NI Universities show strong religious imbalance in student numbers

The Minister for Employment and Learning, Stephen Farry, was asked yesterday by MLAs Jim Allister and Gregory Campbell how many Protestants attended universities in Northern Ireland. The answer – only one third of students.

Firstly let’s be clear – it doesn’t matter when students achieve a university place what religion they are. What I am more interested are the reasons behind the figures. Pupil numbers in terms of Secondary and Grammar schools in Northern Ireland can be found on the Department of Education website.

The University of Ulster was asked for comment on the BBC report yesterday and said,

It is a sad reflection of society here that the religious composition of our student population should be a matter for public comment

Which I thought was interesting given the amount of Equality Legislation we have in Northern Ireland – or perhaps UU don’t make employment returns to the aforementioned QUANGO? [Clearly two different fruits but I’m illustrating the slightly disingenuous point being made]

Jim Allister,

 There are 2,800 students from the Republic of Ireland studying at the University of Ulster which suggests to me that the UU for some strange reason is being more successful in recruiting Republic of Ireland students that it is in recruiting local Protestant students from the controlled sector

From BBC Radio Ulster this morning

It is indisputable that universities have been failing to attract adequately from within Northern Ireland sufficient students from the controlled sector

Then back to the report [again JA],

another big concern was Protestant children not attaining the grades they needed to get into university, we have had research that shows that..

Is Jim perhaps hinting at the Dawn Purvis research in some way, a quote from her report “Educational Underachievement and the Protestant Working Class”,

The reality is that in non-grammar schools, the gaps in performance between those at Maintained (predominantly Catholic) and those at Controlled Schools (predominantly Protestant) is significant. Given the related socio-economic backgrounds it seems peculiar that the performance between Maintained and Controlled schools is so dissimilar, especially when we consider performance by Free School Meal Entitlement

[Again referencing from DPs work] The Equality Commission’s Report Every Child an Equal Child [sets your mind to Animal Farm methinks], indicated the following in November 2008,

A socially disadvantaged pupil in a Catholic (Maintained) school will have a 1 in 5 chance of going to University, compared to a similar pupil in a Protestant (Controlled) school, who has a 1 in 10 chance

When followed through to the percentage share of students achieving at least 2 A levels – Maintained Voluntary Grammars scored – 88.4% and Controlled Grammars – 78.6%. Is this the smoking gun that Jim is talking about?

Obviously the religion which students practice is not the point here but perhaps one of the questions we should now be asking is why are students making these decisions? Perhaps it is simply that Protestant students are actually more likely to go to GB [for socio ecocomic or educational reasons] than to study  here in Northern Ireland? Clearly it seems, from the figures released from DEL, that students from the North of the Republic of Ireland are keen to study in the Magee campus as it suits them geographically. Apparently less than a fifth of students at Magee College in Londonderry are Protestant. Whilst the report highlights the disparity in religious breakdown I am more concerned if the evidence suggests that one educational sector is failing; or as Dawn put it,

the educational non-progressor was most likely to be a Protestant working class male

Of course we don’t know that to be the case; but this is an area in which I feel further research would be extremely valuable.

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  • galloglaigh

    Turgon

    Just like Belfast City Hall eah…

  • @Turgon

    Dependant on the Examination Board. Your state school must have had you doing the soft option.

  • Turgon

    Ulrick,
    I did Northern Ireland Exams Board A levels. Physics had a pratical exam marked by the teacher. Biology had a project which was collected by the teacher and sent away to be marked.

  • Turgon

    quality,
    It is the duty of a university to educate. In addition it is an employer: if you go to a university you may notice the assorted employees of the university. As such it has relevant obligations as an employer as well.

  • galloglaigh

    Turbot

    Just like Lisburn Borough Council.

  • vanhelsing

    @chris donnelly “It helps to know the facts, which though referenced in the Purvis et al report, are largely glossed over. There are more catholic males leaving schools with poor qualifications than their protestant counterparts”

    Thanks Chris for reminding me the facts are important…

    Referencing from Dawn Purvis [ref included in orginal thread]

    In a response to an oral question in the Assembly the Minister for Education stated that in 2007-08 the number of
    Catholic boys not achieving at least 5 GCSEs at A*-C was higher than Protestant boys; 2,900 compared to 2,600. However, there were a higher percentage of Protestant boys not achieving this level; 52% of Protestant boys compared to 48% of Catholic boys.

