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The GAA And "Northern Ireland"

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Replying To DUALSUPPORT:  "SaffronDon can I ask you a few genuine questions.

How are the ordinary people in the north getting on at this time with the riots and the Brexit situation is there a worry things could get worse?

I know there is Catholics and Protestants who get on in society but overall is there any solution to bring full peace to both communities or have things gone beyond that point?

If we ever achieve an United Ireland how or what can be done to make unionist's feel they have a role or a part to play in the country and what compromises would have to be made to keep peace?

Does the PSNI have a sizeable Catholic membership now?

And has you or anyone in your local GAA club ever had hassle or harassment for being GAA members from police/army or from the loyalist community, if so would you be able to tell?"
I think most people here aren't too concerned with the recent rioting. Certainly not as much as local media are heightening it to be. Its happening in the same old burrows and is standard enough practice when they don't get what they want. But most people are in agreement that it's disgraceful behaviour and doesn't speak for all of the unionist community.

Two major things that need to happen to help unite communities imo. Firstly, a new age political party free from all the past baggage and whataboutary. Thankfully a generation of people have grown up in relative peace and can see a better life away from the dark days of the past. But as we see in England and America, people slate the 2 main parties all day every day but still go out and vote for one of them anyway so it's a tough nut to crack it would seem. Secondly, education needs to be restructured outside the realms of religion. I've 2 close friends who went to school in a protestant grammar school and they said they were only taught that catholics were normal everyday people when they went to university and were unsure about me as a person because of my background when they first met me. The attitude is similar the other way about too. Ingrained in kids since 4 years of age. That has no place in modern society.

Its early stages regarding a UI amongst unionist people. Some I've spoken to said they would go with it if it was the logical thing to do but unfortunately the people representing unionism are hell bent on brain washing the masses from even discussing it, hence the rioting in some parts so a long way off convincing many at present.

The PSNI definitely have a far greater amount of Catholic background members now than what was a mostly unionist run RUC during the dark years. Progression has been made there but the hierarchy is still made up with predominantly unionist background members. A working progress I'll say.

Too many incidents to fit into this post probably Dualsupport. But I was born in the early 80s and got the tail end of a very violent era. Some of which were my earliest memories. My cousin was put in intensive care by a loyalist mob from Sandy Row when he was out for a jog wearing our club crest. I remember the Brits stopped our club bus when I was about 4, they roughed up all the men on board, 'searched' some female passengers, leaving one in tears, only years later did I find out why she was crying. I was called 'scum' and spat at by lads at a youth club I went to when I was 10 because somebody told them I played gaelic. Needless to say I never returned for my own safety. But now looking back its hard to blame the kids either. Speaking to lads from loyalist heartlands they'll tell you that 'community leaders' would be rapping their doors from the time they were old enough to carry a drum and training them up for the orange order which included a lot of scare mongering about catholics. It's not surprising they then grow up to show hatred towards us. These are the types of barriers that need to be broken down and seen for what they are, hate crimes and borderline child abuse. Through everything, it hasn't deterred me from making efforts to build bridges nor will it ever as I see it all for what it is thankfully.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 2225 - 20/04/2021 19:18:15    2338091

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "I think most people here aren't too concerned with the recent rioting. Certainly not as much as local media are heightening it to be. Its happening in the same old burrows and is standard enough practice when they don't get what they want. But most people are in agreement that it's disgraceful behaviour and doesn't speak for all of the unionist community.

Two major things that need to happen to help unite communities imo. Firstly, a new age political party free from all the past baggage and whataboutary. Thankfully a generation of people have grown up in relative peace and can see a better life away from the dark days of the past. But as we see in England and America, people slate the 2 main parties all day every day but still go out and vote for one of them anyway so it's a tough nut to crack it would seem. Secondly, education needs to be restructured outside the realms of religion. I've 2 close friends who went to school in a protestant grammar school and they said they were only taught that catholics were normal everyday people when they went to university and were unsure about me as a person because of my background when they first met me. The attitude is similar the other way about too. Ingrained in kids since 4 years of age. That has no place in modern society.

