Wednesday, October 05, 2005


GSTQ to get boot from Windsor?

I just had to comment on this bit of news that I've spotten on A Tangled Web. Someone at the IFA must have read what I've written on the IFA's attitude towards nationalists as it seems that God Save The Queen could be scrapped, according to the Sunday World.

A draft document commissioned by the Irish Football Association has suggested that an alternative anthem may be better to help encourage more Catholics to watch the national side.

The IFA is working hard to win back Catholic supporters who stopped following the North's team after unsavoury incidents involving former player Neil Lennon and the singing of sectarian songs at matches.

"In the context of the building of a new stadium, which could give people the chance to have a premiership-type experience, it would perhaps be the right time for a new song," said Robin Wilson, director of the North's think-tank Democratic Dialogue.

Those who have read United Irelander for some time will know that I have been quite vocal about my problems with the IFA, particularly as it relates to their efforts, or lack thereof, in reaching out to northern nationalists. It is only fair therefore that I congratulate the IFA on this move which I consider to be an immensely positive step, assuming it is true of course.

It is absolutely ridiculous that the IFA can claim to be inclusive and can claim to be interested in reaching out to nationalists - yet at the same time use God Save The Queen as the anthem. An anthem which northern nationalists do not identify with at all.

If the IFA decide to get rid of the anthem and replace it with one that will appeal to both sides of the community then they are to be commended. I hope they do get rid of it. It would be a great way of extending the olive branch out towards nationalists.

From a personal standpoint, I cannot support the team which represents Ireland's north as I feel the team is geared towards one side of the community only and I feel it contains only a British ethos. The anthem used is certainly my biggest gripe.

However, if the anthem was replaced, I would certainly consider giving my support to my northern compatriots as well as my southern ones. Providing this coincides with a concerted effort to include northern nationalists obviously.

All in all I feel this is good news if there is truth in the story. That remains to be seen though. Still, it's encouraging.

Nationalists have had to endure much criticism for speaking out against the disgusting bigotry of the IFA being labelled things like 'detractors', 'begrudgers' etc. We've had to put up with an extraordinary amount of bullshit about the IFA and that they are currently inclusive towards nationalists! (the anthem tells us otherwise)

Finally though, at long long last, it appears the IFA might just have gotten their act together regarding making a genuine effort towards the nationalist community.

Good stuff. It's about time.


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