That James McClean

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Picture by Jared192

James McClean is in the news again. He turned briefly to one side when the British national anthem was played in the United States recently, and he’s been vilified by sections of the press and public since.

I always think it’s good to get these things in perspective. The McKenna Cup Final was a Gaelic football game  played in 2012 between Armagh and Tyrone. It was notable for the fact that First Minister Peter Robinson attended it. On the BBC website NI sports reporter Mark Sidebottom is reported as saying that Mr  Robinson took his seat just after the throw-in. Thus avoiding the opportunity to stand for the Irish national anthem. Was that disrespectful? If James McClean had stayed in the dug-out until the end of the English national anthem, would that have been disrespectful?

If you watch the clip of the incident, McClean is shown turning sideways for at most three seconds, then a logo of both teams blanks him out. For all we know he may have been  checking to locate a contact lens or seeing that his boots were properly laced.

Besides, consider McClean’s background. He comes from the Creggan in Derry City.  It’d be fair to describe it as a strongly republican area. So it’s hardly surprising that he takes the uncompromising stance he does. When he refused to wear the poppy on his shirt some years ago, he said “It would be seen as an act of disrespect to those people, to my people” (He’s referring, of course, to the fourteen people shot dead in daylight by the forces of law and order in his city, and for which no one has ever spent a day in prison. Some involved, in  fact, have received promotion.) “I am very proud of where I come from” McClean goes on, “and I just cannot do something that I believe is wrong. In life, if you’re a man you should stand up for what you believe in.”

There have been tweeters who’ve damned McClean for disrespect of the English national anthem while being willing to accept English wages. Does that mean all those working in England, from bricky to Russian oligarch, will have to take the anthem test?  I’d have thought the matter of wages and work were a matter  for McClean and West Brom (who incidentally have not fined or punished him for his action. McClean responded to their support by scoring the opening goal in West Brom’s 2-1 win on Sunday against the Richmond Kickers).

When I was a growing lad, they used to play ‘God Save The Queen’ after a film in the local cinema. Half the audience would stand stock still and half the audience who head for the exit, if necessary vaulting over rows of seats to do so. That practice of playing ‘God Save The Queen’ has been happily discontinued. Myself, I’d abolish all national anthems before or after all sporting events – particularly in the Olympic Games. Sport should help us celebrate our common humanity, rather than running up flags or erecting musical walls between us.

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77 Responses to That James McClean

  1. neill July 21, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    In farness I was wondering when you would bring this up.

    In my own experience if I am in a country and their National anthem is played I stand up and show respect for it its just common courtesy.

    McClean is a foolish young man who is advised very badly he has aggravated some West Brom fans already and made his life harder for himself for no good reason.

    If he cant show some simple courtesy and respect towards England then why does he ply his trade there?

    At least he will be able to watch N Ireland in the Euros next summer from the comfort of his own home….

    • Jude Collins July 21, 2015 at 9:45 am #

      Oh well done, neill – sliding the old stiletto home with that last sentence. Maybe that’s what it’s all about – that McClean chose to play for the south rather than the north?

      • neill July 21, 2015 at 9:47 am #

        No he seems to be a really immature man who does his best to annoy people

        • Jude Collins July 21, 2015 at 10:54 am #

          Odd that this 3-sec event has created such a stir but the annual burning of another flag elicits little or no sense of outrage. I wonder why.

          • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

            “but the annual burning of another flag elicits little or no sense of outrage. I wonder why”

            Couldn’t have put it better myself Jude.

  2. Cal July 21, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    McClean should be allowed to do his job and let that be that. If in my employment, it was demanded that I wear a Poppy and stand to attention for GSTQ, I’d be straight to an employment tribunal.

    McClean is a footballer, let him play football and get on with his life without the continual harassment of bigots.

    • neill July 21, 2015 at 9:51 am #

      Imagine if an Ulster Rugby player playing for Ireland did what McClean did would you accept it?

