Less than sporting response from Minister

The sound of gritted teeth was clearly audible as Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure was all but forced into commending Tyrone for triumphing in this year’s All-Ireland football final during a BBC Radio interview yesterday, but not before contextualising the victory as being one in which “home talent” had triumphed in an “international event.” His decision to await a formal request prior to organising a civic reception has also been criticised by the SDLP and Sinn Fein, with the Deputy First Minister stepping in to provide that formal request. Life goes on in zero sum land….

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Democratic

    I agree with what you say, but the argument against the GAA is based on the fact that by playing the anthem before games makes the GAA a political organisation.
    Most sporting organisations do it, the GAA is no exception.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Tir,

    Yip I have. That particular verse has been dropped as far as I’m aware. TSS is even more racist in it’s tone. However, I’m prepared to leave that as being of the day. So, whenever the RoI play football or whatever that’s fine by me. It’s just standard protocol throughout the world. However, when they play an anthem supposedly for all Ireland and they choose an anthem that is actually only a part of Ireland then that’s political. For example, imagine there was an Iberian rugby team. If they played the Spanish anthem for the team do you not think the Portuguese would think that a tad political?

  • fair_deal

    TEG

    “With that reasoning then, the GAWA make a political statement by observing GSTQ before each international game, would that be correct?”

    I think you are ignoring the primary point I made in the first comment on this thread. I am not demanding or expecting an absolute division between cultural and political by the GAA or GAWA. (I would add the caveat that there is a difference between broad nationalism and IRA terrorists and vice versa) It’s consistency I am essentially wanting here.

    The GAA and its members can chose for it to be cultural, political, both whatever. Simply if they choose political or both then don’t try and pretend it isn’t when people disagree or public funders start asking questions.

  • pat

    ‘Not really. GSTQ is the anthem of the UK of which NI is a part. TSS is not the anthem of “all Ireland”. So, there’s obviously a political point being made.’

    Is the chanting of ‘no surrender’ by the North’s fans during gstq not political?

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    My description of the GAA is that it is an all Ireland cultural sporting organisation, It is what it is.
    The problem as I see it is that because the GAA promotes Irish culture and makes no apology for promoting it in the northern counties Unionists see this as a political statement and somehow a threat to their Britishness. If you have no affinity to the Island of Ireland or do not share the love of our indiginous music, dance, sport or language then just ignore the GAA.

    If this new Ulster Scots academy gets up and running which I believe is there to promote the music, language and dance of Scotland then good luck to them, I hope it works out for everyone interested in Ulster Scots. I do not see it as a threat to my Irish culture but an historical part of it.

  • George

    Fair_Deal,
    Nope simply that the Eire constitution is an irrelevance to the argument.

    Just to be clear on what your “Nope” refers to, so you accept that people from Tyrone have a right to consider themselves and be considered part of the Irish nation if they so wish and that if they do it is a cultural statement?

    This is the crux. Remember the GFA says it is the people of Northern Ireland’s birthright to identify themselves as British, Irish or both. You seem to be hovering in the “they may think they’re Irish but they’re not” camp. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    As for the relevance of the Bunreacht, considering there are 300,000 Éire citizens living in Northern Ireland, with that number expected to rise to 600,000 within the next eight years (30% of NI’s population), I’d say the Éire Constitution is very relevant when looking at the needs of addressing the cultural needs of all of NI’s people.

    Overlooked the rather obvious point that bringing in the foundatory document of a state, a constituion, for a ‘cultural’ argument is a glaring contradiction. A constitution is a political document.

    I would consider a Constitution a legal document but even if it is considered a political one, just because a cultural situation is expressed in a political/State document, doesn’t make the cultural situation political.

    It is merely the political manifestation of a cultural reality just like the references to the family in the Bunreacht don’t make domestic life political per se.

    The decision of that individual places no burden on anyone else to hold the same view.

    Either you accept that it is the birthright of everyone in Northern Ireland to be considered Irish if they so wish or you don’t.

  • Driftwood

    Cricket
    No anthems or flags, just sport.
    The Angling club I belong to doesn’t have flags or anthems either.
    Do away with them all.

    I must say when I was down at Croke Park for the Ireland v England rugby game, the Guinness was excellent.
    1 thing confuses me about Gaelic football. The goal/points thing. Why not just add them together to make up a points tally? Or is there a political reason this doesn’t occur?

