Monday, February 25, 2008

Rangers lecture Dublin fans on sectarianism

This is not the usual type of post you read on here, but hopefully you'll find the story behind it interesting/funny/outrageous....

It comes from an article by Colin Coyle in the (Irish)Sunday Times which is unfortunately not online, so I'll just quote the relevant pieces:
Supporting Glasgow Rangers in Dublin must fell like living behind enemy lines.

But when 35-strong Dublin Rangers Supporters' Club raised a banner bearing that inscription at a recent match against Falkirk at Ibrox stadium, police ordered them to remove their "sectarian" banner.

The flag, which bears the legend Behind Enemy Lines, along with the Rangers crest and the Scottish and St. George's Cross flags, was confiscated at the match on the instructions of police, for fear of it inticing sectarian hatred.

The 20 travelling Irish supporters, who claim they have fallen foul of political correctness, were warned by stewards not to display the flag at subsequent matches. Steve Clark, co-founder of the supporters' club said the reference is a tongue-in-cheek allusion to supporting the club in a city dominated by fans of Glasgow Celtic, Rangers' greatest rivals.

"Its a cheeky bit of fun, nothing more. It has nothing to do with the troubles or bigotry," he said. "We flew the banner against hearts in December and previously at an away match in Barcelona and had no problems, so we were very disappointed by the police's stance.

Actually, slight correction, as you can see here, it's the Cross of St Patrick not that of St George on the banner:

You can read more about the Dublin Loyal and their campaign to have the banner reinstated at Ibrox on their website here(the photo originally came from there also).

A bit more from the article:
In a statement, Glasgow Rangers said it fully supported the police's decision to remove the banner. Rangers fans in Dublin already live a surreptitious existence meeting at a private members club to watch matches.

"We have normal working-class Dubliners in the club, with no links to Glasgow, but none of us would wear a Rangers jersey in a Dublin pub, as it's asking for trouble," said Clark. "If we're attending a Rangers-Celtic match, we fly out of Belfast, where wearing a Rangers jersey is more acceptable and less likely to lead to a confrontation."


And here was the actual reply sent by Rangers FC to their Dublin fans:
The club position on this banner and the position of many others I have spoken to is that this slogan is not humorous at all and reflects back to the period of trouble in Ireland and such references are not welcome in our club.

It is not reasonable to suggest that you could be arrested for cracking a joke. In fact it is patently ridiculous. No one has ever been arrested or banned for this at our stadium. People are arrested for breaking the law and have the right to dispute this in court.

In relation to the slogan in question can you tell me where the humour is? Also can you tell me who the enemy are? Finally where are the enemy lines referred to in this slogan. Many objective observers would ask the same questions.

I regret I can be of no further assistance to you on this subject.

I also don't think the slogan is that funny, but come on, Rangers need to get a grip here...compared to what else can be seen and heard at Old Firm games (and material sold outside the ground), it's pretty harmless, if a bit infantile.

Anyway, as is usually the case with this kind of episode, the whole thing has now a momentum of its own with a petition backing the "Dublin 20" with thousands of supporters signing it. And The Dublin Loyal's St Patrick's Night Bash ("Celebrating what's best in Ireland") will no doubt now be a sell-out.

13 comments:

beano said...

Just out of curiosity, was this the Irish version of the Sunday Times or the Sunday version of the Irish Times?

O'Neill said...

The Irish version of the Sunday Times, two Sundays ago. I've tried googling it to no avail, I've no idea why, most of Coyle's other articles come up.

Kloot said...

"The Irish Times" doesnt do a sunday unfortunately.

These lads have their own site and all... http://www.dublinloyal.com/

A friend of mine was an ROI friendly a while back and two lads behind him were wearing Celtic jerseys. Scotland were playing that day as well and my mate heard the score on the radio. Scotland were up.

My mate, being a Bohs fan turns around to the two lads and congratulates them on their team doing well, they were a goal up. the two lads with dub accents asked him what he meant, it was nill all in the ROI game, and my mate says "No, Scotland, their a goal up". Too which the two lads return with "But im not Scottish".. my mate apologises and tells them it was the jerseys that threw him...

That sounded much more funnier with a few pints in me.. But anyway

Chekov said...

I had a modicum of sympathy for these lads until I found out they take trips to support Linfield in the Setanta Cup. Why? Any hun will do?

O'Neill said...

Kloot,
This article had the best ever picture of a "Scottish/Irish/not quite sure what I am really" Celtic fan!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/02/25/srfron25.xml

Chekov
The Blues will, no doubt, claim it as further proof of their cross-community, hands across the border appeal!!

Kloot said...

This article had the best ever picture of a "Scottish/Irish/not quite sure what I am really" Celtic fan!

Yeah that one is a classic.. Some people really dont get irony

geomac1 said...

Good to see it's not just Scotland that has these idiot Celtic fans. In Scotland we have the fake 10th generation removed Irish, singing their songs of Irish freedom and hatred for Britain and the Monarch, all the while taking government handouts and holding a British passport. Half of whom have probably never been to Ireland. As far as I'm aware the borders are open and have been for many years, why dont they just "go home", perhaps then Scotland would rid itself of it's sectarian problem. FYI, I am a proud Scot and Brit who is engaged to a real, born and bred Dubliner and will be moving to Dublin with her in a few years and will be joining Dubin Loyal myself. Good luck getting the banner back boys.

wildgoose said...

I'm surprised there was no comment at the cross of St Patrick (the old Irish flag) being described as a "cross of St George".

O'Neill said...

I mentioned that in the original post.

Anonymous said...

got to say, im absolutely gutted. Currently running a little spread bet which included Rangers doing this quadruple the blue half of Glasgow have been talking about. Looks like the value of my £10 initial bet will have diminished significantly after last nights performance....

O'Neill said...

You have my greatest respect at being to even understand how to put a spread bet on, I've just about learnt how to work out a treble!

FP said...

Anyone who can fathom the compulsion of Irish fans to wave national flags or related regalia at British club games has my utmost respect.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see Irish lads supporting who they like. Just wondering do the working-class Dubs follow the Republic of Ireland national team?