    In other words per capita – there are more Protestant boys leaving schools with poorer qualifications than their Roman Catholic counterparts – that’s actually a fact..

  • Turgon,

    I’m not arguing that what the SU did was right; I’m arguing that for most people at QUB what the SU did was irrelevant. Cheap beer is always more popular than student politics. You can of course argue that’s using a self-selected sample.

    How have the relative numbers of Protestants vs Catholics in QUB shifted since the SU changed their language policy?

  • JR

    So Harry, what is it about the Irish language that Unionists find offensive in Belfast but not in Trinity?

  • Harry Flashman

    Very simple JR, in the Republic of Ireland the Irish language is non-contentious, indeed it is the first official language of the state therefore no one would object to official signage in the Irish language in a government maintained Irish institution.

    The Irish language is absolutely not non-contentious in a Northern Ireland context and the deliberate use of it was to make a political point by Irish nationalists (as hanging a picture of the Queen in H&W is contentious), please don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by pretending that there were poor lost Gaelgoirs unable to find the SU bar on account of there being only English language signs.

    I would have no objection to seeing Arabic signage if I lived in an Arabic land. I might object if I was living in the UK however and a minority of Islamists in my workplace chose make all signage bilingual with English and Arabic.

    It’s quite simple really, horses for courses. Pictures of the Queen in Hampshire tea-shops no problem, in a Belfast engineering works, problem.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Vanhelsing

    Factually, there are more catholic boys leaving school without the minimum qualifications, and I’m glad you’ve accepted this in your reply.

    That can’t be explained away by suggesting that there are simply more poor catholics and, therefore, the extent of underachievement and low attainment amongst catholic boys isn’t as important as that amongst protestant males.

    That would suggest that addressing educational underachievement amongst protestants is more important than so doing amongst catholics….which was kinda the point of the blog I linked to!

    Addressing poor educational outcomes should be on an objective basis, identifying the problems where and when they occur.

    Attempting to sectarianise the matter- as the DUP and now TUV have and continue to do- does a disservice to those in all educational sectors genuinely interested in moving forward with strategies actually capable of reducing the numbers of males- catholic, protesant or other- who are leaving schools with little to show for themselves.

  • Queens University has a capacity for teaching History while ignoring its own. Or re-writing it to suit.
    Circa 1970-1973 it was a cold place for Nationalists and thankfully (and eventually) enough Nationalist students empowered themselves in the 1970s 1980s to rid the place of its British trappings. RUC band and British anthem.
    In 1992/93 I was there on a one year part time course. And my only engagement with the Students Union was an evening meal in Cloisters but that was just aout at the height of the Students Union “Irish language” controversy and have to admit it had gone too far. The shoe was decidedly on the other foot.

    I returned o QUB after Retirement. And the capacity for QUB to re-invent itself knows no limit..certainly not accuracy.
    Certainly in the 21st Century QUB is a hotbed of………..Accountancy. Grey lecturers and grey students. I thought I would be burning the American flag and doing other student stuff but frankly QUB students are a boring lot.
    The Irish language issue had largely passed into History. Students hung Armagh and T’rone flags from overcrowded accomodation in the Holy Land. They talked about the Environment and puked up takeaways and cheap booze in the same streets.
    More likely to start a riot over being drunk than anything political.
    Meanwhile in the Lanyon Building in 2006…..Ógra Sinn Féin were running an exhibition to mark 25 yeras of the Hunger Strike. and no unionist cared.
    And in 2008 the University itself was running an exhibition on QUBs role in the Civil Rights Movement. No…..honestly. Lots of old editions of The Gown.
    And in October 2006 to mark the 40th anniversary of that infamous march (which the sixth years at my grammar school got out of school to attend) the great and the good of QUB students 1960s had an all day conversation on how it was “Queens wot won it”
    Sometimes you just have to laugh.

  • oops October 2008 to mark 40th anniversary of that March.

