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The silly, IRA loving, girls of Irish soccer

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 13 October 2022

As a progressive sort of chap, the second team I support in International soccer is, after Northern Ireland, our friends across the border in the Republic. But the Irish girls team don’t seem to like folks like me very much.

Having defeated Scotland on Tuesday night, the Irish girls have qualified for the World Cup which is a great achievement for them. In the dressing room afterwards the girls celebrated with a few songs including a little ditty “Ooh Ah, Up the Ra”. That would be a reference to the IRA which, during the 25 years of “the troubles” killed more than 1,700 men, women and children. Yes children and babies too. And nuns, priests, nurses, doctors, grandmothers, grandfathers, and little boys and girls just going about their business.

Of course, none of the current Eire team are old enough to remember the troubles. Not just the murdering that went on but the frustration as trains between Dublin and Belfast were stopped for yet another bomb alert, the kneecappings, the way folks were “disappeared”. Some bodies are still missing. The way that this terror was funded with drugs money and money gained from extortion and other crime. There were a lot of active paedophiles in the “Ra” as well but you have already got the picture. The IRA and their political wing Sinn Fein were – and still are – not very nice folk.

But none of the Irish squad are old enough to remember the horrors of the troubles so they must rely on second hand accounts which following the Good Friday agreement have seen history “revised.

Now the Brits are the villains killing men women and children. It is all about Bloody Sunday. In fact, the British army – which arrived in 1968 to protect Catholics being burned out by Protestants, killed 301 folk in Northern Ireland during the troubles, a fraction of the number killed by the IRA. But today’s kids are taught that the “Ra” were freedom fighters fighting for peace and that it was Sinn Fein/IRA that brought peace to Northern Ireland. No: they brought death and misery.

This week we are told to celebrate the death of Bobby Sands, a martyr starving himself to death in his shit covered prison cell in the H Blocks. We are not reminded that Sands was in prison after fleeing the bombing of the Balmoral Furniture company where among the dead were two babies. Sands is portrayed as martyr today, older readers from Northern Ireland know him as a baby killer.

I do not blame the Irish girlies for their singing but nor do I buy their forced and insincere apologies which come only because they got caught in the act. They know that cheering on the IRA offends many folks in the island of Ireland on both sides of the border. They know they were naughty and in the wrong. But they do not understand just how wrong and how naughty because history has been rewritten and for that they are not to blame.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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