It would seem that a Ruth Dudley Edwards “punchline” has left Phil Mac Giolla Bhain dazed and on the canvas, if his latest offering in the Belfast Telegraph is anything to go by. It prompted the latter to lay out his credentials and qualifications for Irish citizenship followed by the inevitable low blow towards the Rangers support which we are all too familiar with:
I would point out to Ms Dudley Edwards that it is the job of journalists to prise open cracks and let in the light.
Moreover, it is my intention to continue to do that, whether I am writing about the fascist underclass who gather at Ibrox, or the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
Well let’s prise open Phil’s crack and see what kind of light pours in.
It could be that the bhoy Phil has been writing about Rangers for so long that he has committed the cardinal sin and forgotten the history, but there is a certain irony when you mix together his claims of nationhood and his accusations against the Rangers support.
A terse paragraph in the Irish national dailies on 3 May 1945 started the avalanche of international protest. Under the heading ‘People and Places’, the Fianna Fáil-backed Irish Press reported laconically that the Taoiseach and Minister for External Affairs, Éamon de Valera, accompanied by the Secretary of External Affairs, Joseph Walshe, ‘called on Dr Hempel, the German minister, last evening, to express his condolences’. The condolences were for Hitler who had committed suicide on 30 April.
He certainly got something right in that article – “History remembered is a weapon and sometimes in history it has been the time for weaponry”
Of course the thousands of Scots and Ulstermen who gathered at Ibrox on Saturday to cheer Rangers onto their 10th straight win can claim their own line of ancestry. I doubt very much there would be one amongst them whose distant relatives were not affected by the Clydebank or Belfast Blitz. As a support we are only too well aware of the product and consequences of fascist regimes.
It’s a support who cherishes our armed forces, well evidenced by our celebration of Armed Forces Day, an event we all know Mr Mac Giolla Bhain pays particular attention to. Had his square mile source been operating at full capacity perhaps he would have caught this expression of support for a fascist regime amongst Scotland’s football support.
It is vitally important we recognise that neither of the foregoing weapons of history are reflective of the Irish people nor the majority of the Celtic support, and attempting to stereotype or demonise a whole group of people accordingly should remain the exclusivity of the preachers of hatred.
Their “sermon” is based on carefully manipulated selection and omission – I’m sure Joseph Goebbels would be extremely proud of them.