IFA losing battle to stop Northern Irish footballers heading south…

AND so the row over whether footballers from Northern Ireland can play for the Republic continues with an unexpected bombshell from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter. He is backing the Republic’s stance, meaning that players from NI who are entitled to hold an Irish passport can (so long as they meet certain conditions) play their international football for the Irish Republic. I think that’s right. This convoluted row has been going on for ages, but Blatter’s statement will be a blow to the hapless IFA, which seemed to think the matter had been resolved in its favour. Now, the IFA must fear local talent deciding to leave for, or being poached by, the Republic, which will in turn damage the Northern Ireland team. And it must be galling for the IFA to know that it will probably be training future stars for another footballing nation…

  • yo

    Attitudes like yours fin will forever ensure that their will never be a one ireland football team. I suppose I should thank you in a strange sort of way. “
    Who would want an united team without an united country?

  • tim

    “So presumably you would agree that the belting out of God save the Queen, unionist flags and union jacks, loyalist chanting and the unionist tunes shows at Windsor Park shows that the IFA only want the British/unionist/loyalist only way, or no way?”

    “Compare and contrast that with mono cultural fin, and his vision of a “united”(sic) Ireland team.”

    It’s hard to imagine a more monocultural environment than Windsor Park on an ‘international’ night.

    I even recall some supporters spokesperson commenting that catholics/nationalists/non-unionists/fenians etc… should wait in the stairwells or behind the stands until God Save The Queen was finished.

  • Realist

    “It’s hard to imagine a more monocultural environment than Windsor Park on an ‘international’ night”

    tim,

    Yes, I know what you mean…it must be very hard for you to contemplate players from both nationalist and unionist backgrounds, playing for one cause, in an emerald green shirt, adorned with a Celtic Cross and shamrocks, representing the IRISH Football Association.

    “I even recall some supporters spokesperson commenting that catholics/nationalists/non-unionists/fenians etc… should wait in the stairwells or behind the stands until God Save The Queen was finished”

    I know a few of my associates – anti Royalists – don’t bother taking their seats until the Anthems are over. I respect their reasons for doing so.

    They’re passionate Northern Ireland fans – they don’t go to matches to listen to Anthems…they go to watch football.

    I’m unaware of any “spokesman” who made reference to either “Catholics”, or “fenians” in expressing any sentiments about those who have an issue with the National Anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland being played at Northern Ireland games.

    Perhaps that just your, basely, sectarian mindset working overtime – again?

  • Doctor Who

    [The Irish Rugby team] have to go through the indignity of qualifying for the next [World Cup] finals.

    Not so. Qualification was achieved on the basis of world ranking as at 1 December last year. Ireland were ranked eighth at the time, and qualified as a second seed team. We’re in a pool with Australia (1st seeds) and Italy (3rd seeds). The fourth and fifth seeds have yet to qualify.

  • Realist

    “A handful of people add No surrender to GSTQ, surely this would be more offensive to Her Majesty the Queen than nationalists.2”

    Absolutely spot on Doctor Who.

    “This will be done by NI fans and the IFA for the betterment of football in NI and not as some sort of appeasement to it´s detractors”

    Bang on the money again.

    Inspite of, not because of, those who agressively seek our destruction.

  • kensei

    Realist

    Inspite of, not because of, those who agressively seek our destruction.

    Except not really. No outcry, no continual complaints, no pressure for change, nothing happens. Now, you may have weighed which of the points are valid or not but for the love of God quit the self delusion, would you?

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Except not really”

    No – honestly – really!

  • tim

    ‘Inspite of, not because of, those who agressively seek our destruction.’

    Get a life!!

    ‘Yes, I know what you mean…it must be very hard for you to contemplate players from both nationalist and unionist backgrounds, playing for one cause, in an emerald green shirt, adorned with a Celtic Cross and shamrocks, representing the IRISH Football Association.’

    So the stadium isn’t a monocultural environment because despite of the unionist anthem, official IFA unionist stormont flag, unionist flags and banners displayed all around the ground, unionist/loyalist chants, unionist and pro-British chants & an almost exclusively unionist audience…and… a president who finds it totally acceptable to march in orange order parades alongside those who glorify and celebrate loyalist mass murderers like the Shankill butchers.

    monocultural Indeed !

    But hey, they wear Green shirts!

  • Doctor Who

    Mick Fealty

    “Gonzo suggested to me a few years that we try and set up an experiment where we arrange for one Slugger reader who has never been to Windsor to go along to an international there, and give his/her impressions before, during and afterwards. Possibly in the form of a video diary. And, possibly, to reciprocate by nominating someone who’s never been to a GAA match to do something similar. Of course we should be prepared for peoples’ prejudices to be confirmed, but so long as the people involved are genuine about the experiment, my feeling is that something of interest should emerge.”

    It is a great idea Mick, of course I don´t know if you remember that I did offer Kensei my ticket to NI v Liechtenstein in August 2007 but he declined giving a reason that equated to too many of themuns at Windsor Park. Strange that as he doesn´t bother going to Dublin where there´s none of themuns about the place.

    Anyway as every match is an ´away match´ for me I can forsee in the near future one or two opportunities arising for anyone genuinely interested in going to watch Northern Ireland at Windsor. My tickets for this campaign are accounted for but that could change suddenly, so if anyone is interested from Slugger I would be happy to help it happen.

    GerryOS

    Sorry, I knew that, Ireland no. 8 equates as last automatic qualifier. Ranked no. 8 is pretty poor. If you consider that New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are nearly always going to be ranked in the top three, no 8 means they are the worst of the next bunch, not much better than Italy or Romania.

    In fact ranked no.8 in Rugby would be the equivalent of 88 in football.

  • Realist

    tim – what International team do you support, and why?

  • Realist

    Doctor Who,

    Do you not find it very flattering that a couple of players from Northern Ireland (you know, in a singular “United” (sic) Ireland team is perceived by some Slugger observers as the difference between mediocrity, and world supremacy?

    🙂

  • kensei

    Realist

    You are either being naive or dishonest to think it has had no effect or that change would occur spontaneously.

    Doctor Who

    It is a great idea Mick, of course I don´t know if you remember that I did offer Kensei my ticket to NI v Liechtenstein in August 2007 but he declined giving a reason that equated to too many of themuns at Windsor Park.

    No, I would be genuinely apprehensive about going there on my own with people I don’t know. That would not be an enjoyable experience for me even if it wasn’t in a loyalist area anyway. And more to the point, I thought someone with an interest should have it rather than me.

    Strange that as he doesn´t bother going to Dublin where there´s none of themuns about the place.

    Been once and I’m sure I’ll go again. I’m have no intention of going to every match, not could I afford it. Whisper it, I don’t even watch them on TV if it conflicts with training. Shock! Horror! Scandal!

  • Modernist

    211 posts ffs. can we leave this debate in the past and just let players play for whoever they want to play for. Im not a soccer fan nor do I foresee myself supporting any incompetently run organisation. The IFA had their chance of getting a decent stadium but they and the DUP blew it along with alot of employment for construction workers in the process. Can people give it a rest going on and on and on about what are two useless embarrassments of sporting organisations

  • tim

    “tim – what International team do you support, and why?”

    Realist – so the above is your answer to my previous post below ???

    So the stadium isn’t a monocultural environment because despite of the unionist anthem, official IFA unionist stormont flag, unionist flags and banners displayed all around the ground, unionist/loyalist chants, unionist and pro-British chants & an almost exclusively unionist audience…and… a president who finds it totally acceptable to march in orange order parades alongside those who glorify and celebrate loyalist mass murderers like the Shankill butchers.

    monocultural Indeed !

    But hey, they wear Green shirts!

  • abucs

    I think this does cause IFA a problem with deciding whom to pick and promote at a youth level.

    Are you one of us ? OK, but are you really one of us ?

    I would support players playing for FAI if they chose but can see that it puts IFA in a difficult position which you don’t really want if you are running a football association.

  • Realist

    kensei

    “You are either being naive or dishonest to think it has had no effect or that change would occur spontaneously”

    No – I’m being absolutely honest.

    What’s best for the future autonomy and progression of the Irish Football Association is what will guide Northern Ireland fans think and decide. – Always.

    No apologies to those who seek our destruction about that.

  • Realist

    tim,

    “Realist – so the above is your answer to my previous post below ???”

    I’ll gladly answer your question, once you share with us which International team you support.

    I’m senseing that you’re a Northern Ireland supporter, in waiting, wanting to switch allegiance – based on the interest you show in matters “Northern Ireland”.

    Am I wrong?

  • Doctor Who

    tim

    I do not qaualify for membership of the Orange Order no am I it´s greatest fan, I do however take issue with your horrible statement.

    The majority of Orangemen I know are fine people who detested the actions of loyalist paramilitaries during the troubles.

    Your statement simply makes you look twisted, and I really shouldn´t answer it. It is not illegal to be in the Orange Order, and being in that organisation should not bar you from any office. The problem I have with Mr. Kennedy is not his orange sash but that he appears incompetent.

    Kensei

    I can fully understand that anyone would be aprehensive going into “unchartered waters”, I think any aprehensions can be ironed out beforehand. I did accept your expalnation at the time and it seemed quite fair. I do think however anyone with aprehensions and misconceptions (and there is a fair deal of those around here) will be pleasantly surprised at a NI matchday.

    Tim need not apply.

    Realist

    Yes it is rather flattering that OWC detractors (for they are not ROI fans either) think that Aarron Hughes and Jonny Evans, are the difference between them winning the World Cup and not even qualifying. Maybe we are Brazil after all.

  • kensei

    Realist

    No – I’m being absolutely honest.

    What’s best for the future autonomy and progression of the Irish Football Association is what will guide Northern Ireland fans think and decide. – Always.

    No apologies to those who seek our destruction about that.

  • tim

    ‘I’ll gladly answer your question, once you share with us which International team you support.’

    Realist

    I support the Cook Islands

    Can you answer the question below now ?

