Amhrán na bhFiann at Ibrox 2017

Anytime an Irish person would be mentioned in some far-off land my Mayo grandmother would pipe up with “sure we’re everywhere!”

There is greater awareness now more than ever that the Irish a global nation.

Jack Charlton quickly realised that with the grandparent rule there was a pool of talented footballers in Britain that would qualify for the Republic.

There was much sneering about this including one former Scottish internationalist who was born in Sweden and reared in South Africa.

Mr Richard Gough was never challenged by any Scottish sports journalist on this apparent double standard.

Different rules for the Herrenvolk

Old Rangers were, at one point, unique among the 190 senior clubs in British football in not having had a Republic of Ireland full or Under 21 International players in their first team squad.

Of course, the new club has had no problem in sourcing Irish players like Jon Daly.

It’s a start.

Sadly, anti-Irish racism is still extant within the home crowd at Ibrox.

One day we’ll find a cure.

The experience of English clubs who had an openly racist element among their support in the 1970s and 1980s was that the proliferation of players of colour in the 1990s rather snuffed it out the racial abuse.

I do not think that is a coincidence.

I have written before that Irish international players at Ibrox could have a carcinogenic effect on the racism which specifically defines much of the home crowd there.

Consequently, I was delighted to hear that young Matthew Shiels had received an international call-up.

You can read about it here.

The lad has two grandparents from Donegal.

Therefore, he’s called up to the cause under the same rules that saw Aiden McGeady proudly wear the green of Ireland.

I’m sure he will be bursting with pride as he faces the tricolour to the strains of Amhrán na bhFiann.

When Irish players are the norm in the Sevco first team squad, just like any other club in Britain, then there will be less habitable space for anti-Irish racism at Ibrox.

I hope that lad has a great game.

Come on you boys in green!

37 thoughts on “Amhrán na bhFiann at Ibrox 2017”

  1. I laughed aloud at Michael Gannons article today.
    Pedro was a dead man walking from Day 1. There were dressing room ructions from the very start.
    Players were questioning training methods and resulting fitness levels!!!!
    Really Michael? Funny how you and your media mates never found the backbone to print these stories during and after Pedro’s Coronation.
    Nope, plenty of print space reporting the one for all, all for one dressing room camaderie……..turned out to be pure lies.
    Bigging up Pedro’s CV and continually reminding us that he stood head and shoulders above the other candidates, all of whom were the cream of the management crop…..more lies.
    Do Gannon and his ilk immediately erase all memory of their back catalogue of stories the second they are printed?
    Is it a pre condition of Scottish football hacks to be liars,hypocrites and forgetful?
    Do we deserve the likes of Gannon and Jackson, the man who introduced the Motherwell billionaire with wealth off the radar to the Newco fans…..the biggest lie of all, yet not only still in a job but an award winner to boot.
    Now we have the McInnes feeding frenzy completely erasing the dire financial results which don’t include Pedro’s pay off, nor the cost of hiring his successor, nor the Europa Cup Group Stage qualification built into the cash flow projections!
    The fact that a convicted criminal with a penchant for telling porkies, as described by a South African judge, is all that stands between the club/company/thingy from plunging into the abyss, appears to concern no one.
    Yes, Michael we know that you and your mates knew all along.
    Telling us now reflects poorly on your profession. We can all look very clever with the benefit of hindsight but it begs the question why didn’t you run with the stories in real time and why is there one rule for Celtic stories, mostly non stories, and another one for Newco.
    Can’t wait following the next event at Ibrox, take your pick but almost certainly not a good one, for you to put your head above the parapet and tell us how you were all over the story from day 1.

  2. The problem is Phil, that despite the plucky Glasgow Sevco receiving the honour of one of their academy starlets being called up to the Republic of Ireland U18 squad, a significant faction among their support – and I know this will arrive as a great shock to you – remains ambivalent about the news. “Ambivalent”, here, being what you might call a euphemism.