      • Loughinisland July 21, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

        They had to make up another anthem Ireland’s Call to keep them happy.

        • neill July 21, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

          To keep them happy how wonderfully generous

      • Cal July 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

        That’s not a valid comparison. Irish Rubgy internationals volunteer to represent their country so I would find it strange if they disrespected their countrymen.

        A valid comparison would be Ulster Rugby forcing all their players to stand for GSTQ before every club match.

        It wouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t happen. McClean is an employee under contract and has the same employment rights as everyone else, including not having flags and Poppies shoved down his throat.

        • neill July 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

          Sorry if it says in his contract he will not embarrass his club he has broken it some clubs would have fired him already.

          That’s not a valid comparison. Irish Rubgy internationals volunteer to represent their country so I would find it strange if they disrespected their countrymen.

          A valid comparison would be Ulster Rugby forcing all their players to stand for GSTQ before every club match.

          Wrong many ulster players have had to stand and respect the Irish National anthem they were not given the choice! If they hadn’t done so they wouldn’t have been allowed to play

      • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

        That’s not a good comparison Neill, for a number of reasons:

        1. James McClean hasn’t opted to represent England nor is he representing the English international team

        2. I’m assuming no where in James McCleans contract does it state he had to stand to the English national anthem nor would he have had good reason to be expected to stand to the English national anthem.

        3. Those who opted to represent the Irish rugby team did so of their own free will, they are not forced to and a new national anthem “Irelands Call” was made specifically so it promotes a more neutral environment for people from a Unionist background here in the North.

        4. Again, those opting to represent the Irish international team would know standing to the Irish national anthem when playing in Dublin (that’s the only time its played, again to promote a neutral environment for those from a Unionist background) was all part of being in the Irish national team. I personally wouldn’t take offence if a Unionist rugby player objects to standing to the Irish national anthem and opted to wait in the dug-out instead, maybe this is what James McClean should have done to avoid the media hype.

  3. Iolar July 21, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    Rest assured, no one in the Windsor family will lose any sleep about the implications of welfare cuts. One of the family was recently interviewed about his role as a helicopter pilot. We were informed, he does not need the £40,000 salary and will donate it to charity. Sligo County Council is in the red following the most recent royal visit. Dig outs are out of the question, wow.

    Today, apologists for the Tory party cast aspersions on welfare recipients in West Belfast, Derry and Strabane, areas of high social and economic deprivation. Other pundits are predicting a suspension of the Assembly on full or half pay. Be assured, elected representatives will not be asked to take unpaid leave, as the battle between those for austerity and those against austerity is waged in the corridors of power. Who will blink first? We will not have to wait for the next ‘honours’ list in order to find out who will turn their backs on a system that continues to concentrate wealth into the hands of a few individuals and families and those who insist on making life harder for the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

  4. Bridget Cairns July 21, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    Disrespect for flag, religion, culture, language, sports, and anything else that could be considered Irish, endemic in the six counties during my 64 years on earth. Not a word about it and what of the annual hate fest disguised (poorly) as culture which exposes the truth of the complete disrespect that the orange state has for almost half of the inhabitants.

    • neill July 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Ah if it was so bad why didn’t you leave Bridget or do you just like moaning?

      • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

        Why should she leave her home Neill? I could pose the exact same question to you Neill, since your not the biggest fan of Irishness or Irish culture, why choose to live on the island of Ireland? Most Unionists like yourself Neill descend from the colonies and plantations that came here to live on stolen land in the 1600’s, so it would be far more valid for someone to ask you and others like you to leave and go home? But unlike you Neill I wont resort to the logic of a Loyalist off their head on glue and buckfast on an 11th July “culture” binge….

        • neill July 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

          Sorry it wasn’t stolen land your tribe rebelled and the land was forfeited over the years your tribe has tried to evict us with no success whatsoever if I were you I would give it up.