    So the stadium isn’t a monocultural environment because despite of the unionist anthem, official IFA unionist stormont flag, unionist flags and banners displayed all around the ground, unionist/loyalist chants, unionist and pro-British chants & an almost exclusively unionist audience…and… a president who finds it totally acceptable to march in orange order parades alongside those who glorify and celebrate loyalist mass murderers like the Shankill butchers.

    monocultural Indeed !

    But hey, they wear Green shirts!

  • Objectivist

    Doctor Who,
    I read with interest your comments on Alan Kernaghan. Any flak he receeived from the ROI-supporting hoi-poloi was due to his perceived deficiencies as a central defender and not his ethnic background.
    Re the general debate:
    I think the FAI should reverse the 1925 schism and return like a prodigal son into the bosom of the IFA.

  • fin

    Tim, mono-cultural maybe, but I’m a bigger believer in a team representing just the one country, as I’ve posted recently the problem with the Irish Rugby team is that unionists see it as a equal partnership between two countries and the reat of the country saw it as a team drawn from the whole of Ireland, look at the demographics, and its the tail wagging the dog.
    Regarding a badge of the Celtic Cross and shamrock, throw in a round tower and we’ll have a Belleek Pottery first 11. Lots of countries have a team strip, possibly the republic should hook up with Iran (less fundamentalists) and as the lost tribe of Israel FIFA will let NI team up with Israel.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “So this discussion would have happened spontaneously, without Nationalist complaining or the unfortunate history? Utter nonsense”

    The real discussions are happening elsewhere – privetely and constructively.

    They do not involve the input of anyone who seeks the abolition of the Northern Ireland team.

    They involve supporters of the Northern Ireland team (with lots of differing viewpoints), who are dedicated to ensuring the future autonomy and progresion of the Irish Football Association.

    As someone who seeks the destruction of the Northern Ireland team, be assured that your input will not be required where it counts.

    That’s not to be rude, it’s a statement of fact.

  • Charlie

    Don’t think I’m an exceptional case, but as a non-Unionist N. Ireland fan, the way I perceive it, the Unionist ‘trappings’ that seem to upset so many on this thread mean **** all to anyone I know who has followed the team from the World Cup 82 era onwards (green IFA flags are by far the most dominant in the terraces these days) there may be a few diehard saddoes who see matches as a Loyalist occasion but that’s their prerogative and it aint gonna taint supporting N. Ireland for the rest of us … the vast majority simply see it as being about supporting fellow-countrymen in green shirts festooned with a badge depicting a Celtic cross and shamrocks (watch pre-Troubles clips and you can hear the whole of Windsor chanting “Ireland! Ireland!” for ****’s sake!!) … the underdog element brings out a lot of passion also and taps into that dogged, contrary spirit that is prevalent in the North … of course the continued use of God Save the Queen as a pre-match anthem is a big irritant but its only a deal-breaker if you want it to be & as others have mentioned in this thread, a change could be afoot … of course it’s a more middle-class situation but think of all the Unionist rugby fans who could feel affronted & alienated by a sea of tricolours & The Soldier’s Song and The Fields of Athenry being belted out all around them but can happily switch off because its about, again, getting behind fellow-countrymen in Irish shirts … guess what I’m saying is that its all about perception & sometimes being alienated, affronted and hostile is a personal choice…

  • Realist

    Excellent post Charlie.

  • kensei

    Realist

    As someone who seeks the destruction of the Northern Ireland team, be assured that your input will not be required where it counts.

    That’s not to be rude, it’s a statement of fact.

    That isn’t what I asked. Why don’t you just admit that nothing would have been done without Nationalist complaints, regardless of motives? The holier than thou bollocks grates.

    Second, what you have just described is playing the man and not the ball. I prefer to look at the quality of argument, not guess at underlying motives.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Realist, old boy,

    Untie your knickers and you’ll learn to relax and enjoy some wee banter. There’s plenty of Southern Irish players who could play for NI if the IFA made a real effort to trace some tenous link. Buying some groceries in Newry would probably be sufficient going on how many players Jack Charlton got from Britain. Many in the South have Ulster relatives, but I don’t envisage the IFA trying too hard to find them. Eastward, Eastward, the eyes only want to see Eastward.

    Fifa has shown they really don’t give a damn about the whole nonsense in Ireland. Neither do most people across the country. Surprise, surprise the nordies like yourself get hot under the collar when partition becomes less and less relevant. We’ll have Derrymen and Belfast men playing football at Croker or Lansdowne for their country -and it’ll be a great day for Ireland.

    It’ll be an even better day when Protestant Ulster players play with them. Because an All- Ireland football league and international team will boost football across the island. And considering how much Irish money is wasted going to Anfield, Old Trafford, Celtic Park and Ibrox every year, we have the financial means to improve football across the island.

    Shamrock Rovers and Linfield could be powerful clubs if they were given a financial chance and more loyalty from Dublin and Belfast football supporters.

    Alas, people on this island will give to the stranger before their own.

  • well i can tell u that Linfield didnt look too powerful last nite mate. 2-0 . F*** the Blues.
    East East East Belfast.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Why don’t you just admit that nothing would have been done without Nationalist complaints, regardless of motives?”

    You are aware that there are “nationalists” who support the Irish Football Association?

    Of course, their views are part of the equation.

    Long before there was any talk on Eligibility, healthy discussions about Anthem etc were taking place.

    You see, there are many Northern Ireland fans who wish to promote a stronger “Northern Irish” identity around the, er, Northern Ireland International set up.

    We only need to look across the sea to Scotland and Wales to see Associations that promote strong, individual, identity.

    I’m sorry that you don’t get that anything that will be done, will be done because it’s best for the future autonomy and progression of the Irish Football Association – but that’s the way it is.

    “Second, what you have just described is playing the man and not the ball. I prefer to look at the quality of argument, not guess at underlying motives”

    I’ll rephrase it then.

    Anyone who seeks the destruction of the Northern Ireland team, can be assured that their input will not be required where it counts.

  • Realist

    Republic Of Connaught,

    “Untie your knickers and you’ll learn to relax and enjoy some wee banter”

    I have been on the receiving end of quite a lot of, good natured, “banter” since approximately 9.35PM last night – that’s a different story altogether.

    “There’s plenty of Southern Irish players who could play for NI if the IFA made a real effort to trace some tenous link.”

    They would need to meet FIFA Eligibility Statutes – which I’m not convinced you understand.

    “Fifa has shown they really don’t give a damn about the whole nonsense in Ireland”

    I’m sure it’s a trivial matter to them, in the scheme of things.

    “We’ll have Derrymen and Belfast men playing football at Croker or Lansdowne for their country -and it’ll be a great day for Ireland”

    We have that in Belfast currently.

    “Because an All- Ireland football league and international team will boost football across the island”

    I broadly support the notion of an All Ireland “Premier” Club League – providing the future autonomy of the Irish Football Association is ringfenced.

    “And considering how much Irish money is wasted going to Anfield, Old Trafford, Celtic Park and Ibrox every year, we have the financial means to improve football across the island.”

    Totally agree – in both Northern Ireland and the Republic Of Ireland.

    It gets on my wick that the island is full of people who pontificate about what’s best for football on it, but they’ve never (or rarely) darkened the door of a domestic league fixture ie. the “grassroots” of football.

    “Alas, people on this island will give to the stranger before their own.”

    Alas, very true – and sad.

    I have much more respect for someone who follows say Shams week in, week out, than someone who jumps on a plane to watch overpaid, mercenaries, in England or Scotland every other weekend.

  • kensei

    Realist

    You are aware that there are “nationalists” who support the Irish Football Association?

    Sure. Wasn’t my point though. I’m not sure why you have nationalists in quotes, because they either are a nationalist or are not. Similarly with the “Catholic” you did earlier. They really are Catholic, it’s not made up category.

    Long before there was any talk on Eligibility, healthy discussions about Anthem etc were taking place.

    I imagine in 1993 when Northern Ireland supporters were chanting “Trick or Treat” they were having important discussions on whether or not to drop GTSQ and the Union Jack. Maybe in between booing Neil Lennon they were having important debates on dropping it? Perhasop pre-69 there was latent disire to get rid of it thatw as just *the talk” in the supporters associations.

    You’ve moved because of pressure. Some it justified, some of it not but it happens everyone. There is no shame in this. There is immense amusement in being unable to admit it though.

    You see, there are many Northern Ireland fans who wish to promote a stronger “Northern Irish” identity around the, er, Northern Ireland International set up.

    I’d be less worried about grand plans and more concerned with getting people in the doors, a healthy association and decent PR. if you can draw some goodwill and support for the South or England, I’m not sure you should be worrying about “strong identities”. It’d be a hell fo a lot more achievable, for a start.

    We only need to look across the sea to Scotland and Wales to see Associations that promote strong, individual, identity.

    Or, or, wait, right, they work off an identity that already exists. Mad thought, I know. Or perhaps “Scottish” doesn’t exist without football? Maybe someone should inform the SNP, it might help them with taht referendum.

    I’m sorry that you don’t get that anything that will be done, will be done because it’s best for the future autonomy and progression of the Irish Football Association – but that’s the way it is.

    Oh I get it. I just find it charming that you can’t admit that any criticism from people who may disagree with has ever hit home or had an effect.

    Anyone who seeks the destruction of the Northern Ireland team, can be assured that their input will not be required where it counts.

    Nope, that’s the same thing, just repeated.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Careful now, Realist, with such an open minded view on an All-Ireland league I might begin to like you.

    Football in Ireland is a joke IMO. To see the stadiums of our clubs, north and south, is an embarrassment. I’d imagine even in Cyprus they are much better developed. When you see how well Munster, Ulster and Leinster do in rugby against powerful English and French clubs, it highlights how pathetically football is run on this island. It also highlights what can be achieved with passionate local support.

