“we are a city of culture…”

More symptoms of that political psychosis in evidence in Londonderry. Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson has informed the BBC that, at a meeting of the Irish music organisation Comhaltas in the city on Wednesday night, members failed to agree on a bid to host the all-Ireland Fleadh in 2013.  From the BBC report

“It is deeply disappointing,” [Martina Anderson] said.

“My understanding is that County Derry branches are against it and the city branches are for it.”

The problem?  According to the report

Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson said some County Derry members are opposed to hosting the event in 2013 because of the title the UK City of Culture. [added link]

Well, they are only following the lead given by the Sinn Féin party leader on Derry City Council, Maeve McLaughlin, in 2010.

Ms McLaughlin said she believed the bid was “very heavily weighted in terms of cementing our relationship with London”. “While we are a city of culture there has to be a recognition that we’re not part of the UK.”

She’s wrong, of course, on both counts.  The clue, after all, is in the name…

Update  The Derry Journal has more details of the five hour Comhaltas meeting on Wednesday in Londonderry

The meeting ended in deadlock after objectors to the bid, mainly from Comhaltas branches from south Derry, refused to endorse it. The objectors said the fleadh should not be held in Derry during the UK City of Culture year in 2013.

The director general of Comhaltas, Labhrás Ó Murchú, an enthusisatic supporter of Derry’s bid, was also in the city for the meeting, along with other key members of the organisation’s national executive.

The meeting has now been rescheduled for January 18th – giving supporters of the bid just two weeks to galvanise support at county board level.

The chairperson of the city branch of Comhaltas, Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh, said that despite the controversy, she remains hopeful that Derry can still host the fleadh. “I am aware that there are issues of concern and we are trying to address those. As chair of the Derry branch putting in the bid we are still absolutely on track. We are working hard and we will do our best to deliver for Derry,” she said.

Adds  None of the objecting “south Derry” branches were “available for public comment” for this UTV report either, but they did find “a local GP, who’s strongly involved in the Irish cultural scene, [who] says she shares their objections”.

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  • Martina Anderson has done herself or Derry’s attempt at getting the Fleadh no favours by running to the media with this. Comhaltas is like a large family who may have internal differences but attack one and you attack them all and they won’t take kindly to political interference in the organisation. There are many within Comhaltas who were already resentful that it was taken as a given that Derry would be automatically given it because of this City of Culture thing while others such as Warrenpoint have spent over a decade preparing the ground for the Fleadh. Martina Anderson isn’t on the County Board and to my mind I can’t think of any high profile Sinn Féin members who are involved with Comhaltas or who would know the difference between a Fleadh and a Wolfe Tones concert, so neither she nor Pete Baker know the reasons why individual members of the Derry Board are objecting to the bid. Her ‘bull in a china shop’ behaviour this afternoon will not only piss off Comhaltas members up and down the country and provide an open goal for the likes of Baker here, but will probably encourage those who were non-committal on the Derry proposal to vote against it now as a lesson to interfering politicians.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I’d say that some of the county branches are less than thrilled about having their annual bash a few miles down the road. The fun is in the travel, the overnight accomodation and seeing another part of the country.

    Also, many people in the county don’t see Derry city as a hotbed of Irish culture. I remember the outrage at ‘the Town I Loved So Well’ getting so many airings after Derry won the All-Ireland (Yes, I can remember that far back). ‘Sure what did them Derry wans ever do for Gaelic football?’ was the cry.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s a tad misleading Northsider. Derrys had its share of all Ireland champions down the years…

  • “political psychosis”

    Pete, the reality is that ‘Derry’ is used by some, ‘Londonderry’ by others and both by those who either aren’t bothered or who wish to avoid giving offence. ‘Derry City Council’ is, er, missing from your tag list. I mostly use Derry, sometimes Londonderry, but why not let folks use whatever terminology they feel comfortable with?

    Even the Council has managed to agree a form of shared terminology:

    Derry~Londonderry, the first UK City of Culture 2013 is undoubtedly the city to visit in the North West peninsula with a vast array of Arts and Culture to experience. The city is home to a wide range of internationally renowned actors, writers and visual artists’ such as Roma Downey, Amanda Burton, Seamus Heaney, Willie Doherty and Maurice Harron. So why not browse the cultural treats that the first UK City of Culture has to offer.

