Friday, September 21, 2007

Allez Les Bleus!

I mentioned before, at the start of the present Rugby World Club, my profound indifference to the fate of the Republic of Ireland’s team.

Wished them no ill, but if "Standing up for the Irishmen" also entailed "Bending Over for the IRFU", then "Team Ireland" wasn’t really for me.

Others have expressed similar views and this particular episode has given the campaign for a Northern Ireland Rugby team a boost....

....which has been all a bit too much for some of the chaps that make up both the Ulster Rugby management and a section of the Ulster support.

And if you want a glimpse at how sanctimonious, patronising, supercilious, pompous, sneering and,yes, hypocritical a section of Ulster’s middle-class can be have a glimpse at a couple their letters here and here.

What is really getting the Chinless Wonders’ dander up is that people are increasingly asking why we should owe any loyalty to an organisation that treats us with such contempt. And if that leads to a Northern Ireland team, then so be it. But rather than building an effective counter-argument these pair of Home Counties Wannabes resort to sarcasm and snide asides about Northern Ireland football supporters....and racism and sectarianism are not two areas which the Ravers’ boys can take the moral high ground....allegedly.

Anyway, I’ve let these obnoxious twits (think that’s the right spelling) get to me.

So here’s my hope for tonight....France absolutely slaughter the "Boys in Green", a thumping, a humiliation, a good old-fashioned slaughter of biblical proportions.

Cue much wailing into Gin and Tonics and choking on canapes up in Cherryvalley and the various m/c "gated" communities throughout the province.


Chekov said...

I can see where your coming from O'Neill. Personally I will continue to support the team, but I was disgusted with the treatment of unionist fans and players over the Ravenhill episode. Personally my objection isn't the ommission of the National Anthem or Union Flag up here, it's the equivalents being flaunted in Dublin.

My only real counter argument would be that supporters don't follow a governing organisation, they follow a team.

As someone whose main passion is the Northern Ireland football team I can only be grateful for that! ;-)

No doubt you enjoyed that clampet Neil Francis's comments earlier in the week about Andrew Trimble being picked because of political correctness!

O'Neill said...

If I'm honest I've never felt that the Irish rugby team was *mine*, the same way that I do about the Ulster one, the Northern Ireland football team, the Ireland cricket team, the UK Olympic team for example. But I respected the right of those Unionists who did felt affinity towards it (David Tweed played for them ffs!).

My cousin was a big Ireland supporter and lives in one of those North Down coastal villages where it is definitely not *trendy* to walk round in your Ireland top. People like him have gone to Dublin, stood under a flag that wasn't their own and stood to attention to an anthem which wasn't their own...simply because they felt it was also their team.

The first opportunity that the IRFU has to return the favour, they stick 2 fingers up at people like my cousin and declare Belfast an "away" ground.

I also (while I'm on a rant!) especially despise people like Michael Robinson and "Bangor Bigot" who denigrate those of us who've raised the matter as a concern. Put up a counter-argument like you've done and I'll try to answer it or may be even coincide you're right.

Automatically label me a bigot just because I disagree with their worldview and I'll put them into exactly the same pocket I put those who resent people like me for our very existance on the island.

Anonymous said...

Good article there,
Being truthful about the situation i have never understood the logic of unionist who support an Ireland/Republic of Ireland Rugby/Cricket/etc team/s. How can you marry that with being a unionist. For one thing Ireland will never win anything anyway, so why do it. Like the aul Republican saying goes @its better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Ulster is and always has been different from the rest of this island. In much the same way as England and Scotland. I think it really is about time that these cross border undemocratic unelected bodies like the I.R.F.U went away. An N.I. Rugby team would be better beaten than a winning All Ireland team for many unionists.

Aonghus said...

It's sport at the end of the day, best leave politics out of it. As a Southerner I'm not sure if my opinions count here, but I'd happily stand to any anthem, with Ulster's improving form I'd expect to see a continuing increase in their player numbers on the Ireland team. Best chance we have of competing a la this year is with both ends of this Island playing together, and that doesn't mean anything politically in my opinion.

Gary said...

Aonghus, I don't doubt your sincerity mate. However, "leaving the politics out of it" is exactly what we all want! Unfortunately, it seems the IRFU won't let that happen.