  • “Circa 1970-1973 it was a cold place for Nationalists”

    So what went wrong after I left in 1966, fjh? It was great crack in the ’62-’66 era when I was there. There was a whole range of societies, including those of interest to Unionists and Nationalists – as well as Socialists like Eamonn McCann. The most memorable one for me was the Glee Club where I recall names like Phil Coulter, Dan Farmer and Sean Armstrong.

    Corrymeela was a by-product of that era and JCSS in Coleraine drew inspiration from it and the Glee Club.

  • PJ Maybe

    Perhaps Pradestant students do the calculation – burdened with debt to get a degree from a mediocre University in South Belfast or a worse one in the wilds of Jordanstown, or be similarly burdened with debt but get their degree from somewhere better? Why spend your money on value fish fingers when you can buy caviar for not much more?

  • galloglaigh

    Turgon

    I owe you an apology. You replied to a comment from quality. I took that as a comment directed at me (by making up a username similar to mine). I didn’t see quality’s comment.

    Apologies…

  • Nunoftheabove

    Turgon

    I’d like you to quote from thaat report, for the moment you appear loathe to do so or even to identify who the consultants were/are, what their terms of reference were and what their findings are or could be scrutinized. You’ve also failed to link anything in that report with the threat itself per se. Either do so or give it up.

  • Turgon

    Nun,
    The report was by a company called Independent Research Solutions. The report is not mentioned on their web site though that is unsurprising as it was done in 1996 or 1997 and their web site seems only to have more recent stuff. I know when it was because the consultants were engaged just before I left Queens but the report was produced after I left..

  • Nunoftheabove

    Turgon

    So you admit that you can’t quote directly from it, can barely remember it and conceivably haven’t read a word of it. Thanks – I thought so.

  • Turgon

    nun,
    Don’t tell lies. A number of my friends were intertviewed for it. I also know Professor Dunn socially (one of the reasons I personally was not interviewed) and I know exactly what the report said.

    Still do not let the facts stop you from telling lies

  • Nunoftheabove

    Turgon

    You are unable or unwilling to quote from it or even plausibly summarize it; you can’t/won’t name it and appear to know of nowhere where it could be found. Not much use when you’re holding it up to make a point when you can’t do any of that, is it ?

  • Turgon

    Nun,
    Stop telling lies. I know all about the report. I know that the report told QUB to make the Students Union take down the Irish Language signs (something they did). I have also detailed who performed the research. Now if you want a copy of the report I recommend you ask Independent Research Solutions. Their contact detalis are on their web site which I provided a link to.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Turgon

    Short report, was it ?

  • Turgon

    Nun,
    As I said if you want it email Independent Research Solutions.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Turgon

    I’m not challenging the researchers, I’m challenging you so stop deflecting. You’re not meeting the challenge. If you can’t properly cite reports that you may not even have read then don’t refer to them, still less depend on them to make your arguments for you in such a predictably partial and not particularly insightful or imaginative fashion. C’est simple.

  • Turgon

    Nun,
    No it is simple. You initially claimed I was loathe to “identify who the consultants were/are.” I have now done so.

    Then you claimed I did not know what their findings were. I told you what tehy were.

    Now since I do not have a copy in my immediate posession I have directed you to who the researchers were and how to obtain a copy of the work. If you want to obtain a copy, read it and agree/disagree with me fair enough. Otherwise there is little to debate with you.

    You told lies about me namely that I knew nothing about the report and did not know who produced it. I told you where to get the report and what it told QUB to do. Now you claim I am telling lies about the report. as I said above if you want to disagree get the report yourself: I have even provided a link to the company’s web site.

  • This link does not contain the original report findings mentioned by Turgon.

    However, it does refers to an attempted justification by QUB regarding their efforts at removing the anti-protestant-unionist “chill”, previously highlighted by independent reports:

    http://tinyurl.com/3ub4pdp

    I assume one of those reports was the one highlighted by Turgon?

  • Strange that it hasn’t made it onto the CAIN archive, Turgon. Two members of the company were part of the Centre for the Study of Conflict that you mentioned in the thread on Liberal Dissidents.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Turgon

    You’re changing the subject again – my point’s about your laziness in using in argument something you have no apparent authority over and/or can’t/won’t directly cite or quote from. That’s just poor form. Even you should know that.