  • Mick Fealty

    Nev,

    It’s been a long established principle on Slugger that you use whichever comes most easily to hand.

    Pete’s referring to the erroneous assertion that Derry is not in the UK. That’s mistaking the aspiration for reality.

    #treeinanotherforest

  • galloglaigh

    Derry City Council’s shield has the Chief of the City of London above the Skeleton. It’s an Irish city, within the UK. Most of the people west of the Foyle don’t want to be in the UK, but that’s where we’re at. Holding the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Derry, is a way of boosting the city’s Irish cultural heritage. The ABOD could even replace their bands with fiddlers and Trad bands. Wouldn’t that be great Ted 🙂

  • sherdy

    Sinn Fein’s antics over this and other situations seem to indicate they may be in training for the world gymnastics championships. Will they bring this event to Derry?

  • seamus60

    Are you serious ULICK sf don`t have anyone planted on board with the musicians in order to infleunce decision making.
    No one in authority to tell them they are Irish enough to take part in the UK City of culture.
    Surely Derry City are well deserving to host the Fleadh considering theres A bar that accomidates these musicians.
    A drink around many little towns all over Ireland put the big City to shame.
    Heads will roll.

  • Barnshee

    ” Most of the people west of the Foyle don’t want to be in the UK, ”

    Er most of the people east of the Foyle agree

    So Bye Bye ??

  • Sorry Seamus my sarcasm translator must be on the blink this evening. I’ve read you post three times and still don’t get the point you are making, perhaps you would do me the honour?

  • galloglaigh

    Barnshee

    If it were that easy! But is that all you have to offer?

  • seamus60

    Sorry Ulick i was making 2 points.
    The first my disbelief that sf have not actually positioned people within that org in order to infleunce decisions should the need arise as it has.
    Not like them to miss a trick.

    My second , that as a Derry man born and reared who admittingly would only listen to traditional music on occassion ( love the pipes) find it hard to imagine the City ever being entitled to host the event, with so so many other locations including through out Derry County who appear to be more in tune, numbers wise.Never mind here hosting it specifically because any other event be taking place especially one with another identity.
    I am in no way taking away from the Derry City musicians who after all like most, are in it for the love of it

  • Most of the people west of the Foyle don’t want to be in the UK

    Do you have a source for that, galloglaigh, or are you just assuming it?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Ah well they could try this lot instead…

  • FuturePhysicist

    The simple solution would surely move to the City hinterland away from the City like Seamus is suggesting, somewhere else in County Derry like Maghera or even outside to Letterkenny. That way it could benefit perhaps from the tourism and year and avoid the ‘UK COC publicity’, not to forget those in the UK who are Gaelic speakers, and that parts of the UK, such as Scottish highlands and amongst the Irish community across Britian. Feis Colmcille will still go on, Fleadh or not.

    Ridiculous to say Doire Colmcille has no Gaelic heritage just on the basis that it has the county’s worst GAA team, many of the rural folk would’ve still had their upbringing in the city’s schools. I don’t see the same ones huff and puff about London’s All Ireland status, in the backdrop of England’s capital.

  • Los Lobos

    What on earth are those philistines in Swatra, Garvagh and Ballinascreen on about? How dare they question the integrity of Irish musicians from Derry in a traditional context? Have they never heard of Joseph Locke, the Undertones, D-ream, Nadine Coyle the list is endless. Are these musicians any less irish than the diddley do brigade who batter borans as a cultural expression? There’s more talent in Derry than the rest of the county put together. Plus Martina Anderson was a beauty queen before she started her career as an adviser to the City of Culture board!

  • “the erroneous assertion that Derry is not in the UK. That’s mistaking the aspiration for reality.”

    Mick, that depends on your definition of the UK (cf Ireland-26 and Ireland-32). Here’s a quote from “Through Irish Eyes – Irish attitudes towards the UK” – a 2003 survey you’re familiar with:

    The concept of a United Ireland remains an important one for a significant proportion of the successor generation. When asked to name regions of the UK, only 35% mentioned Northern Ireland spontaneously, which may indicate that many respondents don’t include Northern Ireland in their mental map of the UK. .. page 37 [pdf file]

    The cartoon on page 9 portrays Ireland and the UK as two islands and for some respondents the UK and England seem to be interchangeable.

    Probably not all Derry SFers have the same mental map but it’s possible that many of them don’t lie in that quoted 35% sector. What any of this has to do with a serious mental condition beats me.

