of this, governments throughout the world promote their indigenous tongues and cater for their speakers. It’s about time the significant Gaelic-speaking popluation of NI was recognised. ”

    Yet, somehow, Northern Ireland has missed the bus. Last I checked, there was a democratically elected gov’t, the majority of which would appear to disagree with you. While I do not say that it is the right decision on their part, it is their position and one they hold passionately.

    On the other hand, I am suprised that someone who wants on the right hand would be such a begrudger on the left. Should it evolve along lines similar to various and sundry “Chinatowns,” what rational objection would you have to Polish street-signs?

  • Dawkins

    I remarked this on another thread. The Irish language on street signs leaves me cold, even though I defend strongly other moves to safeguard and promote it. All languages are equally valid.

    But I’d much rather see more and better signage on streets and roads, no matter what the language. It’s absurd that a motorist, new to an area, can turn onto a main road or street and not discover its name until s/he reaches either end. I cited Donegall Road as a good example.

  • RG Cuan

    DREAD

    You again miss the point.

    The new Irish are very welcome here and they do belong in our diverse society, i never said otherwise. More than most people, Irish speakers understand the importance of cultural respect.

    I don’t have an objection to Polish street signs in Ireland if some areas would like them but it is highly unlikely that they would ever even request such signage. Indeed Polish signs would be the same as the English apart from the word ‘street’ or ‘road’ etc. Irish on the other hand is native to Ulster and helps explain over 96% of our place names. Anybody can see there is a massive difference, ask any Pole.

    DAWKINS

    It’s great that you defend moves to promote Irish but wonder what you have against using the original version of our place names. It seems like a pretty reasonable request.

  • Dawkins

    RG Cuan,

    Please, you misunderstand me: I’ve nothing against it. It simply leaves me cold, i.e. doesn’t get me excited one way or the other.

    I’m a chap who’s all for ease of communication. I wish to know where I am in short order, and not have to decipher a mulitilingo sign to find out.

    Like I say I’m all for the preservation of languages, especially the smaller ones, which are often far more pleasant on the ear than the biggies and lend themselves better to poetry and song. I once had a girlfriend who would talk dirty to me in Welsh. Never knew what she was saying but the memories still makes me shiver — and other things besides which are nobody’s business except my own :0)

  • RG Cuan

    Go raibh maith agat for that one Dawkins, or as your ex-girlfriend may have said, diolch.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    RG Cuan: “The new Irish are very welcome here and they do belong in our diverse society, i never said otherwise. More than most people, Irish speakers understand the importance of cultural respect. ”

    And, yet, despite this “understanding of the importance of cultural respect,” you would begrudge them the same recognition as you, yourself, seem to so desperately crave… interesting.

  • Dawkins

    Dread Cthulhu,

    I reckon there’s a difference. Polish was never a language of Ireland. Irish was, and therefore has prior claim.

    Notwithstanding what I said earlier, I’ve no objection to bilingual signing and for this reason: because the original place and street names have been bastardized, it would be interesting to restore them. Good for Irish speakers and for scholars.

  • RG Cuan

    Dawkins has made my point for me Dread. See where Irish speakers are coming from now?