    “you claimed I did not know what their findings were”

    – No, I didn’t. And you paraphrased/summarized one finding. You haven’t referred to any others which suggests that (i) there’s a reason you’re only quoting one – it’s the only one you find any use for and/or agree with; (ii) it’s a remarkably short report; and/or (ii) the terms of reference of the report were remarkably narrow (which you haven’t as yet clarified); or (iii) there’s loads else in the report that you don’t remember and/or haven’t read and/or don’t fancy attempting to summarize as they’re of little utility to you.

    “You told lies about me namely that I knew nothing about the report ”

    – No, I didn’t.

    “Now you claim I am telling lies about the report.”

    – No, I’m not.

    Once again, I am not challenging the report, its terms of reference, its content or its findings. I’m challenging you over your use of it and reference to it. You’re coping noticeably poorly with that plainly worded and entirely legitimate challenge, not least by refusing so far to acknowledge that you even understand the basis of the challenge.

    I myself have some very hazy memory of something along those lines around that time as a matter of fact but I wouldn’t dare stand over an argument based on source material over which I had no substantive authority and to which I couldn’t even specifically refer anyone interested in engaging me further upon.

  • Turgon

    Nun,
    Stop telling lies. O’neill has provided a link detailing what the consultants found: exactly what I said they did. You claimed I was lying and you are the one caught out as the liar.

  • aquifer

    Many educated British young people of a Protestant background have more interesting life interests to follow than to stay in NI to obsess about sectarian and political division and the doomed oxymoron Orange Unionism. Catholics have bigger families and are not as well off so may tend to stay closer to home to reduce financial risks, as well as identifying with their home island more.

    The remaining problem seems to be those low standards and low expectations in state controlled schools.

    Maybe Turgon could tell us if exports of liberal dissidents is a problem, or an opportunity for someone or other. Perhaps someone with fewer GCSEs?

  • galloglaigh

    you are the one caught out as the liar

    In a previous comment, you claim that:

    In my first year an English girl who was first year made the mistake of going to the “Folk Night” on Thursday. She ended up being assualted when she spoke to someone: she was hit because she was “an F…ing English cow”

    Were you present at the Folk Night? If you were, does it not go against the notion that ‘Prods weren’t welcome’?

    If you were not, how do you know this to be the truth?

    I attend the UU at present. In my class, there are around fifty people. I represent them as class rep. I know most of them fairly well (not by their religion by the way, which makes me ask how RyanAdams knew the religious make up of his class – Did he ask them individually?). None of them have drawn to my attention, or the other reps. attention, that they feel a chill factor on campus. The chill factor is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the alienation is self inflicted.

    A lot of whataboutery and mopery exists on this thread, and no substantial evidence has been put forward, to show that there is discrimination against Protestants by any of the local universities.

    This is the sectarian politics favoured by Jim Allister and Gregory Campbell. It helps their profile among the (small number of) bigots within the Protestant community, who refuse to move on and accept that Catholics are their equal brothers and sisters.

  • RyanAdams

    “I attend the UU at present. In my class, there are around fifty people. I represent them as class rep. I know most of them fairly well (not by their religion by the way, which makes me ask how RyanAdams knew the religious make up of his class – Did he ask them individually?). None of them have drawn to my attention, or the other reps. attention, that they feel a chill factor on campus. The chill factor is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the alienation is self inflicted.”

    I knew my class fairly well too and community background is something you do tend to pick up on over time and usually not intentionally. I certainly don’t share the view that the UU is a cold house for protestants, I found it to be a neutral environment.

  • galloglaigh

    RyanAdams

    Just incase you missed it, I’ll refer you to a previous comment.

  • galloglaigh

    I’ll try that again shall I?

    My previous comment.

  • galloglaigh

    Oops!

    Previous comment.

  • galloglaigh

    Oops!

    Previous comment.

  • Harry Flashman

    “So what went wrong after I left in 1966, fjh? It was great crack in the ’62-’66 era when I was there. There was a whole range of societies, including those of interest to Unionists and Nationalists – as well as Socialists like Eamonn McCann. The most memorable one for me was the Glee Club where I recall names like Phil Coulter, Dan Farmer and Sean Armstrong.”

