McIlroy’s victory: “There’s a time and place for flags and national celebration of identity.”

Matt Cooper in today’s Irish Examiner on the boy the McIlroy, and for whom he won the US Open:

McIlroy is whatever nationality he chooses to be. He was born north of the border, which makes him a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 gives him the right to dual citizenship with the Republic should he so chose to exercise this right. But whatever his personal choice it should be respected, if he chooses to call himself an Ulsterman, Northern Irish, British or indeed Irish.

McIlroy didn’t win the US Open for Ulster, Ireland, Northern Ireland or for Britain. He won it for himself. Others can share in his glory: his family, most obviously, his friends and those who decide to offer their support, from wherever. But it is still his personal achievement.

He goes on though to peel back a peculiar double think in Irish sport, in which the boundaries seem to be in constant flux:

We have had no difficulty in recent years in taking players from Scotland and the North, even if for some it seems to have been a decision of convenience.

Yet, we have a strange attitude to those Irishmen who chose to play for other countries, while at the same time embracing those who often have limited connections to us. But it has changed over the years. Former English rugby scrum-half Kyran Bracken was born in Swords and lived there until the age of 12 before emigrating. In a famous game at Lansdowne Road in 1993, which Ireland won 17-3, the Irish pack trampled over him and one Irish player shouted “welcome home”.

But when Leinster cricketers Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan chose to play test cricket for England, having qualified on grounds of residency, the decision was understood (and Joyce has come back since). Our most famous boxer of recent decades was Barry McGuigan, a Monaghan man who won the British title on his way to become world champion. That wasn’t and shouldn’t have been an issue.

Our captain in the Irish cricket team at the breakthrough 2007 Cricket World Cup was Australian Trent Johnston who married here and became resident and thus qualified to play for us. The Irish team that beat England in this year’s Cricket World Cup was wrongly described in the British media as full of mercenaries, but it had more Irish-born players than England had English-born players.

The Irish rugby team after the world cup is likely to include the South African hooker Richard Strauss once he passes the sport’s three-year residency rule. Much regret in Irish rugby has been expressed about Isa Nacewa’s one cap for Fiji, Paul Warwick’s sevens appearance for Australia and Lifiemi Mafi’s for New Zealand. Had those not happened they would be celebrated in Irish rugby jerseys.

And he signs off:

There’s a time and place for flags and national celebration of identity. Rory McIlory’s victory was not one, given the sensitivity that should be employed in making northern Irishmen feel welcome both from the south and from Britain. Let’s not wreck the buzz for all of us Irish — and British — by foisting national identities onto his personal achievements.

Five years ago, I asked, “is it time, perhaps, for those of us of an uncomplicatedly Irish disposition to recognise that while one-fifth of the island’s population are more than willing to take the field of play wearing the green of Ireland, it should not be at the expense of their deep sense of belonging to the other island?”

Cooper asks even deeper questions of our whole conception of Irishness, and what it means to be an Irish citizen…

  • JR

    It is human nature to want to be ascociated with success and I suppose that is why we saw the kind of comments that were made on this site while Rory was playing. Some people get genuinely annoyed when he is described as British and others were the same when he was described as Irish. I suppose we have very different ideas of what the two labels mean.

    I would perfere to appreciate his golf ability than to put him into an identity box.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Ooh this one could set records. Because of our history of immigration and emigration it’s a complex one that very few other countries face to anywhere near the same extent. Some see themselves as Irish without ever setting foot in Ireland and some don’t see themselves as Irish even though their families have lived in Ireland for centuries. More often than not it’s about the realities of professional sport than any complex notions of identity.

    We punch above our weight in many sports because of our willingness to be liberal enough on issues on eligibility. And the fact that many of those who weren’t born here represent us so well and are proud to do so makes it easier for us to accept others. Most of us have 2nd or 3rd generation cousins in London or New York or wherever, some of us were born there ourselves. We’d like them to represent Ireland if they were good enough. My opinion is simple enough, if they’re eligible and they accept the offer of representing Ireland straight off, they’re in – however if they prevaricate (looking at you, Mr Nolan and Mr O Hara) – close the door after you, young man.

