Lá Fhéile Pádraig

If Ireland , in any way, means something to you then this is your day.

Across the world people with the most tenuous links to the island of Ireland celebrate that connection and everyone around them joins in and applauds.

Everywhere except Scotland.

Last year I spoke at the Changein Scotland conference on growing up Second Generation Irish in 20th century Scotland.

I said that if you told my story, but replaced “Irish” with “Italian” and “Ireland” with” Italy” then there would be a hugely different narrative within modern Scotland.

There were no dissenting voices when I proffered this opinion.

Subsequently any mention of religion or sectarianism was nonsensical as the Italians, even the ones in Scotland, are rather catholic.

Scotland has abnormalised itself when it comes to the presence of the Irish community in their midst.

Even the activities of republican paramilitaries in the Northern war cannot explain this hostility.

The Provisional IRA and the INLA attacked English cities over several decades, yet English towns have extensive St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Apart from anything else this is a testament to the basic decency of English people.

The city of my birth remains unique in being the only major reception centre for Famine refugees which does not have memorial to an Gorta mor.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.com/pdf/cv02_06.pdf

Some point to the Carfin memorial which is tucked away, but there is an element of ghettoization in the location.

Every other city that took in Famine survivors has a major memorial in their main public space.

Glasgow still has a way to travel in finally saying unequivocally that the Irish are part of the fabric of Scotland’s greatest city.

However I am reliably informed that the craic will be ninety today in the Merchant City!

Patrick’s day is for everyone who cherishes their Irishness.

Ireland is my home, it gives me my sense of who I am, and it provides me with my citizenship and a passport that elicits smiles in foreign airports rather than hostility.

We’ve never invaded anyone.

For sure we’ve been moved around a fair bit, but in the main it wasn’t our idea.

Once more we are exporting our young people  and this because of the hubris of our own leaders.

Yet for all its failings Ireland has always been my island.

It always will be.

If that sounds like you too then have a great day.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

60 thoughts on “Lá Fhéile Pádraig

  1. ta ar la linn

    It baffles me when apparently intelligent people opine that if someone wishes to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day or sing an Irish song at a party or whatever, then they should go and live there or ask why we don’t celebrate St.Andrew’s Day. I’m quite sure that the upwards of 500,000 Brits who live in the Costa del Sol alone(3rd or 4th generation(??)) are often browbeaten by the Spanish people when they sing Kneesupmotherbrown or GSTHQ. I doubt whether Canadians or Australians show abhorrance to the many Scottish societies that exist in their respective countries.
    As to celebrating St.Andew’s day. Well why don’t you organise something and we’ll support it wholeheartedly. I’ll even offer to teach you a hymn in honour of our patron saint, who I believe was Greek.

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  2. Paul

    The posters saying there is no discrimination anymore are either kidding themselves or very lucky not to gave encountered it. It’s still absolutely rampant in many parts of Scotland just not as overtly as before, but still there none the less. It’s sad, very sad as it demeans our country and the many fantastic people of all creeds and colours who now make up the population. It may be gone one day perhaps, but today is not that day and I don’t envisage it occurring anytime soon.

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  3. Gordon Irvine

    Phil,

    You are wide of the mark again. I went to a comedy event in the Corinthian in Glasgow and then went along to the Merchant City which was awash with Green, white and gold – lots of music – good fun – no trouble – pubs full to overflowing – there were thousands of people having a good time. This does not fit in with what you are saying – sorry

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  4. graeme

    is st andrews day celebrated in Ireland? I for one is Scottish so why would i want to celebrate a foreign nation’s day?

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    1. PaulMc

      Lots of countries celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but then most countries like to join in and have fun. In the UK many cultures celebrate their unique identities and everyone is invited to join in. Some people in Scotland, I’ve noticed, don’t like it when it’s the turn of the Irish and those of Irish descent. It’s not an exclusive day, the more the merrier. Why sit on the sidelines scowling?

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  5. Nobody Knows

    Hi Phil,

    I enjoy your blogs and your fight for social justice.

    Originally from Ireland and who has lived in glasgow for over 5 years. Glasgow is the only place i have encountered racism and secretarianism to me as an Irish Catholic. I spent many years travelling to and from belfast from Dublin and never encountered this type of behaviour.

    I was even refused Membership of a Club in the Glasgow Area. They went so far to run checks back in Ireland unknown to me to see what religious background I came from.

    These people have an inherent soul sickness and their life/existence is based on the hatred of the Irish Catholics. What a waste of their lives.

    A belated St Patricks Day greeting.
    Cead Mile Failte.

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  6. Pishogue

    Happy St Patrick’s Day Phil Mac.

    Legend has it St Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland.

    Fact has it that your good self and one or two others are banishing some of the “snakes” from Scotland (or at least Scottish Football) …. Hugh Dallas may have been the first but he won’t be the last….