    A quick swatch at the highly-respected Follow Follow website reveals a sudden outpouring of nostalgia for the days when our upstart island neighbours confined themselves to laying road surfaces and driveways, and did not meddle in association football at all – far less in the royal blue variant.

    Indeed one senses that a significant number of the posters on that website are engaged in a full-blown Genetic Nostalgia – leaving knuckles skinned from the attrition of the pavement, and the word “troglodyte” looking like futurist internet jargon.

    In my considered opinion, the best chances of The Sevco ridding themselves of this retrograde element are
    A) Good old honest Liquidation
    B) The Darwin Awards

  3. I find it strange you seem to think the anti Irish agenda at Ibrox is the general feeling of all here in Scotland. Please down go down the road of tarring us all with the Ibrox brush.

  4. Phil, they have signed black players but still make racist remarks etc, against opposing black player’s.
    As everyday goes by they become more irrelevant. By the way the worst collective racism I heard was at Celtic park. An no it wasn’t directed towards Mark Walters, it was the chants directed towards Laurie Cunningham when we played Real Madrid in a quarter final almost 40 years ago. What a wonderful player he was. God rest his soul. We should always remain vigilante to any outrageous anti social behaviour. A fudz a fud. Regardless of the colour of his scarf.

    1. I stood watching johnny Doyle run Madrid ragged in 1980…there was no racism…just joy…mutual respect…love if football.

      You’re a troll, I claim mtly £10 that only cost David Murrays creditors £5.

    2. Trawling back 40 years to find an example simply proves how inclusive we are. I also remember it , and it was a genuinely tiny minority.

    3. I was at the Real match. A wonderful night! Sadly the euphoria was extinguished during the return leg.
      I must say that, happily, I did not hear the racism of which you mention aimed at the gloriously gifted Laurie (RIP).
      I remember also Milan and Liam Brady on a further occasion.
      Maith thú a Phil.

      1. I was at that match too amd don’t recall hearing anything against Laurie Cunningham at all, and we were situated right on the halfway line in the old Jungle, where you could hear the whole ground.

        Celtic dismantled Madrid that night and there was no need for any ill will throughout the match as we had them in our back pocket, two great individual performances from Johnny Doyle and George McLuskey the stand out of a crushing Celtic performance .

        I couldn’t believe they turned us over at the Bernabeu, they didn’t have it in them, and I still suspect shadiness and more than one honest mistake from the ref yet.

  5. Animals the lot of them-they looked at the RC population as being beneath them and thought, some still,of us as their subjects-
    sad pitiful creatures we have listened to their bile and hatred for long enough and as every day passes by now times are changing & they are becoming less and less of a relevance thank god and good riddance you shower of bigoted clowns

  6. So, following the logic of the ‘more black players, less racism’ theory, how do Celtic end up with supporters like Thai Tim (earlier thread) and others who clearly despise Catholicism in spite of the cultural leanings to it at the club. Either, he’s a hun in disguise (tbh probable), or there’s perhaps some other factor in the club’s support which is equally hostile to RC and religion generally, and is an even stronger cultural force …

  7. Your country of birth should be the only criteria in participating in international sport, the whole thing has became so diluted, parents, grandparents attending school in the country you live in, this is ridiculous. If your born in Scotland your Scottish, in England your English, in Ireland your Irish.

    1. Joe Baker had this problem back in the 1960s when he could only play for England as he was born in Liverpool. Joe’s brother Gerry played for the USA because he had been born in New York. So, was one brother really English while the other was American? To confuse matters even more, his father, a sailor, was English, and his mother Scottish.

      Surely it was about how the brothers felt, and having moved to Scotland when Gerry had just turned 2 and Joe was a 6 weeks old, it is no surprise they felt Scottish. Do you honestly think it was fair to deny them that choice? I don’t and I think the three generation lineage rule is spot on.

      I also think it should apply to mangers and coaches. and once a decision is made at any level it should stick – no changing of the mind later. I wish young Shiels well.