    Professional sport is about making money in a relatively short timeframe and in some sports such as cricket and rugby international competition is where it’s at (as opposed to Soccer) so the likes of Joyce and Morgan were/ are playing for England to progress their careers (not forgetting RL’s Brian Carney for GB) . Few could criticise them for that. Ireland don’t play test cricket so they didn’t have that much choice if they wanted to play at the highest level. Of course there’s also the reality that most people couldn’t give a sh**e about cricket (or RL) in Ireland anyway. Rugby Union and Soccer are different, Bracken got a hard time because we have a small player base and he could had a long test career with Ireland (not unlike Mc Geady and Mc Carthy in Scotland though of course there’s an extra angle there)

    Soccer players born in England and rugby players born in the Southern Hemisphere don’t get a hard time in their home countries for a similar reason to Joyce and Morgan. It’s understood most of them wouldn’t get an opportunity to play international sport otherwise.

    As regards RMI, Cooper is a little bit gentle on him. The GUI paid for his golf schooling to a large extent and perhaps he could take a leaf out of Graeme Mc Dowell’s book and be a little more sensitive to issues of nationality himself (and of course there’s the other thing – his flag of choice is the NI flag which isn’t the colour of choice with well, in this case let’s say people of the same community background).

    And I haven;t even gone near the IFA / FAI spat……..

  • john

    I dont envy Rory and Graeme when it comes to the nationality question as they cant win. Every time this subject is mentioned on a blog it soon becomes the usual tribal slagging match. My advice to both these golfers is to try and avoid the issue as best they can.
    Some people are moaning about Rory flying the Ulster banner on his website and rejecting the tricolour at the US open (in fairness the tricolour was flung at him and bounced off him before he knew what was happening). He should just avoid all flags and that way not offend anyone. Rory may also be opening a can of worms if he wants to play in the olympics. He obviously has a British passport but has also represented Ireland at the world cup I can just see the nonsense that will be spouted when he makes that decision – again the problem is easily avoided – dont play in the olympics lets be honest it will be no match to a major title.
    Graeme on the other hand has also been trying to walk a tight rope and in his big 2010 year was honoured more in the Republic than in Britain winning the RTE sports personality award but finishing 5th or 6th in the BBC vote.
    I remember Harrington, Clarke and mcGinley having a tricolour draped over them at the ryder cup with Clarke heard saying ”at least give me the orange part” lol.
    We shouldnt get too involved in the whole Irish or British question and just be amazed by the fact that 2 local golfers have won the US open back to back and will hopefully both go on to win more. With such high profile players it can only improve the chances of Northern Ireland hosting a top golf event -The Irish open is a real possibility but who knows maybe the British open will return one day too.

  • Mike the First

    Pretty good article, I have to say. (Even if I have a few niggles with it, namely the non-capitalisation of “northern Irishman” and the lack of mention of McIlroy’s own choice of identity – but as I say, mere niggles!)

    Certainly better than Jude Collins’s ranty blog, and indeed the piece in the Irish News a day or two ago which basically said that readers should be happy with the “Northern Ireland” label against McIlroy’s and other sportspeoples’ names, because it was a bulwark against them being claimed as British.

    McIlroy seems proud of his Northern Irish identity and doesn’t go around being overly showy with it or trying to upset anyone. He also seems pretty comfortable being identifed with the UK and with the island. Most of all – let’s respect his achievements as a golfer and hope for many more.

  • Mike the First

    Hmm. Already we’re having McIlroy being advised not to show the NI flag on his website, and not to take part in the Olympics when golf joins the Games.

    Not exactly what Matt Cooper was getting at, I would say.

  • Skinner

    I appreciate the sentiment of the article but I do disagree with this:

    “while one-fifth of the island’s population are more than willing to take the field of play wearing the green of Ireland, it should not be at the expense of their deep sense of belonging to the other island”

    I don’t think the unionists that play rugby for Ireland feel they “belong” to the other island. I am a unionist and it is because of that, not in spite of it, that I feel a deep sense of being British AND of belonging to the island of Ireland. We belong here, as equals alongside the larger island but with no desire to live there, no more than a Londoner wants to live in Melrose.