          As for logic you would be amongst the last people I would speak to in regards to defining what logic means…

          • Pointis July 23, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

            Forfeit, stolen, evict ……….all relative!

  5. Séamus Ó Néill July 21, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Oh what a song and dance ( no pun intended ) about approx 3 seconds of alleged disrespectful behaviour. A few weeks ago ,my national flag was flown as a prank , from a building bedecked with symbols of Unionism and British Imperialism …..hyperventilation and coronaries everywhere , a virtual witch-hunt was imediately instigated…..a week ago , that same flag and the flags of other nations ,effigies of politicians , religious symbolism etc etc were burned on the pyres of sectarianism , followed the next day by the blatant and very intentional disrespect of the Catholic people and their places of worship…..response from Unionism , rud ar bith, zilch , nothing …….before anyone lectures anyone else about respect and common courtesies it might be beneficial if they would learn ,even the bare minimum , themselves

  6. RJC July 21, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    ‘Re: James McLean – General rule for life, the people trying to make someone salute a flag against their will are not often the good guys.’

  7. billy July 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    then theres that framton with the n.i.badge on the back of his shorts,good advert when he landed on them,

    • neill July 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

      Don’t worry Billy you will seeing lots of N.I badges at the Euros not to many from the ROI though….

      • Ceannaire July 21, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

        Fat lady sings and all that, Neill. If I were you I would wait until the qualifications are over before making boasts like that.

        • neill July 21, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

          Well we have a better chance of qualifying than the Republic I am sure you would conceed!

      • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

        Don’t speak too soon Neill. If NI make it to the euros you should cherish the moment, it’ll be about 30 years till you see them there again, that’s if the statelet of NI even exists by then….

        • neill July 21, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

          Oh we will still exist hopefully you will still be living here happily

  8. Emmet July 21, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    No issue at all here! What is the story? A national from another country stood respectfully during an national anthem. It happens at every International match I have ever seen. Look at the picture the team look bored, the guy two places back is doing stretches! This is a non-story. It is getting a bit like nazi Germany, next we’ll be seeking out spectators who aren’t singing. I would be over the moon if we could get a DUP to stand with such respect during Amhran na bhFiann.

    • William July 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

      Anyone with an ounce of decency [including DUP members I’d say] would stand, as I’ve done often for the Irish National Anthem, when it’s played in the Republic of Ireland or at an event where the ROI International team of any sport or team from that country is playing and the organisers play anthems. It’s not difficult to show respect, but McClean has never shown decency…from playing for NI Youth to get recognition and then opting to play for the ROI International team, to his episodes in not wearing a soccer shirt with an embroidered poppy on it. He forgets that the Poppy remembers those who ensured his freedom from tyranny that enables hime to be a bigot and show disrespect.

      • Jude Collins July 21, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

        If you haven’t noticed that in Ireland the poppy represents much more than you’ve listed, you haven’t been paying attention for some time. As for playing for NI Youth and then opting to play for ROI – I thought that was within the rules. Have they changed them? Just as an afterthought: how do you feel about Peter Robinson staying off-stage until the Irish national anthem was played before going to his seat at that GAA game in 2012? What would you have said if J McC had lurked in the dug-out and then joined his team-mates? Sauce for the – you know the rest.

      • Emmet July 22, 2015 at 8:20 am #

        He stood for the anthem.and showed respect- are we really turning into fascists? Since when do people have to face the flag. the announcements usually say please stand for teh national anthem of … I have never heard please stand and make sure you look at the flag. I ‘d love to see some DUP standing for the Irish national anthem, can you supply some evidence of this? If you can’t you may have to reassess the level of decency you assume the DUP have William. The world is going crazy and I am getting very depressed thinking about it.

        • William July 22, 2015 at 10:45 am #

          I know quite a number of people, some of them who be DUP supporters, who travel to Dublin to watch the Ireland Rugby team play at Landsdown Road. It’s a common courtesy, irrespective of the hatred in the words of the Republic’s national anthem and the part played by many within their Government, Gardai and of their citizens who supported and supplied equipment to the IRA and other Republican terrorists to kill innocent Protestants/Soldiers/Police etc in their quest for a united Ireland.

