How to be a racist in Scotland and get away with it.

A good friend of mine, who is a long time buddy of Pat Fenlon, said he had high hopes for him when he took up the Hibernian job.

I said to my big pal from Tallaght that I hoped he would do well, but he would have to cope with the racist abuse that would be inevitably hurled at him.

“From that Rangers lot?” he asked.

“Not just them. I saw young James McCarthy pilloried at New Douglas Park by the visiting St Mirren fans  in 2008 and McGeady got it at many grounds in Scotland.”

Today in the Scotsman we have a report that Fenlon was subject to abuse based on his nationality.

“The Irishman was repeatedly subjected to aggressive abuse – much of it centring on his nationality – from individuals within the home support during the Easter Road side’s 3-2 victory over the Second Division leaders. However, despite the offenders being clearly identifiable in the stand, no action was taken by police or stewards.”

Personal attacks on the basis of a person’s nationality are considered by UEFA to be racist abuse.

The man himself passed it off as “banter.”

The reality is that Pat Fenlon was subject to racist abuse from   Cowdenbeath supporters and there was no police intervention.

The extent to which Anti-Irish Racism isn’t on the political radar in Scotland frames the response of the public agencies and, indeed, the victims to it.

Until Anti-Irish Racism is publically challenged, the way black players in England have a zero tolerance of racism then it will continue.

The sporting bodies and public agencies have not even begun to create the atmosphere within which an Irish person, subjected to racist abuse, would feel empowered to complain.

If Hibernian’s new manager was black, English or Spanish would it the response from the police on the day have been different?

If I took this story of Anti-Irish racism to anyone in the Scottish government for a response they would whirr into action like a Stepford Wife parroting out guff about “sectarianism.”

If official Scotland can’t even recognise their country’s largest and oldest ethnic minority then it should come as no surprise that they wouldn’t respond appropriately to an Irishman suffering racist abuse at his place of employment in the presence of scores of police officers.

63 thoughts on “How to be a racist in Scotland and get away with it.

  1. Thekwizatshaderach

    Phil, i feel i have been plagiarised by RogueLeader in his piece on called the economy of truth.

    i believe he could have acknowledged that he had been reading your website and one of your highly intelligent posters, as most who put up posts on your website are, well except Iain, had brought this beautiful piece of knowledge, The Propaganda Model of Chomskys and Hermans to the celtic minded, i mean it is almost word for word, a very poor show from RogueLeader in my opinion, have you ever encountered such blatant plagiarism in your own career? i suppose if it spreads the knowledge and informs more people, the better for everyone, but i expect more from a fellow Tim.
    Yours Thekwizatshaderach

    P.S slightly tongue in cheek, but only slightly.

  2. Ronnie

    I was also at the game you reffer to against Hamilton and your interpretation of racist abuse is laughable, how can the Saints support be accused of being racist towards the Irish when the boy getting stick isn’t even Irish. You seem to be trying to deflect attention away from certain other issues in Scotland that stem from your club. If indeed there was a case to answer over this incident then why have saints not been taken to task over it, i think you know the answer to that as there was NO CASE TO ANSWER

    The fact is it was known why the boy got stick,it wasn’t anti Irish one bit, you seem to have a “look at me attitude”, why don’t you concentrate on the problems in society that stem from religion and the huge part the Old firm play in it instead of grabbing at any small branches as you fall from your tree, there are far too many jounalists out there like yourself, people who choose to deflect from the real problems in society, you would rather try and make up other issues to deflect bad press from Glasgow and the wests biggest problems

  3. BLF

    I was at that Hamilton vs St Mirren game in 2008, I did not hear any racist abuse towards McCarthy. He certainly got a few boos and jeers from the opposition, as do most skilful players, there probably was more vitriol because he had “turned his back on Scotland” – but be very clear about this Phil, this was anti-McCarthy, not anti-Irish.
    By trying to insinuate that this is racism does nothing but blur and detract from the real problems Scotland has.

    I find it so surprising that someone who is obviously so passionate about the problems in Scotland would set his own arguments back so much by trying to imply ‘any abuse to any Irish person by any scots is racist’.