    With the loss of our great campaigner Paul McBride QC we need people like you more than ever to ensure that the truth will out and that when it has seen the light of day that it is acted upon.

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  7. OLE MUNGO BHOY

    Happy Paddy’s Day to you and yours Phil, and to all your readers.

    I am Glasgow born and bred and well remember my primary school days (early 50’s ) when we all wore bunches of shamrocks on Paddy’s Day to school and took the verbal abuse and spitting and general aggravation. Did we relaliate ?. yes often and with malice aforethought when our parents and relatives were not about. No weapons, just punches and knotted scarves. Any harm done ….you bet but not necessarily physical.
    Today in Glasgow wearing a bunch of shamrocks on Paddy’s Day would probably see you lifted by the Glasgow Polis for attempted suicide /inciting a breach of the peace/ racially aggravated conduct and if you questioned this you would probably be sectioned under The Mental Health Act as a danger to yourself and others. PLus ca change ……!!!!!

    O Tempora , o mores !

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  8. Rusty

    So there is a famine memorial in Scotland, there will be st Patrick’s day celebrations for those who wish to participate but it’s not quite enough for you?

    People are free in Scotland to celebrate st Patrick as they wish. If you want a famine memorial in Glasgow, who is stopping you?

    This is just another lame attemp to smear Scotland and its people.

    Happy st Patrick’s day.

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  9. stephen1888

    Phil you will find a massive party being held in coatbridge every saint patricks day,with over 25000…

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  10. delbhoy

    Lawyers for the master race trying to buy StMirren so they can have a licence for the SPL should they go bust.The writings on the wall bye bye rangers.

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  11. delbhoy

    The famine song,up to our knees in Fenian blood, heard all the usual hatred today.I would just like to wish these nazis of the master race a very happy ST Patricks day.

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  12. glasgowbhoy

    Phil, I can’t say I agree with all you say on this one. My father is Irish and I grew up in Glasgow surrounded on one side by Irish accents from his side and Scottish ones from my ma’s. I won’t be celebrating today(hopefully I will tomorrow when Celtic win the cup) because I’m not Irish. I’m a Scottish Catholic of mixed descent, I didn’t grow up in Ireland, didn’t experience the culture of the place in my developing years, didn’t have the daily experiences Irish people have in their own country. Instead I had the experience of growing up in west central Scotland as a Scottish Catholic of Irish descent and it is this that has formed my identity, and it the issues surrounding this that I think people in Scotland with a similar background to mine should focus on. There is a real hatred in some people in Scotland for all things Catholic/Irish, it is persistent and given the events of last year perhaps more openly aggressive. It is these issues I feel Catholics living in Scotland should focus on not an Irish identity which for some is only mythical.

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  13. Adrian

    Phil, a Happy St Patrick’s Day to you and your readers.

    Thank you for the reference to the English there. I honestly think that you are right about that, and more of the Celtic Scots need to acknowledge that too; don’t play into the hands of the rangers fans who thrive on telling the English that Celtic fans hate them. The English are tolerant and respectful on the whole and this is a part of their make up and culture. Their natural inclination is more Celtic than Rangers.

    I was born and bred in England and my parents came here in the 50s. My mum remained very Irish in accent and manners up til her last days and there was no mistaking her country of origin or conservative Catholic beliefs. The one thing she always said to me as a boy was how much she loved the English because, simply put, they mind their own business. This combined with basic civility and manners is all you can ask for in a society.

    She didn’t even get that in Ireland, and though she loved Ireland “home”and passed that on to us, she knew that it was (at that time) a stifling environment and she was lucky to be in England.

    The only times in my life when I have confronted genuinely bitter and heartfelt dislike of Catholics and the Irish (though they did not know this because of my name and accent) was from the Scottish. Without exception.

    There is something in the national psyche and culture there that makes hatred of the Irish and Catholics acceptable, to aspire to even; RFC (IA) is not the cause of this but it is the visible sore in that society.

    The real poison with Rangers is that it’s a seemingly benign gathering point for the like minded fans when in fact it is a place where sectarian bile can be reinforced and taught to the next generation. The place followers can be handed their figurative ‘sash’ of belonging; an identity defined by its opposition to another group in society. That is nothing to do with football and everything to do with racism.

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  14. Pod

    Good article Phil.
    In saying that, the Italians probably got a lot of grief in the middle of the 20th century, for the obvious reason.
    Anyways, have a good St Patrick’s Day!

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  15. iain

    Another day another load of bollox spouted about the country of your birth.

    Can you outline the extensive piblic celebrations held in Scotland for St.Andrews day? We must have them…after all it’s only rampant anti-Irish racism that stops the same happening for St. Patricks day isn’t it?
    And can you point me in the direction of the memorial to the millions of highlanders who died in the same famine? Or to those forced to migrate in their hundreds of thouands from the highlands and islands to the industrial centres of Scotland?
    It’s just tat I presume there must be one given it’s only anti-Irish racism that stops one being their for the Irish.
    And as it happens I wouldn’t mind remembering my own ancestors who had to leave their island homes due to hunger.