    Granted, the GAA is the biggest sport across the island. But the amount of Liverpool & Utd supporters is amazing. Not to mention Rangers and Celtic. Although I have never got into Scottish football, I admire the sheer size of those two clubs for such a small country as Scotland. Although the Catholic and Protestant Irish have more than helped Rangers and Celtic become what they are, for good and ill.

    Liverpool are meant to open an official club shop in Dublin. The amount of fans going across the Irish sea every weekend for years to some club in England or Scotland is shocking. All the while our biggest clubs are nothing short of jokes. Yet I even seen Liverpool FC graffiti in Athlone recently, and no mention of Athlone Town FC.

    Shamrock Rovers come from a city of over a million, many of whom love football. Linfield from a city of over 550,000, many of whom love football. Cork City, Galway Utd and Derry City also have the possibility of great catchment areas. But look at their stadiums; look at their facilties. It’s like English clubs in the 1910s, or worse.

    Now I am a Liverpool supporter and have loved the club since I was 8 or 9. But I get a little tired of the attitude of Scousers and other English Liverpool fans about the “Paddies” coming over in droves. Yet in some ways I don’t blame them.

    They must wonder why we Irish are too stupid to have our own modern clubs to follow. We’re a wealthy country North and South. We have the means to build stadiums; we just suffer from that old Irish disease of getting the boat to England because we can’t do f-all ourselves.

    The possibility of an attractive All-Ireland league and an Irish club in the Champions League is real. But can north and south agree over the colour of shite to make it happen? It’s doubtful. What we need is pure football men and not political dicks involved. And we need a call to the people of the cities to start supporting their own, or we’ll always be a 3rd world football island.

    And it reflects badly on us as an entire people.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “I imagine in 1993 when Northern Ireland supporters were chanting “Trick or Treat” they were having important discussions on whether or not to drop GTSQ and the Union Jack.”

    Whilst I don’t totally subscribe to Marie Jones’s fictional portrayal of that evening, I’m sure you are aware that 1993 (around the time of the fixture were particularly dark days in Northern Ireland – Shankill bombing etc.

    I don’t know how many times you need to be informed – The Irish Football Association DO NOT fly the Union Flag at Northern Ireland International matches.

    I don’t understand your total angst at that flag – it is the National Flag of Northern Ireland, afterall. It will remain the National Flag of many “born and bred” inhabitants of this island, regardless of the future constitutional situation here. Most importantly, the majority of people, in both jurisdictions, on the island voted their approval of that.

    “You’ve moved because of pressure”

    From within.

    “I’d be less worried about grand plans and more concerned with getting people in the doors, a healthy association and decent PR. if you can draw some goodwill and support for the South or England, I’m not sure you should be worrying about “strong identities”. It’d be a hell fo a lot more achievable, for a start.”

    Apologies – I don’t see your point here. Can you please clarify?

    “Or, or, wait, right, they work off an identity that already exists.”

    A strong sense of Northern Irish identity exists too…I want to see that tapped into, and developed, further.

    The encouraging thing is that an increasing number of people, from both main traditions, seem to be getting more comfortable with identifying with being “Northern Irish”.

    Whilst that may be a worry for you, I’m delighted by it.

    “Oh I get it”

    Good – at last.

    “Nope, that’s the same thing, just repeated.”

    Nope – it’s not.

    You accussed me of “playing the man” – you!

    Mindful and respectful of your peculier, quirky, sensitivities, I rephrased it – the rephrased statement is patently not “playing the man” – you!

  • Realist

    Republic Of Connaught,

    That’s an excellent post – I would concur with much of what you say.

  • kensei

    Realist

    Whilst I don’t totally subscribe to Marie Jones’s fictional portrayal of that evening, I’m sure you are aware that 1993 (around the time of the fixture were particularly dark days in Northern Ireland – Shankill bombing etc.

    Fictional? Well documented at the time. And still accepted, it cropped up in a Times article a few years back. Saying it was a dark time yadda yadda yadda would not be accepted in other contexts. Just so here.

    That ain’t the point though. The point is that it wasn’t an issue in the internal groups until external pressure made it so. No one lives in a bubble. I am merely perplexed you can’t admit it.

    I don’t know how many times you need to be informed – The Irish Football Association DO NOT fly the Union Flag at Northern Ireland International matches.

    It is brought to the ground by supporters (you know, the ones discussing change) and in any case I don’t know how many times I have to tell you the Stormont banner is functionally equivalent.

    From within.

    No, I think you’ll find the external pressure had a huge impact too. It’s okay to admit it. It happens everyone.

    Apologies – I don’t see your point here. Can you please clarify?

    You see, there are many Northern Ireland fans who wish to promote a stronger “Northern Irish” identity around the, er, Northern Ireland International set up.

    Maybe you should stop promoting “identity” and start promoting football? If you draw in support from elsewhere, or people come, have a good time and walk out still convionmved they want and All Ireland team and an end to NI, but the IFA get money and a decent crowd, well who can tell the difference form the football pitch?

    It’s also easier to achieve.

    A strong sense of Northern Irish identity exists too…I want to see that tapped into, and developed, further.

    Ah. So the IFA is a vehicle for political ends. I don’t mind like, but at least be honest with what it is about.

    The encouraging thing is that an increasing number of people, from both main traditions, seem to be getting more comfortable with identifying with being “Northern Irish”.

    Perhaps, perhaps not, polls here are typically unreliable and people tend to be polite.

    Whilst that may be a worry for you, I’m delighted by it.

    I don’t really care how people designate themselves. It’s nto really my business I’d like to see a United Ireland, and that tells little about how people would vote on the issue in given circumstances. In football terms I will continue to do as I have done, the people I watch amtches or discus them with will do the same, so really, it means nowt to me.

    You accussed me of “playing the man” – you!

    Nope, not me. The principle you have established is that you ignore anyone with perceived bad intentions. That is the essence of playing the man. Nevermind their argument, who are they and what are they about. Even your biggest detractors can have a point.

    Mindful and respectful of your peculier, quirky, sensitivities, I rephrased it – the rephrased statement is patently not “playing the man” – you!

    I ain’t that egocentric or sensitive.

  • Charlie

    Let’s get down to the nitty gritty & break it down then … if you’re a football fan from the North, you can basically fall into three camps:

    Non-sectarian Northern Ireland supporter – Supports N. Ireland, doesn’t give a **** about religion, also happily cheers on the Republic esp. if they qualify for World Cup and N. Ireland don’t, proud of distinctive sense of Northern Irishness, wants God Save the Queen dropped as anthem because its divisive and stirs sectarian ****

    Sectarian Northern Ireland supporter – Diehard Loyalist, loves belting out GSTQ at Windsor, loved the blue away strip thus avoiding having to wear ‘Fenian-lukkin’ home strip, will sing The Sash etc at international matches even though he’s feeling increasingly shunned

    Exclusively Republic of Ireland supporter – Anti-Northern Ireland football team, well-versed in any examples of sectarianism connected to N. Ireland and IFA, will NEVER support N. Ireland, even against England. Likely to use the word ‘hun’ when out of Prod earshot.

    Well, I know what camp I’m more than happy to belong to…

  • fin

    here’s an idea, regarding both Rugby and soccer why not have single teams but instead of neutral emblems and anthems, play both anthems and let fans have tricolours and/or union jacks.

    Some years ago the PSNI band pulled out of playing at a Rugby game because it entailed playing Amhran na bhFiann, let the Garda band do it and the PSNI do GStQ.

    The First Minister could take the Presidential salute with the Irish President

    And a single football league is a good idea, and again have the grounds north and south fly both the union and tricolour flags at stadiums.

    No culture is diluted, both cultures fully expressed, no need to compromise, no consessions,

    It must be legal, Iran play about six national anthems before football games, and it would possibly confuse the hell out of the opposition.

    Possibly the day would come when ‘The Sun’ would be handing out red, white and blue tricolours and green, white and orange union jacks

    Any objections?

  • Democratic

    Fin – something to think about perhaps – but not sure how much either side would truly be interested in such a move – sure Nationalists would love AMF played at NI matches but I don’t fancy how they would take to GTSQ being played at ROI matches representing the home team. Besides weren’t you yourself arguing the a different view regarding the Rugby scenario with Ireland’s Call etc – “tail wagging the dog” I believe was one of your phrases. Would you prefer AMF with GTSQ rather than Ireland’s Call at Croker/Landsdowne?
    I reckon I would I have to say.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Fictional?”

    Yes.

    “And still accepted, it cropped up in a Times article a few years back”

    Well, it might be “accepted” by you and others, not in attendance. Funnily enough, it is not accepted by Republic Of Ireland fans in attendance.

    The Times piece is interesting – have you read it in full?

    “It is brought to the ground by supporters”

    It is indeed, by some.

    They see it as the National Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – which, in fact, it is.

    Perfectly legitimately, although it wouldn’t be my choice of flag for Northern Ireland games.

    Once you begin to respect that the Union Flag is, and always be, the National Flag of many born and bred inhabitants of this island (as accepted by people, freely exercising their vote, in both jurisdictions) you might not get so tetchy about it’s usage.

    “No, I think you’ll find the external pressure had a huge impact too. It’s okay to admit it. It happens everyone.”

    Ok then – if you wish to be gratified in the knowledge that nationalists/republicans helped strengthen the future autonomy and progression of the Irish Football Association, don’t let me stand in the way any longer.

    “Maybe you should stop promoting “identity” and start promoting football? If you draw in support from elsewhere, or people come, have a good time and walk out still convionmved they want and All Ireland team and an end to NI, but the IFA get money and a decent crowd, well who can tell the difference form the football pitch?”

    Right.

    “So the IFA is a vehicle for political ends”

    What?

    The IFA is a vehicle for promoting, administering, and progressing the game of football within Northern Ireland.

    “I’d like to see a United Ireland”

    So what? Good for you. That’s a perfectly legitimate aspiration.

    You’ll not acheive it by demonising the people (eg. your obvious detestation of their National Anthem and Flag) you wish to be “united” with.