    2. I’ve a mate was born in Sri Lanka (Celon) because his English parents lived there as British consulate staff?

      Two other mates were born in Beijing and Middle East. Fathers were in oil.

  8. I don’t really see the kulture ever changing in the stands of Scotland’s newest club the hatred is passed from parent to child throughout the country I see it every July young kids dressed up in a sports direct bought sevco top watching the fancy dress parade celebrating the killing of Catholics they then follow this dark age belief growing up which inevitably leads to the caldron of hate in Govan and the vicious cycle continues on and on

  9. I have a colleague, I would like to think friend, who is a practicing Muslim. She is without any shadow of doubt one of the nicest people I have ever met. We had a discussion earlier this year about religion. She did not know that I was a practicing RC and I was unaware that she was a practicing Muslim. At one point during the conversation I asked her if she had ever been subjected to racial abuse. She told me only on very rare occasions at school. But never since. In her opinion the biggest racism problem in Scotland was anti Catholicism. Ironically, she didn’t get a Head of Department job in a Catholic school because she was a Muslim after having done the job for a year. She told me it was her happiest year in teaching. Not at all sure how the big man upstairs would look at this kind of thing.

    1. Hi Charger, my heart goes out to your friend. I was brought up catholic but chose to work in non denom schools as it is what I believe will provide the most tolerant society for us all in Scotland; only my opinion.

      Your friend got the post of Acting Principal Teacher (head of dept) because she was excellent at her job . . . Please tell her that she will be a permanent Principal Teacher in future, but it’ll probably be in a non denom school. Great people need to stay in teaching, we need them all, no matter what our faiths are, please tell her to Keep the ‘faith’, Kev

    2. If she didn’t get the job then it was down to her not being the best candidate, I can guarantee you it was nothing to do with her religion. The belief that you had to be Catholic to get such jobs was a requirement in the past but not now, my sister in law is Church of Scotland and leads Catholic schools in the North East of the country.

        1. Incidentally another friend’s daughter didn’t get a job in a Catholic school in N Lanarkshire because the Parish Priest, a thoroughly obnoxious man who would not have known her if he’d met her in the street, refused to sign some piece of paper. And with all due respect the NE of Scotland is NOT the west and my Muslim friend has had a PT’s job since almost immediately after she didn’t get the one in the Catholic school. No one has ever questioned her ability. It was made clear to her that if she had been Catholic the job was hers.

  10. Phil,

    I think you’ll find that the most vitriolic hatred emanating from the Ibrokes stands is for Roman Catholicism.

    Plenty of non-Catholic Irishmen have played for both the dead and the new club.

    They lovely peepul in the stands have had no problems with them.

    I know that there has been shameful anti-Irish racism in Scotland over the years. My own father-in-law has been a victim of it and not so long ago.

    I have been the victim of anti-Catholic sectarianism throughout my life (lived for years in Bridgeton!)

    I can guarantee you that they hate Roman Catholics far more than they do Irish people.

    Many Sevconians are simply in their element when they come across a person who is both.

    1. I agree, the Pope, Rome and the Vatican is where their deepest hatred is directed.
      Irish Catholics are merely the local most opportune targets.
      Which begs the question will uk Catholics be safe post Brexit on a Protestant Island?
      It always baffled me why the uk never tolerated right wing Nazis but the orange order and associates were ok.

        1. Not strictly true…try getting a job in a Tory cabinet…there’s sectarianism and there’s SECTARIANUSM…1% divididing the 99% so the can survive!!!!

          1. Or try marrying into the Royal Family or becoming Catholic Prime Minister …

            Tory B. Liar had to wait until he’d left the post before he could convert to Cherie’s alleged religion, although the warmongering dog only did it as part of a cover up to deflect from who the 1% really worship.

            And it ain’t no ‘God’ of any declared denomination at all, what with them all being Satanists and that.

      1. Why should an independent Scotland affect the safety of Roman Catholics?

        There are more Roman Catholics in high political positions in their parties and in government at Holyrood than ever before.

