National Forum

The GAA And "Northern Ireland"

(Oldest Posts First) - Go To The Latest Post


Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "No harm, but I absolutely can't stand this comparison. We are way better than an absolutely sectarian Orange Order. It is part of their process that Catholics can't join. This shouldn't be a comparison. The GAA is way better than that as we have Protestants in our games, and will continue to grow this in future. Stop comparing them as we're in no way similar"
Yes I know sorry we are not similar to them, just trying to make a point that everyone is always bending over backways to accommodate them and all this talk of a new agreed Ireland after reunification, suggestions to get rid of our flag and anthem even to suit them,
they aren't too interested in anything Irish, why should we be so worried about suiting them? if they want to be British there's a big island called Britain that's full of Brits, see how at home they feel there.

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 1534 - 02/06/2021 18:07:14    2347783

Link

There are much bigger problems in NI rather than trying to debate if the GAA are inclusive. In Belfast in 2021 there are 40 "peace walls" where different religions have to be separated....I can't think of a modern western city where this happens.

yew_tree (Mayo) - Posts: 10665 - 02/06/2021 21:35:30    2347837

Link

Replying To yew_tree:  "There are much bigger problems in NI rather than trying to debate if the GAA are inclusive. In Belfast in 2021 there are 40 "peace walls" where different religions have to be separated....I can't think of a modern western city where this happens."
Ballaghadreen ?

carlovia (None) - Posts: 1311 - 02/06/2021 22:48:26    2347852

Link

Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "Yes I know sorry we are not similar to them, just trying to make a point that everyone is always bending over backways to accommodate them and all this talk of a new agreed Ireland after reunification, suggestions to get rid of our flag and anthem even to suit them,
they aren't too interested in anything Irish, why should we be so worried about suiting them? if they want to be British there's a big island called Britain that's full of Brits, see how at home they feel there."
They could hopefully take Royal Dunne and others with them if they leave. I am sure Royal dunne would feel at home there.

galwayford (Galway) - Posts: 2238 - 02/06/2021 22:59:03    2347857

Link

Replying To tireoghainabu:  "A statue to the mass murderer Oliver Cromwell stands on a prominent position outside the House of Commons in London, another reason that I can't take that place seriously."
Oliver Cromwell is a hero to the English. The same way as Michael Collins is here. I would respect that.

galwayford (Galway) - Posts: 2238 - 02/06/2021 23:00:49    2347860

Link

Replying To ArmaghCat:  "Nobody is comparing them to anything....we all know the GAA is open to all, we have protestants in my club here in 6 counties, we have children born in Africa, children born in Eastern Europe we send flyers to school in variety of languages

This nonsense that GAA is a closed shop is just that and an excuse to attack the ethos of the association the same way that unionism tries to politicise the Irish language and unfortunately there are enough people to give them oxygen instead of asking simple questions like why Gaelic Games are excluded from state schools and most integrated schools , it has nothing to do with a small number of tournaments named after volunteers or the fact clubs are named after patriotic figures and all to do with the fact that many protestants in 6 counties are brought up to hate anything remotely connected to Irish games and culture

I'm all for a debate on this and examining what can be done to encourage more people from the protestant community to take part in our games but you will find education is at the nut of the matter , nothing to do with sports"
Titchonnail1 did. As if it was some sort of gotcha that if the GAA are to be welcoming, well then the OO must too. It's ridiculous. We don't and shouldn't have sectarianism and triumphalism at our heart, and I see this comparison being made all the time. I want no association with those, even as a comparison. We are exactly all of what you said later in your post, and can be more too.

As I've said repeatedly, you'll never attract the hardline loyalists, and we shouldn't pander to those as even if you made every change, they still would complain. But when many moderates (who are now a sizeable 3rd community in the North) who don't fall into either category of Nationalist or Unionist say the fact that clubs, cups, and fields are named after IRA and INLA members makes them uncomfortable and unlikely to join, then this needs to be looked at. These moderates are ones who likely will have a child who has no stock in the inherited scars and history and have moved past those, and these would see a GAA club as still having their feet in the past and not be welcoming. I know this as one of my friends up here is in a mixed marriage (hate that term) and likely their child will go play rugby or soccer due to the likes of that.

You're cutting off a sizeable community, and the question was how to grow in the North. If you are to grow, you need to be welcoming to them as there is only so much room for growth in the Nationalist only community. It's a natural avenue to grow into and honestly to grow the game we should be looking at the issues and this clearly is one.