          It may have escaped your attention that the diehard Republicans in Irish Rugby insisted that the British Lions [note: British being a geographical term] be renamed the British and Irish Lions, whilst anytime an International is played at Ravenhill, they insist that the National Anthem wouldn’t be played and the Ulster Rugby Council has caved in to their demands.

          • Emmet July 23, 2015 at 7:50 am #

            I am not talking about DUP supporters! You definitely said DUP members.
            “Anyone with an ounce of decency [including DUP members I’d say]”
            Are you back pedalling now William or do you stand by your statement? Do you have any evidence of the government or Gardai arming the IRA? I have never followed rugby so no interest in what anthem is used (I don’t know any republicans never mind die hard republicans that follow rugby either).

            What’s common courtesy? Facing a flag? I think James McClean showed common courtesy. Fascism seems to be alive and well.

  9. ANOTHER JUDE July 21, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Why was it even played, surely the national anthems are only played before internationals?

    • Jude Collins July 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Apparently Americans are big into national anthem before games, so I guess WBA rowed in behind

  10. William July 21, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    McClean is a bigot and hates everything British…his Solicitor concocted to letter to Wigan Chief Whelan was accepted by the Chairman from a Irish Nationalist background, but like the Irish owned Sunderland, he soon got rid of the problem, by selling this idiot to West Bromwich. I’m sure that many folk from nearby Birmingham will recall the Bombings in their city with 21 dead and no Inquiry, no convictions, no £200 million spent on an Inquiry and show McClean what they think of him. Tony Pulis, the Baggies Manager has already laid down the law to the bigot and I’d guess his days are numbered at West Brom. There’s probably an opening for him at Finn Harps in Ballybofey, it will be near his sink estate in Creggan and he’ll still be able to run around with the scumbags he always did, such as the one he visited in Magilligan Prison, a year or so ago.

    • M Moore July 21, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

      Would you stand to attention for Amhrán na Bhfiann William? And why so much hate directed towards a footballer, why are you so afraid of his views?

    • Belfastdan July 21, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      I am sure William James McClean’s solicitor will be delighted to hear you accuse him of concocting a letter in order for the player to change clubs,

      Would you be so good as to enlighten us and provide some evidence for your accusation?

      • William July 22, 2015 at 10:48 am #

        I never said his Solicitor concocted a letter for this bigot to change clubs. He was obviously involved in the letter that Dave Whelan the Wigan Chairman got explaining McClean’s reasons for not wearing a shirt with an embroidered poppy on it. I may that assumption due to ther being quite a lot of big words in the letter that McClean wouldn’t be too aware of, giving his intellectual capabilities displayed so far.

        • Emmet July 23, 2015 at 7:55 am #

          And you are a poppy fascist as well! I would never make it mandatory to wear an Easter Lilly to commemorate Ireland’s dead. When you are forced to wear a ‘sign of respect’ it isn’t really respect anyway. British soldiers died in WW2 fighting fascism and standing up for freedom (according to the British legion), the idea of forcing people to wear poppies isn’t a characteristic of a free society and is very fascist.

        • Pointis July 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

          That is the mark of someone who cannot form their own convincing argument to resort to personal slander and abuse!

    • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

      Quite a rant there William, do you feel any better?….

    • ANOTHER JUDE July 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

      William, would you stand in respect to the hunger strikers or IRA volunteers? Of course not. The fact is the British national anthem is a militaristic jingoistic glorification of past slaughters and Derry witnessed such a slaughter by those very same forces of the crown. Your rant about Birmingham would make more sense if you were to mention other bombings from that year, bombings a bit closer to home, Dublin and Monaghan.