    The friendship and ties between the scots and the Irish are strong and go back many generations. There is a subset in Scottish society who damage that – do not tar us all with that brush – it is neither true nor progressive.

  4. david perrie

    Pat Fenlon, by his own admission, received much worse from Dubliners who called him an Orange B…..d. for having the temerity to play for the perpetually best team in Ireland, Linfield FC.
    Hope he does well, Hibees are a great club.

  5. Gerry Carty

    Being Scottish does not stop you being classed as ‘Irish’ ….i was born and raised in Scotland yet was known as ‘the Irish yin’ by some uneducated people who took exception to me being a Celtic supporter and a Catholic .I can also say that i have been called a ‘Fenian bastard’ simply because of the school i went to . Its about time racism/sectarianism was stamped out in Scotland but as long as we have people of low mentality who are easily led then we will always have racism and sectarianism ….we just need to read some of the posts on this very subject to see that things will not be changed overnight, but nonetheless we must strive to rid our land of racists and bigoted morons .

  6. Dougie

    Not sure why you have singled St Mirren fans out for a special mention on racism towards the Irish. We have an Irish captain Jim Goodwin, who has played for ROI at youth levels and B International, David Van Zanten is Irish as is another first team regular, Graham Carey. Have never once heard any St Mirren fan abuse any of those guys based on their nationality. The club was named after an Irish monk, and the examples of Irish racism you mention seem to concern players who were born and raised in Scotland and played for Scottish clubs who turned down the chance to play for Scotland and play for ROI instead… which they were entitled to do, but its is hardly a clear cut case of St Mirren fans abusing Irish players based on their nationality!

  7. RTC

    What a disgusting piece, filled with inaccuracies with regards to St. Mirren FC. I’m sure you were brought to task about this imaginary ‘racism’ with regards to our game against Hamilton in the past and were soundly put in your place about it. Incidentally a charge levied at us by one man which was never heard by, reported or noted by anyone at the match at the time, be it St. Mirren fans, Hamilton fans, police, stewards or officials, only one no-mark reporter with his own political agenda.

    I’m not going to go over the facts regarding McCarthy and McGeady. You’ve read them and heard them enough times and yet your eyes are still blind to the facts, your ears deafened by the sound of your own agenda, ringing over and over again in your head.

    For the record, Jim Goodwin, St. Mirren’s club captain is from Waterford. A better skipper we haven’t had in 25 years. He receives regular abuse at away games. Never once has anyone from SMFC suggested or even thought that this might be an anti-irish agenda. We know that he’s the type of player who gets under the skin of the opposition, plays the ‘pantomime villain’ part to perfection, a player that opposition fans hate because they know he’s an annoyance, but fear because they know he can do them damage. A Robbie Savage, Dennis Wise or, dare I say it, Neil Lennon. Of course that is another can of worms, anyone in Scotland who ever even suggests that they booed Neil Lennon during his on pitch career simply because he was that type of player, the combative in your face type who snarled his way through games and irritated other fans, is simply dismissed as an anti-irish bigot. Yet when these same people do, or have done the exact same to Scott Brown, Nacho Novo, El Hadji Diouf or Kyle Lafferty, it’s apparently different.

    Also at St. Mirren, David van Zanten is from Dublin. 200 appearances to his name, and Graham Carey, also a Dubliner is a mainstay of the St. Mirren team.

    Football and religion don’t mix. Never have, never will. Some would be well reminded of such a fact.

    1. Phil Mac Giolla BhainPhil Mac Giolla Bhain Post author

      My ears were not deafened that day in October 2008 at New Douglas Park when I sat among the St.Mirren fans.
      The abuse of McCarthy for being a “Plastic Paddy” was the off field talking point of the match.
      The local journalist Andy McGilvray (Hamilton Advertiser) confirmed to me the abuse was audible to him in the press box.
      The police commander confirmed to me on the trackside after the match that he had heard the abuse.
      That you have Irish players at your club has nothing to do with the fact that James McCarthy was subjected to abuse that day by St Mirren fans because of his decision to choose RoI for his international football.

