Holywood’s Gaelic Speakers

Ard Mhic Nasca na Gaeilge!

Art maic Nasca for brú Locha Laig i n- Ultaib. Félire Óengusa., 830c.

Tá an baile beag Ard Mhic Nasca, nó ‘Holywood’ mar a athbhaisteadh air i mBéarla, go mór sa nuacht na laethanta seo mar gheall ar ráitis a mhic is clúití, Rory McIlroy, i leith a náisiúntachta, é ag rá go mothaíonn sé níos ‘Briotanaigh’ ná ‘Éireannaí’.

Ní luaitear go minic gur áit le labhairt na Gaeilge an baile se,o ach mar is léir ón bhfriotal thuas ó Fhélire Óengusa (circa 800 AD), go bhfuil stair fhada ag an nGaeilge ar an mbaile.

Ní ceart smaoineamh go mbaineann sin leis an stair amháin, áfach, mar go bhfuil pobal Gaelach ar an mbaile agus paistí á dtógáil le Gaeilge ann.

Tá tuairim is 12,037 daoine ina gcónaí ar an bhaile, an tromlach acu ina bProtastúnaigh.

De réir na staitisticí is déanaí a bhfuil fáil orthu, tá tuairim is 450 Gaeilgeoir ar an mbaile, sin tuairim is 4% den phobal.

Tá an mhórchuid acu sin ina gCaitlicigh, ach níl gach duine acu, ábhar iontais nuair a chuirtear san áireamh nach dteagasctar an Ghaeilge scoileanna Protastúnacha.

Ar cheann de na Gaeil is clúití ar an bhaile tá an Dr. Ruairí de Bléine, údar ‘Presbyterians and the Irish language’ agus cathaoirleach ar Chumann Gaelach Ard Mhic Nasca.

“Bhunaigh an Moinsíneoir Ó Laifeartaigh craobh de Chonradh na Gaeilge anseo in 1902,” a mhínigh sé do Ghaelscéal

“Is é an Mons. Ó Laifeartaigh a scríobh stair dheifinídeach an pharóiste agus ní raibh a shárú ann go fóill.

“Tosaíonn stair na Gaeilge le Laisrén a bhunaigh an baile timpeall 650 AD. Go dtí timpeall 1700 AD ba cheantar iomlán Gaeilge é.”

“Athbhunaíodh an chraobh sa bhliain 1921 agus tá obair an Chumainn ag leanstan ar aghaidh go leanúnach ó shin,” a dúirt sé. “Gidh gur mionlach (timpeall 20%) iad siúd a bhfuil “dearcadh an náisiúnaí” acu, tá meas ginearálta ag an phobal ar chúrsaí Éireannacha.

“Tá sé fíor go fóill an méid a dúradh sa bhliain 1910 faoin bhaile seo, In no town in Ireland are the relations between all creeds and classes so amicable as in Holywood.”

“Níor cuireadh isteach riamh ar an dearcadh liobrálach Éireannach atá ag an bpobal leis na céadta bliana. Níl ceantracha speisialta do chreidimh ná do ranna polaitíochta ann mar atá i mBéal Feirste.”

“Aithnítear an Ghaeilge mar shruthán dúchasach na háite,” a dúirt an Dr. de Bléine.

“Tá Leabharlann Ard Mhic Nasca go speisialta cairdiúil linn agus bíonn Féile Nasca á reáchtáil againn sna seomraí ansin i mí an Mhárta achan bhliain.

“Bíonn leachtaí againn faoin Ghaeilge agus timpeall 50 duine i láthair, daoine ó na creidimh uilig,” a dúirt Ruairí.

Mar a bheifeá ag súil leis, tá ranganna Gaeilge ar bun ar an mbaile.

Bíonn siad ar siúl san Eaglais Phreispitéireach Neamh-Aontaithe (Non-Subscribing) i lár an bhaile agus freastalaíonn timpeall is 24 duine ar na ranganna.

Ach tá níos mó na ranganna ar bun ag an gCumann Gaelach.

“Maidir le Comhluadar, tá timpeall ar dosaen páistí ag teacht le chéile, leanaí ar tógadh le Gaeilge iad.”

“Tá 4-6 de theaghlaigh ag tógáil a gcuid páistí le Gaeilge. Tá tuigbheáil níos leithne anois ann gur buntáiste ollmhór é seo agus gur fiú go mór an iarracht, maidir le hoideachas, cultúr, féinmhuinín agus cothú pobail; agus tá sin amhlaidh in ainneoin na ndeacrachtaí praiticiúla,” dar le Ruairí.

