I don’t know if any of you are paying attention to this, but I figure with the royal wedding getting discussed, and America being full of people of Irish descent it might be worth a shot.
Todays a big day for Anglo-Irish relations. The British Queen today set foot in Ireland on an official state visit. It is the first time since Ireland (or at least part of it) gained independence that a reigning British monarch has set foot in the country. (At least officially, there’s rumours she’s border hopped once or twice.)
Our President met the Queen, and exchanged fairly jovial formalities. And outside Aras an Uachtarain (the place where the president lives) both God Save the Queen and Aran na bhFiann were played. And the Queen is wearing green to honour the occasion. It’s a remarkable day, second only to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in my mind. If it goes off well over the next few days, it’ll show Ireland has progressed hugely. I already know that the vast majority of people are happy to have here, if a little annoyed at the expense and disruption.* However that’s down to some completely degenerate criminals who will never be satisfied by peace. There’s already been a viable but not primed pipe bomb found on a bus, although far away from anywhere the Queen would be. So hopefully the country can show that these idiots make up a very small minority of the country.
So, all in all a good day. And I was genuinely proud to here the English national anthem played alongside the Irish to the Queen and our President outside the President’s official residence.
*To put this in context, the level of protection being afforded to the Queen is higher than that being given to Obama.
I hope it goes well. I visited Ireland last year and it is a gorgeous country with very friendly and hospitable people. The police stations that look like fortified military outposts are rather jarring.
You mean Northern Ireland? There’s nothing like that in the republic, anywhere.
Edit: Actually, what’s your view of Ireland? Do you think we’re a bunch of terrorists going around blowing people up? Do you think people are carrying Kalashnikovs on their backs while they ride their donkey down to the latest field of blight infected potatoes?
Until a couple of years ago I worked in an office in D8. More than once my walk to work was diverted by pipe bombs discovered under cars in the Pimlico/Ardee St area. Also there was significantly more horse drawn traffic than I’ve seen in any other first world city.
It wouldn’t be entirely unfair for a casual visitor to pick up on elements like that and take the wrong conclusions home with them.
My newspaper reported a “credible” bomb threat in regards to her visit, but I haven’t seen any online articles about it. All I know about Anglo-Irish relations I learned from an English Professor who took us around the parks and laughed about the various bombings, explosions, and otherwise unhealthy activities practiced by Irish visitors to England. Think this threat was real?
I hope you saved your original post. There was really nothing wrong with it. In fact, I quite liked it. Credible, just a little angry, just a little passionate. It was great. And it looks like you may end up needing to use it again, anyway.
In a poll by Sky News (who hate the Irish) 80% of the people encouraged or welcomed the Queens visit. The rest felt it was the wrong time (and a lot of them feel an act of contritition would justify it.) There were 200 protestors in Dublin, all part of Eirigi who are loolooball socialist republicans. Seriously loolooball. They seemed to be made up of people who dropped out of school, did too much heroin and no see conspiracies. And even while faux-violently protesting they were wearing soccer jerseys of the English teams.
Irish people support British football, watch British TV, in rugby we play against Welsh and Scottish teams weekly and partake in the British and Irish Lions, Ireland is more important to the UK than the combined trade of the BRICs, Britain is Irelands biggest trading partner, we’ve already had God Save the Queen played in a place where British army men mowed down Irish sports fans in cold blood, and which is seen as the last bastion of Gaelic-ness and that was a few years ago and went without incident. We like British bands (and for some reason they like U2 in return.) We’ve sent them tonnes of comedians and celebrities that appear on their TV. We shop in British supermarkets. And most tellingly, Prince Charles has figures that show there are six million Irish, children of Irish or grandchildren of Irish people living and working in Britain, by far the largest ethnic group in the country. (Even the British far right nationalist parties that want to send every immigrant court Irish immigrant support. )
Many, many people who are skilled at covert/overt attacks
They reckon there’s less than 100 people involved or who were once involved in terrorism capable of carrying out such attacks, north or south of the border.
Throw in an historic occasion and I can understand why she would have more security than Obama.
I do too. But it’s because there’s a tiny percentage of people who would like to see her come to harm. There’s a larger percentage of people who would like to throw an egg at her but that’s mainly because they’re filthy commoners as HRH would put it, or they’re scumbags as I would put it.
