Filed Under: Irishify Sport

Yes! We’re all individuals!


And so, of course, we are all entitled to our own points of view. But[1] sometimes don’t you think it’d be easier if we all thought the same way[2] Wouldn’t it make life so much easier? Think about it. No more contentious issues such as “who should we vote for” never mind “whose god is better” because we’d all agree[3] Think how many wars and deaths we’d prevent if we all just got along, or at the very least pretended to get along. For the sake of the children[4] But alas, and indeed alack, this future of agreement, harmony and living happily every after is probably[5] never going to happen.

You only have to look at the passions being raised over the Ireland V England rugby match to realise that peoples don’t agree with peoples.

I know, you[6] are thinking, sure it is only a rugby match, what is there to disagree over? The quick answer is a bloody lot.

First off there is the whole idea of anything but GAA being played at Croker. Where else would you have an amateur sporting organisation coming to the aid of the two main professional sporting bodies and letting them use its venue. But this can pretty much be ignored. This argument was had before the French came and stole our thunder. No, this argument rests squarely with the fact that it is damned English that are coming.

After all we all recall the Martin Johnson incident, don’t we? Where he and his ebil henchmen came and stood in the wrong position. Breaking protocol and forcing our president to walk off the red carpet, and on to the grass![7] Imagine that. Her excellency forced to walk on the green sod itself. Horrific.

We have long memories here in Ireland, so we do. That’ll never be forgotten. You hear Mr[8] Johnson, never!

But of course the real reason for objections is the fact that the anthem God Save The Queen will be played. In the very grounds where the british army shot dead 14 Irish people, including one of the players[9] Don’t forget that Hill 16 was built out of the rubble of the 1916 destruction. It is sacred ground, because the GAA is much more than a sporting organisation. It is a way of life, and a cultural identifier[10] and to have the “enemy’s anthem” played there shows a serious lack of respect.

According to some people.

Me, I tend to disagree. After all isn’t rugby one place where we have a united Ireland? And isn’t it said that sport is war by other means[11] so surely some people should see it as a good thing. Ireland united against the English.

I’m going to be totally honest here. I don’t like the English anthem. And I don’t like the Union Jack. And I cannot give you a rational explanation for that, I just dislike them. Cultural hatred or summat. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t stand for both. Or for the English Queen.[12] because just like our president is a representative of Ireland, so is the Queen a symbol of England. And in this day and age, surely we can be mature enough to respect the English anthem as it is a symbol of the English people of today. Not of 10 years ago. And not of 800 years ago.

A sense of history is important. No denying that. But so too is learning from the past and moving on.

Course, we don’t live in my personal dictatorship[13] so you can have your own opinions and express them too.

Edited to add:
elsewhereblogs are saying:

  • It’s only a game – In Fact, Ah
  • England go back to school – Ireland rugby.com
  • A Hain, a wreath and the first Bloody Sunday – The Poor Mouth
  • God save wikipedia – blankpaige
  • God Save All Of Us From This Nonsense – Tom’s Sporting Almanac
  • Six Nations Tipping part 3 – In fact, ah
  • Linknotes:
    1. how obvious was it that a but was coming? rank the obvious factor out of ten please
    2. that way being my way, needless as this is to add
    3. the answers being 1- you should all vote for me and 2- my god is bestest of them all
    4. Oh won’t somebody think of the children
    5. you can never rule everything out
    6. you furrin types anyway
    7. if this was a podcast you’d be able to hear the squawk of outrage at that
    8. whether he deserves this title I’m not sure, but I will be polite
    9. origin of the name of the Hogan Stand
    10. to get serious for the slightest of slight moments, this is true. Or at least was true
    11. okay, so that saying is actually war is politics by other means, but whateveh
    12. Id sit for the princes and rest of the royals though. Not a big fan of royalty
    13. mores the pity
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    9 Comments

  • Harlequin
    20 February 2007 - 12:17 am | Permalink

    I agree with the first way o'thinking. And I don't care what that makes me. It's how I feel. It's like that song "I don't wanna get over you" (great song btw, did I ever force you to listen to it? Look up the lyrics) I don't wanna get over being bitter and a bit bigoted. I don't wanna. I just don't. I'm not going to do anything about it – I don't hate individual English people or plot assassinations or anything. It's just all too bloody recent and still going on and the PATRONISING ATTITUDES argh. And I'm reading Star of the Sea so now I'm seething over the Famine again.