  11. Ryan July 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    Everyone knows James McCleans views. He refused to wear the poppy (as is his right), hes an Irish republican to the core and he’s from a city/part of Ireland that saw thousands of his people murdered/maimed by the British Army, either directly or through collusion with the British States terror groups such as the UVF, UDA, MRF, etc.

    So, all those expressing fake shock at his refusal to respect the British national anthem really should grow up. The only criticism I would have is James should’ve refused to stand there at all or just waited in the dug-out in order to avoid media hype and videos of him being shared around social media.

    I admire James McClean, mind my language but it does take balls to stand up for your beliefs, especially when your playing in Britain itself and a lot of your team mates (not to mention opponents) are British themselves and might not understand your views- or be willing to respect them. That environment, needless to say, would not be pleasant but I think ultimately James McClean might play for Celtic or play for team here in Ireland like Shamrock Rovers or Derry city in the future.

    I must say I did have a hearty laugh when none other than the DUP’s Gregory Campbell came out to criticize James McClean for his “lack of respect”. Poor Gregory, he would get a Gold medal easily at the Olympics if Hypocrisy was a Sport. Who could forget his antics when it came to the Irish language and his “respect” for it? Your better off staying quiet Gregory, after all, you are a certain age, better to get a few relatives to show the media the door….

  12. sarah m July 21, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    yes, Americans do play national anthems before most sporting events particularly since 9/11 but the row about a player possibly disrespecting the British national anthem is really interesting. Did anyone bother to see if any of the Richmond Kickers were paying attention? I didn’t see the game but I have noticed that when anthems are played, players generally are doing anything but standing in rapt attention. They’re thinking about the game.

  13. Belfastdan July 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

    Nice to see Neil’s suggestion as to what nationalists should have done under decades of Unionist misrule – Leave! Sure isn’t that what they would have wanted a nice Fenian free zone.

    As for James McClean, as long as he does the business on the pitch I am sure most West Brom fans will not worry too much about his politics. However the Belfast Telegraph is doing its level best to hype this non story, Along with the “taigs are benefit scroungers” stories the BT, no doubt in order to arrest its plummeting sales, is becoming more like the “Protestant Telegraph” every day.

    • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      “Nice to see Neil’s suggestion as to what nationalists should have done under decades of Unionist misrule – Leave! Sure isn’t that what they would have wanted a nice Fenian free zone”

      I think that was the overall agenda of Unionist misrule, make it so unpleasant for Catholics that they would leave and “go back down south” even though the planters themselves came from Scotland….

      I remember a news story that was out last year about Ian Paisley Snr and Peter Robinson in the 1980’s meeting with American multi nationals and asking them to NOT invest in Northern Ireland. Why? Well Peter refused to explain why but I think we can all guess/speculate with accuracy. Well Paisley’s logic was, in many Catholics opinions including my own, if American Multi nationals came to Northern Ireland they wouldn’t discriminate against Catholics and would hire them.

  14. M Moore July 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    To be honest I find the attitude of Gregory Campbell very sinister in all of this. It’s as if he has a personal vendetta against James McClean and in turn any Nationalist opposition to British rule. Also his choice of words like paymasters is very telling.

  15. Bridget Cairns July 21, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

    Neil, your response to my post is a lazy attempt to put me down. It is up there with the teenager who screams at the parent “I didn’t asked to be born”. Your response does zilch to assist in understanding differences, au contraire, it rather exposes a denial on your part of systematic discrimination over many years, manifested in multiple ways in plain black & white. My question for you Neil is this, why do loyalists, unionists, protestants, have this incessant need to remind themselves that they are British. Is that a sign of a deep seated fear of not being accepted as such.

  16. neill July 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Bridget the bottom line is this you are a republican and I am an unionist you want to see the destruction of N. Ireland I don’t. So why should I show any kindness to people who want to take my homeland away from me?

    • ANOTHER JUDE July 22, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Join the club…….

