Tuesday, May 23, 2006

When will we grow out of Celtic shirts?

Recently, I have found myself wondering more and more at the mindset of those who buy and wear Celtic shirts in the North of Ireland. No public event with even the remotest Irish political or cultural connection can pass, and no riot or street protest is complete without a fair portion of young and old dressed in the hoops.

When you question the appropriateness of it to Celtic fans, the reaction is swift and angry: "Do you not know the history of the club...?" "How dare you question it - do you not know how many people have been killed for wearing the hoops...?" etc.

All of which may be true, but surely these days there are more appropriate ways to express positive and confident Irishness than wearing the symbols of a British plc whose commerical success is largely built on the vicious sectarian hatred between it and Glasgow Rangers? This disconnect is even more nauseating if you make a short stop at the Celtic shop in Belfast or the online store, where innocent children can be branded from birth with a full range of accessories including Celtic bottles and Celtic bibs.

Writing in today's Irish News, Tom Kelly expresses it well: "They say apples don't fall far from the tree and when it comes to sectarianism people need to look no further than the family environment. What are we buying into that is not on the label when purchasing a Rangers or Celtic top for our children?"


Anonymous arewecountry said...

fair play to you Urquhart - i have been saying this, quite literally, for YEARS!. celic and rangers tops should be banned from NI streets, their wearing punishable by jailing. anyone who chooses to wear a celtic / rangers top in public is simply saying:

I am a Catholic / protestant.F*** you.

i woul dlove to ask one of the thugs who Celtic should play at right back next season? you'd get soem anwer!

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Greco's friend said...

fair play to you boy.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous truthhurts said...

what if there is a genuine Celtic or Rangers fan out there? in the same way that people wear for example West Ham, Arsenal, Spurs or even Barcelona shirts, there may be some actual football fans proud to wshow off their loyalty. are they all to be tarred with the same Tom Kelly brush?

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said my friend. Of course, RTE are to the front of this propaganda, interviewing Michael McIlveen's family while they wore celtic tops and posed in front of celtic tags. DId the family really need to use sectarian symbols while claiming mickybo was liked by both sides of the community? Good old RTE - not asking the hard questions again...


11:10 AM  

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