Ar an chéad amharc, ní mórán é 4- 6 theaghlach ag tógáil a gcuid páistí in Éirinn, ach is féidir a rá go cinnte, gur mó an méid teaghlach sin ná mar a bhíonn i gcuid is mó de bhailte na hÉireann.

This weeks Gaelscéal; new direct action graffiti campaign in Galway Gaeltacht targets private business, a tactic Wales is well used to but unknown in Ireland

Mar shampla, níor thuill ach 7 dteaghlach an deontas iomlán i Scéim Labhairt na Gaeilge i Maigh Cuilinn, Co. na Gaillimhe, agus roinnt mhaith den pharóiste sin sa Ghaeltacht Oifigiúil.

Is féidir níos mó eolais a fháil faoi Chumann Gaelach Ard Mhic Nasca tríd an nasc a leanas. http://www.holywood-gaelach.com/index.htm

Hollywood’s Gaelic Speakers

Art maic Nasca for brú Locha Laig i n- Ultaib. Félire Óengusa., 830c.

The little town of Ard Mhic Nasca, or Holywood as it was renamed in English, has been in the news lately due its most famous son, Rory McIlroy, stating that he feels more British than Irish.

The town isn’t often mentioned in connection to the Irish language but as is clear from the quotation from Félire Óengusa (circa 800 AD), the language has a long history in the town.

But it is not something connected solely with the past, there is an Irish speaking community in the town and children are being reared with the language in Holywood.

There are approximately 12,000 people in the town, most of them Protestants. There are around 450 Irish speakers, or around 4% of the population

Most of these, but not all, are Catholics, which could be seen as surprising given that Irish is not taught in ‘Protestant’ schools.

One of the best known Gaels in the town is Dr. Ruairí de Bléine, the author of ‘Presbyterians and the Irish language’ agus the chairman of the Holywood Irish Society.

“Monsignor Ó Laifeartaigh founded a branch of the Gaelic League here in 1902,” he explained to Gaelscéal.

“Monsignor Ó Laifeartaigh wrote the definitive history of this parish and it hasn’t been surpassed to this day

“The history of the Irish language begins with Laisrén who founded the town around 650 AD, until around 1700 AD this was an entirely Irish speaking area.

“The branch [of the Gaelic League] was reformed in 1921 agus the society’s work has been continuing ever since,” he stated.

“Although those of a ‘Nationalist Outlook’ are a minority, Irish matters are generally respected.

“It is still true of the town what was stated of the town in 1910, ‘In no town in Ireland are the relations between all creeds and classes so amicable as in Holywood’.

“The liberal outlook which this community has held for hundreds of years remains undiminished. There are no special areas for certain religions or political outlooks as there is in Belfast

“The Irish language is recognised as a native stream of the area,” stated Dr. de Bléine.

“Hollywood Library is especially good to us and we organise Féile Nasca in their rooms in March every year.

“We have lectures about the Irish language which are attended by around 50 people, people of all faiths.”

As would be expected, there are Irish language classes in the town, they are held in the non-subscribing Presbyterian Hall, around 24 people attend these classes. But the society organises more than classes.

“With regards to Comluadar [An organisation which helps Irish speaking families with social events], there are around 12 children gathering, children reared with Irish.

“There are 4-6 Irish speaking families. There is more understanding nowadays, of the great advantages, that it is well worth the effort, with regards to education, culture, self-esteem and community spirit; and that is the case despite the practical difficulties.”

In the first instance, 4-6 families doesn’t seem like many, but it can be stated with some certainty that that is a greater number than in most Irish towns.

For example, only 7 families won the full grant in last years ‘Scéim Labhairt na Gaeilge’ (a now defunct scheme which in theory was devised to promote Irish in the home) in Maigh Cuilinn, County Galway, with much of that parish in the official Gaeltacht (4 families received the reduced grant).

You can find out more out the Hollywood Irish society through the link below.

http://www.holywood-gaelach.com/index.htm

[This report was taken from Gaelscéal’s Ulster news section, 26/9/12]

  • Ciarán Dunbar

    BTW, if anyone is interesting in East Ulster Gaelic, check out Gaeilg Oirthear Uladh on Facebook!