  • USA

    Kensei,
    Keep her lit.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Pat,

    To me I consider it cultural, referring to the shout of the 13 apprentice boys. However I do understand that some people consider it political. And that may be reason enough to stop doing it.

  • Democratic

    “If you have no affinity to the Island of Ireland or do not share the love of our indiginous music, dance, sport or language then just ignore the GAA.”

    Agreed and done – but perhaps asking a DUP member for his thoughts was not a good idea under this logic though – especially when the reply is bound to upset – I mean let’s face it he was only asked for his views by some smartarse to stick him “on the spot” and watch him squirm anyway…

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    But he wasnt just any DUP politician he was the Minister of sport for the north of which the GAA is the largest sporting body.
    How is it unreasonable to ask him his views on the result?
    Personally his views does not bother me, they do not surprise me given his history.
    I doubt many Tyrone Gaels lost much sleep over him.

  • Democratic

    “the love of our indiginous music, dance, sport or language….”

    Btw Tir Eoghain Gael you forgot to mention nationalist history and politics in that list.
    Remember your recent post about the history and symbols of your own club….

  • Democratic

    “How is it unreasonable to ask him his views on the result?”

    Oh it’s not unreasonable to ask – but it is unreasonable to say his reply was “blase” or “not really interested enough” given the line on conversation we are having here. I do think the “international” crack was the result of rising to the bait he was no doubt being fed by the the questioner – he should have simply said well done to Tyrone and simply moved on. He made himself look childish – no doubt…

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    “Btw Tir Eoghain Gael you forgot to mention nationalist history and politics in that list.
    Remember your recent post about the history and symbols of your own club….”

    I said that..

    “My description of the GAA is that it is an all Ireland CULTURAL sporting organisation, It is what it is”.

    Both cultures on this island both Gael and Planter have a history of armed struggle, we in Galbally are no different.

  • Democratic

    “Both cultures on this island both Gael and Planter have a history of armed struggle, we in Galbally are no different.”

    True of course – but surely you can appreciate why the GAA will never really make any inroads into the majority community in Northern Ireland while the cultural angle consists of a lot more than just music, dance, language moving into disputed historical narratives and Nationalist political overtures…let have it right as they say…

  • :o)

    Any Prods in the Tyrone teams this year?
    ..or the squad…or the management….or the support team…or the BBC panels…or the interviewers…..

  • fair_deal

    George

    “so you accept that people from Tyrone have a right to consider themselves and be considered part of the Irish nation if they so wish…

    As I said
    “I believe everyone has the right to chose their own identity”

    “and that if they do it is a cultural statement?”

    This is were we diverge. You generally present it as a singular and one dimensional identification. While I say it can be one thing and/or other things. Also that you are trying to put clear green water between cultural and political that i think is a difficult thing to achieve completely as TEG is demonstrating clearly (and you admit as well see below).

    “As for the relevance of the Bunreacht, considering there are 300,000 Éire citizens living in Northern Ireland, with that number expected to rise to 600,000 within the next eight years (30% of NI’s population), I’d say the Éire Constitution is very relevant when looking at the needs of addressing the cultural needs of all of NI’s people.”

    The constitutional reference to which your refer has generally been considered to enable citizenship. Although you seem to be trying for a broader interpreatation. However I must ask
    for someone who is wrapping themselves in the Good Friday Agreement are you suggesting the Irish constitution the ‘legal document’ has effect in the United Kingdom?

    “I would consider a Constitution a legal document but even if it is considered a political one, just because a cultural situation is expressed in a political/State document, doesn’t make the cultural situation political. It is merely the political manifestation of a cultural reality just like the references to the family in the Bunreacht don’t make domestic life political per se.”

    The footwork was valiant, a Sir Humphreyesque answer even, but one that manages to do more damage to your own line of argument than mine.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Democratic
    I cant change the past, I also cant choose the community and culture I was born and brought up in, its who I am.
    We also cannot and should not deny our history weather viewed rightly or wrongly by the other side.
    I am not naive enough to think because our club is called the Pearses that it does not have a bearing on the amount of Protestants willing to play our games.
    I can only hope in years to come that barriers can be broken down around the culture that we all share on this island.

  • RepublicanStones

    Galbally sucks, up the Plunketts !

    All this bickering, its at times like this that one is reminded of Davis’ words….

    What matter that at different shrines we pray unto one God?
    What matter that at different times our fathers won this sod?
    In fortune and in name we’re bound by stronger links than steel.
    And neither can be safe nor sound but in the other’s weal.