    You might, if you start to respect that others hold dear things that you don’t like.

    “Perhaps, perhaps not, polls here are typically unreliable and people tend to be polite.”

    Indeed.

    And, people tend to use them when they suit, and state they’re “unreliable” when they don’t. 🙂

    Furthermore, many people chose to be honest – rather than polite.

    “Even your biggest detractors can have a point”

    Ever our biggest detractors can hold the same view/opinions as us from time to time.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Realist,

    What I find stupid was the reaction to Linfield and St Pats in the Setanta Cup. There was some minor troubles in Dublin and it’s all blown up into an issue.

    Have people ever seen a Liverpool-Utd match, or Newcastle-Sunderland or Villa-Birmingham or Lazio-Roma. The hatred is savage between fans. Yet if a Dublin club and a Belfast club’s fans have rivalry it’s made into a big sectarian issue on this island.

    As long as actual sectarian chanting was banned and the behaviour was kept under control by security, why can’t supporters on this island enjoy rivalry too? I believe the real fans of the clubs, and not the troublemakers all clubs possess, would love the big nights if the stadiums were bigger.

    When you see Scottish, Czech, Romanian, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish clubs get into the Champions League you have to wonder how dumb are people North and South to keep pouring our money into English or Scottish clubs rather than try to build up local ones.

  • James

    Fionnuala O’Connor is spot on in her opinion piece in today’s Irish Times.

    “the Irish Football Association (IFA), has effectively been saying for the past few years you may think you are Irish but we are going to make you play for a British team”

    “But telling them they cannot play for the Republic because they live in the UK does not work. Worse, it confirms a suspicion that in spite of recent efforts, the IFA is still unthinkingly unionist.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0305/1224242303641.html

  • kensei

    Realist

    Well, it might be “accepted” by you and others, not in attendance. Funnily enough, it is not accepted by Republic Of Ireland fans in attendance.

    Here’s is an article on the game from the Times.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article1018010.ece

    It mentions both it, and “Greysteele 7 Republic 0”. Why would The Times lie? Why was there no uproar for being factually incorrect?

    I’ll take with a pinch of salt your claims as to what all Republic fans in attentdence believe.

    The Times piece is interesting – have you read it in full?

    Yes. I’m not interested in wider poitns. I am interested here solely in the veracity of the “Trick or Treat” statement. It is something, despite being quite young at the time, I can clearly remember being reported. I know this, because it was my reason for absolutely despising the NI setup long before any of the Lennon business. Now, why would the Times lie? Why would reporters at the time make it up?

    Perfectly legitimately, although it wouldn’t be my choice of flag for Northern Ireland games.

    I’m sure it is totally pukka or whatever but it’s neither here nor there.

    Once you begin to respect that the Union Flag is, and always be, the National Flag of many born and bred inhabitants of this island (as accepted by people, freely exercising their vote, in both jurisdictions) you might not get so tetchy about it’s usage.

    I respect your opinon. Doesn’t mean I have to accept your position. It doesn’t mean the same thing for me and many others. And one thing it most certainly isn’t is a shared flag.

    Ok then – if you wish to be gratified in the knowledge that nationalists/republicans helped strengthen the future autonomy and progression of the Irish Football Association, don’t let me stand in the way any longer.

    Splendid. So having established the principle, we can see that external pressure may have soem effect. It might not lead the IFA were the people criticising want it to go, but at least now you can drop the endlessly repeated tedious nonsense of not listening.

    What?

    The IFA is a vehicle for promoting, administering, and progressing the game of football within Northern Ireland.

    But apparently you want it to promote a “Northern Irish” identity and strengthen your political position. Why are you mixing politics and sport Realist? That would never do.

    You’ll not acheive it by demonising the people (eg. your obvious detestation of their National Anthem and Flag) you wish to be “united” with.

    I am not demonising anyone. I am sure Northern Ireland fans are lovely people. If self said lovely people engage in ugly chanting or abuse of a Catholic player or campaign to prevent people playing for the team they want and whose nationality they have by birthright, then I am going to say I don’t like it, because I don’t think you can get anywhere based on lies and self censorship.

    You might, if you start to respect that others hold dear things that you don’t like.

    I respect that other people hold them dear. But the Union Jack is not a shared falg. It is exceptionally unlikely I’d take an interest in the Northern Ireland team but if I was feeling a bit curious or there was a decent opposition, I might take up soemone’s offer to go. I have little interest in Ice Hockey, but I’ve been to it and have no negative opinion of the Giants. But the location of stadium, the Anthem and the flags all act as barriers. Now, I’m a fairly political guy. Lots of people aren’t but that remains true. I am not about to wee on the Union Jack or Stormont Banner but neither am I going to lie and tell you I like it. It is spurious to suggest otherwise. Accept everything we do or be condemned. Sorry, it’s not respect and respect is a two way street.

    Oh, and as an aside, I could cite similar reasons for never venturing near Linfield’s ground despite living on the Lisburn Road for five years and having most Saturday afternoons off.

    And, people tend to use them when they suit, and state they’re “unreliable” when they don’t. 🙂

    The only polls I trust here are elections.

    Ever our biggest detractors can hold the same view/opinions as us from time to time.

    They can also hold different ones, and still be right.

  • Realist

    Republic Of Connaught,

    Once again, I find myself agreeing with most of the sentiments expressed in your most recent post.

    That must be quite worrying for you 🙂

    A lot of our media don’t seem to want to highlight the friendships that have been forged, between Northern Irish clubs and their counterparts in the Republic – eg, between Linfield and Drogheda fans (of which I previously posted footage from UTV).

    I think of the generous hospitality afforded to myself and many other fans by Bohs Football Club, prior to that St Pat’s game – on on other occassions when we’ve travelled to the Republic.

    There are many other examples, which would indicate that genuine “football people” (as you nicely refer to) greatly outnumber the dimwits.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “It mentions both it, and “Greysteele 7 Republic 0”. Why would The Times lie? Why was there no uproar for being factually incorrect?

    I’ll take with a pinch of salt your claims as to what all Republic fans in attentdence believe.”

    Yes – Jones depicted mass, hysterical, chanting of “Trick or Treat”. The Times article didn’t.

    You may, or may not, be aware, that Jones professes to be a Northern Ireland fan (goes to some games), and her son is a regular, extremely enthusiastic, Northern Ireland fan.

    You will note the contribution in the article from Gary Spain – a dedicated follower of the Republic Of Ireland team, travelling the world over to watch his country play at every opportunity.

    Gary is a friend of mine – I have supplied him with tickets to come and watch Northern Ireland on two occassions in recent years – versus Azerbaijan and the famous victory over Spain.

    I had the pleasure of his Company in Maribor, Slovenia, last October, prior to the Northern Ireland game there…with the Republic having no fixture, Gary travelled (just for the day) to Slovenia on a Northern Ireland fans’ charter. Many Northern Ireland fans enjoyed his company – not least his vast knowledge of Irish football, that day – as we chatted, laughed and had a few beers in the Main Square where the Northern Ireland fans had gathered. Not one word in anger.

    During his trip, he contributed, very eloquently, to a DVD production being made by Northern Ireland fans, which has been funded by cross community funders.

    I have met Gary at Linfield games too in recent months….he’s a lifelong Limerick FC supporter, but has been known to travel up to Windsor to watch The Blues, when he has time.

    Likewise, I have been to both Republic Of Ireland and Ireland rugby matches in Dublin as his guest, and friend.

    When at Windsor Park, he respected our National Anthem, under the Ulster Banner.

    When at Lansdowne, I stood repectfully for his National Anthem, under his flag.

    We were there to watch sport – not listen to music, or watch flags blowing in the breeze.

    We are currently corresponding about organising a fans match, involving teams of fans from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, following a similar event we had in Dublin a couple of years ago. A fantastic day.

    You see – Gary has moved on. It’s 2009. Times are different.

    Gary is a true “United” Irelander – he too has aspirations. He is a great Irish “football man”. I respect him, without condition.

    Maybe next time you produce an article to pick out of it only what you want to pick out of it, you’ll try to be a bit more rounded in your analysis.

    “I respect your opinon. Doesn’t mean I have to accept your position. It doesn’t mean the same thing for me and many others. And one thing it most certainly isn’t is a shared flag.”

    No, it’s not. I accept and respect that analysis.

    However, everything I said earlier holds re: it is the National Flag of many of this island’s born and bred inhabitants. Now, and going forward, regardless of any constitutional change.

    Neither is the National Flag you hold dear, “shared”.

    So, your point is what exactly?

    “The only polls I trust here are elections”

    I trust then, that’ll you’ll accept my earlier comments on the Union Flag.

    They can also hold different ones, and still be right.

    Yes – and two rights rarely make a wrong.

  • fin

    Democratic, I’d much prefer both anthems played, I think the current scenario just doesn’t work because as I’ve said its viewed by many Unionists not as an all Ireland team but a team from both countries, and considering there are people saying the Irish anthem shouldn’t be played in the Capital of Ireland for a team thats 4/5ths from the South, how long before a demand for games to be played in a neutral venue like Cardiff, and I think alot of people are dismayed at the erodsion of the ‘Southern’ identity, which at the same time doesn’t recognise the ‘unionist’ identity.

    So why not recognise both fully and equally, I don’t have an issue with both Anthems been played and both flags actively encouraged. What could the unionist faction happier than having GStQ and union flags at games and ditto for Irish emblems for people like me.

    To my knowledge Irish fans of whatever sport have respected GStQ when played for English teams so obviously they would when played for Irish teams.

    Further I think it removes the ‘tail wagging the dog’ situation, I would suspect if there were 50,000 Irish supporters in Croke Park 40,000 would opt to wave a tricolour and belt out Amhran na bhFiann, and 10,000 for union flags and GStQ. Surely freedom of choice to identify with the emblems you chose is better than 100% of people forced to identify with meaningless emblems

  • Realist

    “To my knowledge Irish fans of whatever sport have respected GStQ when played for English teams so obviously they would when played for Irish teams”

    We’ll see if that’s the case when Northern Ireland travel to Dublin for the Celtic Cup.

