3 September 2009 Edition

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Mála Poist

Celts’ yellow card for our man in the stand

I WAS both angered and upset by the lazy journalism of Gael Gan Náire (‘More Than A Game’, 20 August) under the headline of ‘Bring Back the Vigilance Committee’. It could have been lifted from any of the pro-Union rags that consistently run stories about “One of those gobdaws who thinks that Glasgow is in Ireland. Mother of God, did they ever open a geography book at all?”
As one of the many hundred of thousands of the Irish Diaspora who was born in Scotland, I see Glasgow Celtic FC as part of cultural ethnicity.  It played a major role for the Irish in Scotland and indeed our club was set up as a charitable organisation to help feed the starving Irish Catholics who escaped persecution and famine.
Glasgow is not in Ireland but only a fool can deny the inextricable link that exists between Glasgow Celtic and Irish republicans. Gael Gan Náire is a cynical, ignorant, holier-than-thou republican who failed miserably when it came to delivering an article that I presume was supposed to be an attempt at humour.

AS a proud follower of the Dubs and also as a Celtic season ticket holder, I came across Gael Gan Náire’s article slagging off anything slightly related to being a Dublin or a Celtic fan.
Now while I realise Gael Gan Náire probably sees himself as a cross between Daire O’Brien and Myles na Gopaleen (God help us all), I still think this wannabee comedian needs to be taken to task.
Celtic fans, particularly here in the 26 Counties, have to put up with enough crap from a multitude of West Brits who slag off Celtic at every available opportunity. Gael Gan Náire joins such predictable Celtic haters as Independent Newspapers, Eoghan Harris, Kevin Myers, English Premier League-loving sports journalists and broadcasters and many, many more.
Not only that, but those fun-loving, bubbly, sectarian, bigoted Rangers fans have a phrase they taunt Celtic fans with: “Where in Ireland is Glasgow?’’ The supremacist Rangers fans have little time for the descendants of those who emigrated from Ireland during the catastrophic Famine years. (Note to Gael Gan Náire: Celtic was set up as a charity to assist the impoverished Irish emigrants who had settled in the east end of Glasgow and lived their lives in overcrowded slums.)
What a laugh then to read such obvious high-quality literary talent scribbled by Gael Gan Náire such as: “The Jackeen... has probably thrown his dirty, beer-stained, smelly Jackeen jersey into the skip and wearing green hoops again. One of those gobdaws who thinks that Glasgow is in Ireland.” Good man, Gael Gan Náire, you align yourself once again with the open and fair-minded of society.
Dublin 14


Ryanair’s Lisbon passengers

MEDIA pundits regularly trot out the hoary old chestnut that Sinn Féin has ‘odd bedfellows’ in opposing the Lisbon Treaty when right-wing groups like the British Conservatives and UKIP are also against it.
Funnily enough, I haven’t heard any of these commentators point out the oddities in the Yes camp, which see the likes of the Progressive Democrats’ rump, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Then there’s the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation and union-busting employers showing solidarity with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. And alongside them there’s the once-militant Labour Youth and the Labour Party (led by former Kremlin kids Eamon Gilmore and Proinsias de Rossa) linking arms with the captains of industry.
Now millionaire Ryanair boss Michael ‘Loop the Loop’ O’Leary has said Yes to Lisbon, bankrolling the Yes campaign supported by John Gormley’s Green Party. Strange bedfellows indeed.
Dublin 5


Aer Lingus’s sound barrier

ARRIVING on an Aer Lingus flight into Dublin Airport I was disappointed when the pilot welcomed the passengers in to Dublin in English only and not in Irish also.
When I raised this with the airline staff I was informed that it was not company policy to use a bilingual greeting and was told by one of the crew that ‘nobody speaks Irish anyway’!
As an Irish taxpayer I feel let down by our public-owned airline that refuses to recognise or make any effort to encourage what is, after all, the official language of the state.
I was of the opinion that anti-Irish-language attitudes and the old colonial insecurity complex that accompanied it were things of the past or confined to Sunday Independent journalists. Obviously, I was wrong.
One can just imagine the reaction on an Air France flight if the pilot refused to welcome its passengers in to Paris in French. I would remind Aer Lingus that there has been a huge rise in the number of people speaking Irish over the last number of years and with this an enthusiastic and refreshing attitude to Irish culture in general. Perhaps Aer lingus should begin to reflect this.
North Circular Road,
Dublin 7

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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