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 1099 - 03/06/2021 08:04:54    2347889

Link

Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "Yes I know sorry we are not similar to them, just trying to make a point that everyone is always bending over backways to accommodate them and all this talk of a new agreed Ireland after reunification, suggestions to get rid of our flag and anthem even to suit them,
they aren't too interested in anything Irish, why should we be so worried about suiting them? if they want to be British there's a big island called Britain that's full of Brits, see how at home they feel there."
You're missing the point of the question discussed, if we are to grow in the North, how do we do it? We're reaching or even have reached the point of growth in the Nationalist community, and there are others out there to grow into. Absolutely not Unionism, but moderates as I said. Huge growth potential there. So the OO comparisons don't make sense as we're way better than then and it's not some gotcha to McConville that if the OO don't change then why should we?

And are you seriously thinking our symbols like flags and anthems won't change in the event of reunification? We'd be creating a new state in that case. Would you want to carry through symbols that are provocative to a sizeable minority? Why not start afresh and don't make mistakes of the past. They'll also get a say in a new state, we're not just annexing them. You say they should just move to Britain? How very welcoming of you, I'd want no part in a state that would rather have people leave than be a state for all. Can't believe you actually said that. That's the sort of ultra nationalism you hear of in England recently and we're way better than the path they're going down. Jeez man...

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 1099 - 03/06/2021 08:24:08    2347890

Link

Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "Titchonnail1 did. As if it was some sort of gotcha that if the GAA are to be welcoming, well then the OO must too. It's ridiculous. We don't and shouldn't have sectarianism and triumphalism at our heart, and I see this comparison being made all the time. I want no association with those, even as a comparison. We are exactly all of what you said later in your post, and can be more too.

As I've said repeatedly, you'll never attract the hardline loyalists, and we shouldn't pander to those as even if you made every change, they still would complain. But when many moderates (who are now a sizeable 3rd community in the North) who don't fall into either category of Nationalist or Unionist say the fact that clubs, cups, and fields are named after IRA and INLA members makes them uncomfortable and unlikely to join, then this needs to be looked at. These moderates are ones who likely will have a child who has no stock in the inherited scars and history and have moved past those, and these would see a GAA club as still having their feet in the past and not be welcoming. I know this as one of my friends up here is in a mixed marriage (hate that term) and likely their child will go play rugby or soccer due to the likes of that.

You're cutting off a sizeable community, and the question was how to grow in the North. If you are to grow, you need to be welcoming to them as there is only so much room for growth in the Nationalist only community. It's a natural avenue to grow into and honestly to grow the game we should be looking at the issues and this clearly is one."
I'm calling nonsense on the 2nd half of that post....two of my siblings are in mixed marriages all the kids play GAA not a problem at all....my own club has a number of children from similar backgrounds as do most of the clubs around us

By your reference to INLA volunteers you are referring to Kevin Lynch, suggest you learn some history as he captained Derry to their first All Ireland hurling title , yes he is known as a hunger striker but has massive connections to hurling in that locality that can't be airbrushed out of history ....to do so you would alienate a far greater proportion of your existing playing membership than any numbers you would attract

It's all a balance and the 1st step should be to understand what are the 'perceived barriers and are they real as opposed to an ingrained bias , ignorance on behalf of those refusing to engage

ArmaghCat (Armagh) - Posts: 86 - 03/06/2021 10:45:02    2347921

Link

Replying To ArmaghCat:  "I'm calling nonsense on the 2nd half of that post....two of my siblings are in mixed marriages all the kids play GAA not a problem at all....my own club has a number of children from similar backgrounds as do most of the clubs around us

By your reference to INLA volunteers you are referring to Kevin Lynch, suggest you learn some history as he captained Derry to their first All Ireland hurling title , yes he is known as a hunger striker but has massive connections to hurling in that locality that can't be airbrushed out of history ....to do so you would alienate a far greater proportion of your existing playing membership than any numbers you would attract

It's all a balance and the 1st step should be to understand what are the 'perceived barriers and are they real as opposed to an ingrained bias , ignorance on behalf of those refusing to engage"
You've got anecdotal evidence, and so have I. You know rightly it's likely somewhere in the middle. You're on about your siblings who like yourself were probably brought up in the GAA, so of course their kids went into it. My friend wasn't brought up in it, but would watch the odd time. His missus no idea about the GAA. These are the moderates I'm on about, not clearly families where one parent is immersed.

I know all that. And I know my history about him too as I live in the area. Are you actually alienating your existing membership? Do you think they'll all leave if a name change was considered? Hardly very immersed Gaels if that is the case on quite a small thing considering.