  • cynic2

    “many within Comhaltas who were already resentful that it was taken as a given that Derry would be automatically given it because of this City of Culture thing ”

    Small minded? introverted?

  • cynic2

    “Will they bring this event to Derry?”

    Who will care? In the rest of NI Derry is largely seen as a wet, gloomy, dirty hole where if you venture out at night its at severe risk of getting your head in your hands from pissed up students whose national culture involves mass brawls and the famous Derry call “Are you lukin at me”

  • cynic2

    “that depends on your definition of the UK”

    SF sophistry

    Who funds the social security cheques?

  • Harry Flashman

    It has to be said that Derry City and County Derry are two separate entities, always have been.

    I’m from Derry City and no one I know in that town has the least affinity with Maghera, Swatragh or Tobermore, couldn’t find them on a map never mind with GPS satnav, wouldn’t want to either, Godforsaken places, even the names sound grim.

    No the people of the city, the Catholic ones anyway, always had an affinity for Donegal, Inishowen especially. Scratch a Derryman and you’ll find a Donegal man only a generation or two underneath.

    As for culture and sport, well Derry City has always had heaps of both but unfortunately not of the sort that Comhaltas would approve of. Derry was a garrison town (Garrison, is that another one of those County Derry backwaters?), in mentality it still remains that way.

    We love football (soccer to the non-believers), rugby, cricket is very popular, the music you hear in the Derry Air is British pop music and for the middle brows operettas at St Columb’s Hall. Sure, Mary McLaughlin had a brilliant Irish dancing school but that was just an excuse for the wee girls to dress up for the Easter Feis, in which most of the other music contests were of a decidedly non-Gaelic nature.

    Look at the names in Derry, those that aren’t from Donegal, Gallagher, Hegarty, Sweeney etc came off the boat or out of Ebrington Barracks, Thornton, Winston, Whyte, Guthrie (names from my classroom off the top of my head). Mr Hume always won our vote and even dear old Martina judging by her surname must have had an ancestor who sailed up the Foyle.

    No, Comhaltas is right, Derry City is a city of UK culture, stick the Fleadh in Desertdawson or Castlefelt or wherever, it might be more appreciated there.

  • minibusdriver

    ok people. lets get this right.

    1. Comhaltas are constituted as a non-political body. So anybody who thinks that the Uk city of culture reason is going to stick as a valid reason is crazy (if thats what the problem is). The bid HAS to be considered on the basis of the information that Derry City can provide about its facilities, financial support etc etc

    2. Im a derry man who’s been to more fleadhs than I can remember and we dont need to go to Maghera, Letterkenny or anywhere else. The package is all there, ready to go. We have the talent. We just need a chance.

    cynic you have the right name alright. worked in belfast, dublin and limerick and you’ll find the same problems there.

    i couldnt care less who wants to live where or what they call it. i know what i am and where i live. but this is derrys time plus the fleadh doesnt need to be hang its hat on the city of culture. its bigger than that. So i hope the county people who are opposing it have a re-think about what this is doing to comhaltas who were always alright at staying out of politics.

  • minibusdriver

    ah harry come on! youre well out of touch there! theres a thriving trad scene in derry city these days, they have the stuff happening in the university, the irish schools and the culture centres. id play at a few sessions myself and id say the last 5 or 6 years you can see a big difference in the numbers.

    its not all about the metro and foyleside!

  • Harry Flashman

    Fair enough, I grant you things might have changed with all those culchie students coming in from County Derry and Tyrone. I was back home recently and saw the spanking new GAA stadium, I was amazed, when we were growing up in Derry we didn’t even know there was a GAA stadium in the town.

  • “SF sophistry”

    cynic2, variable political labels are very common. Here’s a bit more from the British Council link above. The British ambassador at the time is using UK and Britain interchangeably:

    Theatres in the UK are full of Irish plays. British television is full of Irish actors and presenters, and our football teams are full of Irish players. Millions of Irish people live and work in Britain, and thousands visit every year.

    This close relationship and familiarity has changed how we see each other. As Tony Blair said in his address to the Oireachtas in 1998, ‘my generation in Britain sees Ireland differently today and probably the same generation here feels differently about Britain’.

    The 1998 Agreement uses ‘Ireland, North and South’ a term that incorporates both unity and separation but leaves the reader to insert his or her own filing label. I use the term ‘UK & Ireland’ as it has a similar level of flexibility.