Bahimiron, I’ve deleted that post. On reflection it was fine to post, but I wrote it in anger. Tom checked me out by e-mail before letting me join, and I’ve taken him on his word that this is generally a mature forum, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
It basically went that the Irish state has never invaded another country, condoned an invasion of another country, or sanctioned an invasion of another country, and nor have the Irish people. Our armed forces serve around the world on UN peacekeeping missions and have garnered widespread acclaim for their ability to resolve situations peacefully. The majority of our police force do not carry a sidearm, they do not need to, nor do they want to.
I can understand, if not condone the IRA and the likes, they were in a desperate situation, they were young and they were angry at widespread institutional inequality and discrimination. I can not understand plastic paddies in America sending their wages over to support the murdering of children. The IRA were of their time, and many struggled hard to show that peaceful means and negotiation were what was needed to stop the problems in the north. John Hume (and David Trimble) won the Nobel Peace Prize for this, creating a peace that would ensure their political death. Ireland, Britain and Northern Ireland are used the world over as the shining example of what negotation can achieve.
(I think that was the general gist of it, the original had more pizzazz though.)
There was a viable bomb found in Maynooth. It was never anywhere nor could it get anywhere near the Queen or her intended routes. It was a pipe bomb, a crude device but potentially deadly. It was targetted at Irish citizens. It was a threat, as the location of the device was phoned in (to the media or police, I’m unsure which,) it was not a real threat, as the device was not primed and was never intended to be detonated.
As for Irish visitors to the UK. Most were too busy working on building sites and making a fortune doing nixxers laying cheap driveways to bother with any of the politics.
Would there be a difference with expat Irish? 'Cause all the ones around here seem pretty down on the English. Otherwise, yes, the Irish are a fine people, but compared to Obama’s regular walking around detail, I would still think the occasion would call for more security. BTW, I’m of Irish descent, although I have no Irish culture.
Sometimes it seems half the world is of Irish decent with so many Irish bars, you can’t escapet them on holliers. ;)
Yes, I totally see why the Queen has such a large security operation around here. Apart from the actual threat of bombs, the fallout purely from an Irish pride perspective of scumbag hitting her with an egg would be devastating for us. The nation is on its knees, I think an embarrasment like that would do huge harm to the Irish psyche. I have no doubt the English monarchy would shrug it off, along with the vast majority of politicians. But we’d think “Oh Jesus, here were are to the world, the dumb Micks again.” If you were following #queensvisit on twitter you would see loads of people talking about how the stupid “republican” demonstrators were fucking everything up. And some of the English media revelled in that. Sky News (Murdochs tabloid news channel) concentrated on them for a continuous 15 minutes in one go, all the while saying “the Irish should be more grateful considering we’re bailing them out.” The vast majority of the country is ashamed at these idiots.
Would there be a difference with expat Irish? 'Cause all the ones around here seem pretty down on the English.
I don’t know, I’ve never been a part of an Irish expat community. Maybe they’re playing up to the stereotype for a laugh. Maybe you’re misinterpreting sarcasm. For 800 years Ireland has had to deal with living in the shadow and under control of the British. That’s a phenomenal amount of our political history and all of our modern history. We see England as the team to beat in sporting events, and we always go for the team playing against England (as do the Welsh and Scottish because of the Anglo-centrism of the British media.) But we do so jokingly, really most people would like to see the English players from the Premiership doing well in the World cup. Maybe not winning it but definitely getting to the final. Contrary to that, England has a history of a massive Empire. Their influence spanned the globe, and their dealings touched every corner of the Earth. To them Anglo-Irish history is only a small part of what they see as an education. Britain generally see us a little friendly neighbour, sure more Irish people seem to live in Britain than in Ireland.
The Irish relationship with Britain is deep and complex. Part of that relationship is dealing with our own coming to terms as an independent nation (it takes longer than 100 years to do so.) Seeing our president and prime minister meet the queen, without bowing and scraping or any form of obeisance is a big part of our development.
To say the Irish are violent, or that we hate the English is incredibly ignornant of Irish society and what it means for us to be Irish.