        I don’t feel unsafe just now and I won’t feel any less safe in an independent Scotland.

        There won’t be any cross burning, pitchfork waving KKK running amok in Scotland when Scotland eventually becomes independent.

        Independence for Ireland. Independence for Scotland.

        1. Please no not equate Scotland with Ireland. There are no Catholic hating and Celtic hating politicians working out of Dublin.
          We live in the most bigoted, anti- Catholic country in the world.
          There are people in this country who blame their bigotry on Catholic schools. They have been radicalized by Catholic schools.
          The issue of Catholic schools will be on the political agenda very quickly in an independent Scotland.

    2. Bridgeton is still a tough place for a Catholic family to live in. One of countless areas like this here. Scotland the best small country in the world?

      1. How can people in Bridgeton presume they are superior to anyone? Including families around them?

        They’ve been clearly duped with lies at some point which makes them gullible.

      2. I had few problems living in my pretty ‘mixed’ neighbourhood in Bridgeton growing up.

        I could wear my colours hanging about with my Celtic or Rangers supporting pals.

        Nobody bothered what team you supported and we had great banter among us throughout the ups and downs of the football season.

        The problem was Bridgeton Cross.

        As a bhoy I’ve been kicked, spat on and chased for my life by grown men who should have known better.

        My crimes? Forgetting my jumper had Celtic printed on it or leaving the crucifix around my neck exposed.

        I didn’t do any of those things deliberately. I didn’t have a death wish! I just forgot sometimes what I was wearing or where my crucifix was.

        1. Lived in Dalmarnock and Bridgeton as a kid growing up,I was never allowed any kind of Celtic merchandise and was only allowed to wear my crucifix on a Sunday whilst attending morning mass at St Pauls chapel on Shettleston road with my grandparents as I spent most Saturday nights staying with them…When I was 10 yrs old my mum eventually gave into my constant requests for a Celtic strip with a compromise that allowed me to wear a tracksuit top…First time out and within 15mins of playing with my friend all my mothers fears were confirmed as two men in their forties in full orange flute band regalia beat the living shite out of me and left me lying bleeding from a burst eye and strolled into a pub on Bridgeton Cross….My father and Grandfather met the two just after closing time as they walked through the quite secluded environ of Glasgow Green ….What a coincidence my 10 year old head thought…..

          1. A few years before Jason Campbell was even born, around 1972, I was playing marbles with my mate who had his hoops on, when a grown man came looming up over us and informed my pal that
            ‘If I ever see you wearing that jersey on this street again I’ll slit yer fuckin throat fur ye.’

            And what’s sickest about this is not how scared we were by such a threat but that, even by the age of 4 or 5, we were so used to such hate filled bullshit on the street that it almost didn’t bother us, even though those mad sick bastarts really DID mean what they said, as multiple run ins with them later proved to us.

            For some they didn’t even have to ask what school we went to or what our names were, they just ‘knew’ we were ‘Taigs’ and, therefore, lifelong targets for their fury.

            Never got the better of us once though, not one of them.

            Too used to running in gangs, ye see, but I still wouldn’t advise anyone to walk anywhere in Bridgeton wearing the hoops, or even supporting the hoops.

            Just ask Wullie Collum or his parents.

    3. Yeah, you beat me to something I was about to say. A good proportion of their support is Irish or Irish descended. In fact their club took a bigger (bigger because at that time there was an existing anti catholic feeling in Scotland) turn towards sectarianism in the 1920s when Ulster protestants came over to work in the shipyards and elsewhere. This has always been a big element of their support here – and many visit regularly from N. I. to attend their matches today. The connection to the extremist protestant strand has maintained a level of prejudice which I believe would be much reduced otherwise. Someone on a fan forum of my club once said Ibrox is an iron lung for bigotry in this country.

      As a journalist from the days when we had real sports journalists once said:
      “This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.”
      The sad truth is we nearly had that but the reprobates who re-formed the club thought the only way to do so was by bringing back all the old worst faults of the old club.

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