Wearing orange in Ireland

Jun 12th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Quit wriggling, Kristen. What you now describe as opinion you first gave in the style used to deliver factual information.

One of the many factors that has sustained the problems in Northern Ireland was misrepresentation of facts, often done intentionally but also often the result of ignorance. I commend mrf0nt for trying to avoid getting things wrong through ignorance (if he or she gives offence, it will be knowingly!).
Padraig is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 04:05 AM
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Just a comment: this is a somewhat sad thread to read.

Whyis it that when I think of Ireland I am torn between visual images of beautiful countryside and a sense of people (at least some of them) being mired in poverty and religious strife.

Then there is the legendary drinking (is it true?) and that image of a people almost enjoying long-suffering.

I am not saying any of this is true...perhaps I am asking if any of this is true.

Someone told me once that if i ever came back from a visit to Ireland, "Please don't tell me about all the poverty and their maudlin manner."

Well, I haven't gone yet but keep thinking I'd like to and am trying to right my own possible ignorance of the place.

Dukey is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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Dukey, obviously I can't say why you think as you do.

The poverty image is out of date. Ireland is now quite prosperous (and prices here reflect that -- things ain't cheap here). Yes, of course, we still have some poverty here, but it is relative poverty, and we have some people living in difficult circumstances, but in that we are no different from any prosperous economy of which I know.

I would prefer that you did not characterise the recent conflict in Northern Ireland as religious strife. It's not *caused* by religion. It's more a tribal conflict, and its roots lie mainly in the 17th century.

Yes, many Irish people drink a lot (but many of us are more temperate). There may also be something of a maudlin strain in Irish culture, and I agree that there is a tradition of looking back to how hard things used to be ("I had to walk three miles in my bare feet to get to school") but we laugh at it ourselves ("and you had to walk four miles to get home").

I hope you get the chance to check it out for yourself.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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Perhaps my own perception of the religious "issue" has been tempered by news reports.

We hear constantly that the problems are between "Protestants and Catholics" and not between "tribes."

All i can say is that any time you have a "conflict' which has any sort of religious underpinning then it seems to get nasty.
Dukey is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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Kristin: Maybe the reason you have gotten the responses you have is because of the way you offered your info . . .

Here you matter of factly state as "fact" the origin of the flag's colours, and then wiggle out of it by saying it was a "little story from a tour guide"

On your Dan Dooley thread - you shout "DO NOT rent from Dan Dooley, they are horrible, disreputable!!" And then later say "Oh, yes it was partly my fault and they may be a fine company"
janisj is online now  
Jun 12th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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I don't blame you, Dukey, for thinking it is a religious conflict. I fully recognise that it is widely reported and written about in such terms, and not just by people outside Ireland.

This is not the place for discussing politics, history, or religion, other than to the the very limited extent that might be helpful to visitors who do not wish to cause offence or get into troublesome misunderstandings when they visit a place -- things like not wearing a Glasgow Rangers jersey on the Falls Road in Belfast or a Glasgow Celtic jersey on the Shankhill Road you would be identifying with the wrong tribe for each neighbourhood.

To revert to the original question: you can wear orange on the Falls Road (in a nationalist area) and nobody would notice, but a certain style of blue jersey might land you in trouble.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 05:41 AM
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Well said Padraig...and folks its not really like that up there anymore...Paisley (Dr No) and McGuinness (opposites sides) are now sharing power in in the newly formed govt. Don't get all Romantic about the troubles/struggles as they are NOT. It was an awful situation and some people are still suffering on both sides and its OVER Now lets all hold hands and sing Kumbayah!
SiobhanP is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Interesting responses...thanks for those perspectives.
Dukey is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Three is something to be said for being blithely unaware. On my first trip to Ireland, a celebration of my fortieth birthday, we had notmuch luckin locating a Trad session anywhere, strange as that may seem. When we arrived in Belfast and found our B&B, we set out on a walking exploration of Belfast. It was my birthday proper and as we walked we lamented the fact that we were heading home the next day without any music. Our wandering took us in to a decidely industrial looking area but the sound of a fiddle drew us like a moth to a flame. We walked into a pub that had an eclectic mix of people from men in business suits to punk rockers to regular workers just finished up for the day. They had just shut down the food but the bartender, upon discovering that it was my birthday, thanks to my friend, stepped into the kitchen and came out with two steaming bowls of stew and a chunk of brown bread. The fiddler announced that it was my birthday and I don't think we bought a round all night, though we did try mightily. When the taxi brought us back to our B&B, our host inquired as to where we had spent our evening. There is not a shade of white comparable to the shade he turned as he stammered "You went where? Americans shouldn't go there, especially not two women on their own!"

We had a great evening, bantered about everything from politics to industry and beyond.

