Thursday, March 01, 2007
The Ireland-England rugby game took place last Saturday but the Irish media, obviously embittered at its inability to foresee a civilised reception of the Bruddish national anthem, has since decided to do a post-mortem on those unsporting types that dared to slag the Brits off the minute their national dirge floated across the airwaves. Apparently some wag in 'rugby great' Peter Clohessy's Limerick boozer had the idea to play the Wolfe Tones' 'God Save Ireland' while the lads in white were beating out their submission to their monarch live on screen. Those present at the time seemed to be sufficiently amused (and Seanachie would see it as a typically provincial, but funny joke). But, since a bit of bad publicity for 'the Claw' is unwelcome, Clohessy has vowed to discipline those staff members with a sense of humour. A similar thing happened in Seanachie's homestead of Ballymote, Co. Sligo, whose local website deplores one pub that dared to turn the volume down as 'Gawd Loves a Queen' was played. I can guess what pub it was but I am not really disturbed that the reaction was a muting of the dirge in question; to be honest, I would have expected a bit of lusty jeering.
These acts of insubordination are, no doubt, boorish in the extreme but the Irish have long been that way to each other without having had the opportunity to be so on such a mediatised scale towards the British. I fail to see the big story here as it is obvious that the fabled event of 'God Gave the Queen' being played at Croker did not spark off a renewed wave of anglophobia. But there was no real surprise there. Barring a few unfortunate exceptions, English people are generously welcomed in Ireland these days, and the perception of the Irish in England has seen a corresponding improvement. That does not, however, mean that we should be forbidden from engaging in a bit of banter whenever it need be; I have yet to start cheering for England in football and my English friends accept this with resigned laughter, but that does not translate into racism or an insult to our neighbours. The Irish should not be forced into apologising for their past any more than the English should be, and in any case, the foreigners at the brunt of most hostility and disgraceful abuse in Ireland these days are certainly not English. I will leave you all with Langerland's very funny 'What did the Brits ever do for us?'. Or does that make me a racist too? (I wish to point out that neither Seanachie nor Underachievement plc. endorses criticism of the British crown, the Windsor (né Hanover) family nor any or its dependencies by reproduction of this cartoon).