    2. Ronnie MacKay

      I was at the St Mirren v Hamilton game in the press box and have to say I didn’t hear the Irish references but certainly the boos. In my opinion, he was getting stick for turning his back on Scotland – if he had decided to play for Argentina he still would have been given stick. I don’t think it was racist but you say differently. I am just going on what I heard that day.

    3. RalphWaldoEllison

      Can you explain the rationale at the bastion of anti-sectarianism called New Love street at the end of the game versus Celtic today (Jan 21) and at every other game against us. The PA/DJ play Cher’s “Gypsys Tramps and Thieves.” and the sniggerring is almost audible at Gilmour Street.

      Just because your team has some guys from Ireland in it doesn’t make you blameless. Remember the footage of an embarrassed Neil MCann standing behind QC Findlay as he drunkenly sung about ‘fenian blood’ etc. McCann wasn’t asked what he thought about that, but his face told the story.

      You are part of the problem when you support the abusing of someone for simply making their choice as to which country to play for. That is so much part of the problem that some people cannot get their heads round.

      It’s all banter to you, it’s just part of the game. There is no issue even when those who are targeted tell you that it is unacceptable.

      Denial and justification is alive and well in Paisley.

  8. B

    Booing of some players has nothing to do whatsoever with what country they choose to associate themselves. I boo Dougie Imrie of Hamilton because he is a man I can’t stand and I see him as a danger. I then mock him when he looses the ball. He is Scottish.

    I did the same with both McGeady and McCarthy, both players who I don’t mind admitting that I would like to have seen in a Scotland strip, but who chose, for whatever reason, to play for Ireland

    Why did people from England not boo Hutchison, Goram etc. They are not perceived as “traitors” as you would have it because they were never in danger of being selected for an England squad.

    I think if Rooney or Beckham had Scottish relatives and had chosen to play for Scotland because they were overlooked at U21 level by England, they would have received similar derision from English fans

    Are you just at this to draw attention away from the problems of your own country? Quite sad!

  9. dublin_bud

    People in glsas houses…

    As a Scot living in Dublin, I have to say that on more than one occasion I’ve been shocked at the level of vitriol aimed at the English, for a number of reasons. Yet it’s okay because everybody does it and feels the same way.

    Hows about getting your own house in order before criticising anyone else??

    1. Míceál

      The anti-english thing in Ireland probably has something to do with 800 years of invasion, plantation, murder,rape and torture.
      What did the Irish ever do to scotland to merit the racist and sectarian abuse suffered over the last 160 odd years ?
      are ye envious that we don’t report to an english queen ?

  10. RalphWaldoEllison

    Ah… the rugger counter argument. I wondered how long it would be before we heard it being trotted out.

    “We have a great time in Dublin for the internationals, and when they come to Murrayfield, we have a real crack with them. We’re not in the slightest anti-Irish.”

    That’s the gist of it etc.

    Fact. The Irish Rugby team represents the whole of the island of Ireland, not just the Republic. This means that they are not in quite the same abuse league as the football team.

    The “I have some friends who are Irish ao I can’t be anti-Irish at any other time” excuse is just another variation of cognitive dissonance, if the same person refuses to question that equation in the face of congtradictory evidence.

    On various occasions, I have been called a “Scottish ******* (insert your own expletive/slang), and at no time did I feel anything but offended. I didn’t laugh or find it remotely funny. It was usually said in front of other people, so as to derive maximum offensive impact.

    A close friend who was raised and schooled in central Scotland has admitted that at assembly at his High School, the headmaster would repeatedly refer to the nearby Catholic school as being full of “beggars and thieves”. No wonder some children grew up to think of catholics as second class citizens.

    An Englishwoman I workled with in Local Govt. England, a solicitor by trade, started dating a Scotsman who supported Rangers. During a break in a meeting, she smiled at me and conversationally said “We (boyfriend and she) were driving up to Scotland, and we saw these buses of Celtic supporters, and Ian told me that they were called “tramps and beggars.” She was puzzled when I took exception to her story.

    These are some of the ways that negative discriminatory behaviour becomes an embedded part of people’s lives. They are expected to buy into the culture, and when there is no challenge, the culture grows even more legs.

    If you are happy that the culture in Scotland involves such behaviour, that it is acceptable, and therefore that it should be encouraged, then I shudder to think of how the future will unfold.

