Where is the joint Team GB, Team Ireland celebration ?

The Belfast Telegraph lead surely has it right. If ever there’s a time for a joint full-hearted, full throated public celebration this is it. Separate cheering by itself is nto enough and is a reproach to the  powersharing establishment.  Why has it not been planned already? Is sectarian reluctance lurking in the background, trying  to calculete the percentage from their own side ?


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  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Still parallel cultures, eh? Sport is as much a battleground for the Kulturkampf as anywhere. Would be nice to see the NI athletes, of both loyalties and none, together taking a bow.

  • Ruarai

    wrong thread – sorry – Brian, I’m struggle to keep up with all your Olympics/Union posts:)

  • Paramo

    Barnes and Conlan are from Belfast, hence they get a Belfast welcome. The Coleraine lads are having a homecoming up there. I am sure there will also be a joint reception for all of them up at Stormont.

    Simple really. Though if you look at some of the comments on the bbc newsline facebook page, with people wondering aloud why two boys from Belfast should be welcomed back to their city having represented a “foreign” country, it does make you despair.

  • andnowwhat

    Yep Paramo. I was listening to Talkback and I could have banged my head of a wall with some of the ,messages and callers. I can’t recall but was there all this nonsense when Wayne Mc Cullough represented Ireland?

  • sherdy

    Should Gavin Robinson, Belfast mayor, not have taken a lead by welcoming our two boxing bronze medal winners who were being entertained outside his front door – or was it a step too far?

  • Mark

    Good question andnowwhat ……I don’t think so although McCullough was based in the US so maybe there was a feeling of ….. outa sight outa mind .

    Great to hear young Conlan has his heart set on following Barnes and becoming a double medal winner in Rio .

    And yes , what harm a ” joint celebration ” ….. but two chances .

  • andnowwhat

    Armed with the confidence of his medal, Paddy Barnes goes for a bit of cougar http://audioboo.fm/boos/920300-on-the-bus-with-belfast-s-olympic-boxers#t=3m30s

  • JoeBryce

    We have an all Ireland rugby team.

    It would be good to have an all Ireland football team.

    Perhaps for the Olympics we should be GB + I?

    Horse for courses.

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

    Aye, good point – i thought it was a bit weird myself. Okay, the lads are from different parts of NI, but it does seem an ideal opportunity to build a few bridges. I saw a really good interview on BBC NI of the 5 of them and they seemed to get on well. No doubt they’ll all have a reception at Stormont or City hall but an inclusive bus ride would have been cool.

    And yes, the DUP mayor should definitely have been about.

  • GavBelfast

    Sure as long as the troughers and quaffers get their own private-do, on us, with the successful athletes, isn’t that enough???

    TalkBack and Nolan, rather like this website at times and other social media, gives too ready an outlet for empty-heads and people who make no discernable contribution for good to this society.

  • tacapall

    “Belfast mayor, not have taken a lead by welcoming our two boxing bronze medal winners”

    That seems to be a universal problem with Unionist politicians they demand nationalists should show allegiance and loyalty to the northern state. The whole idea of equality and accommodating each others traditions and beliefs is lost on them.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘That seems to be a universal problem with Unionist politicians they demand nationalists should show allegiance and loyalty to the northern state. The whole idea of equality and accommodating each others traditions and beliefs is lost on them.’

    ” groans “

  • iluvni

    I assume the Sports Minister will be in Coleraine tomorrow.

  • gendjinn


    I didn’t realise that countries whose capitals were within 400 miles of each other normally had joint olympics celebrations.

    Perhaps you could share with us some examples of these joint celebrations?

  • GavBelfast

    Is Belfast’s Lord Mayor away on holiday?

    I’d have thought that it would have been more of a stretch for a DUP politician to go to a Gay Pride Week event, than to welcome two Olympic medallists from Belfast, who will in all likelihood box for Northern Ireland at the next Commonwealth Games.

  • michael-mcivor

    Why should any DUP member, or any unionist voter in Ireland be allowed to go to a team GB event- they dont vote for any GB political party- they just vote for those unionists that just stand for elections in a wee part of the north of Ireland- they are anti team GB-

  • Carlovivigornian

    Isn’t it the case that certain sports’ organising bodies are split by the Irish Sea and others are split by the border. If you are a decent boxer from Belfast (Shankill or the Falls) you come under the jurisdiction of Dublin? Hence Wayne McCullough fought for (Rep of) Ireland at Barcelona and a lot of Northern Protestants give blood for Ireland on the rugby field

    I have no political axe to grind (I am a weddings and funerals Catholic while my wife is a weddings and funerals Protestant) and I think that a lot of people are missing an important unpolitical point here. Although there is “Team” GB, Ireland, USA, St Kitts and Nevis, most of the Olympians are competing as individuals or as pairs. Often the competitor’s choice of flag is determined by which organisation he or she feels can best develop them as an athlete. It would be a difficult choice, I know, for a Falls Road cyclist to join the GB cycling programme in Mnanchester but their systematic approach to developing track-cyclists would often him or her a far better chance of success than whatever is offered in Ireland. A Shankill boxer, can develop his skills and stay in Belfast and progress within the All-Ireland system whereas to join the GB team he would have to relocate to Sheffield and probably not increase his chances. It is sad that nationalism (with a small ‘n) affects sports for individuals. I honestly think that most athletes are doing it for themselves and the flag-waving is secondary. It’s their job to succeed for themselves. I doubt anyone on this forum is an international athlete. You would find it ridiculous if you turned up at work one day and were asked to declare which territory you were programming computers for. If I said, “GB”, they might break the news to me that the GB computer-programming team was already full, but might I be interested, after some quick form-filling, in representing Qatar? When I receive my pay-slip at the end of the month I would of course stand respectfully as they raised the maroon and white Qatari flag while the solemn tune of the “As Salam al Amir” (courtessy Wikipedia) national anthem hummed from the CD player.

  • Lee Reynolds


    Sorry to get in the way of a whinge but the simple fact is the Lord Mayor is on holiday and a reception with the Lord Mayor is being organised at a later date for all Belfast Olympians.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    Thanks for that point of information. The DUP really should spell that out to the public. Gavin Robinson’s non-appearance certainly looked like a snub – his party should make an effort to clarify that it wasn’t a snub.


    ‘Where is the joint Team GB, Team Ireland celebration?’

    There isn’t one. You can call off the search.

  • Lee Reynolds


    It was made clear to the media what the situation was. For whatever reasons they chose not to mention it in the coverage.

  • Reader

    Brian Walker: Where is the joint Team GB, Team Ireland celebration ?
    It was in London, on Sunday. Almost the whole of both teams attended. It’s just a pity the Spice Girls were there too.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Perhaps you could inform us if any other DUP elected reps in the city(like yourself) attended the event for the boxers?

    I note how the SF DCAL Minister was able to attend both Coleraine and Belfast events- would be interested to find out if DUP stretched itself or simply hid behind Gavin’s holiday excuse….

  • Lee Reynolds


    No I didn’t attend, I was at work. I’ll get to meet them at the reception. We were free to attend if we could and AFAIK one councillor was there.

    Your quest to find insult where there isn’t one is somewhat undermined by the likes of this.




    “I note how the SF DCAL Minister was able to attend both Coleraine and Belfast events”

    Err she is the sports minister…

  • dwatch

    Chris, the SF DCLA minister Carál Ní Chuilín had no other choice but to attend, as sports minister it was her job to be present. But how many local SF elected reps from the local council area were present at the Coleraine event?