Its early stages regarding a UI amongst unionist people. Some I've spoken to said they would go with it if it was the logical thing to do but unfortunately the people representing unionism are hell bent on brain washing the masses from even discussing it, hence the rioting in some parts so a long way off convincing many at present.

The PSNI definitely have a far greater amount of Catholic background members now than what was a mostly unionist run RUC during the dark years. Progression has been made there but the hierarchy is still made up with predominantly unionist background members. A working progress I'll say.

Too many incidents to fit into this post probably Dualsupport. But I was born in the early 80s and got the tail end of a very violent era. Some of which were my earliest memories. My cousin was put in intensive care by a loyalist mob from Sandy Row when he was out for a jog wearing our club crest. I remember the Brits stopped our club bus when I was about 4, they roughed up all the men on board, 'searched' some female passengers, leaving one in tears, only years later did I find out why she was crying. I was called 'scum' and spat at by lads at a youth club I went to when I was 10 because somebody told them I played gaelic. Needless to say I never returned for my own safety. But now looking back its hard to blame the kids either. Speaking to lads from loyalist heartlands they'll tell you that 'community leaders' would be rapping their doors from the time they were old enough to carry a drum and training them up for the orange order which included a lot of scare mongering about catholics. It's not surprising they then grow up to show hatred towards us. These are the types of barriers that need to be broken down and seen for what they are, hate crimes and borderline child abuse. Through everything, it hasn't deterred me from making efforts to build bridges nor will it ever as I see it all for what it is thankfully."
Too many incidents to fit into this post probably Dualsupport. But I was born in the early 80s and got the tail end of a very violent era. Some of which were my earliest memories. My cousin was put in intensive care by a loyalist mob from Sandy Row when he was out for a jog wearing our club crest. I remember the Brits stopped our club bus when I was about 4, they roughed up all the men on board, 'searched' some female passengers, leaving one in tears, only years later did I find out why she was crying. I was called 'scum' and spat at by lads at a youth club I went to when I was 10 because somebody told them I played gaelic. Needless to say I never returned for my own safety. But now looking back its hard to blame the kids either. Speaking to lads from loyalist heartlands they'll tell you that 'community leaders' would be rapping their doors from the time they were old enough to carry a drum and training them up for the orange order which included a lot of scare mongering about catholics. It's not surprising they then grow up to show hatred towards us. These are the types of barriers that need to be broken down and seen for what they are, hate crimes and borderline child abuse. Through everything, it hasn't deterred me from making efforts to build bridges nor will it ever as I see it all for what it is thankfully.
SaffronDon (Antrim


Without double checking I'm saying I didn't contribute one post to the debate, having read yours I'm sort of glad I didn't, although I'm aware of the bigger picture there are issues running parallel to the bigger issue that I may not be up to speed on shall we say. I hope everyday life goes from very good to a lot better for you all.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2385 - 20/04/2021 20:31:21    2338111

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Replying To DUALSUPPORT:  "SaffronDon can I ask you a few genuine questions.

How are the ordinary people in the north getting on at this time with the riots and the Brexit situation is there a worry things could get worse?

I know there is Catholics and Protestants who get on in society but overall is there any solution to bring full peace to both communities or have things gone beyond that point?

If we ever achieve an United Ireland how or what can be done to make unionist's feel they have a role or a part to play in the country and what compromises would have to be made to keep peace?

Does the PSNI have a sizeable Catholic membership now?

And has you or anyone in your local GAA club ever had hassle or harassment for being GAA members from police/army or from the loyalist community, if so would you be able to tell?"
I have just checked the percentage of Catholics in the PSNI and the outcome absolutely stunned me. In 2019 it was only 11%. I thought it would be at least 25% by now. I saw where a recent recruitment drive has attracted almost 7,000 applicants and 31% of these were from a CNR background, so hopefully the RC proportion might increase a little.