  • Pete Baker

    Update The Derry Journal has more details of the five hour Comhaltas meeting on Wednesday in Londonderry

    The meeting ended in deadlock after objectors to the bid, mainly from Comhaltas branches from south Derry, refused to endorse it. The objectors said the fleadh should not be held in Derry during the UK City of Culture year in 2013.

    The director general of Comhaltas, Labhrás Ó Murchú, an enthusisatic supporter of Derry’s bid, was also in the city for the meeting, along with other key members of the organisation’s national executive.

    The meeting has now been rescheduled for January 18th – giving supporters of the bid just two weeks to galvanise support at county board level.

    The chairperson of the city branch of Comhaltas, Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh, said that despite the controversy, she remains hopeful that Derry can still host the fleadh. “I am aware that there are issues of concern and we are trying to address those. As chair of the Derry branch putting in the bid we are still absolutely on track. We are working hard and we will do our best to deliver for Derry,” she said.

  • “The Derry Journal has more details”

    I don’t see any more details in that article. All I see is unattributed speculation that the objections were based on the City of Culture thing, which is pretty much what Anderson said yesterday. However, what I’ve heard is that the objections were based around concerns for safety and security which are quite legitimate given that in my 30 years attending, the Fleadh has never been held in a town approaching anywhere near the size and population of Derry. To be honest, when it was held in Letterkenny a few years back, the main objections then were that it was too close to Derry and only a very shot hop was required for potential undesirables to come over and start trouble. Fcuk sake just take a look at how that Halloween event turned the city into a jungle.

  • minibusdriver

    ulick are you seriously telling me and everybody else in the city of derry that they have a worse problem with “undesirables” as you put it than other areas. Wise up! Are cities now banned from holding the fleadh!? Rubbish and nonsense. Ive attended more fleadhs than I can remember including the Buncrana fleadh cheoil which could hardly be closer to derry. These are all rules being invented by people to move the goal posts as far as I can see. Is it a case of “anywhere but derry”. Its beginning to look that way to me and from a boy who didnt pay much attention to the whole thing Im starting to get pretty determined that this stitch up has to stop.

    Derry hosted Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2006 without incident. if its good enough for the Oireachtas in 2006 what is comhaltas’s problem?! Security is better now than it was then!

  • seamus60

    Poor Warrenpoint with just have to do with the 2 fingers regardless of how long they have been preparing.
    The Brit City of culture is the new kid on the block and as with its normalisation potential others will wait.
    Sorry it might make a few people rich as well.

  • Pete Baker

    Ulick

    “I don’t see any more details in that article.”

    There are more details in the Derry Journal report.

    If not, necessarily, more details of the objections. But then, as the report also notes

    No-one from the branches opposing the bid was prepared to comment on the meeting.

  • Pete,
    the article also says:

    “The decision on where the fleadh will be hosted will be made on January 28th”, so the author of the article clearly doesn’t know his ass from his elbow as anyone could tell you that unless there is a major departure from tradition the decision won’t be made until the second last weekend in August.

    minibusdriver,
    bigger population means bigger number of dickheads. Also the Fleadh hasn’t been held in Buncrana since the 70s and a lot has changed since then in terms of the numbers attending and the professionalism of the overall set-up.

  • galloglaigh

    Ulick

    This years Halloween event was the safest on record. Derry has the same problems as any other wet, gloomy, dirty hole of a city such as Belfast, Glasgow or Dublin. And I agree with the minibusdriver, that the Traditional music culture in Derry is alive and well in many of the cultural organisations, and indeed many of the city centre and local neighbourhood bars. People like cynic think they know it all, but when they are faced with criticism, everyone’s a Troll. Ain’t that right cynic2?

  • Alan N/Ards

    They should bring this event to NorthDown and Ards. The local Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann have just held a fund raising night in in the unionist stronghold of Comber. The Comber branch would have had 100 students and 8 tutors at the height of its popularity. If you don’t want it in Stroke city because of the UK city of culture title, then let the british irish have it in their part of this island.

  • galloglaigh

    Sorry: Last years!