    Careful Nevin you’re going against received wisdom there, you will have to eradicate those sort of memories. As you should know, pace Martina Devlin et al, Northern Ireland was a grim sectarian black hole where Nationalists and Catholics were ground down by a fascist state and which could only be “reformed” by a three decade long campaign of slaughtering neighbours.

    Oddly your perception of life in late 1960’s Northern Ireland accords with the view of my parents and their friends who remember a state that had many problems and inequalities, provincial and with its fair share of morons, but which was for the most part a fairly reasonable place to live in and which was quite clearly in a period of reform and capable of reforming itself very rapidly in the coming years, (certainly in comparison to the crippling social problems and inequalities that existed in the Republic and which were to continue there for another generation or more).

    With the ongoing peaceful reform movement, led by many Queens graduates the state would have been a reasonably normal, boring, unremarkable corner of the UK within a decade.

    But I must be wrong because despite the huge progress being achieved by Ivan Cooper, John Hume, Austin Cooper and others aparently the only option available to Martin McGuinness and his friends was to turn the elegant little commercial centre of Derry city into a smouldering ruin.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Turgon

    Another utterly empty post, serial failure to engage, puerile resistance to reasonable challenge and liberal and entirely inappropriate use of the word lie, not unlike some unbearable unpopular over-mothered over-caffeinated primary school brat might do. Noticeably so, in fact.

    I’m guessing that if you did make it to university at all you can’t have studied English and it can’t have been a subject for which basic methods of research were a requirement. By the looks of it didn’t make great use of the establishment’s library for any useful purpose either. You must have skipped the opportunity to participate in the debating society too.

    Absolutely hopeless stuff. Again.

  • galloglaigh

    “None of them have drawn to my attention, or the other reps. attention, that they feel a chill factor on campus. The chill factor is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the alienation is self inflicted.”

    Bearing in mind your second sentence there, could they be confident of getting a fair hearing from you if they did bring such a problem to your attention?

    OK, in order to get an objective answer, that is probably a question best left to class colleagues rather than yourself but one that you could answer:

    I know you seem to find it impossible to imagine but let’s just say one of your protestant or unionist class colleagues brought such a grievance to you- what’s the procedure for dealing with it? I don’t want a breakdown of the various by-laws and the rule book, I’m more interested in how the “system” deals with it and the role of the class-rep within that system and procedure.

  • galloglaigh

    Well that’s quite simple. The first thing I’d do is consult the other rep. who is a Protestant, and unionist. Then we would both take it to our course director. I’d also raise it at the staff/student consultative body.

    That my friend is called objective leadership!

  • galloglaigh

    Harry

    Given the fact that the UVF were bombing the Gerrymandering unionist government into thinking again about reform, and the rise of the bigotry within the Protestant community with the rise of Paisley – add into that the British Army turning on the Catholic people in Derry and Belfast, somehow I doubt reform would be a hard achievement for the Official Unionist Party. Why was their governance disbanded tell me?

  • Harry Flashman

    I’ve said it ad nauseam already galloglaigh the so-called unreformable state of Northern Ireland was in fact engaged in a wholehearted and rapid series of reforms in the late 1960’s to the extent that by November 1968 almost the entire gamut of Civil Rights demands had been granted. Gerrymandering, biased housing allocation, one man one vote, all sorted.

    With Harold Wilson breathing down their neck these reforms would have continued at an even quicker pace. This was all achieved peacefully, without a single death, not a shot fired (by the reformers) and no soldiers on the streets.

    There were plenty of peaceful options open to reformers in Northern Ireland. There was no need for IRA violence and indeed the IRA was rejected by the vast majority of people seeking reform of Northern Ireland for the next three decades.

    Marty can try to rewrite history all he wants but anyone who has studied history knows he’s lying.

  • galloglaigh

    Yes, by why was the N.Ireland government disbanded?

  • Harry Flashman

    It was disbanded in 1972 as I recall, some four years after the reform policy was implemented but unfortunately in the middle of the worst campaign of violence seen in half a century.

    What’s the point you’re making? I have already said that once the violence started reform became almost impossible but there was no bloody need for the violence as reform was ongoing and well underway.