    • Pointis July 22, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

      Neill, nobody wants to take your homeland away from you! They just want to eradicate bigotry, the sectarian entity which was created and named by the British as ‘Northern Ireland’ would therefore disappear but you would still be here with the rest of us enjoying your equality!

    • RJC July 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

      See, it’s language like ‘Destruction of N Ireland’ and ‘take my homeland away from me’ that makes Unionism so often seem completely unhinged. Using language like ‘homeland’ also leaves you open to accusations of eh, those people the young Queen was saluting.

      I consider myself a republican. By that, I think that Ireland should be a self-governing 32 county republic. Liberté, égalité, fraternité and all that. This doesn’t involve the destruction of anything, nor of taking anyone’s, eh ‘homeland’ away from them. What is it about that you find so unreasonable, Neill?

      • neill July 22, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

        Oh good grief man show some awareness a 32 county state would mean the end of N Ireland why would a unionist support a 32 state Republic?

        • RJC July 22, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

          I dunno Neill, you tell me. Why don’t Unionists support a 32 county Republic? Do you not consider yourselves capable of running your own affairs?

          • neill July 23, 2015 at 10:21 am #

            Because I would have no affinity for that state or its culture fairly straightforward RJC

        • Emmet July 23, 2015 at 7:57 am #

          Could be a federal Ireland with the 6 counties as state within the nation of Eire?

  17. Pointis July 22, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    James McClean, did nothing to apologise for! The English National Anthem should not have been played at the friendly club game. Whoever decided to have it played needs to apologise to anyone who was embarrassed and to James McClean in particular for placing him in this compromising position.

  18. James July 22, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Neill, nobody wants to take your ‘homeland’ away from you, you are living in Ireland now, you will still be living in Ireland in the future. Better get used to it Neill, this is as good as it gets for those of a unionist persuasion..

    • neill July 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

      No I live in Northern Ireland not the Republic we exist and we will always exist get used to it!

  19. Wolfe tone July 22, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    James mc clean has successfully highlighted the continued rise of English/British fascism. To be continually be forced fed to accept their displays of jingoism and superiority is nazi like.
    The saddest thing about all this is the deafening silence of prominent ‘irish people’ in supporting Mr Mc Clean. The poor lad is on his own when it comes to moral support. That in my opinion explains why ireland has allowed itself to be torn apart and used by its abusers, be they planter stock, royalty stock,banker stock and even stock aikien and Waterman! The country is full of yellow streaked people who would be quick to jump on you if you offended perfidious Albion. Heck they even made excuses for the genocide by airbrushing over by calling it a potato famine. Pathetic. ‘Cherishing all the children of the nation equally’? No, I pity all of the children equally.

  20. Bridget Cairns July 22, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

    Neil, you seem to know a lot about me which I find interesting if not a little perturbing. However, your use of the word “Republican” and “destruction” in the same sentence suggests that you are deeply uncomfortable with the present arrangements i.e the GFA.
    Your “homeland” happens to be mine as well & I have no wish to take anything from you. I think the plantation of Ulster, took away others “homeland”. It must be very difficult having to share this piece of ground on the basis of fairness and democracy, a concept, I know, foreign to some.

  21. Neill July 22, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

    In fairness and democracy what part of that covers the IRA campaign at least you seem to have signed upto to democracy now better late than never

    • Jude Collins July 22, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

      That’d be the democratic action that created NI, then…

      • neill July 23, 2015 at 7:04 am #

        Indeed it was the vast majority of protestants didn’t want to be ruled by Dublin and thus N Ireland was created sounds democratic to me. And what transpired in the south proved that it was a very good decision for protestants to take.

        • Emmet July 23, 2015 at 9:02 am #

          Only the Protestants had a say? I think you are missing the point of democracy Neill. The vast majority of people in Ireland wanted independence. By your logic Neill you are saying that the vast of majority of Catholics in N.Ireland have the right to break from the UK, maybe say Fermanagh, Derry, Tryone and Armagh. Is this the type of democracy you speak of?