  • Alan,
    where would you suggest? Any potential venue needs to have the necessary infrastructure in terms of beds, competition venues, campsites, entertainment venues, civic space for sessions, markets, concerts and the like. These will further require that the whole community needs to get involved and support the event. What part of British Irish North Down could do this? To my mind Bangor is the only town which would have the infrastructure but would hardly have the community support.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Ulick

    I was thinking of Bangor. I believe that they could get the community behind them. I also believe that it would be a good thing for irish musicians to bring their wares to a brand new audience. Only a thought.

  • minibusdriver

    ulick this is awkward but necessary…an ass and elbow moment if you will, take a bow..

    http://www.derryjournal.com/news/local/derry_s_fleadh_decision_due_in_january_1_3333065

    and is that formula of “population:dickheads” you mention one that you have researched?

    As for warrenpoint and north down – i did a quick check and as far as I can see NONE of them have bids in for 2013 people, get with it! Not that i think both could get together a good fleadh in the future if they dont follow the example of some and sit on the sidelines giving reasons why not!

    But why let reason get in the way of a good stitch-up…

  • minibusdriver, hmm… that smells like a stitch-up to me. Bids closing on the 25th with a decision on the 28th? Normally each venue is visited and reports prepared before the final decision is made. This couldn’t possibly happen in two days. Labhrás obviously has his mind made up even before considering the other bids and of course I possibly couldn’t mention his SF connections. Yes a stitch-up but not in the way you suggest.

  • minibusdriver

    its on the public record that they’ve already visited derry in november and prepared their reports for the last ardchomhairle in december so its all there man (http://borderireland.info/info/mdetail.php?mref=2649). I hear sligo and ennis are in the mix too so i have no doubt the relevant procedures were kept and they were visited too.

    Ulick you’re clutching at straws there methinks.

    But in all deadly seriousness this is a terrible thing that people are doing to the young trad musicians in the city who have been plugging away. I see them out there adn they dont have much confidence yet, this would be a game changer for them. The spirit of all this opposition is that derry city is not worthy of the fleadh. Other people over the years tried to make us 2nd class citizens. Who would have thought that it would be our own county who are doing it now.

    Come on Derry!

  • separatesix

    The Maiden city dosen’t deserve to host the city of culture 2013, many British cities who wished to host the year offered a lot more and had better infrastructure.

  • No use crying over spilled milk, separatesix

  • Pete Baker

    Adds None of the objecting “south Derry” branches were “available for public comment” for this UTV report either, but they did find “a local GP, who’s strongly involved in the Irish cultural scene, [who] says she shares their objections”.

  • HeinzGuderian

    No use crying over spilled milk, separatesix

    That’s good advice Joe………..keep it in mind !! 🙂

  • cynic2

    “everyone’s a Troll. Ain’t that right cynic2?”

    No just you my friend.

  • cynic2

    “a local GP, who’s strongly involved in the Irish cultural scene, [who] says she shares their objections”.

    She’s paid by the British. Her patients almost exclusively only speak English and I will bet all her medical texts are in English – yet she sees holding this in Derry in a UK City of Culture might dilute the Irish identity?

  • Barnshee

    “She’s paid by the British. Her patients almost exclusively only speak English and I will bet all her medical texts are in English – yet she sees holding this in Derry in a UK City of Culture might dilute the Irish identity?”

    Minor quibbles she is paid by the English (via subvention)
    her “Irish identity” did not prevent her accepting English payment for her qualifications

    A prescription for a strong dose of economics pechance?

  • cynic2

    To be fair to her , she didn’t express the views as her own but more (in the clip shown) as explanation of the views in the movement.

    I don’t mind that they value their Irish identity highly. If that is how they wants to define themselves then fine. Its just the mind numbingly boring exclusion of all else. The closed mindset that drags all back to the bog and boreen. A culture that could be open and welcoming is expressed as dead mortifying and excluding – the Irish equivalent of the OO. What a lost opportunity for Ireland.

  • harpo

    How does this Conhaltas outfit arrive at a final decision?

    If there is ‘deadlock’ currently does that mean that whatever criterion has to be met hasn’t been met?

    What is that criterion? The article doesn’t say.

    A 50%+1 vote?
    A 67% vote?
    A unanimous vote?

    The article says that the extra time will give supporters of the bid time to ‘galvanise support’.

    I wonder what that means?

    It will be a tough job if it means getting every branch to agree as opposed to just enough to meet some criterion that is less than 100% support.

    Say that it is 50/50 at the moment and they just need 50%+1. That shouldn’t be that hard.