    As for the nonsense that, McGeady and McCarthy were booed for being traitors ( really? a criminal offence for which those convicted can still be executed…) At the same time as McGeady was enduring his vilification, another young player at Kilmarnock, born and raised in Scotland, had chosen to represent Northern Ireland. This was glossed over in the press and the lad was able to play without being subjected to the McGeady treatment. Other may recall his name. In essence though, those elements who boo young lads in this way and who claim to hold Scotland and it’s culture close to their heart, are not remotely interested in having it tainted by “non-Scots”. If McGeady had wanted to represent Scotland, he only had to look at how a succession of Celtic players have been treated when representing Scotland, usually at Hampden. I have personally witnessed it at internationals, when I stood beside Scotland fans wearing their Rangers scarves. Those Celtic players did not feel welcome, yet all of them continued to play for their country with pride. The second/third generation Scots of Irish extraction are still considered as “outsiders” by elements in Scotland, and are not regarded as real Scots at all

    And so to the final example of cognitive dissonance.
    Celtic players are not wanted in the Scotland team by some in Scotland, – just so long as those players want to play for Scotland. (Not Scottish enough, not good enough, etc) As soon as those same players express a wish to play for another country, they are then pilloried by the same individuals for their supposed treachery. Blacks in the USA have had to endure the same hypocrisy.

    As to how many people in Scotland feel this way, there’s no way of knowing, but it’s enough to become a virus that spreads to other minor grounds all over the country. Maybe those who abused Mr Fenlon were hearts fans with nothing better to do, but maybe they weren’t. Either way, in their world, the racist abuse of a football manager was perfectly legitimate. They are likely to be the same people who would boo Celtic players playing for Scotland.

    If this is your Scotland, then you are welcome to it. I hope that you live to regret your choices. I don’t think McGeady or McCarthy will regret theirs.

    1. sprisahania

      I could have believed the two anecdotes until you went on to talk about Scotland fans and their “Rangers scarves” and Celtic players “not made to fell Welcome” in the national team. An absolute fabrication.

      Also treason is not punishable by death. Just because you heard somting in the pub doesn’t make it so.

    2. RalphWaldoEllison

      To Spirishania

      Just because you don’t want to or cannot accept something that is uncomfortable to your belief system, you choose to dismiss it as an “absolute fabrication”. I stood at the Rangers end at the old Hampden in 1965 during a Scotland v Wales match. There were four knots of fans wearing Rangers scarves. When Bobby Murdoch was on the ball they booed and shouted abuse at him. I left that area.

      Brian McClair being booed playing for Scotland at Ibrox is well documented. If you would take your head out of the sand long enough you would know of this and other similar incidents. But I keep forgetting that for some people, these incidents are either just harmless fun or didn’t happen at all. They happenned and they make ripples that you want to deny.

      And pardon me for forgetting that the death penalty for treason was abolished in 1998. The whole point was not diminished one bit by that oversight.

      Still if you want to find reasons to discredit what you hear, so that you can more easily sleep at night, then dream on. McGeady and McCarthy were called traitors by a poster on this site. THAT was the point you should have been addressing, not nit picking to justify your own belief system.

      Denial is a key part of cognitive dissonance – and you have it in spades.
      You might not like to hear that, but then again I don’t like to be called a liar by anyone, particularly when they were not there and have a vested interest in discrediting what I say.

  11. Scarf

    I’ve had many comments about being Scottish from English and Irish people. Much of it was at sporting events and was just banter- certainly that is what it felt being at the 6 Nations games between Scotland and Ireland and sitting in with the Leinster fans which was an experience- but one where we shook hands leaving.

    I don’t think there is much hatred of Irish people in Scotland. I think Irish and Scottish people are closely linked and share the same sense of humour. All countries however- Ireland and Scotland included have their fair share of idiots and numpties who probably take it too far or are bigoted

    The McCarthy incident isn’t really the same as the Fenlon incident. McCarthy was booed by fans because they saw him as a talented Glaswegian, good enough for Scotland yet chose not to play for them. It wasn’t down to the fact he picked Ireland it would have been the same if he chose Wales or England just with different comments.