    Let me explain it again, reform was happening, the IRA’s theory that violence was necessary to create reform is bollox, it was the violence that stopped the reform, reversed all progress and caused enormous human rights abuses that made what went before pale into insignificance.

  • JR

    You didn’t answer my question Harry. I asked you why Unionists find the same language offensive in Belfast but not in Dublin and you are essentially saying just because we find it offensive in Belfast but not in Dublin.

    When I was 12 or 13 I used to think that Orangemen only paraded to annoy me. I used to think that People only flew Union flags to annoy me. Then I grew older and i realised it is not all about me. Orange men just enjoy marching and some people just like flying falgs. From that point forward I never felt intimidated or insulted anywhere. You and some of the others above should try it.

  • Harry and galloglaigh, I remember Sheelagh Murnaghan, QUB Liberal Stormont MP, laying into Gerry Fitt on the matter of patronage re.public housing lets. Gerry IIRC wanted elected representatives on the NI Housing Council but Sheelagh knew that Unionist, Nationalist and Socialist folks enjoyed the fruits of discrimination – even to the extent of gentlemans’ agreements in Newry.

    Here she is in 1966 at a time when Stormont was struggling to introduce local government reform – Phelim O’Neill’s proposal for just 7 councils (one for Belfast and one for each county) went down like a lead balloon 🙂

    Having said that, I want to go on to say – I think it is fair to say – that the discrimination which is complained about in this community has, by and large, very little do with the exercise of the Executive function by Government at the top level.

    We all know where the main fault of discrimination occurs. We know it to be at local government level, as far as what I call Government responsibility is concerned. The other wide sphere for which there is absolutely no protection no remedy and no attempt to introduce a remedy is in the private sector.

    Sheelagh, a Dubliner by birth, seems to have had a lot more wit than many of her Stormont associates – and some of the politically motivated students of that era 🙂

  • galloglaigh

    I know most of them fairly well (not by their religion by the way, which makes me ask how RyanAdams knew the religious make up of his class – Did he ask them individually?).

    and then…
    The first thing I’d do is consult the other rep. who is a Protestant, and unionist.

    There is a discrepancy there.

  • galloglaigh

    Well not really, as he invited me to his wedding, in guess what, a Protestant church.

  • galloglaigh

    the IRA’s theory that violence was necessary…

    And of course that should have read the IRA, The UVF and the British government’s theory that violence was necessary…

    But of course the latter two were the good guys, weren’t they Harry?

  • Harry Flashman

    “You didn’t answer my question Harry. I asked you why Unionists find the same language offensive in Belfast but not in Dublin and you are essentially saying just because we find it offensive in Belfast but not in Dublin.”

    I answered your question fully JR, even though your question was loaded.

    Unionists were not objecting to the use of Irish in QUB, anyone who wanted to converse or study or write or read or sing or joke or paint in the Irish language was entirely a matter for them. What they objected to was the use of Irish on official signage as a deliberate political statement.

    It was the gesture politics they objected to, not the language, in precisely the same way you have no objection to someone having a picture of the Queen but might get peeved if it is hung in a public area in order to politicise that area.

    Hope this clears things up for you.

  • Harry Flashman

    “And of course that should have read the IRA, The UVF and the British government’s theory that violence was necessary…

    But of course the latter two were the good guys, weren’t they Harry?”

    Neither the UVF nor IRA violence was justified.

    The British Army was brought in after the violence had already broken out and they were required as a peace-keeping force. Their subsequent violence was often unjustified but they didn’t start the violence and are irrelevant to the issue of pre-1969 reform, which is what I was discussing.

    I’ll ignore your vile inference that I thought a terrorist organization were the “good guys”, any further such snide remarks will be treated with the contempt they deserve and will remain unanswered.

  • Well not really, as he invited me to his wedding, in guess what, a Protestant church

    And that was the moment, you discovered he was a protestant?

  • JR

    I see what you are saying now harry but I totally disagree that Irish language signage politicises an area or are there to make a political point. As I see it the Irish language is neither pro or anti Union. Neither protestant nor catholic. It is an interesting part of everyone here’s past and more people than you realize’s present.

    I think it is a bit hypocritic to say that you don’t mind people speaking it so long as you don’t have to see it on a sign, and that Southerners have a good enough reason to have it on signs but Northerners don’t.