  • harpo

    “we are a city of culture…”

    It looks like if some people had their way the city would be ‘a city of monoculture’.

    Once again the Gealic folks seem to be matching the OO on a one-for-one basis in terms of stupid issues raised by themselves via their own rules.

  • harpo

    “Minor quibbles she is paid by the English (via subvention)”

    Barnshee:

    Not strictly true. She’s paid by all taxpayers across the UK, plus borrowings made by the UK as a whole.

    If some businessman in Co. Down pays tax he does more to fund that doctor than 10,000 dole recipients in Liverpool (part of ‘the English’).

    This isn’t a geographical thing, it’s an individual contribution thing.

  • harpo

    “To be fair to her , she didn’t express the views as her own but more (in the clip shown) as explanation of the views in the movement.

    I don’t mind that they value their Irish identity highly. If that is how they wants to define themselves then fine. Its just the mind numbingly boring exclusion of all else. The closed mindset that drags all back to the bog and boreen. A culture that could be open and welcoming is expressed as dead mortifying and excluding – the Irish equivalent of the OO. What a lost opportunity for Ireland.”

    cynic2:

    Well said.

    People like her want a city of monoculture.

    This is a common theme though – Gaelic culture in general seems to be more about politics than actual culture.

  • Gaelic culture in general seems to be more about politics than actual culture.

    Harpo,
    That’s a sweeping generalization which I think is incorrect.

  • harpo

    joe:

    It is a sweeping generalization but I think it is correct.

  • minibusdriver

    i think some people use it for that harpo but they are often not actually involved in it. They get wheeled out at times like this but spend the rest of the year in this monoculture that most of the west has adopted. Some of the people I hear objecting to the fleadh wouldnt know a fiddle if they tripped over it and are happy to take UK money in one guise or another, watch man united and take a day off for the english royal wedding no problem. “Do as I say, not as I do” kinda thing.

    Comhaltas for example is getting a kicking in all this, but as an organisation theyve done more to grow the trad scene and preserve it than anybody else i can think on and to be fair to them have managed to stay out of politics over the years. It comes down to individuals and what they do within these types of groups.

  • Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann venues since the organisation’s formation in 1951. Has NI been boycotted?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    I believe the Fleadh Cheoil has actually only been held in 16 counties since its inception 60 years ago, with a fairly even distribution between provinces (except it’s been dominated by Kerry and Tipperary in Munster).

  • galloglaigh

    Harpo

    There is a common theme throughout ‘Planter’ culture also. It general seems to be more about politics than actual culture.

    How do you like them apples?

  • gallóglaigh (plural), gallóglach (singular) – were an elite class of mercenary warrior who came from Norse-Gaelic clans in the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland – Gallowglass wiki

    The place is coming down with Planters 🙂

  • galloglaigh

    Nevin

    I’d never deny my ‘Planter’ roots. Nor would I ever deny my Gaelic roots. My family history on one side has been traced back to Northwest Wales, via Gloucester and Salford. On another side, McIntyre from lowland Scotland. And indeed another, O’Doherty from Northeast Donegal. Many people from this region of Ireland share such a diverse migratory heritage – both Catholic and Protestant. My last comment was a reflection of harpo’s comment, showing the stupidity of his opinion. But I’m glad you only noticed my comment, thus giving me a chance to explain 🙂 🙂

  • galloglaigh

    Just to add to what you posted from wikihalfastory – Many of the Galloglaigh who fought all over Europe in mercenary armies, did not just originate from Norse-Gaelic clans in the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland. Some like the Mac Suibhne’s settled in Ireland in the 14th century. They are a branch of the O’Neill clan, which some of whom left Ireland in the 11th century. They can be traced through the ancestry of ‘Niall of the Nine Hostages’, and probably left Ireland during the same period the Normans landed on the island. So – never trust all you read on wikipedia, try expanding your reading to gather a more accurate understanding of your chosen subject!

  • “the ancestry of ‘Niall of the Nine Hostages’”

    So you’re a bit of a ‘crafty’ devil, galloglaigh 🙂 Is there much to choose between wikihalfstory and ancestrymakeityupstory? 😉

    Were you able to follow the McIntyre line back to a location in Scotland? Apparently some Ulster families swopped their name for the Scottish version. For example, the McIntyres of Ballyoglagh a few generations back are listed as McTeer – probably from Mac an tSaoir, an Irish and Scottish name translated as ‘son of the craftsman’. Also a Liam Mac an tSaoir of Ballymacateer could easily have become a Billy Wright!