    And also?

    They gave me food poisoning. The bastards.

  • 20 February 2007 - 12:24 am | Permalink

    The first way being that nothing but GAA should be played in Croke Park? That makes you plain silly as you aren't a GAA person.
    Or is it simply the fact that it is the English, in which case it makes you insecure and wallowing in your own victimhood. Whereas I, as a confident Irish person can see any superiority as simply inferiority and shake it off.
    Plus, we've bombed and killed them a lot more recently that they've bombed us. Iffin you regard the IRA as Irish.
    Ples the English rugby team were the only ones who came at the height of the troubles, all d'others wouldn't travel on account of the violence. And they had the good grace to lose too.

  • 20 February 2007 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Sport these days is one of the few avenues where people get passionate about their countries or nationalities. Or rather, sport is the only time certain peoples are allowed to wave flags without being seen as racist or provoking racial tension.
    I don't know what it's like in Ireland but here, the English flag seemingly can only be displayed when the English football or rugby team are about play in international competition; any other time it's displayed, people complain about it.
    When I worked in Sweden, the yellow and blue of the Swedish flag was everywhere, proper flags on flagpoles in people's gardens etc. Imagine if it were the St George's Flag or even the Union Jack flying in someone's garden here – it wouldn't last two minutes before there'd be a court order to remove it…

  • 20 February 2007 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Weenie, it used to be that if you flew an Irish flag it meant you supported the IRA. But since the days of Jack Charlton and the football glories it is okay to fly the flag.
    But it is only around sporting occasions that we fly the flag, don't think anyone'd display it as some sort of patriotic gesture without the rational of supporting a team.

    But that is history and the past for you.

  • 20 February 2007 - 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Well… I'll be cheering the Irish this weekend. Which tends to show that (my) (sporting) loyalties are fickle, doesn't it.

  • Harlequin
    20 February 2007 - 6:41 pm | Permalink

    "But of course the real reason for objections is the fact that the anthem God Save The Queen will be played. In the very grounds where the british army shot dead 14 Irish people, including one of the players[9] Don’t forget that Hill 16 was built out of the rubble of the 1916 destruction. It is sacred ground, because the GAA is much more than a sporting organisation. It is a way of life, and a cultural identifier[10] and to have the “enemy’s anthem” played there shows a serious lack of respect.

    According to some people.

    Me, I tend to disagree."

    "I agree with the first part" being I agree with the first paragraph that I just quoted there. There are a million billion other songs that can be sung. Or no songs at all. Besides, the Queen ain't gonna be there so why not sing Jerusalem or summat else.

  • 20 February 2007 - 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Be as fickle as you want Anne, once you support Ireland :) I cannot reciprocate however, we need France to lose in order to win the Championship.

    Harlequin – Ah, I see.

    But why should the English play any anthem but their anthem? GSTQ is usually accepted as the English anthem despite some websites, so why shouldn't they sing it? Could you imagine if we were playing in England and they asked us not to play ours? (although we don't use the national anthem for away rugby matches, but that is a whole nother reason.)

  • 21 February 2007 - 12:18 am | Permalink

    Okay, this actually brings up a contentious issue outside Ireland as well. God Save The Queen is not the "English" anthem. It's the British National Anthem (not that most of us want it). England just use it. Really they should have their own anthem the same as the Scots and Welsh, and to be fair most England fans feel the same way.

  • 21 February 2007 - 12:24 am | Permalink

    Aye Alan, that's why I linked to this site: http://anthem4england.co.uk/ in my previous comment.
    But, for the purposes of the Irish English match we'll have to accept GSTQ as the English anthem, unless someone writes one damn quick :)

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