  • “I totally disagree that Irish language signage politicises an area or are there to make a political point.”

    JR, Irish and Ulster-Scots are both used in signage here as political statements; in Ireland the double signage reflects the position of Irish and English as the two official languages.

    I’ve just had a look at some road signs around Athlone: the name in Irish is above the name in English but the English form is much more prominent; it’s in capital letters.

  • Harry Flashman

    “I think it is a bit hypocritic to say that you don’t mind people speaking it so long as you don’t have to see it on a sign, and that Southerners have a good enough reason to have it on signs but Northerners don’t.”

    Not quite what I am saying, seeing it on a sign in a non-contentious environment such as a festival of Irish culture, a political party’s office or in the Republic is fine, in the same way that Orangemen walking in their own areas or non-contentious areas is not a problem.

    When, as a blatantly political act, the display is used to politicise a neutral venue and be assured that is what the point was in QUB then people are right to be annoyed.

    Again think of the picture of the Queen in a person’s private locker as opposed to being hung on the wall of a workplace.

  • galloglaigh

    And that was the moment, you discovered he was a protestant?

    Not exactly. I discovered that when he told me he was the first in his family to join the GAA. When I asked why, he let me know some of his family history. Quite similar to mine actually, full of huns and taigs!

    It doesn’t matter to me what religion, or what community my friends belong to. Maybe you find that indifferent to your experience, but maybe my life experiences have been more of a reaching out nature, and less of the ‘Siege Mentality’.

  • Maybe you find that indifferent to your experience, but maybe my life experiences have been more of a reaching out nature, and less of the ‘Siege Mentality’

    Considering you know absolutely nothing about ny background ( save the name I use on here) maybe you should cut the sanctimonious and blatant sectarian and bigotted stereotyping?

  • galloglaigh

    blatant sectarian and bigotted stereotyping

    Ahhhhhh, a wee hissy fit? Pick up your dummy before it gets wet. Your probing of my comments was exactly that – sanctimonious and blatant sectarian and bigoted stereotyping. When the shoe’s on the other foot and all that!

  • galloglaigh

    P.S. The word maybe (used twice in the same sentence) suggests a question – not a statement.

  • JR

    I don’t accept your analogy of the Queen. British Royalty is Most definately Unionist and definatively Protestant. The Irish language has no politics or religion. I have no problem with other people here likeing Royalty but I have definative reasons why her image is a politial symbol. I could understand If the Students Union were publicly hanging a picture of the Pope or Padraig Perase why it would take away from the nutrality of that space but you have yet to provide a definative reason why the Irish language does this.

  • “The word maybe (used twice in the same sentence) suggests a question”

    A question mark suggests a question generally.

    Sort out your narrative, it’s all over the spot.
    I’ll be kind and put you down as a fantasist rather than a liar.

  • galloglaigh

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with my narrative. If you have a problem with it, maybe you do indeed need to reach out – find the real people out there – the ones who aren’t in the narrow bubble of the loyalist ‘Siege Mentality’.

  • Reader

    galloglaigh: you do indeed need to reach out – find the real people out there – the ones who aren’t in the narrow bubble of the loyalist ‘Siege Mentality’.
    There’s more than one bubble round here.

  • Republic of Connaught

    What are the percentages of NI Protestant and Catholic kids in college in Britain?

  • BluesJazz

    More to the point, RoC, and van helsing.

    What percentage of English/Welsh/Scottish university students are Protestant or Catholic?

    That’s where the comparison should lie.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Enough already with this shit. Who gives a good fcuk what university any of them go to ? How many of them are frog-matched to the airport, weeping and a-wailing to be leaving the crummy parochial dump behind them, denied their life’s dream to go to bloody Jordanstown to study Business and Spanish ?

    Christ alive, if there’re more prods than fenians going to Britian to study more power to them; I’d take some convincing that those decisions were much to do with feeling unwelcome in the SU at QUB because a gents toilet sign was once in two languages. Much like their taig fellow undergraduates, they want a decent education and some career prospects at the other end of it, they want to get away from their parents, they want a sense of freedom and life experience the oppressive, anal political and cultural slum they lived in can’t deliver on; they want to get legless, laid and to enjoy the best time of their lives away from all of the zen-like tedium of the kind of shit you people are ping-ponging around (…like you actually gave a shit about the students). This might come as a shock but some of the young folk have a slightly more broad view of their existence and the potential joys, opportunities and fulfillments which their planet can provide than some of you dudes and dudettes could literally imagine.