  • lamhdearg2

    “Language classes for 2012-13 will be starting in the Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church in High Street on Tuesday, 18 September 2011 (entry at rear via Hibernia Street). ”
    I do have a strange sense of humor, I fould the “entry at rear via hibernia street” amusing.

    Holywood is indeed a nice town, a mainly British unionist town that finds room for Gaelic customs. Irish dancing, Gaa, Gaeilge,I understand its the same in ards, bangor, carrick ect, and there is little fuss. It would be a shame if as an outworking of the intolerance shown to non Gaelic culture, that where to change.

  • sonofstrongbow

    It does the development of the Irish lanaguage outside of its base community no favours for its advocates to feel the need to reference it as indicative of a “Nationalist outlook”.

    It may come as a surprise to those of that mindset to learn that when for instance I studied French and German I was not required to string onions around my neck, wear a beret or indeed sing the Die Fahne hoch.

  • I have a bit of a problem with State schools being called “Protestant” even if within inverted commas.

  • lamhdearg2

    I picked up on that Joe, well said.

  • tacapall

    “It may come as a surprise to those of that mindset to learn that when for instance I studied French and German I was not required to string onions around my neck, wear a beret or indeed sing the Die Fahne hoch”

    LMAO sure dont wear the potatoes round your neck, and you could wear a red beret and maybe sing the real john b sloop song, but why would you have to do all that just because your learning your native tongue.

  • Red Lion

    Holywood is a very pleasant , and interesting town, and very rich in heritage.

    Cycling through it it has the feel of an ‘English’ town, I have the same distinct feeling in Moira. Holywood I understand had a considerable Anglo-Norman influence in times gone past though one would have thought the Ulster Scots influence would have completely outweighted this. Maybe its the large old Anglican church, or the Old Priory Inn in Olde Englishe style, or the ‘dancing round the Maypole’, but the wee place imo would fit in round Oxfordshire or Kent, if it weren’t for those Ulster vowels.

    And yet other towns have a distinctly Scottish feel, nearby Comber for example. Its funny how the different reverberations of the plantation left their mark in different areas.

    Although I have issue with some of the turns of phrase in this article and some points seem unnecessarily laboured, it is good to show that quietly, majority unionists are quite at ease in assisting their Catholic neighbours a narrative that rarely gets told. Perhaps also shows what can occur when culture and language arn’t hijacked as political tools by so-called political leaders (and, in fact , political leaders dont interfere at all)

    In general, I think a significant leap forward for the province will be when those who identify themselves as Gaels and/or nationalists, can acknowledge the positive aspects of the Ulster Scots on modern day Ulster – an obvious place to start with this might be the massive influence the Ulster Scots/British had on planning and building probably the majority of cherished towns villages and settlements here – a fascinating part of shared history.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    lamhdearg2:
    Holywood is indeed a nice town, a mainly British unionist town that finds room for Gaelic customs. Irish dancing, Gaa, Gaeilge,I understand its the same in ards, bangor, carrick ect, and there is little fuss. It would be a shame if as an outworking of the intolerance shown to non Gaelic culture, that where to change.

    .
    I also fear that is where we are heading if the continued onslaught on PUL parades from Irish Nationalism does not cease.

    How long before we see a spokesperson frm ‘Community Against Sectarian Sports’ appearing on our TV complaining about the GAA’s continued glorification of IRA terrorists or coat-trailing cavalcades through protestant areas???

  • Mick Fealty

    DBB & LD,

    Please be careful. People are apt to read polemical speculations such as yours as an actual threat. I’m sure that’s not what either of you intended.

    But it’s what happens betimes when you drift so far from the point of the article just to make your own political point.

    The local GAC is St Paul’s, and was previously known as Thomas Russell’s after the Anglican revolutionary who was hanged in Downpatrick gaol in 1803.

    Several times we had instances of loyalists coming to town to try and stir trouble for local Catholics, and on each occasion they were dealt with by a strong degree of social solidarity.

    I’m not saying there were never tensions, or that some Catholic families weren’t treated badly, especially round the 12th. But that solidarity was our greatest protection during the worst of the troubles.

    I personally consider that to be a non trivial experience. And one reason why Catholic unionists and Protestant nationalists were far from uncommon in the town where I grew up

  • BluesJazz

    How many of the Irish speakers come from Palace Barracks, either the MI5 HQ or the Mercian Regiment base? Or even Camp Kinnegar across the road.