    You can probably tell from my d’agnostic talent and the number of yellow and red cards I get that I’m more of a Dissenter than a Catholic or a Protestant 🙂

  • galloglaigh

    Nevin

    Very good. I’m aware of the Mac an tSaoir’s and the dual connection in Ireland and Scotland. The McIntyre’s came from lowland Scotland, but I haven’t got the info at hand to pinpoint the location. Where I live, McIntyre is a common name. But our McIntyre connection is not connected to any other in the area which is strange but true.That is the point of my post. None of us can be defined as either ‘Planter’ or ‘Gael’. Not unless inbreeding has persisted – some measures that small migration communities took to stop interbreeding with the natives!

    I actually got my info on the Mac Suibhne’s on wikipedia, but my original line of thinking came from a book I read on the clan and its diverse European mercenary heritage. Our collective history and heritage in this region of Ireland, is of ‘Planter’ and ‘Gael’. To deny it, is to deny our collective heritage!

  • galloglaigh

    *My McIntyre’s came from lowland Scotland…

  • galloglaigh

    Nevin

    Here’s a wee link for you to read… Enjoy!

  • galloglaigh

    Just reading that myself… If you ever get a chance to go to Doe Castle, there are the graves of the Sweeney’s, alongside the family graves of the Wilkins (and others). The latter family were (and still are) COI, and are personal friends of mine, and some are close relatives of mine also! There you will also find the Moore’s, who were the keepers of Doe Castle in recent years, and whose family home is the one on the right as you make your way up the path to the Sweeney castle! They are cousins of the Wilkin’s, and are Catholic!

    Strange but true!

  • galloglaigh

    Sorry, the Moore’s home is on the left!

  • “Our collective history and heritage in this region of Ireland, is of ‘Planter’ and ‘Gael’. To deny it, is to deny our collective heritage!”

    A fine mongrel breed indeed, galloglaigh. I suppose it’s worth pointing out that the ‘Gaels’ were the ‘Planters’ of their time.

    A quick skellie at the Sweeney link suggests that the compiler has woven a fine web of myth and history, real and imagined. He appears to have overlooked Sweeney of Rasharkin and the illustrious Sweeney of Runkerry. Many moons ago the Sweeney family of Portballintrae adopted a young Belgian lad and gave him the name Sweeney ie there are pitfalls when folks make assumptions about roots.

  • galloglaigh

    Nevin

    there are pitfalls when folks make assumptions about roots

    That my friend, is exactly my point!

    My roots were once blonde, then brown, and now grey. But they weren’t always grey!

  • Interesting you should mention the Wilkins, galloglaigh. The Wilkinsons of Ballintoy are still known as McQuilkin. There’s been a double switch: Qu to W and Mc to Son. The McCavish family of Moycraig in 1734 has become Thompson by 1803 yet the McCavish connection is still known. McCavish comes from a Gaelic form translated as ‘son of Thomas’.

    I love those strange bits from history. I was asked recently about a Malcolm Magill from south Derry who had been awarded the Military Medal in WWI. I found him in Magherafelt Townparks in the 1901 census. However in the 1911 census he’s recorded as Moltke Magill. Now how did a young man from Magherafelt acquire the nickname of a famous Prussian/German military family by 1911? Do you suppose any of the south Derry folks referred to in the opening thread could help – or will the ‘culture wars’ preclude it?

  • galloglaigh

    There are many interesting switches in names in Ulster, and particularly in this Province. Laverty and Armstrong are the same name. As is Donaldson and MacDonald (or O’Donnell). I think it is a stupid stance to say that an Irish cultural event can’t be held to coincide with a UK city of culture year. The history of the peoples of these islands, is one of integration and intermarriage. That goes back well before any Norman set foot in Ireland. Whether we like it or not, Derry is an Irish city that is still in UK jurisdiction. Any event that will draw tourists and money should be welcomed. What has it got to do with anyone outside the city, when the city would see real benefit from both the City of Culture year, and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann?

  • galloglaigh

    Nevin

    The name Seamus, which is apparently Irish, is actually the Gaelicisation of the Anglicised name James. The latter name originates from the Hebrew name of Jacob. It funny how perceptions can be altered by popular myth!