No one is saying to airbrush history. As I have repeatedly said, it is something that needs to be considered. Absolutely do not forget them, but just asking if names on cups, clubs, and grounds are right. It is something that has consistently come up as being a barrier for those not directly brought up with GAA. The question was how can we grow it in the North, and I've gave my answer. We can carry on within the current community if we like, and sure that's fine, no bother. But if we do want to grow we can't just pretend it's not there and it's not an issue. So the likely decisions are don't change and keep with current demographics with little to no growth, or if we want growth then it'll need to be considered. That's it, simply pointing it out. I'm quite ambivalent either way, but understand what growth would require

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 1099 - 03/06/2021 11:21:15    2347929

Link

Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "You're missing the point of the question discussed, if we are to grow in the North, how do we do it? We're reaching or even have reached the point of growth in the Nationalist community, and there are others out there to grow into. Absolutely not Unionism, but moderates as I said. Huge growth potential there. So the OO comparisons don't make sense as we're way better than then and it's not some gotcha to McConville that if the OO don't change then why should we?

And are you seriously thinking our symbols like flags and anthems won't change in the event of reunification? We'd be creating a new state in that case. Would you want to carry through symbols that are provocative to a sizeable minority? Why not start afresh and don't make mistakes of the past. They'll also get a say in a new state, we're not just annexing them. You say they should just move to Britain? How very welcoming of you, I'd want no part in a state that would rather have people leave than be a state for all. Can't believe you actually said that. That's the sort of ultra nationalism you hear of in England recently and we're way better than the path they're going down. Jeez man..."
You're talking about the GAA as if it's some sort of supermarket chain, and you seem obsessed by growth. On one hand you are all for reaching out, and that's fine, I have no issue with that at all, but the caveat is that you are only interested in reaching out to moderates. So it's a half hearted effort at best. Why not try and reach out to all and take on a real challenge ?

There is absolutely nothing stopping anyone of any religion joining a local GAA club or indeed forming their own.

When Germany was reunified, apart from obviously dropping the names East and West they didn't make wholesale changes but in Ireland the liberals want to tear up everything in the event of reunification.

There were significant numbers of Germans from the former East and West who didn't want reunification.

Yes, it came all of a sudden, but it was also a realistic possibility for a very long time, but there was no kowtowing when it did happen.

AfricanGael (UK) - Posts: 1552 - 03/06/2021 12:09:36    2347946

Link

It is striking that the irish government passed a resolution against Israeli colonialism and illegal settlements in Palestine (and rightly so) while often throughout the last Century adopting a laissez faire approach to colonialism here and the division of their own country. While the pragmatic decision to accept partition in 1921 was understandable at the risk of losing everything, the way Irish Nationalists in the North were left behind and abandoned in a hostile, evil state by successive Irish Governments was shameful. Letting partition bed in has made it much more difficult to end. Fianna Fail/Fine Gael have a cheek to criticise Sinn Fein as not being worthy for Government in Ireland when over the last Century they have done next to nothing for Nationalists in the North. Irish unity should have been a major policy issue for every Irish Government but it never seems to be. Would any other country in the World accept so meekly the occupation of part of its territory by a foreign power??

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1529 - 03/06/2021 13:27:18    2347967

Link

"No kowtowing ". The Germans were united less than 50 years before so it wasn't such a huge issue. Northern Ireland is a massive issue if it it ever unites with Ireland. The Flag,Anthems ,compulsory Irish in schools. They would all be gone from the new state. There's no question about that. I'd have no problem with that. We'd probably join the Commonwealth and have a new joint head of state with the Queen and the President. These are all fairly significant changes that I would say would be the minimum for reunification but the run of the mill Irish person thinks these are all pie in the sky... thats not to mention joining NATO and having a properly financed defence force. The Northern Protestants aren't going to accept a terribly under resourced military after many of them serving in the RAF,Royal Navy and Army

bloodyban (Limerick) - Posts: 1460 - 03/06/2021 13:27:58    2347968

Link

Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "It is striking that the irish government passed a resolution against Israeli colonialism and illegal settlements in Palestine (and rightly so) while often throughout the last Century adopting a laissez faire approach to colonialism here and the division of their own country. While the pragmatic decision to accept partition in 1921 was understandable at the risk of losing everything, the way Irish Nationalists in the North were left behind and abandoned in a hostile, evil state by successive Irish Governments was shameful. Letting partition bed in has made it much more difficult to end. Fianna Fail/Fine Gael have a cheek to criticise Sinn Fein as not being worthy for Government in Ireland when over the last Century they have done next to nothing for Nationalists in the North. Irish unity should have been a major policy issue for every Irish Government but it never seems to be. Would any other country in the World accept so meekly the occupation of part of its territory by a foreign power??"
Well the 'occupation of its Territory' isn't really what's gone on in Ireland. Northern Ireland remained in the UK after 1922 and the GFA had Ireland get rid of any claims over the full 32 counties on the Island. Successive Irish governments did plenty for Northern Nationalists. They resettled many of them in Shannon. Actually you could argue we did too much. We let the IRA run over and back across the border instead of shutting them down completely . And now we have a semi democratic Sinn Fein threatening to come into government.