  • (and of course there’s the other thing – his flag of choice is the NI flag which isn’t the colour of choice with well, in this case let’s say people of the same community background)

    Think it was last year that Daithi McKay “expressed his surprise” (ie got his knickers in a twist) because the lead singer of Snow Patrol had put on a NI top during the concert in Bangor. Wearing any football top during any concert is perhaps a bit on the tacky side but nevertheless it is his shirt of choice.

    Similarly with Rory. I can’t believe that the question of his national identity really exercises him as much as it does the likes of, for example, Jude Collins, but he has decided the NI flag is his flag of choice.

    The fact that might not meet certain “communal” requirements is neither here or there, it’s the ‘choice” which is the overriding criteria surely? Can’t he have the same right of choice to publicly display that identiity that you demand for Darron Gibson et al… or is the choice only conditional on the specific national identity he decides to choose?

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    There is the island of Ireland and the island of Britain and
    in the fullness of time Rory McIlroy will be labelled as simply Irish, same as anyone else fom the island of Ireland. But at the mo he is from a part of the island called Northern Ireland that is a part of the UK and where the majority of it’s people see themselves as British…..Fact!

    Anyway the ‘British’ label has become a bit sullied coz of the past Troubles. Time was there was never such a big hoo-haa about such distinctions when the whole of Ireland was a part of the UK. Besides, sure we are all a bit ‘British’ in a way here in Ireland with a bit of Brit blood in us all.

    It’s up to individuals to class themselves as whatever!

  • ayeYerMa

    What a lot of nonsense – sports is one place where flags are actually most appropriate and internationally entirely NORMAL. The majority of people being proud to stand under the Northern Ireland flag see it as simply the Northern Ireland flag and nothing else. It doesn’t make one any sort of “rabid Loyalist”, despite what certain politically obsessed types may wish to portray.

    And Mick what all this nonsense about a “deep sense of belonging to the other island”??????????!!!!!!! We belong to Norn Iron and in turn the UK (as a whole) and British Isles!

  • Meh

    The particular flag Rory choses to wrap himself in, makes about as much sense to me, as would have, Tiger Woods throwing a pillowcase over his head & setting a cross on fire to celebrate his first victory tbh.

    As a young working class Catholic making a triumphant return I wonder what he made of the wooly faced thugs wearing camoflage & waving the flag he identifies with attacking Working class Catholics? or does is Stockhausen syndrome have no mechanism to confront such realities?

  • ayeYerMa

    again, Meh, you’re attempting to bring your own politics and impose your own meanings. For the majority of people who would stand under it the NI flag is simply the NI flag. Some may misuse flags, just as certain groups misuse flags all over the world, but in thinking that way you are letting the excessively politicised nutters win.

  • Mike the First

    Meh

    I could just as easily point to white racists using the American flag and question why Barack Obama pledges allegiance to it.

  • feismother

    You know, I’m not really one for golf but I’ve vaguely followed McIlroy over the years and honestly never knew or even thought about what religion he was.

  • Meh

    “Meh

    I could just as easily point to white racists using the American flag and question why Barack Obama pledges allegiance to it.”

    er… No.. I would ask questions if Obama pledged allegiance to the Confederate flag maybe. Then what you are saying would make sense.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    I wonder how do hardline fundamental Protestant/Unionst/Loyalist folk feel about Rory being a Roman Catholic and accepting the sacraments and mass of the Roman Catholic Church in the past. Can you accept this or do you DENY that he is of Catholic stock….. once he waves the NI flag.

    I bet such folk have no interest in his success and those Unionists that do, may not have any gripe with those NI folk of the Roman Catholic faith.

  • Mike the First

    Meh

    White racists also use the Amerian flag.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kkk1928.jpg

    Did you really not know that?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    I don’t really care what nationality he is, the coverage in the US said on a very regular basis that he was from Northern Ireland and Gmac was mentioned in the same way as well.

    The commentators didn’t distinguish between the UK and Ireland and that is good enough for me, Royal Portrush and Holywood were also regularly mentioned

    It would have cost the Tourism people millions to get the sort of coverage NI got for free. let us hope they capitalise on it.

    Let us celebrate that local boys ‘did good’ on a world stage and that we can bask in their reflected glory.

