Olympics: Are southerners begrudging British success?

Irish broadcasters seem to be bravely resisting any hint of Brit fever emerging from the Olympics last night, at least judging from the websites. The Games are restricted to their special corrals and not allowed to intrude into the News sections. RTE’s home lead goes big on “Man held over attack in Tuam.” ( Was there nothing bigger than that for Ireland out of London 2012?)  TV3 looks similar although the alternative channel did make something out of a Belfast boxer.

Paddy Barnes walked like a champion as he stepped out of the darkness and into the London light in the ExCeL Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Aiming to become the first Irish athlete to medal at two successive Olympics since Pat O’Callaghan in 1932, Barnes opened his campaign with a solid 15-10 win against Cameroon’s Thomas Essomba.

It took until day eight of the Games for the Belfast light-flyweight to get his first taste of Olympic action thanks to a bye which saw him straight through to the last 16.

Yesterday’s  Irish Times website had a front page pic of a Venezuelan at the Velodrome of all places! How perverse can you get?  Did any excitement stir in the south over the Coleraine successes? The Sunday Indo’s website seems generous enough, although I can’t judge the weight given to their coverage as I haven’t seen the layout of the hard copy paper.

Have I got  the wrong impression? Does anyone  have a clearer and objective view of the Dublin-based coverage of London 2012?  To be fair, draconian overseas copyright restrictions on BBC coverage outside the UK imposed by the IOC are hampering not only Olympics coverage  but even news, though these have been slightly eased. However this should open up opportunities to other broadcasters.

I would hardly expect the Dublin media to share full on the British excitement. This time they lack a hero all Ireland could share like Sonia O’Sullivan. Sonia it will be remembered carried the Olympic torch down O’Connell St in June. The sharing of the relay with Ireland  was a splendid gesture which deserved an equally warm response.

Instead might old fashioned Irish chippiness over British successes be rearing its head  at a time when the Brits are on the up and not  bowing their heads  in contrition?  Or is there a simple lack of identification with Olympic sports, unlike the great Irish enthusiasm for the Premier League? Or again, is the Irish media feeling swamped by the massive BBC coverage and doing their own thing within the limits of their latest cutbacks?

  • gary oh

    I think mister joe called it right. Athletes do it for themselves not their countries. Taking pride in your teams achievements is understandable but getting all sneery about with a country that has one fifteenth your population undermines the whole thing in my eyes.

  • BluesJazz

    gary oh

    So Uruguay (population 3m) twice World cup winners, 18 Copa Americanas

    One twentieth of Brazil or Argentina

    Southern Ireland has a population similar to North Korea, who seem to be doing very well in the Olympics

    NI has a fair input into the british national team and punch above our weight. It’s a bit better than relying on a dead rachorse for sporting glory

  • jagmaster

    Bluesjazz fine bit of googling on the “Colraine rowers”. Anyway enjoy your gold medals, hopefully you can win even more. Then maybe you can melt them down and pay off your crippling National debt when the show packs up and moves on to Rio.

  • Republic of Connaught


    You must have missed Leinster winning the Heinken cup for a 3rd time putting Irish club wins above the French and equal with the English, despite the poplation difference? Or Ireland being one of only 16 teams in Europe at the Euros? Or all the Irish trained horses and jockeys who constantly win?

    Spread your poison elsewhere, and move on.

  • Mark

    BluesJazz ,

    What channel are you watching the Animal Olympics on ? .

  • Alias

    Let’s face it, we won’t win big at the Olympics until be get our national sports onto the agenda, namingly:

    1) Complaining about the weather.
    2) Building houses in the middle of nowhere.
    3) Avoiding tax.
    4) Hating on bankers.
    5) Drinking.