  • fin

    Realist, you seem to be futuring, which should always be frowned upon. While you’ve got your crystal ball out would you mind posting Saturdays lottery numbers.

    Or are you basing this on consistant historical data? can you explain?

  • kensei

    Realist

    Yes – Jones depicted mass, hysterical, chanting of “Trick or Treat”. The Times article didn’t.

    Where did I claim hysteria? One would ahve been bad enough, but there was clearly enough to be worthy of report.

    You may, or may not, be aware, that Jones professes to be a Northern Ireland fan (goes to some games), and her son is a regular, extremely enthusiastic, Northern Ireland fan.

    You brought her up, not me. The reporting of that predates the play. I have seen the play, wa salright, but it is not the source of the tale. Not as you put it, “fictional”.

    When at Windsor Park, he respected our National Anthem, under the Ulster Banner.

    If I went to England, or France, or the USA, I would happily do the same. But with NI, there is an important distinction: it claims to represent me, and it doesn’t. There is no questioniong of Gary’s eligibility for any team, or request that he gives allegiance to that flag. It’s an important distinction.

    You see – Gary has moved on. It’s 2009. Times are different.

    Except they are not. The UK still runs the show here. I am still a conviction Republican, and the anthems asks me to commend the Monarch. I cannot. Things are better. But some fundamentals haven’t changed.

    Gary is a true “United” Irelander – he too has aspirations. He is a great Irish “football man”. I respect him, without condition.

    Oh do bugger off. You had zero inclinations towards a single island team before you met him, and zero inclination now so pretending if Nationalist would just be nice, shut up and accept the status quo and we’d wind up with a United Ireland is nonsense. You present him as an example because he accepts fully the status quo and doesn’t bring up troublesome topics.

    Southern Nationalism is secure in its place and its future. It can afford to be magnimous. Northern nationalism much less so. There si a bit of truth in that people here need to become more tolerant. But you mix it with a big bag of lies in the hope it gives your argument force.

    Maybe next time you produce an article to pick out of it only what you want to pick out of it, you’ll try to be a bit more rounded in your analysis.

    I had no intention of bringing up the article. It was tangential to another point I made. You claimed that the “Trick ro Treat” chanting did not occur, so I presented evidence. You still maintain it either didn’t happen, or wasn’t significant. That would fundamentally lose my respect.

    So, your point is what exactly?

    The South doesn’t have a divided populace.

    I trust then, that’ll you’ll accept my earlier comments on the Union Flag.

    Certainly. It’s irrelevant to the point.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “But with NI, there is an important distinction: it claims to represent me, and it doesn’t. There is no questioniong of Gary’s eligibility for any team, or request that he gives allegiance to that flag. It’s an important distinction”

    Yes, I understand it doesn’t represent you. Neither does your National Flag or Anthem represent me. Gary is not eligible to play for Northern Ireland. I am eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland. I have no allegiance whatsoever to the National Flag or Anthem of the Irish Republic. It’s an important distinction.

    “The UK still runs the show here”

    That’s correct – it will remain the case for so long as that is the wish of the majority of people here. Should the constitutional position change, my allegiance will still be to the National Flag and Anthem of the United Kingdom. That is coppperfastened, ratified by the people of this island (North and South).

    “I am still a conviction Republican”

    I didn’t know you’d done time. 🙂

    I know your a republican, and accept that. I am not a republican.

    “the anthems asks me to commend the Monarch”

    I have alluded to the fact that some Northern Ireland fans are not monarchists either – they are anti Royalist. They too , have issues with the Anthem. I respect their views.

    “You had zero inclinations towards a single island team before you met him”

    Absolutely correct.

    “so pretending if Nationalist would just be nice, shut up and accept the status quo and we’d wind up with a United Ireland is nonsense”

    Not what I’m “pretending” at all. I am open to discussion (always) about why myself and my family would be better served in a truly “united” Ireland, than outwith it. That’s what it’s all about – persuasion, not demonisation.

    “You present him as an example because he accepts fully the status quo and doesn’t bring up troublesome topics.”

    He doesn’t, and he does.

    “There si a bit of truth in that people here need to become more tolerant.”

    Don’t they just.

    “But you mix it with a big bag of lies in the hope it gives your argument force”

    I haven’t told any “lies”. You should retract that slur. I have been open, honest and truthful with you.

    And you have the temerity to whinge about “playing the man”.

    The fact that you might not like what I have to say, or agree with what I say, doesn’t change that.

    “You claimed that the “Trick ro Treat” chanting did not occur, so I presented evidence”

    Yes, and I maintain my view that such “chanting” did not occur, and cannot deny that individuals may have shouted such vile comments.

    I was a game in Derry a few months ago, when sick chanting about the Shankill bombing was made by a small section of the home support – I’m not going to demonise the whole Derry support for the actions of some bigots. I recognise that the majority are just football fans – supporting their team.

    Two wrongs don’t make these things right.

    I detest people who engage in such comments.

    “The South doesn’t have a divided populace”

    Yes…and?

    Here does. We have to try and deal with that. Any ideas, other than demonising the people you want to be “united” with?

    “Certainly”

    Good.

    “It’s irrelevant to the point”

    It was you who raised elections, and now chose to call “irrelevant” what people voted for.

    Er – ok!

  • kensei

    Yes, I understand it doesn’t represent you. Neither does your National Flag or Anthem represent me. Gary is not eligible to play for Northern Ireland. I am eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland. I have no allegiance whatsoever to the National Flag or Anthem of the Irish Republic. It’s an important distinction.

    Lets run a hypothetical. Suppose there was a single UK team. In this scenario you would obviously be supporting the UK team, since it is the one that represents you. You may be uncomfortable with the trappings of the Irish team. Pulling an example of someone from England happy to support the Irish team is neither an entirely useful comparison, nor generalisable.

    That’s correct – it will remain the case for so long as that is the wish of the majority of people here. Should the constitutional position change, my allegiance will still be to the National Flag and Anthem of the United Kingdom. That is coppperfastened, ratified by the people of this island (North and South).

    Really. How did I go through so long on this site without realising that? Any other pearlers you’d care to pass on?

    Not what I’m “pretending” at all. I am open to discussion (always) about why myself and my family would be better served in a truly “united” Ireland, than outwith it. That’s what it’s all about – persuasion, not demonisation.

    And yet, if somehow enough people were convinced of the merits of a United Ireland, your allegiance would remain elsewhere. It does not square with an open mind.

    Furthermore, I have not demonsied anyone.

    I haven’t told any “lies”. You should retract that slur. I have been open, honest and truthful with you.

    Nope. Gary is a “true United Irelander” because it happily accepts the status quo and has no problem with GTSQ. Us poor Northern nationalists who dislike the status quo and dislike being represented by GTSQ are bad people. Partitionist and demonising! Even though, as Mick continually points out, the status quo is much more our problem than the Southern nationalism’s.

    But well, Gary’s had no effect on your opinion on a United team. I don’t believe you are being honest, either intentionally or unintentionally, when you suggest that if – if only! – nationalists would just behave like good wee Northern Iireland citizens, then you’d have a United Ireland in no time. Especially when it tallies oh so wellw ith your stated ovjective of a strong, separate Northern Ireland identity. It’s a standard Unionist line, repeated on here by various people, and it remains crock regardless of who says it.

    And you have the temerity to whinge about “playing the man”.

    Have you still not got the point on that one? It has little to do with man playing and a lot to do with your underlying philsophy.

    The fact that you might not like what I have to say, or agree with what I say, doesn’t change that.

    As I said. I believe you are suggesting something that is a well worn line with little in it. if I was feeling charitable I’d say you actually believe it. It is still crock.

    Yes, and I maintain my view that such “chanting” did not occur, and cannot deny that individuals may have shouted such vile comments.

    It either did or didn’t. The Times again:

    When the teams took the field on the 17th to the customary Billy Boy chants, faint echoes of Greysteel would be discernible: “Trick or Treat”, “Greysteel 7 Republic 0”.

    “Faint”, but certainly noticeable. A few people could not have raised enough for comment. I do not suggest it was all, though I’d guess the charming Billy Boys got a bigger rendition. But it is indicative not just of some of the support, but what people were prepared to tolerate. I don’t go in for wholisitic views that make terible people. Everyone has a mixture of good and bad stuff, and I’m no different. but I have to say, that one was very wrong and did a hell of a lot of damage.

    The fact you can’t bring yourself to admit this really does you a disservice.

    Two wrongs don’t make these things right.

    I didn’t bring any other wrongs into it with respect, and frankly I don’t give a stuff about your whataboutery.

    Here does. We have to try and deal with that. Any ideas, other than demonising the people you want to be “united” with?

    I’m not demonsing anyone. I just have little interest in an NI team that is alien to me. I’m simply argumentative.

    I have the odd idea though. I occasionally post some of them on site.

    It was you who raised elections, and now chose to call “irrelevant” what people voted for.

    Er – ok!

    Er nokay! You raised the point on polls. I simply stated the only ones I trust. Keep trying though.

  • George

    Realist,
    I assume you were at the 1998 peace international, I fear the same respect will be shown for anthems as was shown that day.

    As for Gary Spain being with the NI fans in Slovenia, just as well he wasn’t in the stands in San Marino recently. It might have shown him that just because it’s 2009 things haven’t moved on as far we would all like.

    And just wait until you see the away fan boneheads who will be traveling to Dublin and Belfast in 2011. Prejudice, tricolours and union flags will be everywhere.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Suppose there was a single UK team. In this scenario you would obviously be supporting the UK team, since it is the one that represents you”

    Please God, there never is. I couldn’t support it as passionately as I support Northern Ireland.

    “You may be uncomfortable with the trappings of the Irish team.” Pulling an example of someone from England happy to support the Irish team is neither an entirely useful comparison, nor generalisable.”