    We do not hate, we never cursed, nor spoke the foeman’s word
    Against a man in Ireland nursed, howe’er we thought he erred!
    So start not, Irish-born man! If you’re to Ireland true,
    We heed not race, nor creed, nor clan – we’ve hearts and hands for you.

  • Dave

    Some folks celebrated Tyrone’s win with good cheer or buying GAA merchandise for their kids; some couldn’t care less, and some folks would rather ignore the victory and have a good old sectarian bun fight about peripheral issues… guess which ilk Sluggerettes fall into?

    It’s really quite bizarre to turn Campbell’s remark into an international (between British and Irish nations) incident, particularly when it is hardly a shock to the system that he comes from a strain of unionism that despises all-things Irish. Mandatory coalition, Irish kids – you voted for it, so you get whomever the other Nation elects into the administrative bargain. At least he didn’t say, “I suppose ye Taigs will be celebrating this win by doing ye’re silly wee Irish dancing and downing the Guinness, before discharging said porter in shop doorways on ye’re way to the chippper” – so that’s diplomatic progress of a sort for unionist bogtrotters in suits, I suppose.

    Most people would use the word ‘international’ to mean ‘foreign states’ rather than foreign nations. It’s true that it actually means Nations (i.e. people) and not States, but all bar three of the world’s 197 states are nation-states, so it is used interchangeably. It’s also true that Northern Ireland is a foreign state that is under the sovereign jurisdiction of the British government. Its odd quirk is that it has two Nations of roughly equal size who seek to operate as a nation-state. This, of course, isn’t possible when two nations share one sovereign territorial entity. So although the GFA mandates a state for two nations to share, that subtlety is lost on both of the nations who continue to compete with each other for control of the state.

    It’s tragic if you have to live in that dysfunctional entity, but northern nationalists signed a treaty wherein they agreed that Ulster is British and will remain so for as long as the other nation (the British) want it to remain so. So, having legitimised the Unionist Veto over their right to self-determination and accepted that partition is legitimate; it seems deranged to quibble about the details all over again. Perhaps one nations’ oitical leadership hasn’t told them abut the legaity and finality of what they signed them up to?

  • Driftwood

    Can someone please explain why a goal is not simply recorded as 3 points in Gaelic football?
    Is it something to do with the famine? The Black and Tans? The UDR?

  • Democratic

    “I cant change the past, I also cant choose the community and culture I was born and brought up in, its who I am.”

    Of course you can’t sir – nor would I ever ask you to – merely only to keep an open mind about the motives of the “other side” on issues like the GAA – some among our lot are bigots pure and simple and despise anything Irish as Dave above says…for others it’s much more complicated than that.

    “I can only hope in years to come that barriers can be broken down around the culture that we all share on this island.”

    Amen.

  • ggn

    “Can someone please explain why a goal is not simply recorded as 3 points in Gaelic football?”

    I wasnt always worth 3 points, originally a goal was worth more than any number of points, then it changed to 5 points, then to three.

    Why are the scores displayed so, its tradition, culture and custom. Its our thing and we like it that way, nothing sinister.

    I think that GAA people here show learn to turn the other cheek and to ignore pure eejits here.

    BTW, it is the GAELIC Athletic Association, doesnt claim to represent every culture in Ireland.

  • Mike

    George –

    ——————
    As a firm supporter of the Good Friday Agreement and all it entails, he really should brush up on his Bunreacht:

    Article 2:

    “It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation.”

    As this is an event involving members of the Irish nation, it can be correctly defined as a “national” event.

    If we want to be really accurate it should be called a bi-jurisdictional national event.
    ————————

    You know as well any of the rest of us that ‘international’ is used to represent something that crosses the territory of two sovereign states, i.e. two ‘national territories’. (C.f. “International border”, etc etc).

    But let’s run with your rather odd twisting of phrase for a second – your definition is based on the assumption that each and every participant in the All-Ireland Championship identified himself as having Irish nationality, and Irish nationality only. Hmm, interesting.

    As for Campbell’s remarks themselves – his words may have been tongue in cheek but were somewhat crass and unnecessary. Surely he could have left it at “As Sports Minister for Northern Ireland I’m pleased to congratulate a team from Northern Ireland on their success”.

  • Dewi

    “As Sports Minister for Northern Ireland I’m pleased to congratulate a team from Northern Ireland on their success”.

    Why not just “Woohooo let’s party!!”