bloodyban (Limerick) - Posts: 1460 - 03/06/2021 13:54:11    2347975

Link

Interesting discussion today on Radio Ulster about a "partitionist mindset". People North and South having a border in the minds so to speak. If you walk down the Falls road it seems as Irish as anywhere else in Ireland. There are many from the North from the Nationalist community who have been indoctrinated into the British state.

Do people in the Republic view Northern Nationalists as less Irish than them?? Do people who travel from Newry to Dundalk or Strabane to Lifford think they are in a different country?? Interesting discussion that in 1921 did the British succeed in not only putting a border in Ireland but a border in the minds??

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1529 - 03/06/2021 13:55:31    2347976

Link

Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "Interesting discussion today on Radio Ulster about a "partitionist mindset". People North and South having a border in the minds so to speak. If you walk down the Falls road it seems as Irish as anywhere else in Ireland. There are many from the North from the Nationalist community who have been indoctrinated into the British state.

Do people in the Republic view Northern Nationalists as less Irish than them?? Do people who travel from Newry to Dundalk or Strabane to Lifford think they are in a different country?? Interesting discussion that in 1921 did the British succeed in not only putting a border in Ireland but a border in the minds??"
No way. Not to me anyway. I suppose it depends on personal political views. I wouldn't be that fond of the word "nationalist." I'd prefer to use the word republican. Too many negative connotations around the word nationalist for me. All republicans in the south would probably be of the opinion that republicans in the North are as Irish as the next person. TAL.

thegadfly (Cavan) - Posts: 234 - 03/06/2021 14:05:44    2347978

Link

Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "Interesting discussion today on Radio Ulster about a "partitionist mindset". People North and South having a border in the minds so to speak. If you walk down the Falls road it seems as Irish as anywhere else in Ireland. There are many from the North from the Nationalist community who have been indoctrinated into the British state.

Do people in the Republic view Northern Nationalists as less Irish than them?? Do people who travel from Newry to Dundalk or Strabane to Lifford think they are in a different country?? Interesting discussion that in 1921 did the British succeed in not only putting a border in Ireland but a border in the minds??"
Ah come on now with this 'border in our minds'. There is an actual border. Northern Ireland has been an integral part of the UK since 1801. Of course there a partitionist mindset. 'Partitionist' seems to be used negatively to denigrate southerners who don't agree with Republicans. I'm a Partionist by that reckoning,proud of it.
I wouldnt question a Northern Irish person's Irishness for one minute. They are British by birth aswell. I think one of your politicians whom I think is a good guy is Doug Beattie. He said he was multifaceted..Ulster ,Irish ,British. You guys are lucky. I dont think you are any less Irish than me. I'm just Irish whereas you are Irish and your British. In my opinion you can't reject either part without losing something.

bloodyban (Limerick) - Posts: 1460 - 03/06/2021 14:08:10    2347979

Link

Replying To AfricanGael:  "You're talking about the GAA as if it's some sort of supermarket chain, and you seem obsessed by growth. On one hand you are all for reaching out, and that's fine, I have no issue with that at all, but the caveat is that you are only interested in reaching out to moderates. So it's a half hearted effort at best. Why not try and reach out to all and take on a real challenge ?

There is absolutely nothing stopping anyone of any religion joining a local GAA club or indeed forming their own.

When Germany was reunified, apart from obviously dropping the names East and West they didn't make wholesale changes but in Ireland the liberals want to tear up everything in the event of reunification.

There were significant numbers of Germans from the former East and West who didn't want reunification.

Yes, it came all of a sudden, but it was also a realistic possibility for a very long time, but there was no kowtowing when it did happen."
Maybe I should reply to you by not answering the question? That's your modus operandi, right? You still never actually got around to the previous conversation btw.

And you are clearly unable to read. I'm not obsessed with growth. I am quite ambivalent on the names, I'm simply pointing out that if we do want growth and want to reach out further than just the nationalist community, then this type of thing is the barrier. Have you not read the top of the thread or my posts. I'm not obsessed, but simply pointing it out as it is something that is being brought up.

And I'm literally telling you, this is what's stopping some from joining. Are you again unable to read? Stick your fingers in your ears and don't listen all you like, but it is what's a barrier to them. Just because you don't like it, doesn't make it through. It's not easy for outsiders to come in easily in the North.