Oldtourman (Limerick) - Posts: 3031 - 20/04/2021 20:49:01    2338114

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Replying To Oldtourman:  "I have just checked the percentage of Catholics in the PSNI and the outcome absolutely stunned me. In 2019 it was only 11%. I thought it would be at least 25% by now. I saw where a recent recruitment drive has attracted almost 7,000 applicants and 31% of these were from a CNR background, so hopefully the RC proportion might increase a little."
joining the cops should have nothing to do with religion. PSNI are 100% Unionist and I appreciate that they are trying to make a living in a difficult area. Not sure what happened to the RUC.

maroondiesel (Mayo) - Posts: 1086 - 20/04/2021 21:28:49    2338123

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Replying To supersub15:  "Too many incidents to fit into this post probably Dualsupport. But I was born in the early 80s and got the tail end of a very violent era. Some of which were my earliest memories. My cousin was put in intensive care by a loyalist mob from Sandy Row when he was out for a jog wearing our club crest. I remember the Brits stopped our club bus when I was about 4, they roughed up all the men on board, 'searched' some female passengers, leaving one in tears, only years later did I find out why she was crying. I was called 'scum' and spat at by lads at a youth club I went to when I was 10 because somebody told them I played gaelic. Needless to say I never returned for my own safety. But now looking back its hard to blame the kids either. Speaking to lads from loyalist heartlands they'll tell you that 'community leaders' would be rapping their doors from the time they were old enough to carry a drum and training them up for the orange order which included a lot of scare mongering about catholics. It's not surprising they then grow up to show hatred towards us. These are the types of barriers that need to be broken down and seen for what they are, hate crimes and borderline child abuse. Through everything, it hasn't deterred me from making efforts to build bridges nor will it ever as I see it all for what it is thankfully.
SaffronDon (Antrim


Without double checking I'm saying I didn't contribute one post to the debate, having read yours I'm sort of glad I didn't, although I'm aware of the bigger picture there are issues running parallel to the bigger issue that I may not be up to speed on shall we say. I hope everyday life goes from very good to a lot better for you all."
Much appreciated and apologies for the earlier post

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 2225 - 20/04/2021 21:37:30    2338126

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Replying To maroondiesel:  "joining the cops should have nothing to do with religion. PSNI are 100% Unionist and I appreciate that they are trying to make a living in a difficult area. Not sure what happened to the RUC."
Of course not in an ideal situation, but the situation in NI is not a normal one. The RUC was disbanded many years ado and as was its replacement the UDR.

Oldtourman (Limerick) - Posts: 3031 - 20/04/2021 23:04:23    2338143

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "Much appreciated and apologies for the earlier post"
Apology accepted but not necessary, feel free to delete it.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2385 - 20/04/2021 23:27:11    2338145

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Replying To supersub15:  "Apology accepted but not necessary, feel free to delete it."
I would if I knew how to. I think it has to come from the forum admin, I don't see any options for it.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 2225 - 21/04/2021 11:48:47    2338178

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The % of Catholics in the PSNI is very misleading, up to 2015 there was a detailed account of the Catholic breakdown which the Policing Board had , Cathoilcs born in ni, , catholics born in roi and catholics born outside of Ireland . The last category accounted for nearly 40% in 2015 and it widely believed to be larger - polish, English, Scottish etc
The numbers from the south serving in the south is significant, but the number of local born Catholics in the PSNI is still very small and does anyone on here, know anyone, who knows anyone who serves in it........
Yes in an ideal world we need a police force accepted by all and all in it, but policing is political... Watch the documentary - no stone unturned ( utube and Amazon) and the events which were ongoing to last year...
The north/ 6 counties etc is complex but what is interesting is that the vast majority of posters are from the south - and very very few from the wee 6!

cuchulainn35 (Armagh) - Posts: 1605 - 21/04/2021 13:07:41    2338197

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "I think most people here aren't too concerned with the recent rioting. Certainly not as much as local media are heightening it to be. Its happening in the same old burrows and is standard enough practice when they don't get what they want. But most people are in agreement that it's disgraceful behaviour and doesn't speak for all of the unionist community.