  • john

    Mike the first – from purely golfing logic he shouldnt go near the olympics – he doesnt even have time for the ”5th major”, The Players at sawgrass nevermind any olympic farce

  • nightrider

    Did Mary Peters ever get asked about her nationality? Or her religion-whatever it is.
    Eddie Irvine simply didn’t give a toss.

    Just hope the GAA player who signed up for Rangers this week doesn’t get any hassle.

    Did anyone ever find out just what nationality Tony Cascarino actually was?

  • Henry94

    If you need to check someone’s political stance or religious background before you can take pleasure in their sporting achievement then there is something the matter with you and you should have a think.

    Start with asking yourself who won the US Open last year. If you don’t know (and I don’t) then you are only along for the ride and you should just enjoy the pleasure of seeing someone you have something in common with winning it.

    Basking in reflected glory is one of the easiest pleasures in life and the more people you can cheer for the more fun you will have.

  • john

    Eddie Irvine wanted his own flag – a shamrock – to avoid any hassle unfortunately for him ithe FIA wouldnt allow it and when the Australians raised a Tricolour instead of a Union Jack for him when he was on the podium he got a few death threats

  • Meh

    Meh

    “White racists also use the Amerian flag.”

    Great. shouldn’t be long then till we see Irish Unionists marching under the Green,White,Orange – a flag, like the Stars and Stripes which constitutionally guarantees equality for all!

  • Mike the First

    Henry94

    “Start with asking yourself who won the US Open last year. If you don’t know (and I don’t) then you are only along for the ride and you should just enjoy the pleasure of seeing someone you have something in common with winning it.”

    Erm…you really should have racked your brain a little harder on who won the US Open last year before making that comment!

    Meh

    You’re simply trolling so I’m going to ignore your childish nonsense.

  • Meh

    eh

    You’re simply trolling so I’m going to ignore your childish nonsense

    excuse me? Fact, both the Tricolour and the Stars and Stripes are the flags of Constitutional Republics which guarantee the rights of all their citisens equally.

    There is no equality for all in either of the other two flags – none for Catholics in one, and, African Americans in the other. that’s why one action is as ridiculous as Tiger Woods wrapping himself in a Confederate flag in another. Thats not Trolling, it’s a legitimate observation.

  • If you don’t know (and I don’t) then you are only along for the ride and you should just enjoy the pleasure of seeing someone you have something in common with winning it.

    No, you do know Henry, think harder;)
    And I’m 100%, you’ll have enjoyed seeing him win it as well!

  • Mick Fealty

    Well we didn’t make as much of a fuss about that one O’Neill. So maybe that’s why Henry missed the Gmac memo. 😉

  • ayeYerMa

    gréagóir – the word “British” is as ambiguous as “Irish” – both have multiple meanings. All of geographical Ireland is also in the geographical British Isles. I think there is some difference in the school systems here or something as people in the maintained sector and south of the border seem to be taught that only the big island is “British”.

  • Sam Maguire

    Indeed nightrider, and I hope you have similar sentiments if the same player decides to declare for the Republic.

  • Big Maggie

    “Matt Cooper in today’s Irish Examiner on the boy the McIlroy, and for whom he won the US Open”

    Not sure whether this is translated from the original Lithuanian — or was it Serbo-Croat? No matter. The thought is there, and that’s all that matters.

    Here are my two eurocents: Goed gedaan, jochie!

    Rory, my lad, that will keep them guessing. You’re a star.

  • dwatch

    Why did these Yanks care what religion Rory is?
    By Lindy McDowell
    Thursday, 23 June 2011

    We are standing in an American bar with the usual myriad television screens beaming sports channels at us from every corner. Except that today they all appear to be showing golf – and young Rory McIlroy powering to glory in the US Open.
    We’re talking about what an amazing result it is, not just for the lad himself but for the small place we come from. Especially as every so often the various sports shows do a flashback to last year’s winner and there’s Graeme McDowell with his trophy.

    Just along the bar a trio of customers (from Boston, we later learn) are obviously catching snatches of what we’re saying. The woman among them suddenly cries out: “Gee, you’re from Ireland. What a lovely brogue (!). Where in Ireland are you folks from? Dublin? Cork?”

    The other end, we tell her. We’re from up north.

    Her ancestors also came from Ireland, she tells us enthusiastically. So she’s Irish too. And her husband standing beside her, his several times great-grandfather came over after the famine. He’s extremely Irish.