    St Mirren fans weren’t picking on him for being Irish- they have several Irish players including their captain who is from Waterford. He gets booed at other SPL grounds- because he is aggressive and winds up the opposition- not because he is Irish!

    Perhaps that doesn’t make it right but sport has been a place of tribal loyalties- are South African cricket fans being racist when booing Pieterson as he comes to the crease for England?

    1. sprisahania

      Are that notoriously anti-Irish club St. Mirren not named after an Irish monk?

      As for the Brian McLean/Gough/Goram questions… It was quite clear none of these players were wanted by the nations of the birth and and chose to get international football elsewhere. Thats why the never suffered the same abuse.

      In a similar vein why was Tommy Coyne and Owen Coyle not subjected to the same abuse dished out to Aiden and McCarthy?

    2. RalphWaldoEllison

      To Sprisahania

      Your point about St Mirren would be what exactly. That a club with such name could not be responsible for any sectarian behaviour, nor tolerate it from their fans. What about from their PA announcer/DJ when he plays songs that are specifically designed to reinforce the negative stigma applied to another ethnic/religious group?

      As for why were some like Owen Coyle not villified? Could it be that Coyle came to prominence with Bolton when they gained promotion to the EPL. He was not playing in Scotland.

      But are you seriously asking those who seek to stop the booing of players for their choice of international team, to justify why some others were not booed. And then using this as an argument to justify the continuance of the booing that exists?

      What planet are you on?

  12. Mark Brooks

    James McCarthy was booed simply for being a traitor, can you explain how Scottish fans booing a Scottish player can be racist?

    McCarthy is no more irish than 50% of Scots, and no less Scottish, your friend needs to have things explained to him like a 2 year old would before he passes comment and tarnishes my club’s name again.

    1. Míceál

      yet goram,gough etc were never booed as traitors by the engish fans when scotland played them . it really looks like a scottish thing.and only against Irish players.
      This is called racism and theres no denying it.

  13. Ian

    McGeady and McCarthy “got it” because they were born and bread and Scotland yet chose to play for ireland. It was nothing to do with the fact that they were irish and that we were anti-irish. Infact, St.Mirren if I am right in thinking have an irish captain who is hailed as a hero! I’m all for raising the issue surrounding anti-irish and anti-english issues in Scotland, but at least use an example that is in context.

  14. weeminger

    The fact that any other manager might get abuse based around they’re nationality doesn’t mitigate or negate the abuse of Pat Fenlon.

    When are people going to get into their heads that using nationality as part of abuse is unacceptable whether they victim be English, Scottish, Irish.

    If you really feel the need to shout at someone in that way, instead of calling them “[nationality] b******” simply call them a “f****** b******”. It’s a top tip.

  15. Buddie

    James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady aren’t Irish, they were both born in Glasgow.

    The reason they were abused was not because they were “Irish” (because, erm they aren’t Irish) it was because they chose to play for Ireland ahead of the country of their birth and the country that had raised them and taught them the game.

    If you are going to play your racism card at least try and get your facts straight.

    1. Míceál

      So you’re saying the following weren’t “erm” scottish because they weren’t born there – gough,hutchinson,gray,rioch,bob wilson,goram ? and many more. or are you just being selective as your buddies here are. as usual.
      scotland is the most racist country in western europe.

  16. RalphWaldoEllison

    To all in Scotland who wish defend the abuse by themselves or others directed against someone else, abuse that denigrates their ethnicity or nationality.

    1) Please look up what Uefa and Fifa say about such abuse and then perhaps you may understand why this is not banter to them (Uefa and Fifa). It is a serious issue that they are determined to eradicate from world football, which happens to include Scotland.

    2) Please look up and research the term “cognitive dissonance”. If possible, apply that newly found knowledge to double standards of treatment of players/managers etc in Scotland,(particularly with regard to nationality and ethnicity) and to the various explanations offered to allow those abusing and those defending that abuse to feel justified in their abusive behaviour.

    Under that rationale..
    Racially abusing McCarthy was acceptable. Racially abusing McGeady was acceptable. Racially abusing Fenlon was acceptable. Racially abusing Lennon was acceptable. Booing Brian McClair playing for Scotland was acceptable. Booing Jimmy Johnstone playing for Scotland was acceptable.