Two major things that need to happen to help unite communities imo. Firstly, a new age political party free from all the past baggage and whataboutary. Thankfully a generation of people have grown up in relative peace and can see a better life away from the dark days of the past. But as we see in England and America, people slate the 2 main parties all day every day but still go out and vote for one of them anyway so it's a tough nut to crack it would seem. Secondly, education needs to be restructured outside the realms of religion. I've 2 close friends who went to school in a protestant grammar school and they said they were only taught that catholics were normal everyday people when they went to university and were unsure about me as a person because of my background when they first met me. The attitude is similar the other way about too. Ingrained in kids since 4 years of age. That has no place in modern society.

Its early stages regarding a UI amongst unionist people. Some I've spoken to said they would go with it if it was the logical thing to do but unfortunately the people representing unionism are hell bent on brain washing the masses from even discussing it, hence the rioting in some parts so a long way off convincing many at present.

The PSNI definitely have a far greater amount of Catholic background members now than what was a mostly unionist run RUC during the dark years. Progression has been made there but the hierarchy is still made up with predominantly unionist background members. A working progress I'll say.

Too many incidents to fit into this post probably Dualsupport. But I was born in the early 80s and got the tail end of a very violent era. Some of which were my earliest memories. My cousin was put in intensive care by a loyalist mob from Sandy Row when he was out for a jog wearing our club crest. I remember the Brits stopped our club bus when I was about 4, they roughed up all the men on board, 'searched' some female passengers, leaving one in tears, only years later did I find out why she was crying. I was called 'scum' and spat at by lads at a youth club I went to when I was 10 because somebody told them I played gaelic. Needless to say I never returned for my own safety. But now looking back its hard to blame the kids either. Speaking to lads from loyalist heartlands they'll tell you that 'community leaders' would be rapping their doors from the time they were old enough to carry a drum and training them up for the orange order which included a lot of scare mongering about catholics. It's not surprising they then grow up to show hatred towards us. These are the types of barriers that need to be broken down and seen for what they are, hate crimes and borderline child abuse. Through everything, it hasn't deterred me from making efforts to build bridges nor will it ever as I see it all for what it is thankfully."
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to my questions SaffronDon. I watched the documentaries and read books about the troubles but I feel the best way to find out is to ask people who lived through it, I also did the taxi tours in Belfast and Derry. From the outside I do think it's important for more Catholics to be involved with the PSNI for fairness between the communities.

Those were terrible incidents you told about it, something nobody should have to go through. I hope your cousin made a full recovery. I always felt myself when I was younger those loyalist up north were just bitter bigots, until I was at mass 1 Sunday a few years back and our Priest was giving a sermon on forgiveness and he spoke about Gordon Wilson and his campaign for peace in Northern Ireland after his daughter was killed in Enniskillen. I looked him up and read about him and I was in awe of The Wilson's story and what incredible people they were and are.

Anyway while I would love to see an United Ireland and the 6 counties will always be Ireland to me but the most important thing is a peaceful and good quality of life for the citizens in the North.

DUALSUPPORT (Limerick) - Posts: 968 - 21/04/2021 17:41:37    2338251

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Replying To DUALSUPPORT:  "Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to my questions SaffronDon. I watched the documentaries and read books about the troubles but I feel the best way to find out is to ask people who lived through it, I also did the taxi tours in Belfast and Derry. From the outside I do think it's important for more Catholics to be involved with the PSNI for fairness between the communities.