  • Driftwood

    ggn, Having little knowledge of Gaelic soccer, I was curious as to the strange scoring mechanism. So by saying 1 goal and 14 points you differentiate yourself from the Saxon oppressors who for thousands of years in Ireland played garrison games with a rational scoring model?

  • RepublicanStones

    Apart from that being the mother of Trolls Driftwood, perhaps you could give us ignorant natives a clue as to exactly wtf the scoring system in cricket is?

  • ggn

    Driftwood,

    Whatever.

    You display a remarkable thought pattern.

    Listen, I had a fry this morning. Do you belive that I had a fry as I was hungry or because I had a desire to annoy Unionists?

  • Driftwood

    RS That might be a big post, the link is here IF you are really interested
    http://www.lords.org/laws-and-spirit/laws-of-cricket/
    The point I was trying to make is that the scoring system in GAA (gaelic football anyway, i don’t know about Hurling or handball)appears to have been adopted to differentiate it from ‘garrison games’ like football – or what some GAA supporters and Americans call Soccer- it’s a pretty asinine method of displaying apartness I suppose.
    So it goes…

  • RepublicanStones

    Drift as their are two methods of scoring in the native ball, and most people have a basic grasp of maths, why combine the scoreline into one figure? The way it is, you can instantly see if there was a goal scored when you read the paper, or hear the scoreline from a mate. Which is usually followed by the ‘who got the goal?’ question, and usually a match with goals is more exciting, unless of course its a complete walkover !

  • Paddy Matthews

    Driftwood:

    ggn, Having little knowledge of Gaelic soccer, I was curious as to the strange scoring mechanism. So by saying 1 goal and 14 points you differentiate yourself from the Saxon oppressors who for thousands of years in Ireland played garrison games with a rational scoring model

    It’s just tradition, and gives more information as to how the scores were achieved. It’s not as if the GAA is the only organisation where scores can be reported that way:

    “Cats charge into grand final
    By Steve Lavell
    19/09/2008 10:10:00 PM
    Reigning Cats

    Cat Gary Ablett breaks away from Bulldog Mitch Hahn in Friday night’s preliminary final
    Related content

    *
    Full match wrap

    Match highlights: Q1Q2Q3Wrap

    GEELONG has taken a huge step towards back-to-back premierships, holding off a spirited Western Bulldogs outfit for a 29-point victory in Friday night’s preliminary final at the MCG.

    In a pulsating but often frustrating game, the Bulldogs threw absolutely everything at the contest and, despite a promising start to the last quarter, just couldn’t convert on the scoreboard.

    They mustered three behinds as the Cats added two goals to an 18-point lead for the final scores to read 12.11 (83) to 7.12 (54).

    Searching for a place in their first premiership play-off since 1961, there was little consolation for the Dogs on an evening that saw many opportunities wasted.”

    http://www.afl.com.au/Results/tabid/11433/default.aspx

    Perhaps you can take it up with the AFL about this apparent snub to Pommie bastardry.

  • Driftwood

    Paddy
    Cats and Dogs? I know Aussies aren’t very good at cricket or rugby, especially compared to New Zealand or South Africa, or even England. But the AFL looks a bit like Irish League football. Abysmal to play or watch. Even baseball looks more interesting.

  • cladycowboy

    How do i apply for an internship in this intellectual giant’s office? Do they cater for ‘international’ students from Lifford? W@nker.

  • congal claen

    Hi all,

    Is the gaelic scoring system not just a bastardisation of rugby scoring which in itself is a derivative of football? Afterall, Aussie rules is a derivative of rugby and it has similar scoring. Open to correction…

  • Mike

    Dewi

    ————–
    “As Sports Minister for Northern Ireland I’m pleased to congratulate a team from Northern Ireland on their success”.

    Why not just “Woohooo let’s party!!”
    ————-

    That would have sufficed though maybe not very Campbellesque (or Ministerial)! ” The drinks are on me” might’ve been a popular one.

  • Dewi

    That would have sufficed though maybe not very Campbellesque (or Ministerial)! “ The drinks are on me” might’ve been a popular one.

    Almost seriously celebration should have been the first priority !

  • RepublicanStones

    Or perhaps aul Gregory could have really got into the spirit by saying “ceannoidh me na deochanna seo don chuideachta”.

    Im sure as a gers fan he’ll want to celebrate at least once this year, might as well be now !