    For our cousins in NI, their sports would be:

    1) Themuns vs. ussuns (this sport can be played with an infinite number of topics. Let’s say, example, beehive hairstyles: “Themuns’ wimmin smuggled guns into Kesh in their beehives” could be counter-played with “Themuns used their beehives to daub sectarian slogans on walls.”
    2) Demanding more subvention.
    3) Mopery
    4) Whataboutery

  • gary oh

    Ah yes uruguay whens the last time they won the world cup 1950? Think its safe to say that they don’t compete with the GAA or rugby for players. How many gold medals hav NI contributed? I am puzzled as to why despite team GBs undeniable great success you feel the need to large it over your much smaller neighbour. Team GB have more medals than team Ireland. That’s hardly a shock.

  • gary oh

    You forgot duckin and diving alias. The Irish are just top class at that. You know am starting to get the feeling that some of these lads in northern ireland don’t like us. I notice they took great joy in our abject failure at the euros also.

  • ayeYerMa

    Neutralist, tell me something new. I’m verging on becoming a lapsed Ireland rugby supporter who used to be in favour of such traditional sporting arrangements, but this obnoxious manner in which it is necessary for a sportsman to resign from any so-called “all-island” team to play for their national team, makes me start to I think it’s about time that this “all-island” nonsense in sport ended (and I’m hearing more and more of a similar lapsed vibe) — is that what you want? Additionally, the manner in which those southerners in charge seem to think they are RoI teams, make biased pro-RoI selections, insist on RoI anthems (while simultaneously disrespecting six county (why-ever you think I would have problems with “six county” I don’t know????) flags and anthems), and then have the audacity to pretend that the actual RoI Olympic team is an “all-island” team is just absurd. You can’t have it both ways.

    RoC, the “GFA” has sweet-fa to do with anything – nothing changed in the sovereign British law that was not there before. In no part of the world is playing for a foreign team considered normal or respectful, and additionally it contradicts IOC rules — I have every right to observe and comment on the reality in which the irredentist jingoism coming from Dublin as being damaging for our social cohesion in NI. Unsurprisingly, regarding the recent selection controversies for athletics, it seems that you are indeed gradually realising that for every northern reject there to exploit you that it is one less of your own who gets to go to the games.

  • andnowwhat

    How many times have Ireland one Eurovision since 1966? How many times have England won the world Cup since 1966?

    I rest my case 🙂

  • Alias

    “Team GB have more medals than team Ireland. That’s hardly a shock.”

    It’s a shock to them. Remember the whole of the UK only one a single gold medal in 1996, so you’re seening a big investment in sport pay off in medals this year. The problem is that the billions they threw at it is all wasted money since no one will remember what the tally was a year from now and there is no way to get any of their taxpayer investment back.

    Money would be better spent of education and other areas where the investment isn’t useless once the person hits 30 and retires as too old to compete.

  • andnowwhat

    Won, not one.


  • Alias

    andnowwhat, we both made the one/won typo!

  • Republic of Connaught


    If they’re from the Emerald Isle and want to represent Ireland, they are one of our own. Accept it, and move on.

  • Mark

    Move on …….

    He’s sticking pins into a voodoo doll of John Joe Nevin at the moment .

  • gary oh

    Blue jazz north korea has a population of 25 million. So how is that comparable? Ask yer ma, what about the plastic brits on team GB? They have famously imported talent before, lennox lewis. To be honest you have a point with the rugby. I would love to see a ROI rugby team to be fair and opt out of that british and irish lions fiasco. That’s just my opinion

  • SK

    “Southern Ireland has a population similar to North Korea, who seem to be doing very well in the Olympics”


    And in one fell swoop, all credibility is lost.

  • Mister_Joe

    Where do people get this nonsense and why do others believe it? The population of North Korea is about 25 million. Maybe there has been an incredible spurt in population in the Republic in the last year with all of the mothers having quintuplets.

  • Mister_Joe

    That was for Bluesjazz and acknowledging that Gary Oh initially put him right.

  • ayeYerMa

    Gary oh, the “plastic Brits” you speak of on the British team actually live in the UK. The way you feel about being involved in the British Lions team is the same as many of us feel about the Ireland team, with the exception that no such modification has been made to the definition of the word “Irish” in the team name by calling them something like the “Irish and Ulster Elks”.