        • Pointis July 23, 2015 at 9:03 am #

          Fair play to you Neill, you have hit the nail on the head “the vast majority of Protestants didn’t want to be ruled by Dublin …sounds democratic to me”. The ordinary man on the street will not understand that type of thinking because if it were applied fairly then any geographical region could then just declare their opposition to the status quo based on a purely sectarian head count and set up a new state. By applying your logic Catholic majority areas could just declare themselves independent and break away!

          Reasonable people know that would not be democratic nor was the creation of N. Ireland!

          I don’t condem you Neill because Loyalists have been forced to contort logic to try and justify the existance of this sectarian entity!

          There is one common link in this Loyalist group think, the complete absence of any component of empathy for fellow citizens who are different to you. Look at attitudes and behaviours of loyalist and unionist political leadership and you will see this aspect pervades everything they do!

          Locking up the swings on Sunday’s,
          Closing pubs early,
          Criminalising homosexuals,
          Orangism and anti-Catholicism
          Refusing to shake hands with or be polite to members of Sinn Fein
          Flying flags
          Supporting the continued subjugation of Palestinians,
          Anti immigration and Racism
          Tacit respect for the ideals of the Confedracy
          Lack of empathy for the poor and those in receipt of benefits
          Unquestioning deference to the authority and organs of the state (unless it opposes Orangism / marches).

          I have my own theory of why those prominent loyalist / unionism have a predisposition to hold these views but many I am sure just think they are backward hillbillies!

          • neill July 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

            Ok lets go through this point by point Pointis

            Locking up the swings on Sunday’s,
            Not every Unionist agreed with that in fact fairly few did.

            Closing pubs early,
            That was caused by world war one and desire to prevent drunkenness in the factories and mines that’s why the govt introduced shorter drinking hours.

            Criminalising homosexuals,
            No we don’t

            Orangism and anti-Catholicism
            We have debated this many times…

            Refusing to shake hands with or be polite to members of Sinn Fein
            Some Unionists do some don’t.

            Flying flags
            As do Catholics it isn’t a crime is it?

            Supporting the continued subjugation of Palestinians,
            Do all Catholics support Palestinian attacks on Israel?

            Anti immigration and Racism
            All unionists? A little bit of an exaggeration dont you think?

            Tacit respect for the ideals of the Confedracy
            Do Cork fans have respect for the Confederacy after all many of there fans fly the flag at matches. Many of our forbearers did fight for the southern cause brave men and brilliant generals just the wrong beliefs

            Lack of empathy for the poor and those in receipt of benefits
            Really all unionists every single one?

            Unquestioning deference to the authority and organs of the state (unless it opposes Orangism / marches).
            Another generalisation come on Pointis you can do better than that!

            I have my own theory of why those prominent loyalist / unionism have a predisposition to hold these views but many I am sure just think they are backward hillbillies!
            Er no perhaps we are little more direct and honest than the Catholic community who perhaps one day might ask themselves why so many of them supported a movement that killed so many of there protestant brothers and sisters…and then feign surprise when unionists are cold and hard towards them?

          • Pointis July 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

            Hi Neill, if you read my contribution, I attributed those attitudes to those in Loyalist / unionist leadership not ‘every unionist’. Unless you are in that role, you needn’t worry!

            Perhaps you are, who knows?

            Perhaps there are some ‘nutcases’ from the Catholic community who would like to see harm coming to ‘their Protestant brothers and sisters’ but I don’t know any and I don’t think you will find any on this site!

            There were many horrible things which happened in the past and I am sure it would benefit everyone including victims if a mechanism were agreed to get to the truth but until that happens we are are going to be condemned to the blame and counter blame culture with no prospect of closure.

        • Patrick July 23, 2015 at 10:08 am #

          Neill maybe it’s time you read up on your Irish history? Pre partition if there was to have been a country wide referendum on whether Ireland should remain as part of the British empire the result would certainly have been the majority clearly stating their wish to leave it. The results of the post war 1918 general election would I’m sure back this assertion up.

