the tanner ba'

Odds & Ends: Here We Go Again Edition

Last year's Remembrance Day in Dingwall.

Last year’s Remembrance Day in Dingwall.

  • Yesterday I was all ready to do my duty and report on Ross County’s 4-1 to Celtic on Sunday- and then reports started filtering in on what had happened prior to the match and the result didn’t seem to matter any more.  By all accounts members of Celtic’s traveling support sang pro-IRA songs (more on that below) and vandalized Remembrance Day displays in Dingwall on their way to the match, but then refused to remain quiet during the minute’s silence before the kick-off.  Celtic F.C. had this to say about it- at least the minute’s silence aspect- “The silence was impeccably observed by the overwhelming majority of our fans as it always is.  Clearly we are disappointed that a handful of individuals have chosen to embarrass the Club and our supporters in this way.”  Not actually an “apology,” is it?  By the way, this happens EVERY time Celtic play away on/near Remembrance day.  EVERY. TIME.
  • Kudos to BT Sport announcer Derek Rae- who’s a “good one” to begin with- for calling out the Celtic supporters immediately after the minute’s silence ended.
  • Now, about those pro-IRA songs some Celtic supporters were singing prior to the match…  Rembrance Day in the United Kingdom primarily focuses on World War One, which coincided with the final push of Irish Republicanism for independence (the Easter Rising was in 1916), so there is a reason why the two things might become co-mingled in some respects- I get that.  What may of these delinquents don’t realize is that at the same time that Ireland was pushing for freedom at home, their countrymen- a quarter of a million of them- were fighting and dying in the trenches of Europe in the British Army (and to a lesser extent, in the U.S. and Canadian armed forces).  That’s 250,000 men (about one in every six Irish males at the time), 50,000 of whom never returned.  These were not all Ulster-Scots from the “north” either, they were, for the most part, Irish Catholics- the same group these idiots on Sunday thought they were “protecting” with their actions.  It’s confusing, I get that.  The relationship between Ireland and the U.K. was, to say the least…complicated.  A Catholic Irish Republican could find himself, through dint of circumstance, fighting abroad on behalf of the very government he was hoping would be uprooted at home, just as Protestant Ulsterman could find himself manning the barricades in Dublin while his “compatriots” were fighting the Kaiser in Germany.  Shameful and ignorant behavior…
  • All of which should make January’s League Cup semi-final meeting between Ross County and Celtic in Glasgow an even more interesting one.  Unlike the Celtic fans, I have no doubt that the traveling County support will behave themselves perfectly.  St. Johnstone and Hibernian will meet in the other semi-final.
  • It seems like kind of a disservice to stick this on the end of a “bummer” of a post, but it has to be said that this past weekend’s MLS playoff matches were ridiculously wonderful.  I’m still in favor of promotion and relegation (eventually), but if, in the meantime, the MLS playoffs can continue to approach this NHL level of playoff intensity I’m all for it!  That Seattle-Dallas match, tho…
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