Those were terrible incidents you told about it, something nobody should have to go through. I hope your cousin made a full recovery. I always felt myself when I was younger those loyalist up north were just bitter bigots, until I was at mass 1 Sunday a few years back and our Priest was giving a sermon on forgiveness and he spoke about Gordon Wilson and his campaign for peace in Northern Ireland after his daughter was killed in Enniskillen. I looked him up and read about him and I was in awe of The Wilson's story and what incredible people they were and are.

Anyway while I would love to see an United Ireland and the 6 counties will always be Ireland to me but the most important thing is a peaceful and good quality of life for the citizens in the North."
As someone from the 6 counties your comments are welcome and appreciated. You would be amazed how many people in the republic look on people from the 6 counties as being from a different country.

tireoghainabu (Tyrone) - Posts: 141 - 21/04/2021 21:31:57    2338278

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "They may as well name it the All-Dublin. But sure who could begrudge Dublin, wouldn't Tyrone, Kerry, Mayo etc all have bought the same colanders had they been given the money as well, I'm praying Dublin win at least 10 in a row and more hopefully, and they'd be expected to as well, hopefully by that time there will be a united Ireland, and the GAA will be put in their rightful place in a new modern forward looking country, a mere parochial sporting organisation."
The GAA was a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels here long before you were born and it'll still be a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels long after you've gone to troll heaven.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 622 - 21/04/2021 23:02:39    2338287

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From reading different reports ideas etc on Northern Ireland I do think people are badly out of touch.

There is no chance of unionist/loyalists ever wanting to join an United Ireland. That is their choice and no amount of discussions /border poles will change that.

The GAA in the north have done an unbelievable job in surviving during the troubles and you would be surprised how much the GAA would be looked down and mistrusted by unionist/loyalists.

Byanthon (Tyrone) - Posts: 1678 - 22/04/2021 09:47:22    2338315

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Replying To Galway9801:  "
Replying To AfricanGael:  "They may as well name it the All-Dublin. But sure who could begrudge Dublin, wouldn't Tyrone, Kerry, Mayo etc all have bought the same colanders had they been given the money as well, I'm praying Dublin win at least 10 in a row and more hopefully, and they'd be expected to as well, hopefully by that time there will be a united Ireland, and the GAA will be put in their rightful place in a new modern forward looking country, a mere parochial sporting organisation."
The GAA was a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels here long before you were born and it'll still be a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels long after you've gone to troll heaven."
Troll Heaven- absolutely brilliant- I wonder will Katser occupy a high position among that Heavenly Host.

Oldtourman (Limerick) - Posts: 3031 - 22/04/2021 09:58:17    2338318

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Replying To Galway9801:  "
Replying To AfricanGael:  "They may as well name it the All-Dublin. But sure who could begrudge Dublin, wouldn't Tyrone, Kerry, Mayo etc all have bought the same colanders had they been given the money as well, I'm praying Dublin win at least 10 in a row and more hopefully, and they'd be expected to as well, hopefully by that time there will be a united Ireland, and the GAA will be put in their rightful place in a new modern forward looking country, a mere parochial sporting organisation."
The GAA was a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels here long before you were born and it'll still be a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels long after you've gone to troll heaven."
Lesson 1 : The GAA is not a sport , it's an organisation.

AfricanGael (UK) - Posts: 1552 - 22/04/2021 10:36:21    2338327

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Replying To tireoghainabu:  "As someone from the 6 counties your comments are welcome and appreciated. You would be amazed how many people in the republic look on people from the 6 counties as being from a different country."
But, the 6 counties are a different country. You are part of the UK. Unlike the Republic, you are not in the EU, you have a different currency, different police force, different health care, different taxation, etc. Last week, club training for adult and youth GAA players in Northern Ireland was permitted to resume, but not in the Republic.

Cockney_Cat (UK) - Posts: 1410 - 22/04/2021 10:43:10    2338331

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Replying To Byanthon:  "From reading different reports ideas etc on Northern Ireland I do think people are badly out of touch.