    Mark, why would I be sticking pins into John-Joe-Nevin? At least he has a good grasp of geography (unlike some of our media and other competitors) and I wish him well. As I have already stated I don’t find the idea of trying to compare 63 million to 4.5 million people constructive, nor do I have a clue why Brian Walker started this strange thread.

  • mollymooly

    “draconian overseas copyright restrictions on BBC coverage outside the UK imposed by the IOC ”

    Not true. The rights in all EBU countries are collectively owned by the EBU. If you are in any country in the EBU (same as Eurovision) you can see any other EBU broadcaster’s coverage. Go to http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/london2012/ and select “EBU Members Live”.

  • gary oh

    Ask yer ma, you are speakin to the converted. NI get a v raw deal by the IRFU and if roles were reversed you can imagine the whinging the ROI would do. Go katie!

  • pacman

    Well done Katie Taylor. There’s some support for the ladies boxers today – I thought the roof was gonna lift.

  • gary oh

    Btw that northern irish girl was treated disgracefully. She was told 15 mins before the race she wasn’t competing. Deprived NI of there first gold in 40 years. Seen it on sky. That has to be looked at.

  • andnowwhat

    My lord!! Katie Taylor was amazing. Well done to Jonas for a fantastic display of sportsmanship as well.

  • Rory Carr

    Bloody Chinese ! Winning everything before them. Well they’re not getting a mention on my media outlets (Letters page, Tottenham Herald) I tell you that. Call it begrudgery if you like but what have the Chinese ever done for me ? I ask ye.

  • andnowwhat

    Och Rory. You know the whole Chinese thing: They get a gold medal and 10 minutes later, they’re dying for another one.

  • Brilliant Stuff Katie!
    Also Sammy McNally, ex of this Parish, has a very relevant guest blog over On FJH’s blog,

  • neutralist

    I agree with one of the previous posters: the more rabid ROIphobes here are still smarting at Leinster’s demolition of Ulster/South Africa.

  • BluesJazz

    Congratulations to our riders and horses getting Gold in the Equestrian. Peter Skelton on ‘Big Star’ was class.
    Looks like we’re a cert to be 3rd in the final table.

  • gary oh

    Well done jason kenny. Another gold for team GB, fancy dai greene to get another one. Is this there greatest performance?

  • gary oh

    Rte the irish national broadcaster actually call the team by its proper name Team GB and NI. Your welcome.

  • This must hold a record for the most infantile thread ever, lol 🙂
    (Gary, There means “They are”, Their is what you meant to say…bless)

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    2 more golds for GBNI = boom 🙂

    ireland on the move with the boxing – good stuff. Should pick up a few medals there alright.

    As for population – NZ are doing pretty darn well!!

  • gary oh

    Bangordub, thanks for the correction. Grammar is not my strong point and to be honest a bit of levity around here is a welcome diversion.

  • sonofstrongbow

    “There means “They are”, Their is what you meant to say…..”

    No ‘They’re’ means they are; ‘there’ means somewhere other than here, or at a point in a process.

    And the Gold for Pedantry goes to…………

  • Brian

    I’m just hoping US beats China.

    It was nice to see Murray win the other day.

  • Mark

    London’s Excel Stadium may aswell have been the Grand Hotel in Wicklow Town as Katie ” Tornado ” Taylor eased into medal contention this afternoon . The atmosphere was like The King’s Hall during Dave Boy McAuley / Barry McGuigan’s heyday or Millstreet as the hipnotised Collins knock seven bells out of Eubank or even the Point where Bernard Dunne defied the odds . The noise of the Taylor fans was amazing and the sight of all those flags was goosepimple time as Katie put the feel good factor back into Irish sports .