    I’m unaware of any ‘protestant’ schools in the town. Sullivan Upper has no religious connection. And Priory Integrated Secondary school is also a mixture. Unsure about the Rudolf Steiner school which operates outside the national curriculum.
    The Uladh Trust deliver some Irish to the state Regent House grammar, but otherwise? .The Irish Guards are due for a 2 year posting to County Down shortly- probably Ballykinler- but they can no doubt spread the (Gaeilge) word.

  • Old Mortality

    Tacapall
    ‘…but why would you have to do all that just because your learning your native tongue.’

    Utterly preposterous.

  • GEF

    I attended Hollywood Technical College in the 1950’s. It certainly was never classed as a Protestant only school.
    I believe it is the town’s main library today.

  • JR

    Is dea-scéal é seo. Tá sé ar eolas agam go bhfuil caidreamh maith idir lucht na Gaeilge anus na Prodastúnaigh ndeisceart an Dúin fosta.

  • Irish wasn’t taught at Sullivan in Holywood but the late John Frost, headmaster in my day, took great pride in the school motto – ‘lamh foisdenach (sp?) an uachtar’, from memory, or ‘the gentle hand foremost’. He was also keen on Ulster-Scots decades before it became fashionable. I remember him telling us about a ‘pochle sprochling in a sheugh’. Frost also took pride in Sullivan being ‘multi-denominational’ although if you dig a bit on that one you find that there was no catholic church representation on the board, only the protestant ones, which remains the case today, I believe. That said, plenty of catholics attended Sullivan of which Rory McIlroy was one.

    In some ways Holywood is indeed a model of good relations but we could do a great deal better – my children have to travel 3 miles outside the town to find an integrated primary school while there are state and catholic primaries in the town. In my day we relied on the scouts for meeting those of a different persuasion – I would never have met Mick although he lived just a stone’s throw from me had it not been for 3rd Holywood scouts. Nor would I have met another fellow scout who became my greatest lifelong friend and godfather to one of my kids. Sadly when the CBSI set up their own group the opportunities for integration diminished somewhat.

    So although we could do better, we are lucky to rub along so well together. The biggest divides we have are not religious or political but social – I suspect we are probably the most unequal town in Ireland in terms income and that is something that we need to turn our minds to.

  • katinka

    I had the good fortune to grow up in Holywood in the 40s and 50s. It was a small town and overwhelmely Protestant. In my time there were only two Catholics at Sullivan which in a way reflected the demography then. However, we did study Irish History! The ‘White City’ housing estate was being built on the site of the prisoner-of-war camp, and this estate was mixed, as was the community generally. The principal of the Catholic primary school lived across the road from us, we knew him well, I think he was a former president of the GAA. There was, however, one very important and neglected factor in Protestant/Catholic relations at that time, one that people forget as far as I can see and that was the determination of the Catholic Church that there should be no social or sporting contact between Catholics and non-Catholics. It was very much more than ‘ne temere’ and it did much to sour relations between the religions. Our scout hall, yes, 3rd Holywood, was opposite the Catholic primary School, but the parish priest who was often invited to functions there would never accept, and Catholic boys were discouraged from joining. Vatican 2 changed all this but the effects of this separation bedevil us today. Nevertheless, in Holywood there were Catholic Unionists and Protestant nationalists in my time.

  • lamhdearg2

    “my children have to travel 3 miles outside the town to find an integrated primary school while there are state and catholic primaries in the town.”
    John
    out of interest, what would be the difference in your childs educational day, between holywood primary (state) and the intergrated school.

    Mick “threat”
    If you where to point out to some fellow, that if he where to Keep pulling a dogs tail, that the dog might bite him, would you be issuing a threat. I would hate to see the folk of Holywood exposed to the kind of intolerance we see directed at the loyal orders in other towns and citys across Ulster, And thats mainly because they are not the ones pulling the dogs tail, we all however need to bear in mind that attacks by one side on the others culture, will likely lead to attacks in responce, and if the last 40 years have taught us anything, its that the innocent suffer.

  • weidm7

    lamhdearg, if we changed your statement slightly from

    ‘I would hate to see the folk of Holywood exposed to the kind of intolerance we see directed _at_ the loyal orders in other towns and citys across Ulster’

    to

    ‘I would hate to see the folk of Holywood exposed to the kind of intolerance we see directed _by_ the loyal orders in other towns and citys across Ulster’ or ‘…by members of the loyal orders…’

    would you still agree with it?