Dukey, I hope you will make that visit to Ireland and see for yourself the truth. Ireland is a wonderful place. I have never had a cross encounter with anyone I have met. Is there poverty and strugle? To be sure there is, but that is true in America and elsewhere. As you have seen, hopefully, on this board, the Irish people are an opinionated lot, but they are also helpful, witty and knowledgible

mrfOnt, wear orange, wear purple, wear whatever you like. It is more the atttitude that you bring with you that will make you stand out than what you wear. To be sure, nobody stands out more than we do, as we travel the width and breadth of Ireland in Cowboy hats, western shirts, jeans and boots. However, there is not a place in which we have been that we have not felt welcomed and at ease.

Siobhan, somehow the visual I have of Padraig holding hands and singing Kumbaya will not come into any type of focus! ROFL

Slan Beo,

Bit Devine
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Dukey -
We were in County Fermanagh, in Enniskillen, which was the scene of those terrible bombings a number of years ago, about 2 weeks before Marching Day that year. At least, in our limited experience, in conversations with the citizens of Enniskillen, none were happy or proud of the strife that occurred in their lands --- but all were optimistic that things are better and were proud of both Northern Ireland and Ireland for working things out. As the bartender to whom we spoke told us, "just because some fools cause trouble, it doesn't mean that there are Troubles." BTW, Northern Ireland is beautiful and gets very few visitors in comparison to the Southern route so I highly recommend checking it out for a less-touristy view of Ireland.
akila is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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There is no poverty like yopu are thinking of tthat existed here in the turn of the century up to the 60's when many people inclusing my family emigraded as economic migrants to the U.S. We have one of the striongest growing Economies in the EU, and have for almost 10 years. There is a very stromng social welfare system compared to the the U.S. that provised housing, job placement and training programmes I had never seen and payment for the long tern unemployed. SOme people slip through the cracks due to Drugs and drink like any place but there is not poverty on a scale of a 2nd world country. Many homel;ess are a hanful that are not housable or new immigrants, Mostly young men from E Europe getting on their feet and looking for a job and apartment and stay in a shelter the first few weeks. Please everyone this poor Ireland things is not the reality. Many places in Europe are worse off than us.
SiobhanP is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Toward the end of the Troubles it was more about protection rackets and drug running than politics.
waring is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 08:33 AM
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Agreed, you stand a better chance of being approached by a panhandler in any city or town in North America, no matter its size, than you do in Ireland. I am continuously amazed each year when I go back just how much expansion has occurred in the short span of a year's time in Ireland. I never have really noticed any vagrants, though I stay out of the large towns and big cities. Is it more of an issue in Dublin?

Slan Beo,

CowboyCraic is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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Bit, you are right that the idea of my singing "Kumbaya" is unimaginable. Even Herself, who generously tolerates many of my faults and weaknesses, will not put up with my singing. Even I can't put up with it. I'll happily hold hands and encourage the proper singers.

Begging is not very common here, and active or aggressive begging is rare. It's probably a bad business decision to beg actively: I think Irish people are more likely to give money to those who sit quietly and hope than to those who ask forthrightly for money. We like understatement.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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“I would be happier if the distinction were not expressed in terms of religion, even though Northern Ireland Unionists (associated with Orange, after William of Orange) are mostly Protestant, and Northern Ireland Nationalists are mostly Catholic. There are -- admittedly not many -- Catholic Unionists and Protestant Nationalists. The divide in the north is not essentially a religious divide”

I just began Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion” this morning and in the first chapter (p. 21) he addresses this subject. He says we have a “pusillanimous reluctance to use religious names for warring factions” and uses Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants/Nationalists and Loyalists as his example. It is a part of the undeserved respect given religion in his opinion.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Siobhan, you're so right. Ireland these days is an affluent country. I think too many people have been reading Angela's Ashes!
Kate is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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vipblovesitaly, I think I can claim to have more knowledge and understanding of Ireland than does Prof. Dawkins. It helps that I have lived here all my life. Further, I am not driven by a wish to advance a thesis on religion.

The conflict in NI is often labelled in a sectarian way and is somewhat tinged with sectarianism, but its roots are not sectarian. It is not a religious war. It is rooted in conquest and dispossession, not in the way that people pray.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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The French are dreadful at this. I have seen portrayals of the conflict as being between Christians and Protestants.(?!!)
waring is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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England's trouble is France's opportunity - to feel superior.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Jun 12th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Padraig wrote:

"Yes, many Irish people drink a lot (but many of us are more temperate). There may also be something of a maudlin strain in Irish culture, and I agree that there is a tradition of looking back to how hard things used to be ("I had to walk three miles in my bare feet to get to school") but we laugh at it ourselves ("and you had to walk four miles to get home")."

I had that SAME walk, growing up! MY only difference, was that it was through the snow.


It was UPHILL -- BOTH ways.

Seriously -- I only WISH my part of the USA was HALF as prosperous asIreland has been the last ten years.

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  

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