    The guy in question suppports both Irish teams tho – one more passionately than the other.

    “Really”

    Yip.

    “And yet, if somehow enough people were convinced of the merits of a United Ireland, your allegiance would remain elsewhere. It does not square with an open mind”

    That’s correct. I would accept the wishes of the people in Northern Ireland. It would not change my Nationality one iota tho. I would get on with my life.

    “Us poor Northern nationalists who dislike the status quo and dislike being represented by GTSQ are bad people.”

    I don’t think that that makes you “poor Northern nationalists””, or a “bad people” at all.

    On the contrary, I respect your aspirations as wholly legitimate.

    “But well, Gary’s had no effect on your opinion on a United team”

    No, he hasn’t. He has succeeded tho, through respect and tolerance, in making me feel more welcome in an all island context. He does not demonise me and what I hold dear.

    “I don’t believe you are being honest, either intentionally or unintentionally, when you suggest that if – if only! – nationalists would just behave like good wee Northern Iireland citizens, then you’d have a United Ireland in no time”

    Well, whatever you believe, I am being honest.

    Furthermore, I respect that you do not consider yourself a “Northern Ireland citizen”.

    “It’s a standard Unionist line, repeated on here by various people, and it remains crock regardless of who says it”

    And a strong Northern Irish identity doesn’t have to be everybody’s cup of tea. Seems like it’s not “a crock of shit” to a growing number of people tho.

    “As I said. I believe you are suggesting something that is a well worn line with little in it. if I was feeling charitable I’d say you actually believe it”

    Oh – I absolutely believe it.

    “It is still crock”

    In your opinion, but not in mine.

    “Faint”, but certainly noticeable. A few people could not have raised enough for comment. I do not suggest it was all, though I’d guess the charming Billy Boys got a bigger rendition. But it is indicative not just of some of the support, but what people were prepared to tolerate. I don’t go in for wholisitic views that make terible people. Everyone has a mixture of good and bad stuff, and I’m no different. but I have to say, that one was very wrong and did a hell of a lot of damage”

    Move on from 1993 kensei – there were a lot of things “wrong”, and “a hell of a lot of damage was done” by many people.

    Try to look forward.

    “The fact you can’t bring yourself to admit this really does you a disservice”

    Admit what? That some people at a football match in 1993 may have shouted vile comments about a despicable atrocity?

    Some are still doing it at matches in 2008 – on both sides.

    “I’m not demonsing anyone”

    Really?

    “I didn’t bring any other wrongs into it with respect, and frankly I don’t give a stuff about your whataboutery”

    But the premise of your concern is that “unionist” football fans made vile chants at a football match. I’m reminding you that such vile chanting is not the sole domain of “unionist” football fans. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I despise all such chanting.

    “I just have little interest in an NI team that is alien to me”

    You certainly seem to post enough on threads concerning the Northern Ireland team?

    The Northern Ireland team will always be alien to you – as a republican. It represents a State you want abolished, as a republican. No matter what changes are made, it will be alien to you – because of that fact.

    It will never have your support, because of what it represents.

    You support a different International team anyway – that you are comfortable with, and that represents you more.

    And, guess what – that’s perfectly ok by me!

  • Kensei

    Please God, there never is. I couldn’t support it as passionately as I support Northern Ireland.

    We’re in a hypothetical world. It’s ok.

    The guy in question suppports both Irish teams tho – one more passionately than the other.

    I am running with your own statement of no allegiance to the Republic, not anything else. That does not indicate a “support both” scenario.

    That’s correct. I would accept the wishes of the people in Northern Ireland. It would not change my Nationality one iota tho. I would get on with my life.

    No, any more than current constitutional arrangements change mine. But the state is big and hard to ignore. Nothing would bother you, ever?

    Furthermore, I respect that you do not consider yourself a “Northern Ireland citizen”.

    No. If I did, it would make no difference to you.

    And a strong Northern Irish identity doesn’t have to be everybody’s cup of tea. Seems like it’s not “a crock of shit” to a growing number of people tho.

    I didn’t say anything like that. It’s not even related. Go back and try again.

    Move on from 1993 kensei – there were a lot of things “wrong”, and “a hell of a lot of damage was done” by many people.

    We’re talking football. Having been unable to disprove it occurred, you are not dismissing it. So my opinion of you goes down another notch.

    Admit what? That some people at a football match in 1993 may have shouted vile comments about a despicable atrocity?

    Admit a. It happened b. It was a significant amount of people c. It was wrong and d. don’t dismiss it or try whataboutery. It grates.

    The original point was simply that external without external pressure change would not have occurred and it is a bit silly to think that people chanting “Trick or Treat” would have been discussing whether or not to remove GSTQ. Bit cheeky, but the point wasn’t the chanting.

    You decided to challenge the point that it occured. So I’m forced to nail down that it did, it was wrong and what other people are doing yesterday, today, tomorrow, whenever is irrelevant to it because I really taht sort of dismissive attitude.

    But the premise of your concern is that “unionist” football fans made vile chants at a football match. I’m reminding you that such vile chanting is not the sole domain of “unionist” football fans. Nothing more, nothing less.

    No, you are engaging in whataboutery. My premise is that Northern Ireland fans had a sectarianism problem at that point. I do not know their political allegiance. Happy to admit they’ve done a lot of good work since the Lennon thing brought it to a head. It wasn’t directly releavnt to the original discussion but you decided to take issue with it.

    You certainly seem to post enough on threads concerning the Northern Ireland team?

    I like arguing and I dislike stupid points, both of which appear on these threads in abundance. I orignially just wanted to say “No external people have an influence? Catch yourself on!” but it took 3 pages to get that out of you.

    The Northern Ireland team will always be alien to you – as a republican. It represents a State you want abolished, as a republican. No matter what changes are made, it will be alien to you – because of that fact.

    Yeah, but I might watch the football. I might go with a friend who it does matter to, thatd be the whole respect thing. But at the moment I’d not feel comfortable.

    It will never have your support, because of what it represents.

    Probably. But this isn’t about me. I know, I know, I’m just so brillaint, but try and see the wider picture.

    And, guess what – that’s perfectly ok by me!

    Great! Just stop trying to stop my future child playing for the Republic! I have high hopes!

  • Frank

    It seems that its not only sectarian supporters who are causing problems for the 6 county team.

    Commenting on the upcoming match with Poland, NI international Warren Feeney said this week :

    “We need to turn Windsor Park into a little Ibrox for the day.

    “He (Boruc) hates playing there and anything that will help our cause must be encouraged.”

    Now i’ve always thought Windsor Park was very like Ibrox, with the unionist flags, anthems, songs etc… and i know the ni fans are fond of a few bars of ‘rule’britannia’, ‘dambusters’, ‘famine song’ & so on

    But Mr Feeney seems to have let his own personal mask slip on this one.

  • Realist

    George,

    “I assume you were at the 1998 peace international”

    I wasn’t, as it happens. I was on holiday.

    “I fear the same respect will be shown for anthems as was shown that day”

    I suspect your right. Fin disagrees.

    “As for Gary Spain being with the NI fans in Slovenia, just as well he wasn’t in the stands in San Marino recently”

    He wasn’t. He was at the Republic Of Ireland game, in Dublin.

    I was in the Stands in San marino tho.

    “It might have shown him that just because it’s 2009 things haven’t moved on as far we would all like”

    But we’ve moved on a lot. Glass half empty, or half full? Depends on preception, doesn’t it?

    I can only account for what I witnessed/heard in San Marino.

    “And just wait until you see the away fan boneheads who will be traveling to Dublin and Belfast in 2011. Prejudice, tricolours and union flags will be everywhere”

    The whole competition is being staged in Dublin George – if it proceeds.

    I expect there to be tight monitoring of those travelling from Northern Ireland, certainly those supporting Northern Ireland.

    I cannot comment on what the detail of that will be, because the plans are not yet in place.

    I’m looking forward to enjoying the company of fellow football fans from the Irish Republic, Wales and Scotland, together with having a great time with my usual Northern Irish travel companions.

    If God spares us, and you’re attending the match yourself, I’d be delighted to enjoy a pint and a chat in your company.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Just stop trying to stop my future child playing for the Republic!”

    If you’d cared to read my thoughts on the issue, rather than make presumptions, you would have found that I am not trying to stop your future child play for the Republic.

    I respect your future childs rights to play for the Republic, as I respect your right to support the Republic.

    Had you of taken time to read what I’ve said, you’d have noticed that I fundamentally disagree with the IFA’s current position on the issue.

  • Realist

    “Now i’ve always thought Windsor Park was very like Ibrox, with the unionist flags, anthems, songs etc… and i know the ni fans are fond of a few bars of ‘rule’britannia’, ‘dambusters’, ‘famine song’ & so on”

    Frank,

    I have NEVER heard the Northern Ireland fans sing “The Famine Song” at a Northern Ireland game. And, I suspect, I’ve been to a lot more Northern Ireland games than you.

  • Kensei

    Realist

    Last time we discusse dthis, you were somewhat ambiguous, “Just want the rules enforced,w hatever they are” etc…

  • Hugo

    ‘I expect there to be tight monitoring of those travelling from Northern Ireland, certainly those supporting Northern Ireland.’

    Going by some of the tales on owc regarding sectarian problems at away games over the last couple of years, i doubt you can expect anything.

    However as Ireland supporters North & South have an examplary record when supporting their country at home and abroad, i would be more confident in the support of Ireland, than that of the supporters of the Belfast team.

  • circles

    ‘Commenting on the upcoming match with Poland, NI international Warren Feeney said this week :

    “We need to turn Windsor Park into a little Ibrox for the day. ‘

    Well Healy can help by playing his flute and making snide ‘famine ‘remarks.

    That’s just the players, now let’see what the fans can do.-No Surrender!!!

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “I am running with your own statement of no allegiance to the Republic, not anything else. That does not indicate a “support both” scenario”

    No, I don’t support both – I support Northern Ireland only. Gary does support both, with his favourites (by a long chalk) being his native Republic Of Ireland.