    Because, in the eyes of those who defend it, they either deserved it or it was just banter, but it was and never will be considered a reprehensible act by those same people. As long as you defend the abuse, you are encouraging it and saying that you are fine with that.

    A Hearts supporting acquaintance of mine sidled up to me at a social function and, knowing of my affection for Celtic, shared this nugget with me. “Neil Lennon gets abuse at oor place, but he asks for it. Ah mean, last time at Tynecastle he disrespected some o oor players.” This was the after the “assault by a fan” game” last season.

  17. PaulMc

    I knew this article would cause an explosion of comments and it has not disappointed.

    The same people are posting about how very racist Scotland is against Irish people, and those of Irish descent. Just the same people are posting variously about it being exaggerated or a gross misrepresentation of Scottish people who are renowned throughout the world for their friendliness and tolerance of all races and creeds or that it’s only a problem because people choose to make it one. That’s what I call the sticks and stones argument and it didn’t work with other minorities in this or other countries.

    It seems clear we have the “It’s rampant and widespread” supporters and the “What racism?” supporters.

    I personally believe these prejudices exist in Scotland. To what extent I have no idea, although I do not think it is as big or as small as so many others do.

    I have no idea why anyone would want to ignore an issue such as this. To seek to change attitudes and behaviour for the betterment of society is no bad thing.

    I’d love to hear more from Phil on this, especially to clear up some of the accusations levelled at him.

    Do you think it’s a majority in Scotland who hold these views?
    Do you think we should just ignore this and it will stop?
    Do you think that government needs to properly educate itself before seeking to legislate on these matters?
    Do you just like stirring up trouble for Scotland?

  18. Andybhoy

    “If I took this story of Anti-Irish racism to anyone in the Scottish government for a response they would whirr into action like a Stepford Wife parroting out guff about “sectarianism.”. Christine Graham must have slipped your mind phil.
    I do think you have forgot already that the new bill is “to even things up”,how can they do that by arresting more hu,,,non catholics.
    Anyway black players get a harder time of it phil than us,,ask any hu,,,,non catholic,,there is Mark Walters and then there is that guy who was the first black player to play for rangers,, ehh Mark something,,,then there was that guy who got the bananas thrown at him,,,eh played in blue,, eh Mr Walters rings a bell,,,that’s just three I can think of of the top of my head.

  19. Brendan


    Odd that I was sitting watching Sky Sports News reporting of racism in the English game and condemning it with certainty when I should choose to have a look on your site….

    And there it was – Pat Fenlon the latest recipient of ahem…”banter”…

    And there they were…the usual apologists and their “decry the victim” siege mentality approach to denial….

    Phil you really are too sensitive to this 150 year Scottish cultural phenomenon you know, man up!

    Why not accept it exists in this country? Why not show some openess and courage? Why not resolve to rid our country of this social cancer?

    No, let’s just misrepresent the arguement. Try as I might I can’t remember Phil ever saying Scotland is wholly and completely racist,do you? No, thought not…..

    I believe he has argued that there are significant numbers who engage in anti-irish racism, plain and simple and until we confront this, we will struggle to move forward…

    Instead of sensible debate we get no more than insulting quips about “that Rangers lot” – Jesus if only you truly experienced prejudice you might have a glimmer of understanding and empathy for those who suffer from it for real…

    So get real and man up…


    1. Tony


      You are moron and “need to get real”!

      In simple terms what you are saying is Racism isn’t accepted, unless you are in Scotland.!

      You need to reevaluate your morals and think before you give your opinion.

    2. Charles

      As I said in my earlier post, in my mind the problem is that when it comes to anti Irish it gets lumped in with the secterian label and then it becomes “one’s as bad as the other”
      I think we can all agree that Scotland and Scottish people are much more tolerant of other races, unless you bring anti Irish sentiment into it

    3. Brendan

      A plea for help – Can anyone actually tell me what point Tony is making in response to my post?

      Other than I am a moron of course (got that) This added so tellingly to the level of discourse on this important topic….

