Not quite there yet…?

Ed Curran in the stand…
“On Saturday night, the grandstand first named after him in 1924, echoed to the words ‘God Save our gracious Queen … send her victorious … long to reign over us … God save the Queen.’ I still needed to pinch myself that this was for real, that somehow we, the British and the Irish, had buried the battle axes to the point where we could all stand together and respect one another’s very different cultural and political differences, at least for the few minutes it took to sing the anthems.”

Peter Murtagh in the pub
“The Italian anthem rang out on the TV and then, when the next one was about to start, the sound was turned off. Players and spectators mouthed God Save the Queen in silence. If it was a joke I didn’t get it, and the two English women didn’t either…But both recognised the syndrome; both are familiar with similar casual slights based on their nationality. Anti-English racism (to slightly misuse the term) remains the only strain of the virus thoughtlessly acceptable in 21st-century Ireland.”

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London