    I haven’t a clue what point you’re making – except arguing for the sake it.

    “No, any more than current constitutional arrangements change mine. But the state is big and hard to ignore. Nothing would bother you, ever?”

    I would accept, and respect, the wishes of the majority Northern Irish people, safe and comfortable in the knowledge that my nationality wouldn’t change one iota.

    Things that bother me include – education of my two children, job security, health.

    “No. If I did, it would make no difference to you”

    That’s right – I would respect that too.

    “We’re talking football. Having been unable to disprove it occurred, you are not dismissing it. So my opinion of you goes down another notch.”

    Seems logic is beyond you – Of course, if I cannot disprove it occured, it means I am not dismisssig it.

    There was no mass chanting of “Trick or Treat” at the game – if you require proof, watch the TV footage. Alternatively, you could produce proof to the contrary.

    “it is a bit silly to think that people chanting “Trick or Treat” would have been discussing whether or not to remove GSTQ”

    I agree. However, other Northern Ireland fans, were discussing it. The Northern Ireland fanbase has lots of differences of opinion, on lots of differing issues pertaining to the Northern Ireland team. All have one key objective – ensuring the autonomy and future progression of the Irish Football Association. That’s quite healthy.

    “I dislike stupid points, both of which appear on these threads in abundance”

    I agree.

    “Yeah, but I might watch the football. I might go with a friend who it does matter to, thatd be the whole respect thing. But at the moment I’d not feel comfortable”

    Been there, done that – in Dublin, at a Republic Of Ireland game. Only thing that made me feel a bit uncomfortable was that I didn’t support either of the teams playing. The Flag and Anthem didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I simply have no allegiance to either, and never will.

    “but try and see the wider picture”

    I do my best to always see a bigger picture, particularly in relation to the Northern Ireland team. It is exactly why I am frustrated at the shortsightednesss of the Irish football Association, and many fellow fans, over the Eligibility issue.

    “Probably”

    At last.

    I repeat, for your benefit – if nationalists/republicans like your goodself wisgh to take gratification and credit for making changes that ultimately strengthen the future autonomy and progression of the Irish Football Association, don’t let me stop you.

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Last time we discusse dthis, you were somewhat ambiguous, “Just want the rules enforced,w hatever they are” etc…”

    Had you of read the this thread, you would have been clear that there is ambiguity whatsoever on my understanding of the rules.

    However, to finish for the evening on a positive note.

    I’m happy to tell you that I respect the right of your future children to play for the Republic Of Ireland.

    I am also equally delighted to acknowledge that, if your “brilliant” political strategy is proven to be successful, and some day we have a singular “Ireland” team on this island, that you will uphold and respect the right of my future grandchildren to choose to play for any one of the other “British” Associations – or even, a combined “United Kingdom” team.

    The job’s a goodun.

  • Realist

    “Commenting on the upcoming match with Poland, NI international Warren Feeney said this week :

    “We need to turn Windsor Park into a little Ibrox for the day.”

    Or – did he?

    I’m hearing whispers this evening that a journalist might be in a bit of bother in the not too distant future.

    Keep an eye on that.

    He wouldn’t be the first journalist to make spurious comments about the Northern Ireland team, and it’s supporters.

    You can ask the Editor of the News Of The World Scottish Edition) about that – he’ll confirm his bill 🙂

  • tim

    ‘The Flag and Anthem didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I simply have no allegiance to either, and never will.’

    Bit like the way Nationalists feel for the old Stormont flag & the English anthem at Windsor Park.

    No allegience to them and never will.

    ‘There was no mass chanting of “Trick or Treat” at the game – if you require proof, watch the TV footage. Alternatively, you could produce proof to the contrary’

    Agreed, there were however small pockets of supporters who chanted it consistantly during the game. Most supporters were to busy singing about being ‘up to their necks in Fenian blood’ that evening or hurling racist abuse at the coloured players in the Repblic team.

  • circles

    ‘I’’m hearing whispers this evening that a journalist might be in a bit of bother in the not too distant future.
    Keep an eye on that”

    You’re a legend in your own lunchtime, Realist-Either that, or you’re full of shit instead.

  • fin

    Realist, your not thinking about what I’ve posted in context, you comment on the behaviour of fans to the athems of opposing team. Playing both anthems for a single team, the same team you are meant to be supporting will I am confident gain a more positive reaction, accept possibly for the blind bigots.
    Your futuring of the reception for GStQ in the celtic cup is also our of context. Are you saying you would expect unionists to ‘boo’ the Irish team or their fellow fans during AnF or nationalists to ‘boo’ the Irish team or fellow fans during GStQ. If so than the issues are much larger than I thought.

  • Realist

    “there were however small pockets of supporters who chanted it consistantly during the game”

    I can’t disprove that,and I don’t think you can prove it tim.

    “You’re a legend in your own lunchtime, Realist-Either that, or you’re full of shit instead”

    What part don’t you believe, oh rounded one?

    Is it Feeney’s alleged denial about what has been reported in his name, or is it the NOTW’s (Scottish Edition) tale of compensation, when they admitted to being “full of shit indeed” about Northern Ireland fans, whose name they tried to blacken spuriously?

    One is an emerging development, the other should be very easy for you to verify – just ask the Editor of the Scottish NOTW.

    You may still even be able to find their retraction and apology in their archives.

  • Realist

    “Your futuring of the reception for GStQ in the celtic cup is also our of context. Are you saying you would expect unionists to ‘boo’ the Irish team or their fellow fans during AnF or nationalists to ‘boo’ the Irish team or fellow fans during GStQ. If so than the issues are much larger than I thought”

    fin,

    As the National Anthem of the visiting team, Northern Ireland, will be played first, according to protocol, I would expect that the reaction of many Northern Ireland fans will depend on wwhat happens during it.

    Personally, if the game ever takes place, I will stand quietly, and respectfully, during both National Anthems.

    I’ve no doubt the majority, on both sides, will show respect – it’s just, as you know, the fcukwits will get the headlines

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    yeah!!! i would like to thank you sincerely for showing us NI fans the error of our ways and confronting our demons, we all stood there in 1993 like savages baying for blood cheered on by King Billy Bingham. Thinking back the lot of us should have been put on trial for crimes against humanity.

    Your christ-like qualities also remind me that sectarianism only ever occurred at football matches and specifcally Windsor Park, if only this bastion of this vile sectarian statelet had´ve been bulldozed sectarianism would´ve never existed.

    I hope you are able to sort out the rest of the worlds problems with your god like mantra,in fact I am going to nominate you and your fellow republicans for the nobel peace prize for helping me to accept I support an aparition that is hellish in origin. Thankyou.

  • fin

    Realist, I find it annoying that every Premiership match seems to start with a minutes silence for the death ofsomeone connected with one of the teams or football in general, there use to be the same idiots who would ruin it by booing or whatever, the grounds changed it to a minutes applause. Would it be acceptable at internationals to ask the fans to applaud the anthems and so drown out the idiots on either side?

  • Realist

    fin,

    “Realist, I find it annoying that every Premiership match seems to start with a minutes silence for the death ofsomeone connected with one of the teams or football in general, there use to be the same idiots who would ruin it by booing or whatever, the grounds changed it to a minutes applause. Would it be acceptable at internationals to ask the fans to applaud the anthems and so drown out the idiots on either side?”

    It’s certainly a interesting thought.

    Another alternative – FIFA rules permit both teams to dispense with the Anthems, if they agree that is appropriate.

    Just get on with the football.

  • kensei

    Doctor Who

    yeah!!! i would like to thank you sincerely for showing us NI fans the error of our ways and confronting our demons……

    I docn’t believe I was addressing “Northern Ireland” fans. I was addressing Realist. We were nailing down a point he challenged, no more.

    I am unsure as to why you are getting involved.

  • fin

    Realist, I couldn’t agree with removing the Anthems, its a victory for the BooBoys and before you know it flags are banned, and than whatever is next on the list is banned.

    Fans and people who represent their countries have a right to these trappings at events, and not to be denied them my a minority.

    I most certainly felt more strongly about the Irish Rugby team when the anthem use to be played, and the stands a sea of tricolours, and although many unionists may be happier that these things have disappeared I don’t think they more represented by the team, possibly more accepted!

    I’d be surprised if unionists wouldn’t prefer to hear GStQ prior to games and accept the playing on my anthem as a result, otherwise its biting your nose of to spite your face.

    Sure there is no need for these trappings for the Irish cricket team (hoping to watch them over here this year) as cricket isn’t the kind of sport that needs an adrenelin rush. But for sure before a game starts in sports like Rugby and soccer the buzz from watching your team line up for the national anthem is beautiful

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    “I don’t believe I was addressing “Northern Ireland” fans. I was addressing Realist. We were nailing down a point he challenged, no more.

    I am unsure as to why you are getting involved.”

    This is a public forum; i know Mick has given you blogging rights, but I don´t think that includes censorship or directing who can comment on what. So please get off your high horse.

    Kensei (reference to Liechtenstein ticket)

    “And more to the point, I thought someone with an interest should have it rather than me.”

    As I say comment is free, but I am bewildeed as to why someone who proclaims to have no interest in the Northern Ireland football team spends a lot of his time studying the religous make up of it´s team and fans, what the fans sing before the match, what is sung during the match, who said what in 1993, how many sang it and on and on and on it goes.

    Of course Realist is quite right, you´re only interested in the destruction of the IFA team and your analysis that nationalists have pushed the IFA to think it´s position is laughable to say the least. It is only the people with a healthy interest in local football, that can ultimately change things for the good, I suggest you put your energies to something which you can seriously improve for the better. What that is, is up to you.