Oh come on now, please don't show any ignorance of Germany. That was relatively easy as was a previously partitioned country only a short time prior and similar demographics of people and was basically a continuation of the Old West Germany just taking in the East which turned into a economic basket case with the collapse of the Eastern bloc. That's clearly not the case here and nowhere near similar or as clear cut on any number of factors. Of course there was some who didn't, but nowhere near like the North. Quite disingenuous there, but I'd expect no less from you

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 1099 - 03/06/2021 14:20:17    2347980

Link

Replying To bloodyban:  "Well the 'occupation of its Territory' isn't really what's gone on in Ireland. Northern Ireland remained in the UK after 1922 and the GFA had Ireland get rid of any claims over the full 32 counties on the Island. Successive Irish governments did plenty for Northern Nationalists. They resettled many of them in Shannon. Actually you could argue we did too much. We let the IRA run over and back across the border instead of shutting them down completely . And now we have a semi democratic Sinn Fein threatening to come into government."
Well at the very least the Irish Government should be continuing to stress that partition is illegitimate and wrong. The claim over all 32 counties on the island was dropped as a concession to Unionists. Look at how strongly Argentina continues to claim the Malvinas/Falkland islands stolen of them by the British. They even went to war over them. Spain is adamant that Gibraltar will be returned to their sovereignty. These areas are less integral parts of their sovereign territory than the North is/should be to Ireland.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1529 - 03/06/2021 14:29:25    2347982

Link

Replying To bloodyban:  "Ah come on now with this 'border in our minds'. There is an actual border. Northern Ireland has been an integral part of the UK since 1801. Of course there a partitionist mindset. 'Partitionist' seems to be used negatively to denigrate southerners who don't agree with Republicans. I'm a Partionist by that reckoning,proud of it.
I wouldnt question a Northern Irish person's Irishness for one minute. They are British by birth aswell. I think one of your politicians whom I think is a good guy is Doug Beattie. He said he was multifaceted..Ulster ,Irish ,British. You guys are lucky. I dont think you are any less Irish than me. I'm just Irish whereas you are Irish and your British. In my opinion you can't reject either part without losing something."
All Irish people are Irish. Nationalist and Unionist. Unionists are Irish with a British ancestry. Northern Nationalists are not British. British rule over any part is illegitimate. By that reckoning Irish people who lived anywhere in Ireland before were British. They were not as colonial rule was illegitimate. Irish Americans who live in USA are American first and foremost as that is where they are born. They have Irish ancestry. The point being Irish Nationalists should being saying to Unionists you can have a British passport but you cant have a rotten Orange state that is colonial and artificial.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1529 - 03/06/2021 14:42:10    2347986

Link

Replying To ArmaghCat:  "I'm calling nonsense on the 2nd half of that post....two of my siblings are in mixed marriages all the kids play GAA not a problem at all....my own club has a number of children from similar backgrounds as do most of the clubs around us

By your reference to INLA volunteers you are referring to Kevin Lynch, suggest you learn some history as he captained Derry to their first All Ireland hurling title , yes he is known as a hunger striker but has massive connections to hurling in that locality that can't be airbrushed out of history ....to do so you would alienate a far greater proportion of your existing playing membership than any numbers you would attract

It's all a balance and the 1st step should be to understand what are the 'perceived barriers and are they real as opposed to an ingrained bias , ignorance on behalf of those refusing to engage"
"1st step should be to understand what are the 'perceived barriers and are they real as opposed to an ingrained bias".

Interesting point. I would say that if I was from a Unionist background, or a moderate background and looked at my local GAA club which was named after and so glorifying a member of a terrorist organization, that would be very off putting in terms of being open to GAA in any way (watching, supporting, playing). I think that would be a legitimate barrier and not an ingrained bias. If I think about it the other way around, would someone from a Nationalist or moderate background be happy to get involved with Johnny Adair*FC for soccer? Or play for the Johnny Adair cup? I don't think they would (*pick any loyalist name you like who was involved in a soccer team... or boxing team or whatever)

I know you mentioned about Kevin Lynch's hurling achievements, but in the real world that name is associated with IRA far more than anything else.

I hate when the GAA gets compare to the orange order. Its a ridiculous comparison, but for some people who know nothing about GAA they think it is legitimate. Yes they should 'educate themselves', but we are all human and I can see how things like clubs and cups being named after IRA men makes it very easy for them to turn their backs on it, never understand the good the GAA does as a sporting and community organization.

I don't think we should be selling the GAA to PUL people... there is no need.

himachechy (Donegal) - Posts: 256 - 03/06/2021 14:48:04    2347989

Link