    We mention the golf and young McIlroy and say again how proud and impressed we are by his success. And Graeme McDowell, we point out, he too, comes from Northern Ireland …

    “Ireland,” the husband corrects us.

    Whatever. We’re not looking for a debate on the occupied six counties. The point is, we explain, that Northern Ireland – or the North if he prefers – has a very small population to have produced two consecutive winners of such a major championship.

    “We don’t like them,” he suddenly says.

    Um, don’t like who?

    “We don’t like McIlroy and McDowell. We don’t like them because they’re Protestants.”

    His wife nods in solemn agreement. The other man with them says nothing. But he doesn’t look particularly shocked by what’s been said.

    Now even coming, as we do, from a place where it’s not unheard of for religious affiliation to play a role in allegiance to specific sports and teams, I have to admit I was gobsmacked by this.

    It’s the way they just came out with it.

    These were two educated professional people (she’s a teacher, she told me.) It’s hard to imagine such people citing, say, another religion, race or sexual orientation as a reason for distaste and not assuming listeners might find it a tad offensive.

    I point out to them that what they’ve said is inaccurate and that anyway who gives a toss what religion they are. It certainly isn’t an issue in Ireland. Among real Irish people.

    But he is not letting up. And she wants to stress that she is not a bigoted person.

    “Our son is even getting married,” she says – and she drops her voice a little here – “to a non-Roman Catholic.”

    It would be wrong to suggest that one daft couple represent Irish America in its entirety but afterwards when I was thinking it over – why would anybody come out with such a mad thing to a pair of strangers – it struck me that maybe they thought it would be what we’d want to hear.

    As we were Irish they may have assumed we’d be Catholic. And may also have assumed this is what Irish Catholics might want to hear. Not for the first time it occurs that Irish Americans still have an awful lot of catching up to do on Ireland.

    But back to the big picture and on screen the ESPN channel is showing the back page of the Belfast Telegraph.

    Next day he is all over the back pages of every US paper. “The smiling baby-faced assassin,” one calls him. For once, for us, an assassin to be proud of.

    And the front page of the New York Post is filled with a pic of the new star of the Co Down holding aloft his trophy. ‘Eire Apparent’ the headline calls him.

    At least that bit should please yer man from Boston

    Read comments: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/lindy-mcdowell/why-did-these-yanks-care-what-religion-rory-is-16014636.html#ixzz1QGSO0b3D

  • dwatch

    Looks like ignorant green beer republicans readers of the ‘Irish Echo’ cannot accept the OFFICIAL FLAG OF NORTHERN IRELAND as shown in Rory’s website: http://www.rorymcilroy.com/

    ‘GOLF GEOGRAPHY BEHIND RORY’S WIN’

    “Eire apparent” roared the New York Post Monday morning in a front page headline announcing Rory McIlroy’s extraordinary win in the U.S. Open.

    Those who know the Post when it comes to the convoluted politics of the island we love so dear would have been smiling at that one.

    Rory McIlroy is an Irish golfer indeed, but he plays under the unofficial flag of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Banner, Six Counties version, and not the tricolor that flutters over what would be more widely understood to be Eire.

    Read more: http://irishecho.com/?p=65298

  • changeisneeded

    “McIlroy didn’t win the US Open for Ulster, Ireland, Northern Ireland or for Britain. He won it for himself.”

    But yet he decides to fly the loyalist banner?
    I think he is showing ignorance by displaying any flag at all.
    Probably a result of middle class golf club upbringing.

    It is some achievement though, even if golf is a waste of a good walk..

  • Nunoftheabove

    changeisneeded

    I would suggest to you that those who notice/care/complain about such nonsense and seek to make some cheap point in relation to it are revealing an ignorance well in advance of that you suggest derives from a middle class golf upbringing.

    18 holes now and then would do a lot of those people very little harm at all if they could – with strain no doubt – avoid either discontenting themselves about or celebrating the colour of the grass.