    Furthermore twice you have accused me and Realist of “whataboutery”, when we have simply stated that the IFA are not the only association with problems. They are unique in that they had to cope with sectarianism attaching it´s ugly head to it´s team. Thuggery has attached itself to football all over the world, with very few exceptions. Now what the FAI do about racist letters sent from some fans to Merrion Square, Fields Bobby add ons, the booing of anthems such as Liechtensteins, the jeering of international players who they think play for Rangers, and of course displays of anti semitism at matches against Israel. That is entirely up to the FAI and ROI supporters to sort that out and I wish them luck, I point these things out not to gloat or point score but to empathise with true football supporters and those who wish to see dispalys of hatred eradicated from football.

    That is not to confused with strong competition, the match between NI and ROI in 1993 had an electric atmosphere, I would expect nothing else, the fact that the ROI players where shitting themselves shows the fans where doing their job. I am of course not referring to isolated sections singing offensive songs. At away matches I expect to feel a little intimidated in the ground. If the team doesn´t feel intimidated it gives them a better chance. Of course it´s how you display that patiality that´s important.

    George

    “As for Gary Spain being with the NI fans in Slovenia, just as well he wasn’t in the stands in San Marino recently. It might have shown him that just because it’s 2009 things haven’t moved on as far we would all like.”

    So you were there George??? Well perhaps you can enlighten me.

  • Doctor Who

    Sorry it should read “Realist and I”.

    Shocking. lol, lol.

  • Derek

    So you were there George??? Well perhaps you can enlighten me.

    Doctor Who

    According to the Northern Ireland fans website (owc) there were quite a number of problems with sectarian singing and chanting at the San Marino game, including a section of the crowd who insisted on singing the sash during the San Marino anthem.

    It also lists instances of fans using sectarian language towards Air stewardesses on flights to San Marino and fans fighting each other at various locations during the build up to the game.

  • Greenflag

    Keep it up lads you’re almost there -Now nearly 300 responses on this thread .

    The rest of the world may be in a state of chassis but give these northerners a ball , a couple of pieces of different coloured cloth to wave some different anthems to sing and there is no reason why they could’nt go on for 40 years .
    I’ll look in again in 2049 to see who is winning 😉

  • kensei

    Doctor Who

    This is a public forum; i know Mick has given you blogging rights, but I don´t think that includes censorship or directing who can comment on what. So please get off your high horse.

    I didn’t say that you had no right to comment, the right should be removed or the commenst should be removed. I simply wondered why you were getting yourself involved.

    As I say comment is free, but I am bewildeed as to why someone who proclaims to have no interest in the Northern Ireland football team spends a lot of his time studying the religous make up of it´s team and fans, what the fans sing before the match, what is sung during the match, who said what in 1993, how many sang it and on and on and on it goes.

    I could not tell you the make up of the team or the fans. It is generally accepted that it is more Unionist but its not really here nor there. I would not have been able to tell you that there was trouble at San Marino, as George has done. The 1993 incident was a tangent on a separate point.

    Of course Realist is quite right, you´re only interested in the destruction of the IFA team and your analysis that nationalists have pushed the IFA to think it´s position is laughable to say the least. It is only the people with a healthy interest in local football, that can ultimately change things for the good, I suggest you put your energies to something which you can seriously improve for the better. What that is, is up to you.

    No one lives in a bubble. The external pressure over the state of the Northern Ireland team built for years, increasing the pressure on the IFA and damaging the team. I would say the Neil Lennon incident brought it to a head. It is a nonsense to say that only internal pressure and discussion brought change about.

    But apparently that simple statement is controversial. Why the IFA would be different from any other public body I do not know.

    Furthermore twice you have accused me and Realist of “whataboutery”, when we have simply stated that the IFA are not the only association with problems.

    Because that is exactly what it is. Rather than discuss the issue at hand, do anything to move the issue to the GAA, Derry City FC, the Republic, whatever. It’s “What about…..” in purest form.

    That is not to confused with strong competition, the match between NI and ROI in 1993 had an electric atmosphere,

    Read that Times article. I was 11 at the time; I can still remember the poisionous atomsphere that surrounded the game both before and after. Apparently the only people that think ti was a good thing is NI fans. It was a level darker and nastier than “strong competition”. I hope when the teams meet again it is absolutely nothing like it.

  • Doctor Who

    Derek

    George is engaging in mud slinging, he implies he was in the stands in San Marino.

    As I have already said fans and the IFA need to work to eradicate such behaviour, however it is difficult to see how this can be done completely, there will always be an element of knuckle draggers. They are however few and samll between these days.

    “According to the Northern Ireland fans website (owc) there were quite a number of problems with sectarian singing and chanting at the San Marino game, including a section of the crowd who insisted on singing the sash during the San Marino anthem.”

    A lot of the posts regarding this on the OWC are trolls signing up for one or two posts, pretending to be NI fans. The supposed sectarian harrasment of cabin crew being one instant of lies, by trolls. Airlines do not tolerate this sort of behaviour. Very sad really, as genuine NI fans are self critical and perfectly capable of pointing out the idiots amongst the support.

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    “Because that is exactly what it is. Rather than discuss the issue at hand, do anything to move the issue to the GAA, Derry City FC, the Republic, whatever. It’s “What about…..” in purest form. ”

    Absolutely not, how on god´s earth can I be accused of not discussing the topic on hand. I am simply pointing out I don´t have an emotional interest in e.g. GAA or ROI so therfore I have very little right or wish to bring about change to those organisations. I do not attempt to equate the problems the IFA face with the problems others face. It is just lazy of you to accuse me of whataboutery.

    What gets me is those with no emotional interest in NI football, get so emotive about it. Looking at the sort of language posted by many commenters, it seems irrational, paranoid and motivated by a deep in-bred hatred of anything NI.

  • kensei

    Doctor Who

    It is just lazy of you to accuse me of whataboutery.

    No, it’s very accurate.

    What gets me is those with no emotional interest in NI football, get so emotive about it.

    I haven’t got particularly excited. As I pointed out to Realist, my initial point was “It’s a nonsense to suggest those outside the group have no effect”. That was it. But it took 3 pages and many, many sidetracks to get an admission that yes, they have an impact. I would be irritated that people would not admit it more than anything else and have a terrible habit of not letting go until they do.

    What I might get animated about would be people having a pop at my Irish citizenship, even in small or trivial matters. So the IFA would certainly annoy me there. But we are all agreed that the IFA was musguided in its attempt and they’ve failed horribly anyway, so it’s all okay. I can go back to ignoring them until the next stupid stunt.

    Looking at the sort of language posted by many commenters, it seems irrational, paranoid and motivated by a deep in-bred hatred of anything NI.

    I want to see NI abolished a unitary Irish state. I think partition causes many problems, at least one of which is retarding relationships betweent the two tribes here. So any dislike of “Northern Ireland” as an entity would be entirely rational. The IFA certainly did try to force peope to turn out for them and not the Republic, and it isn’t paranoia if they are actually out to get you. “In-bred”? Everyone is the product of their childhood. I am. You are.

    I am more worried that I appear to a particular focus of your ire. What is it about me, exactly?

  • Derek

    ‘lot of the posts regarding this on the OWC are trolls signing up for one or two posts, pretending to be NI fans. The supposed sectarian harrasment of cabin crew being one instant of lies, by trolls. Airlines do not tolerate this sort of behaviour’

    I’m Sorry Doctor but there were a number of Northern Ireland supporters who mentioned the sectarian abuse of cabin crew in a thread relating to the San Marino Game:Best & Worst,Just as they talked about the singing of the Sash/Billy Boys/paramilitary songs etc in the stadium and on Aeroplanes.

    Northern Ireland away games are certainly attracting a sizable sectarian element & the banners/flags & chanting tend to reflect this.

    Perhaps the IFA need to have some sort of control over who tickets are made available to.

  • picador

    Wow, still going strong.

    I don’t know has it been mentioned yet but judging by the repeated incidences of thuggery at ‘Big Two’ clashes it seems to me that the IFA are incapable of clamping down on anything.

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    “No, it’s very accurate.”

    No you are wrong, accept it, move on and if anything you have been inviting “whataboutery”.

    “I haven’t got particularly excited.”

    Why do you get excited at all, you are not as passionate for the things you support. You remind me of a friend who worries more about what his ex wife gets up to than his present one.

    “I want to see NI abolished a unitary Irish state. I think partition causes many problems, at least one of which is retarding relationships betweent the two tribes here. So any dislike of “Northern Ireland” as an entity would be entirely rational.”

    Partition is not the problem, how do you expect to convince Unionists that a UI is the best way forward, when all you do is demonise them.

    “What I might get animated about would be people having a pop at my Irish citizenship, even in small or trivial matters. So the IFA would certainly annoy me there. But we are all agreed that the IFA was musguided in its attempt and they’ve failed horribly anyway, so it’s all okay. I can go back to ignoring them until the next stupid stunt.”

    No you are going round in circles here, the IFA do not issue paasports and cannot deny you Irish citizenship, they did unwittingly play in to the hands of it´s detractors in this episode. I am still waiting for you to provide the list of names of players they have denied Irish citizenship to, and those you where to bring legal action. Also your comments confirm you feel that anyone who plays for Northern Ireland is not Irish.

    “I am more worried that I appear to a particular focus of your ire. What is it about me, exactly?”

    lol, maybe it´s because I feel that you are a rare breed Kensei, you come across as a sad individual and not entirely your own fault, as you say “everyone is the product of their childhood”. I bet you have met very few people not from the nationalist community in NI. Surely Slugger is your opportunity to try to understand unionists and not continue to tell them they´re wrong. You also condonned the treatment of the Israel team and supporters in Dublin both in and around the stadium, which was shocking to say the least.

    Derek

    “Northern Ireland away games are certainly attracting a sizable sectarian element & the banners/flags & chanting tend to reflect this.”

    No Derek NI will always have a small but vocal minority of supporters hell bent on embarassing the genuine fans. True supporters know this and don´t need trolls to point it out.

    “Perhaps the IFA need to have some sort of control over who tickets are made available to.”

    If you genuinely care, what do you suggest?