          Your claim that because a majority of protestants (who were of course a minority within the country) should get to determine the shape of the country is ludicrous.

          You may like that the northern irish statelet exists. That is your right. You even have the right to express your opinion that it was democratically created. In doing that however you simply give the impression of being a silly man who can’t see the truth even when it’s staring him right in the face.

          Perhaps you could explain to us all how the creation of the northern irish state was democratic?

          • neill July 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

            Patrick am I wrong because my opinions differ from yours if that is the case you have a limited notion of what democracy is..

            As I said before how Protestants were treated in the south was a disgrace and yet no Irish man or woman in govt has ever acknowledged it so yes with historical hindsight we were perfectly right to do what we did.

          • Patrick July 24, 2015 at 3:03 am #

            Neill please don’t put words into my mouth. I never claimed you were ‘wrong because your opinion differs from mine’. As a regular reader of this blog and an occasional contributor I’m well aware that your opinions on many issues differ greatly from my own. I have no difficulty with that and respect everyone’s right to their own opinion.

            What I simply asked was for you to explain how the creation of the northern irish state was democratic. In fairness you haven’t really did that. When you consider that the overwhelming majority of people on the island of Ireland wished for a 32 county Republic, totally independent from British rule, and this wish was denied, can you really not see why the creation of a 6 county northern irish state (against the wishes of the majority) could be perceived as being undemocratic?

            With all due respect to you Neill you are all over the place with your contributions to this particular thread.

            Now I have articulated why I believe the creation of the northern irish state was democratic. Chief reason being that it went against the wishes of the majority. At the second time of asking can you please explain to me how the creation of it was democratic? I look forward to your answer and thank you in advance 🙂

          • William July 24, 2015 at 8:27 am #

            Neill…don’t debate with Collins…it’s like wrestling with a dead sheep. Do what I’m trying to do…unsubscribe from this blog of verbal Diarrhea. If I can find where to do so, I’ll unsubscribe.

          • Jude Collins July 24, 2015 at 8:42 am #

            There – I’ve saved you the bother, William.

        • RJC July 23, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

          Do you think Glasgow and Dundee should be allowed their independence from the UK?

  22. Bridget Cairns July 23, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    Neil, the fact that you believe that the creation of (N Ireland) was democratic again exposes gaps in your knowledge and presumably education as to how that came about. Democracy, Northern style, = gerrymandering, real threats & acts of violence (war) legalised discrimination = jobs & housing and so on. Imagine if you can that the majority of people living in Birmingham were Indian & they proposed a separate state based on their numerical superiority would you as a “democrat” support their right at self determination. This is my final post on this matter Neil, however, I expect like all your previous posts you will evade answering the question.

  23. neill July 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    Ok lets get this straight when Protestants wanted Independence from the rest of Ireand that is bad however when the Basque region of Spain wants independence from Spain that is good according to Sf so what is the difference?

  24. RJC July 26, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    This post may get lost way down here, but here’s The Mirror’s take on this James McClean business –

    A choice quote –

    ‘McClean isn’t just another rabble-rousing Fenian who refuses to let the past go. He is a man from a specific area of a specific city which, until recently, was so subjugated by the British state that voting was rigged to ensure the unionist minority always ruled.

    That, in turn, saw the Catholic majority kept at the bottom of the housing and job vacancy lists.

    They took to the streets in civil-rights marches, which became anti-internment marches, like the one in 1972 in which British soldiers opened fire on 26 unarmed civilians, killing 14, many of whom were shot while fleeing or helping the wounded. And the truth of Bloody Sunday was denied and covered up by the British state for more than a generation.

    That is why McClean can’t find it in him to pay tribute to the British Army, including its commander-in-chief the Queen. Do you really think he should be forced to sing a ditty asking God to save her so she can reign over him, gloriously?’