There is no chance of unionist/loyalists ever wanting to join an United Ireland. That is their choice and no amount of discussions /border poles will change that.

The GAA in the north have done an unbelievable job in surviving during the troubles and you would be surprised how much the GAA would be looked down and mistrusted by unionist/loyalists."
On the contrary I believe people on this forum have a very good understanding of the situation. The days of "Ulster says no" are no more, this will be a slow process but the re-unification of our country is inevitable.

tireoghainabu (Tyrone) - Posts: 141 - 22/04/2021 10:53:10    2338333

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "
Replying To Galway9801:  "[quote=AfricanGael:  "They may as well name it the All-Dublin. But sure who could begrudge Dublin, wouldn't Tyrone, Kerry, Mayo etc all have bought the same colanders had they been given the money as well, I'm praying Dublin win at least 10 in a row and more hopefully, and they'd be expected to as well, hopefully by that time there will be a united Ireland, and the GAA will be put in their rightful place in a new modern forward looking country, a mere parochial sporting organisation."
The GAA was a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels here long before you were born and it'll still be a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels long after you've gone to troll heaven."
Lesson 1 : The GAA is not a sport , it's an organisation. "]Lesson 2: If unable to counter an opponents argument due to lack of a counter argument, or due to simply being too thick to figure out one, try instead to focus on semantics.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 622 - 24/04/2021 00:33:49    2338592

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Replying To Galway9801:  "
Replying To AfricanGael:  "[quote=Galway9801:  "[quote=AfricanGael:  "They may as well name it the All-Dublin. But sure who could begrudge Dublin, wouldn't Tyrone, Kerry, Mayo etc all have bought the same colanders had they been given the money as well, I'm praying Dublin win at least 10 in a row and more hopefully, and they'd be expected to as well, hopefully by that time there will be a united Ireland, and the GAA will be put in their rightful place in a new modern forward looking country, a mere parochial sporting organisation."
The GAA was a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels here long before you were born and it'll still be a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels long after you've gone to troll heaven."
Lesson 1 : The GAA is not a sport , it's an organisation. "]Lesson 2: If unable to counter an opponents argument due to lack of a counter argument, or due to simply being too thick to figure out one, try instead to focus on semantics."]I'm delighted you used personal insults and words like thick, it's tells me what class of a person I'm dealing with, but I don't discriminate so I wont discriminate against you either, AG welcomes all classes and ethnic groups. So tell me what your "argument" is. I'd love to hear it, so go on have your say, and do your best to refrain from troll type insults.

AfricanGael (UK) - Posts: 1552 - 24/04/2021 09:55:04    2338603

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "
Replying To Galway9801:  "[quote=AfricanGael:  "[quote=Galway9801:  "[quote=AfricanGael:  "They may as well name it the All-Dublin. But sure who could begrudge Dublin, wouldn't Tyrone, Kerry, Mayo etc all have bought the same colanders had they been given the money as well, I'm praying Dublin win at least 10 in a row and more hopefully, and they'd be expected to as well, hopefully by that time there will be a united Ireland, and the GAA will be put in their rightful place in a new modern forward looking country, a mere parochial sporting organisation."
The GAA was a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels here long before you were born and it'll still be a massively successful, well attended sport with high participation levels long after you've gone to troll heaven."
Lesson 1 : The GAA is not a sport , it's an organisation. "]Lesson 2: If unable to counter an opponents argument due to lack of a counter argument, or due to simply being too thick to figure out one, try instead to focus on semantics."]I'm delighted you used personal insults and words like thick, it's tells me what class of a person I'm dealing with, but I don't discriminate so I wont discriminate against you either, AG welcomes all classes and ethnic groups. So tell me what your "argument" is. I'd love to hear it, so go on have your say, and do your best to refrain from troll type insults."]I didn't call you thick. I suggested it as one of two possibilities. Did you not read my message properly? It wasn't very long Africangael.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 622 - 24/04/2021 13:41:32    2338620

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