  • changeisneeded

    nunoftheabove..

    maybe i am ignorant then. 🙂
    Then again what is this post all about but noticing Rorys “nonsense”.
    After all, he is the one flying the loyalist banner. I believe he is doing this because he is ignorant as to what it actually means to a lot of people, I am sure his intentions are in the hope of good will, and national?! pride, that’s what leads me to think this.

    only saying lik’

  • Reader

    changeisneeded: I believe he is doing this because he is ignorant as to what it actually means to a lot of people,
    That’s not a motive – the motive would be what it means to him.
    After all, with a bit of thought, you could probably work out what the Tricolour means to a few people round here. But you wouldn’t feel obliged to reject it yourself on account of that.

  • ayeYerMa

    changeisneeded, I think YOU are the one who is ignorant to what the Northern Ireland flag “means to a lot of people”.

  • fitzy

    I must admit that I would be the type to cheer against England and even Norn Iron in sports, but I found myself extremely proud to see Rory win. I would even go as far as to say that seeing the tricolor being thrown on him annoyed me as I’m conscious of the fact that he wouldn’t choose it himself. To me, the whole Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter’ thing means that I can and maybe should support this lad regardless of what flag he flies. To me, he’s an Irishman from Belfast that might choose to call himself British or northern Irish…. But he’s something to be proud of.

  • dwatch

    ‘And the real winner is… peace: How Belfast superstar Rory Mcllroy refused to let himself be defined by his family’s religion . By SUZANNE BREEN 26th June 2011

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2008242/Rory-Mcllroy-How-Belfast-superstar-refused-let-defined-familys-religion.html#ixzz1QMwX4hi1

  • changeisneeded

    i am sure he means well. I would have more time for him if he flew the union flag and not some makeyuppy loyalist rag.
    So no national pride there which is sad and a result of the border not allowing people to have a real nation. sorry rory but that false hope of bringing together “your wee country” (aint mine) has well and truely backfired..
    what next a mural of mcillroy,higgins and best “simply the best” on the side of a uvf/rangers bar..
    nice one Rory

  • dwatch

    Revealed: PSNI reinvestigating murder of Rory McIlroy’s great uncle Joe by gang of UVF killers
    By MICK BROWNE 26th June 2011

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2008249/PSNI-reinvestigating-murder-Rory-McIlroys-great-uncle-Joe-gang-UVF-killers.html#ixzz1QNFd8iqj

  • SK

    “Looks like ignorant green beer republicans readers of the ‘Irish Echo’ cannot accept the OFFICIAL FLAG OF NORTHERN IRELAND”

    _

    dwatch,

    There is no such thing.

  • dwatch

    dwatch,

    There is no such thing.

    Indeed, there is, open your eyes and read the following:

    http://www.stayinbritain.co.uk/info/flags.aspx

  • SK

    My eyes are open, and on the link you provided it clearly states that:

    “there is no official Flag of Northern Ireland, as the ‘Red Hand Flag’ was abolished in 1972. Unionists tend to use the Union flag and sometimes the Red Hand Flag, while Nationalists generally use the Flag of Ireland.”

    Hopefully that clears things up for you.

  • dwatch

    The flag was abolished during direct rule from 1972 to 1998.
    But was reinstated by Unionists at the signing of the GFA otherwise why would Rory Mcilroy use it in his website to state what country he represents when playing profession golf? http://www.rorymcilroy.com/

    After all if republicans can go around flying the Tri Colour (A flag from a foreign country) in their areas why can unionists not be allowed to fly this NI flag as well, and Rory is quite intitled to use this flag likewise. If you don’t like it tough.

  • SK

    “But was reinstated by Unionists at the signing of the GFA”

    Educate yourself.

  • dwatch

    ‘Educate yourself.’

    All along the Lisburn Road flags (Union Flag & NI Flag) have recently been erected for the coming Orange Order parade & celebrations on 12th July. If the NI Flag is illegal how come the PSNI have not removed them? Its you who need educated, instead of living in a Irish republican dreamworld of a United Ireland.

  • SK

    I said that there is no official Northern Ireland flag. You countered by posting a link…which confirms that there is no official Northern Ireland flag.

    I’m going to stop replying to you now.