      Tony, here’s a clue before offering a response or contribution read the post first and consider the content or message….there’s a good chap!



  20. Adam

    I would have to take issue with your constant use of Black, Asian and Mixed race people as the yardstick in the battle for equality. It is slightly patronising. It implies that society treats these communities/individuals more equally than the Irish community. This is simply not true.

    1. Phil Mac Giolla BhainPhil Mac Giolla Bhain Post author

      Racism against black players in Britain is rightly condemned.
      Racism against Irish players and managers in Scotland produces denial of the problem and pleas in mitigation for the perpetrators.

    2. Adam

      Your points are valid for the media’s response to racism againt Black players in England. I would suggest more is swept under the carpet up here. Also I think the Luis Suarez affair showed that there is still a fair bit of division in opinion on the issue of race down south.

    3. Gav

      …. And yet, as far as i am aware, Scotland is the only country in the world where you are not allowed to be Irish if you are not born in Eire even though your parents/grandparents were. One Scotland Many Cultures (as long as your culture isnt Irish of course)

  21. ballybough

    the mention of mark walters takes me back to a rangers celtic game at ibrox where Iwas in the enclosure in front of the main stand and plain clothes police were ejecting fans for racially abusing mark walters while just above us in the main stand not twenty feet from the directors box rangers fans spent the whole game calling us irish bastards, fenian bastards and every other name you could think of. not only the police but all the directors of rangers must have listened to it and done nothing.

    1. Lone_Wanderer

      Ballybough, it works both ways, I have been at games where orange bastards, proddy bastards and hun bastards were frequently used in those days and nothing was done.

      All of this tit for tat carry on is now coming back to bite Celtic fans on the bum as well, one of the best and fun songs ever heard at Celtic Park was “Go home you Huns, Go home” when Celtic were winning and look now, the word Hun is now classed as racist.

      To me the whole situation is getting sillier by the minute!

    2. Stu


      Would you like me to explain about Brian Mclean? The truth is that no-one gave one. He was never invited to play for Scotland, and was never likely to be. This is what you fail to get about the situation. By the same token Tommy Coyne was never invited to play for Scotland, Owen Coyle was never invited to play for Scotland, Ray Houghton was never invited to play for Scotland…… and yet miracously, they were never booed off the park for choosing to play for Ireland. Most of them, if they are remembered at all in Scotland, are just a footnote of the old view of ‘drink a pint of Guiness – play for Ireland’ that was prevalent during the Jackie Charlton era.

      I would also suggest that if some young scottish talent decided that actually, he wanted to play for Northern Ireland, having been very publically courted by Scotland, then he would get much the same treatment at grounds up and down the land.

  22. Carnaptious


    Do you think Alex Ferguson doesn’t get called a Jock b****** at matches by fans? Does Terry Butcher not get called an English b******? Yes they do. Do they make a huge issue of it? No they dont. It happens everywhere to many different nationalities. The people shouting it are clowns and their words are to be disregarded, just as Mr Fenlon rightly did.

    I read your columns quite regularly as I believe your a good investigative journalist but your constant accusation that Scotland is fundamentally racist has become quite tiresome. Yes we have our fair share of degenerates, like every other country, but don’t tar u’s all with the same brush please.

    1. Tambam

      Exactly Carnaptious.

      Can I just add that McGeady and McCarthy were abused mainly because they were seen as ‘traitors’.

      If they had picked England it would have been much worse.

    2. PaulMc

      If I read your statement correctly “carnaptious” the fact that this type of abuse happens is not being argued against, am I correct? Yet you seem to be implying that because it’s a minority who indulge in this neanderthal behaviour that we should ignore it and sweep it under the carpet. Perhaps we should try that with more public order offences, soon there will be no crime at all!

    3. Nick

      Tambam – can you explain why Brian McLean (born in Rutherglen and played for Scotland under-17s) wasn’t similarly abused for opting to play for the North of Ireland? Is it only those playing for the Republic who can be traitors? Or only good players?

    1. Phil Mac Giolla BhainPhil Mac Giolla Bhain Post author

      The shameful abuse of Mark Walters was immediately recognised as racism and condemned as such.
      The abuse of Pat Fenlon “around his nationality” and hence racist is not recognised for what it is.
      Until Anti-Irish Racism is recognised in Scotland as a deep-rooted problem and not one of “sectarianism” then it will continue.