  • “What has it got to do with anyone outside the city”

    Probably related to the decision making process within the Comhaltas organisation, galloglaigh. I should imagine that local requests are channelled through the county board to the national body. I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin McGuinness has since been knocking a few heads together behind the scenes.

  • galloglaigh

    Nevin

    That was a rhetorical question. I know the process, but it’s a stupid stance. Maybe the South Derry element will be kneecapped tomorrow, and the event will be held in the city?

  • I’ve been to Doe castle quite a few times and the Moore’s graciously opened the gate for me. A great 1 hour visit.

  • “That was a rhetorical question. I know the process”

    I was just expanding for the benefit of the general SO’T readership, galloglaigh – and testing my limited knowledge 😉

  • In the great rush to dive in at the shallow end we’ve missed this splendid contribution from the junior minister:

    “Everyone who is proud of the Irishness of our City, while at the same time respecting the cultural diversity within it, needs to cooperate to ensure that it is portrayed throughout the world as the City of Irish Cultural and historical significance that it is.

    “If successful in their objections the small minority opposed to this bid will be self-defeating as without a strong Irish Cultural flavour to the events they will only succeed in allowing our historic Irish City to be portrayed throughout the world as a ‘City of U.K. Culture’ devoid of Irishness . The only way to neutralise the U.K. prefix – which I doubt if anyone outside of here will take any notice of – is to take ownership of the project by making sure that the events that will make an impact on the world stage are those reflecting the reality that this is an ‘Irish City of Culture’ regardless of working titles or tags.

    Will a culture police censorship division be established to ‘screen out’ aspects of, er, Britishness? Has the junior minister cleared this rallying cry with the OFMDFM?

  • galloglaigh

    Joe

    You must have met Geedey (GD) then. He passed away a while ago, but took me on a fine tour inside the newly renovated building about eight years ago. I was out on the roof – What a view, and what a fine job the restoration team did!

  • What!. It’s about 10 years since I was there. Definite visit later this year, or next.

  • 241934 john brennan

    The Derry wans are great for shooting themselves in the foot – that is when they are not shooting each other in the knee caps

  • The Derry Journal has updated its account today; it now contains material from press releases issued by Martina Anderson (above) and Mark Durkan. Mark has taken the diplomatic route, he is critical of the negative input of outsiders – it could be very counter-productive:

    “The world standing and renowned quality of the Fleadh is due of course to the work and values of Comhaltas na hÉireann.

    “In all my support for this bid I am particularly sensitive to the integrity of Comhaltas’s ethos and procedures and the understandable sensitivity to protect their ownership of the Fleadh wherever it might be hosted.

    “In continuing to encourage Comhaltas members and delegates whether in the city, the county, provincially or nationally, I will continue to respect their processes and the special standing of the All-Ireland Fleadh.

    “I do not believe that speculation, finger-pointing or recrimination from outside Comhaltas will be particularly helpful in overcoming any inhibitions which might lie anywhere in Comhaltas about the context of Derry’s bid.

    “Undue controversy badly aired might only make some more averse to committing to a decision which would not just mark a breakthrough for Derry but also for the Fleadh as an all-Ireland event honouring and enjoyed by all Ireland’s traditions.”

  • It would appear that Martina’s ‘neutralise’ intervention has punctured the ‘neutral’ position adopted by the OFMDFM:

    “Sad to say, the Stormont Executive is following the Sinn Fein agenda to “neutralise the U.K. prefix”. While the Draft Programme for Government mentions the City of Culture a number of times, significantly, it never refers to Londonderry as ‘the UK City of Culture’.

    “On foot of this I tabled a question to co-First Ministers Robinson and McGuinness asking, “given the terminology used in the draft Programme for Government, whether it is Executive policy to delete reference to the United Kingdom in referring to Londonderry being the UK City of Culture.” While OFMdFM claimed that “No such policy has been determined by the Executive”, patently this is the adopted practice, otherwise a formal document such as the ‘Programme for Government’ would undoubtedly deploy the proper title, ‘UK City of Culture’.

    “Now that a Junior Minister in OFMdFM has come out with such an overtly sectarian and divisive statement any doubt which one might have had about the matter has been removed. .. TUV press release

  • minibusdriver

    uh-oh…https://twitter.com/#!/newbelfast

    how will comhaltas cope with this prospect!