  • JR

    Lámhdhearg,

    Given the kids doing Irish dancing or learnig a few phrases in Irish behind closed doors in hollywood have absolutely no connection to the PC or any residents group, a closer analogy to your threat would be if you were to point out to some fellow, if you try to stop my dog taking a dump on your lawn as he has been in the habit of doing for years he might get angry and bite your children.

    You and many other loyalists on this site are always very willing to remind us of the danger of loyalists getting violent should they not get their way, either in a parade route or as you have done numerous times in the past, in the hypothetical situation of a democratic vote for a UI. I have to ask my self, Why?

  • Reader

    lamhdearg2 – I don’t think you were threatening anyone, but you will keep getting that accusation thrown at you until you learn to speak in code. SF are probably the experts at this. I agree that it’s a bit of a compromise of principles for someone who prefers plain speech, but it’s better than all these distractions and accusations.
    It goes like this: “Unreasonable demands/behaviour from xxxx are escalating local tensions, which could lead to an unfortunate reaction from irresponsible elements in the community”.
    The key points are (1) You don’t associate with irresponsible elements except maybe to show them the error of their ways; but (2) anyway, it’s all themmuns’ fault.

  • lamhdearg2

    Reader, I can take the accusations (water of a ) but you may have something, on their distractions,

    weidm7, no, what if we settle on, “‘I would hate to see the folk of Holywood exposed to the kind of intolerance we see”,

    JR,I am going against my nature here,but as you seem to take joy in pointing out my misspelling of names, Its Holywood.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    All I was saying was that if a group of Unionists were to mobilise and organise themselves in the same way Sinn Fein did with ‘residents groups’ in the mid-1990s, the GAA routinely provide enough IRA glorification, mob violence and sectarianism to make it quite easy for them to be ‘offended’ on a regular basis.

    Likewise with the Irish language and some other aspects of Irish ‘culture’.

    It would be a shame if that was the road we went down, but I fear the continued assaults on Ulster culture (from the IRA, SDLP, dissidents, Irish Nationalist media and catholic church) will eventually lead to a tit-for-tat response.

  • JR

    DDB,

    I hear if you wear a tinfoil hat it protects you from the sinn fein mind control rays produced when someone speaks Irish, but then someone with your expert knowledge, who has cracked the clever code we use to disguise IRA glorification, mob violence and sectarianism as games football and hurling would be aware of that.

    BTW, the GAA has been engaging with residents associations for decades, residents living near croke park for example get free tickets and agreements on the the maximum no of events per year.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    JR:
    BTW, the GAA has been engaging with residents associations for decades, residents living near croke park for example get free tickets and agreements on the the maximum no of events per year.

    I’m talking more about the residents who are banned from playing gaelic sports because of it’s backward, Nationalist ideologies and glorification of Irish terrorism.

    Like the protestants in Cregagh/Ravenhill, Carryduff and Kilkeel (among a host of other places) who routinely have this pro-IRA organisation foisted into their local community without any regard for the pain they endured at the hands of the IRA during The Troubles.

    There’s plenty to get offended about if people were that way inclined…

  • JR

    Well, there is always plenty to get offended by when you are inclined to make it up off the top of your head. I could also be highly offended by how these protestants march through a nationalist area burning catholic houses and eating babies as they go.

    As I say the tinfoil hat is your only man.

  • Ciarán Dunbar

    Interesting story from the BBC which adds a futher twist to the off-topic nature of this thread.

    “Breaking the Irish language barrier in east Belfast”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19715146

  • lamhdearg2

    Gallo,
    “How about an annual Thomas Begley Commemoration March down the Shankil road?”

    please point me to a mirror image of this coming from the loyal orders.

    Ciaran, sorry for this one, which I admit has nothing to do with Gaelic.

    Ciaran’s last, makes my first point better than I can, even in “loyalist areas” respect of a sort is shown to Gaelic culture, in other ” plu ” towns Gaelic folk are left alone to do their thing, loyal order parades are made to feel not welcome* in those towns/areas that are described as ” irish nationlist”,.

    deliberate understatement.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Ciaran, thanks for reminding us how tolerant Unionists are of minority culture in their areas.

    When can expect some reciprocation in predominantly nationalist (and neutral) areas??