    2. jimthetim

      Ralf, you’re preposterous comment alludes to a disgraceful incident that happened at Celtic Park when a few mongrel supporters let everyone else down. It never happened again. I have never known any celtic supporter who didn’t totally condemn the clown involved.

      However, ‘that Rangers lot’, a totally different kettle of fish, wouldn’t you say Ralffybhoy??

    1. Thekwizatshaderach

      Dear Iain, i have not received a reply from you on my previous post about the propaganda model, have you read manufacturing consent? what should be inserted in the model instead of anti communist in this country? you were with me on that until the moment your biases took over and did you enjoy my Bertrand Russell quotes, look up his thoughts on Ireland, they are enlightening, especially to someone, with a poor knowledge on said matters, i advise you to read Why Iam not a Christian and particularly for you The Conquest of Happiness.

      In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
      Bertrand Russell

  23. Mikey

    There were hearts fans in amongst the Cowdenbeath support on Saturday. But I doubt it would have taken much for the locals to get them going. We all know most of Scotland’s towns are heaving with anti-Irish, beer drinking wife beating types. Sadly, even some Hibs ‘fans’ failed to hear the friendly ‘banter’ on Saturday. or did they ‘choose’ not to hear it.
    thank god for The R.H.!! EgB

  24. droid

    I think I will bring this to the attention of FARE and hope others do so too.

    Mind you one can understand the drivers behind the fans mentality when the likes of this are encumbant and held in high regard at the club –

    Donald Findlay QC (Chairman) – Donald was appointed Club Chairman by the Board in June 2010.

    Under Donald’s leadership, the Club has taken great strides towards in its ambition to become a true community football club.

    Donald, who was born in Cowdenbeath and the grandson of a local miner, is a well-known and highly-regarded senior advocate and Queen’s Counsel in Scotland.

    Donald is no stranger to the world of football after serving as vice-chairman of Rangers FC for many years during one of the most successful spells in the club’s history.

    (no sir render of him being a sectarian karaoke specialist)

  25. charley farley

    Roy, if ‘irish’ was replaced by ‘p*ki’ or ‘black’ there would’ve been a riot. But when it’s Irish, Fenian etc it’s banter. Disgraceful!

    1. Ronnie MacKay

      what about if it was replaced by speccy ginger? is that okay? where is the line drawn? Should I be offended? Just asking!

    1. Wee Jeemy


      I see the ‘bouncy bouncy murder gang song’ is being mentioned again. Rangers fans were singing this song long before the deplorable murder of Robert Hamill..
      Evidence is freely available on the web.
      Celtic fans shame themselves with this allegation. Pretty disgusting stuff to use the brutal death of a young man to have a dig at the ‘enemy’.
      It actually hints at who the real bigots are.

      On the question of race – Are the Irish classed as a race? Reason I ask is that that I’ve always been under the impression the Scots and Irish were one and the same. A race of people orginally christened ‘Scotti’ by the Romans but one and the same nevertheless.
      There is a reason that the term anti-Irish racism is ignored and it’s because it’s nonsense
      Most normal people can realise this but only if they are not blinded by a hatred of Protestants and Rangers Football Club.

  26. iain2

    ” ‘from that Rangers lot’ he asked…”
    Can’t you see the irony of that quote given the nature of your article.
    Once you start talking about ” that lot” based on some group affiliation you’re on loose ground.

    To extrapolate your own analogy imagine your reactin if someone said “that irish lot” !

    Rangers have their vile sections of fans but be careful what you write.

  27. roythebhoy

    At Peterhead on Sunday, I and many others were moved along by enthusiastic stewards when we attempted to get a glimpse of the players heads by standing on a slope leading to the stadium operations room. Fair enough, the job needs to be done, order must prevail.
    During the second half, Tony Stokes mixes it with a Peterhead player and a guy in the stand directly above the same stewards, shouts, “Stokes ya cheating Irish B£$%^&D” Did the enthusiasm for maintaining order reappear from the stewards?
    You guessed it.


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