    Whether they go to Britain or Dublin or Wang Dang Doodle to do so, so long as they have a reasonable degree or choice in doing so then for Christ’s sake wish them well and more to the point thank sweet fcuk that they have the cop-on to get the hell out and live a little having worked hard enough to earn the right to do so.

  • anne warren

    I really despair of all this categorisation on the basis of religion.

    I offer my own family with connections across all religions and none as an example of an outward trend from Ulster.
    Not everybody went to Uni but for what it’s worth those that did can be classified as follows:
    Former generations: QUB
    Later generation: QUB, Europe, Imperial College and London University,
    Latest generation (children/nephews/nieces all under 30): Scotland, Europe, Imperial, Trinity College Dublin, Erasmus in Europe, post-grad scholarships to universities in NY and Europe.

  • Republic of Connaught

    My thinking was, Nunoftheabove and Bluejazz, that it would be far more logical to me to hear the percentage of Protestant kids from NI to go to college in Britain is higher than Catholic kids.

    Protestant kids in NI are brought up to see Britain as their ‘mainland.’ So I’d guess Protestant kids are innately more eager to go to Britain among English and Scottish people rather than be stuck in places like UUJ with lots of Catholic nationalist Irish from north and south of Ireland.

    Unless there’s statistically more NI Catholics in University in Britain than NI Protestants. In which case the Protestant community would obviously need to look at its performance levels in education.

  • anne warren

    Nunoftheabove posted just before me – totally agree with everything s/he says.
    Posts might have had more impact had the order been inverted!!

  • BluesJazz

    No, what i meant was, how many students from England…are categorised as Protestant or Catholic?
    Are only NI students designated as such? And do the likes of Oxbridge ask their applicants what religion they are?
    Do the fee paying independent schools like Harrow and Winchester register the belief system of their pupils?

    Does anyone know the religious background of students from Wales?

  • Republic of Connaught

    Bluejazz,

    A good and fair point. I believe in 2011 the question of how many Protestant and Catholic kids are attending Trinity would earn deserved disgust.

    But in NI there are two distinct communities which are more often than not characterised by their religious background. Wasn’t it ever thus in Ulster.

  • RyanAdams

    galloglaigh,

    You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not quite clear on the point your trying to make.

    “I attend the UU at present”

    Evidently not studying IT of any sort judging by the bandwidth you’ve squandered trying to link, yet apparently excelling at trolling.

  • wee buns

    Prize winning thread for most ludicrous non-issue ever (and I’d thought I’d seen it all on Slugger) – more than a few responses are verging on insanity – breathtaking insecurity.
    Really the whole premise of the thread is an overstatement, which is a form of sectarianism in itself.
    I welcome an antidote of good sense from anne warren and numoftheabove.

  • galloglaigh

    Evidently not studying IT of any sort judging by the bandwidth you’ve squandered trying to link, yet apparently excelling at trolling

    It’s all elementary my dear Watson. If you want an excellent example of trolling, have a look at your comment that I copied. Pure non-sense; pure shite!

  • RyanAdams

    No I don’t think you’ve quite got the grasp of the term ‘trolling’. If you want to dispute my personal experience, that’s grand, the thoughts of someone who hides behind a screen name of “gallogliagh” carry no weight with me.

    I’d like to know which part of my post you appear to find “non-sense” or “shite”? Unless your an individual who has trouble believing anything that conflicts with your own opinion? Unfortunatley right now I’m losing the will to respond to you, I look forward to encountering yourself on another thread.

  • galloglaigh

    RyanAdams

    Read your post (which I copied and changed), then read my revised version. While you might believe your own assertion, do you also believe mine?

    Definition:

    A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community…

    That is exactly what your initial post does. In other words, it’s pure shite that cannot be shown to represent reality.

    I see you’re still having trouble with your spelling and grammar. Might I suggest a good essential skills course?