  • George

    Fair_Deal,
    Also that you are trying to put clear green water between cultural and political that i think is a difficult thing to achieve completely

    Difficult for Northern Ireland perhaps but not impossible and I would have thought that one of the objectives of the GFA was to allow people to exercise their culture without it being seen as some kind of political battleground.

    The constitutional reference to which your refer has generally been considered to enable citizenship. Although you seem to be trying for a broader interpreatation.

    Not at all, on what you base that comment? In fact, the Article then goes on to list with whom the Irish nation holds a special affinity when it comes to culture and heritage. An odd thing to do if the Article was to enable citizenship.

    (Truth be told, said Article forced another referendum to return the citizenship situation to its previous position, namely that it should lie in the hands of the Oireachtas.)

    Mike,
    your definition is based on the assumption that each and every participant in the All-Ireland Championship identified himself as having Irish nationality, and Irish nationality only. Hmm, interesting.

    What makes you think that? Are you saying that one can be Irish and British (as evidenced by the existence of Northern Ireland) but not British and Irish?

  • ggn: Listen, I had a fry this morning. Do you belive that I had a fry as I was hungry or because I had a desire to annoy Unionists?

    Depends – was it an Ulster fry, or an Occupied 6 Counties fry?

    Dewi: Why not just “Woohooo let’s party!!”

    Are you serious? That sort of thing could lead to line dancing!

  • Republic of Connaught

    Who cares what Gregory Campbell had to say. The man is a quintessential rural bogman… Unionists feel so excluded from the Irish nation their only response is incessant vitriol against all cultural aspects of it.

    Congrats to Tyrone is all that matters. Does my heart good to see those cocky little Kerrymen beaten at Croker and old Sam going north to the ancient lands of Hugh O’Neill. I’d prefer it to come west of the Shannon of course but Ulster teams are always my next favoured destination. Can’t stand Leinster or Munster teams winning it.

    Mickey Harte is some man. He should get the Newcastle job!

  • kensei_still_lives

    Mike

    You know as well any of the rest of us that ‘international’ is used to represent something that crosses the territory of two sovereign states, i.e. two ‘national territories’. (C.f. “International border”, etc etc).

    Seriously, need to stop looking at this thread. But you’re wrong on a point of order here. An international soccer match between Scotland and England does not cross any international lines on a map. It is still considered an international match.

    Which two nations are competing against each other in the All Ireland, exactly? In any case, none of this makes sense. The players of Tyrone were representing…. Tyrone. No team within the All Ireland Championships represents Ireland. In a sense, the Championships themselves represent Ireland. And the ladies are doth protest too much. It’s a Nationalist vision of Ireland. It doesn’t necessarily follow that Unionists can have nothing to do with it: you don’t have to be American to enjoy Independence day celebrations.

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    Less of the boggism, RoC. Some of us are the epitomy of sophistication. Anyway, isn’t Campbell a city boy from Derry? (tho he might not decribe it as such).

    Doubt if even Mickey Harte could do a job with Newcastle.

  • ggn

    I dont care what Gregory Campbell says really.

    But on the word international, i.e. inter-national.

    It means ‘between nations’, inter is Latin meaning among, between.

    International means between nations. Hence as both Wales and England are internationally recongnised as being in the same nation state, they are almost universally recongnised as separate nations. Hence they have football teams.

    The fact that Tyrone and Kerry players regard themselves as being of the one nation is in fact irrevelant.

    The fact is that neither Tyrone nor Kerry are nation states. They are counties. The match therefore was an inter-county one. There were no nations involved, neither were either claiming to represent a nation.

    A paralell would be the European Cup final, which is a club match, not an international.

    Hope thats clears things up, but I doubt it!

  • RepublicanStones

    Be gone ggn and take your logic with you…. !

  • Congal Claen

    This argument is all because Nation and Nationality are confusing terms. Some mix it with state but they’re not the same. Therefore, Campbell may well consider the RoI to be a different nation to NI – a valid viewpoint. However, it’s equally valid for nationalists to consider the island of Ireland to be a nation – even tho it’s not a state. Maybe we should call internationals interstates. But then some of the halfwits might think that’s a road to nowhere ;0)

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Gregory was funny in bigoted sort of way and the boul Mickey was even funny in a diplomatic sort of way “People will think what they will with the limited knowledge that they sometimes have and I respect their ignorance” – in reply to a question about those who wanted him sacked earlier in the season.

  • barnshee

    All this fuss about republican football!

  • Cap’n Bob

    Soccer is what public schoolboys called Association footbal to distinguish it from Rugby which is Rugger.