  • dwatch

    “Rory McIlroy wants the Open to make NORTHERN IRELAND return” Not a return to the occupied 6 counties.
    Keep up the good work Rory. http://www.rorymcilroy.com/

    Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/golf/2011/06/26/rory-mcilroy-wants-the-open-to-make-northern-ireland-return-115875-23228823/#ixzz1QOFmjxZk

  • Republic of Connaught

    The fact Rory has played golf for Ireland since a young age is why so many Irish people feel strange that proclaiming him Irish is in any way controversial. He is Irish, just like every other golfer who plays for Ireland. He is also British if he so chooses, by virtue of living in the six Irish counties which are currently under the jurisdiction of Britain.

    “I think there is some difference in the school systems here or something as people in the maintained sector and south of the border seem to be taught that only the big island is “British”.

    Ayeyerma, the island of Britain is the home island of the British nation. The island of Ireland is the home island of the Irish nation. The two nations are as separate as New Zealand and Australia.

    It is for the Irish nation in its vast majority to determine what Ireland is and what is isn’t. Not for people from Britain, or a minority of British people living on the island of Ireland. So I’m afraid, it is your education which seems to have been of the colonial variety insinuating that Ireland and the Irish people are not allowed to determine the status of their own island.

    Ireland is not British. It is Irish, with a large cluster of British people in its north east corner. That’s the decree of the majority of the Irish naton – the only people who determine what Ireland is.

  • ayeYerMa

    sounds like too many people here have been drinking the Wikipedia “kool aid” (I hate that American phrase but nothing else came to mind!). Wikipedia – the encyclopaedia that anyone can distort! The NI flag is the NI flag unless it gets replaced.

    Keep Rory out of this you political nuts! Republic of Connaught – that’s one of the biggest piles of Republican dung that I’ve read in a long time (and there’s a lot of it about on this nutjob website). Politically the home of the “British nation” is the territory of the “British nation” – the whole United Kingdom. The home of the political “Irish Nation” is its territory of the 26 counties, as affirmed by the Good Friday Agreement. If we speak geographically or culturally all of Ireland is both Irish and British whether you like it for not – and no this is not for the residents of any one nation state to decide – geography and culture span political borders.

  • Nunoftheabove

    ayeYerMagh

    If you’d just left it at “Keep Rory out of this you political nuts! ” I’d applaud your contribution. Couldn’t quite manage that though I’m afraid. One continues to be unsurprised at just how parochial a good many apparently respected contributors on this site are and this thread confirms that in uncomfortably bright neon lights. The intolerance of some nationalists is also particularly loud and clear on this occasion, unionist intolerance just numbingly familiar; every bit just as boring and malevolent and stultifying as it’s ever bloody been.

    Duly noted.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Ayeyerma,

    Of course it’s dung to a cliched Unionist propaganda artist who is claiming all of Ireland to be British.

    Let me repeat: the island of Britain is the home island of the British nation. It is where the overwhelming majority of British people live.

    The island of Ireland is the home island of the Irish nation. It is where the vast majority of the first generation Irish nation live. Two separate nations, two separate islands.

    Culturally we in Ireland are as American as we are British – so what? That doesn’t make Ireland American or British. Indeed culturally the British are so Americanised nowadays it’s hard to tell the difference.

  • PaulT

    “But it has changed over the years. Former English rugby scrum-half Kyran Bracken was born in Swords and lived there until the age of 12 before emigrating. In a famous game at Lansdowne Road in 1993, which Ireland won 17-3, the Irish pack trampled over him and one Irish player shouted “welcome home”. ”

    I would be really happy to be corrected (so slugger can avoid a new low)

    This story is based on Bracken.

    However, I understand the following.

    He moved to Liverpool aged 4 (not 13)
    He was rejected by Ireland (didn’t choose England over Ireland.

    Here’s were it gets disturbing…

    I understand he made his debut against the all-blacks in Nov 1993 and didn’t play against Ireland. Therefore nothing happened to him or was said to him.

    Like I said Mick, happy to be proved wrong, but, if I’m right its a new low for you

    PS

    Here’s the team sheet for that famous game

    http://www.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/match/22597.html

    PPS
    here’s his offical site

    http://www.kyran.co.uk/rugby

    It’ll tell you and Eamon when he moved to England and made his debut

    Poor, poor, poor journalism from you both

  • pauluk

    What a pity that someone tried to embarrass and box Rory in with the Irish flag. His rapid disposal of the flag speaks volumes.