    Spandau Ballet Time ……

  • DC
  • DC

    1 Slovenia 4 2,057,540 514,385
    2 New Zealand 8 4,432,620 554,077
    3 Jamaica 4 2,705,827 676,456
    4 Denmark 8 5,580,516 697,564
    5 Cyprus 1 838,897 838,897
    6 Australia 22 22,880,619 1,040,028
    7 Belarus 8 9,461,400 1,182,675
    8 Hungary 8 9,962,000 1,245,250
    9 Estonia 1 1,318,005 1,318,005
    10 Slovakia 4 5,445,324 1,361,331
    11 Mongolia 2 2,736,800 1,368,400
    12 Croatia 3 4,290,612 1,430,204
    13 Great Britain 40 62,262,000 1,556,550

  • andnowwhat


    I take it you don’t mean Through The Barricades? 🙂

  • BluesJazz

    We should easily pass 20 golds and now look certain to be 3rd greatest sporting nation in the world. And in just about every discipline. Only the USA and China can compete with us. Good to see places like Mongolia, Somalia, Southern Ireland and Cyprus picking up some crumbs.
    But the fact we’re well ahead of Australia is the icing on the cake.

  • Mark

    andnowwhat ,

    Maybe you meant me ? The Spandau Ballet reference was to where Katie Taylor will retain her Olympic title . Only for those New Romantic fans still alive … lol

  • Mike the First


    “So, Unionists think NI is not in Ireland (Team Ireland- clue in the name).Surprise surprise”

    Let’s leave aside your decidely iffy practice of taking a poster’s comment and generalising as what “Unionists think”…

    Actually it’s the Irish state that thinks NI is not in Ireland. Take it up with the government based in your original home city.

  • Mister_Joe

    But the fact we’re well ahead of Australia is the icing on the cake.

    Please please tell me you’re jesting!

  • andnowwhat

    Sorry Mark. I was site jumping. I remember when that was lovely and saucy but now it’s just between political sites.

  • BluesJazz

    Mister-Joe, as a cricket fan I’m not jesting.
    And the Oz attitude toward GB/NI sporting achievement is just jealousy.

    Hopefully the Republic of Ireland can get a decent medal to put them up alongside Grenada. We shouldn’t let the fact we’re 3rd in the world belittle our land bordering neighbours. They have a good chance in the ladies boxing.

  • jagmaster

    Bluesjazz Team GeeB’s treatment of Wendy Houvenaghel sums up what they really think of your wee country.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Enjoy leeching off English athletes’ success, Bluejazz.

    But when you’re back in the classy Winsdor Park getting beaten by Azerbaijan and teams like that at your level in the Fifa rankings, you won’t be able to hide under England’s skirt….

  • orly

    Republic of Connaught
    Enjoy leeching off English athletes’ success, Bluejazz.

    But when you’re back in the classy Winsdor Park getting beaten by Azerbaijan and teams like that at your level in the Fifa rankings, you won’t be able to hide under England’s skirt….

    Sounding a bit furious there sire.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Trolls have that effect, Orly. Like gnats.

  • Mister_Joe

    Please stop the nonsense on this thread. For FS, celebate each athlete’s success as an individual and forget the “Nationality” issue.

  • Republic of Connaught

    I agree, Joe.

    And the fact is the vast majority of Irish people are happy for team GB and their success.

    But when trolls are allowed to repeat the same trolling throughout a thread, they should be yellow or red carded.

  • Mister_Joe

    Can’t argue with that, ROC.

  • gary oh

    Mister joe is dead right. Look at bolt. An incredible athlete just because he’s a fellow jamican I don’t think am better than everyone in ireland and britain. I see the bluejazz the census conductor is back his credibility has evaporated after his north korea population gaffe. We should all remember that bluejazz has less than nothing to do with GBs success so less of the we stuff tonto.

  • Desmond Trellace

    I am happy to say that Ireland has now entered the small exclusive club of Olympic participants (including Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Slovenia) whose number of medals is higher than the number of millions of populaton (i.e. medal per capita ratio less than 1,000,000).

    I will continue to cheer on the host country’s gallant athletes and will keep my fingers crossed that it also enters this exclusive club before the Games are over.

  • SK

    “Good to see places like Mongolia, Somalia, Southern Ireland and Cyprus picking up some crumbs.”


    Why are we bracketed with Monglia , Somalia and Cyprus, Blues Jazz? Do they have a population of 25 million too?