  • Mick Fealty

    Boys, boys, boys…

    Way off topic. Keep it up and I’m going start with the cards… If you know nothing about Holywood, or the Gaelic culture/language you really don’t have to speak.

    LamhDearg,

    To your hypothetical threat. The Catholics of Holywood were generally safe living amongst their Protestant neighbours when some people seemed hell bent on wreaking death and destruction all around them.

    Why on earth do you think that that population would abandon this long term habit of tolerance at a time when life is much better for all of us?

    I recall one occasion when a bunch of lads came over from Kilcooley to ‘shut down’ the Sunday night disco on St Patricks Hall.

    There were twice the number of local regulars that night to meet them. Numbers had been swollen by a large number of local Protestant lads who helped chase these sectarian warriors from the town and then followed them 2 miles down the Bangor Road to make sure there was no possibility of any of them making it back.

    That’s what can happen when a single pluralist community is threatened from the outside. I’d say 30 years later under conditions of widespread peace, your hypothetical threat would stand very little chance of success.

    I understand very well the point you are trying to make. I also don’t believe you need a tin foil hat to detect a rather deceitful and divisive game at play.

    But you should find another thread to make it on.

  • galloglaigh

    Cough

  • BluesJazz

    How come the Catholics of Holywood felt safe having a British Army barracks slap bang in the middle of the village?

    Many nationalist commentators rant on here about they (squaddies) were a bunch of savage Calvinist sectarian killers egged on by the anti-Vatican ethos at Sandhurst and Colchester.
    But if anyone can find evidence of the occupants of Palace Barracks conducting a religious pogrom in the village maybe they would present it here.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s not in the middle. And it’s not a village.

  • BluesJazz

    And…btw… the Catholics of Ballykinler (over 90% of that village) didn’t seem to be that bothered either. Most of them worked on the camp. Obviously the ‘wrong sort’ of Catholics?

  • BluesJazz

    Mick
    It’s beside Sullivan Upper, less than a mile from High Street. Small town?

  • Mick Fealty

    Small town, or medium town is what it says on the sign on the way in. There’s the small matter of the Loughview estate between Sullivan and the Barracks.

    No matter, do you have a serious point to make?

  • BluesJazz

    do you have a serious point to make?

    Yep, It’s effectively a ‘garrison town’. The base must have played a significant part of life in the place. Various regiments must have socialised with the inhabitants and their children would have been schooled there.
    Or was the camp, like Castle Dracula, ignored and feared by the locals?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Mick,why didn’t you write your 7pm story on the Wee Rory,Olympics 2016 thread ?
    It might have helped deflect some of the vitriol directed at the lad from the ‘outraged’ usual suspects.

  • katinka

    Holywood was always a small town, and the army have been in the Palace Barracks for over 100 years. The barracks have provided employment, and the army has mixed well with the locals – until the Toubles anyway. When the Somerset Light Infantry left Holywood in 1912 (I think, someone I am sure can provide the exact year), local people waded out to the channel in Belfast Lough to bid them farewell. When the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment left Holywood, they left behind no less than 15 unmarried mothers (most of whom later married the fathers I am told). The Royal Sussex Regiment was given the Freedom of the City of Belfast (they were originally raided in Donegall Square). There has always been a happy relationship between the army in the Palace and the Kinnegar with the local people.

  • katinka

    Whoops…..not ‘raided’ in Donegall Square, but ‘raised’!

  • Mick Fealty

    Both, I’d say. Soldiers on furlough from being active duty were often not in the best of form. But no one was going to kill you for talking to them either.

    There were a fair amount of southern Catholics in the town who stayed on after war duty.

  • BluesJazz

    Army (garrison) towns or villages seem to develop a separate identity. Despite religion, given soldiers are not firebrand evangelicals. Anyone famililiar with Killyleagh (large ww2 contingent) will be familiar with this , maybe similar in Ballykelly. Lisburn is an obvious one. Ballykinler less so. Even if the Dundrum cricket team has excelled due to the nearby camp.

    As for Holywood, it’s generally middle class, employment at Camp Kinnegar, a mini Lisburn.

    A similar experience in Downpatrick, where sectarianism was an outside issue in a majority Nationalist town. Apart from one or two estates, no problems, even if orange parades have disintegrated. The main problem is drugs. *for the non grammar kids*. Otherwise Downpatrick and Ballynahinch are paragons of sublime (middle class )integration.