    Oh..and any comments on the NYC police banning a St.Patricks parade through Manhatten this year?

    Thought not.

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    1. PaulMc

      Why ask a question if you are going to answer it yourself?

      Btw, have a look at cautious dave’s comments to get a wee idea of what it can be like here.

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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    2. George Collins

      Get rid of the schools and what next? Change the colour of people’s skin? Change their surname? Change which book they pray with? If people have a problem with others because of their faith, as one 6th year catholic school student put it so lucidly on the news, then that’s their problem. Deal with it. It is not for Scottish-born protestants to tell us there is no bigotry; does anyone remember when white English people used to say the same thing of blacks? Try walking through Glasgow with a green top on after an Old Firm match. Try getting a balanced media. Does anybody still think that the hacks lap up Murray’s words because of his “media empire”? He was hardly Rupert Murdoch. We live in a country where black is white and vice versa. Or is the picture of Ally shouting at Lennon – you know, the one that wasn’t in the news (but is on the Celtic paranoia site)- make believe? (Funny how because of Lennon’s attitude he got that ban for the cup final but Ally walked free as a bird.) I think people should go to the same schools, but that’s not something we should have forced on us by those who haven’t got our best interests at heart – and that’s putting it as euphemistically as possible. (Isn’t it the most childish thing to say “it’s not fair on young kids to see their friends going to a different school; it leaves them confused”, when in fact protestant kids staying next to each other go to different non-denomination schools anyway? And why is it that my kids go to a non-denomination school, but yet their school week has regular prayer and hymn lessons, and bible studies?)

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  16. ballybough

    paul Mcgeachen like a lot of anti catholic commentators falls back on the catholic schools issue to back up his claim that their is no anti catholic or anti Irish discrimination in Glasgow so maybe he can explain why we have catholic schools all over england and wales and indeed allover Scotland and the western world but central Scotland is the only place where they seem to cause resentment among certain parts of the community.

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    1. Paul Mcgeachin

      Ballybough. I would like to point out that I am married to a catholic, my mother was a catholic and my paternal grandmother was an Irish catholic, so I can hardly be termed anti catholic in a people sense, although admittedly I have no time for any religious beliefs of any persuasion, so this is my reasoning for opposing faith(sectarian) schooling,or as it could also be deemed apartheid .Separating innocent 5 year olds in the name of any faith (I’d rather deal in fact) is wrong on every level. Schools should be for educational purposes only, not for instilling religious dogma in any form . Furthermore as regards anti Irish feeling in Glasgow, it undoubtedly exists in some parochial pea brains but so does any other form of discrimination and ignorance towards any number of social – religious- political group(even a strong anti ulster scots feeling) the reason for faith schooling being a bigger issue in the west of Scotland is I am sure you are well aware, due to the historical demographic and movement of people from Scotland and Ireland, and similar situations and examples can be found worldwide where cultures and faiths merge . PS note to fellow poster Gav, I have no bigoted views, only an open mind and I have also had bad experiences from the “other side” but I don’t colour every Celtic supporting catholic as black. I also had a similar educational experience as Gav and was infused by strong moral ethos. I am also an atheist hence my dislike of organised religion as for your lack of apartheid in Oz try telling the aborigines. You have confused my free thinking ideals as bigotry I think everyone is equal,Aboriginees Irish Muslims Protestants Jews et al. P.P.S. Brendan. Hope the above helps. Sorry to hear about Carfin monument being vandalized but so is Donald Dewars statue frequently. More to do with thugs I think. As for your later point you can flip that to Celtic support. Be more objective

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    2. Gav

      Paul, in response to the Aboriginal issue, there are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the same school as my younger kids. They are no longer discriminated against at schools in Australia. The White Australia policy died a rightful death here many years ago. The prime minister of Australia recently apologised for all of the wrong doings, persecution and slaughter perpetrated by past colonists and pledged to do everything in his power to ensure Aborigines were treated fairly as equals and given every assistance where possible.
      Do you see Alex Salmond doing the same for Irish immigrants? I doubt it given that, like you, he denies there is even a problem. he prefers to toe the party line of ‘sectarian bigotry’ where one side is as bad as the other. Irish people are not racist towards Scots and neither are the diaspora who made Scotland their home.
      Whilst many Australians are racist against people of all colours, they are in a minority, as they are back home. Fortunately, this is a young country who are not afraid to look at their own history and see their own wrongdoings for what they are. They use that history to determine their path to the future, they learn the lessons of the past. They’re big enough to admit their abject failures and apologise for them. They may not be able to right the wrongs of the past but they use their learnings to ensure the same mistakes are never made again. If only Scotland would do the same.
      Oh, they also celebrate Paddy’s day with a huge parade and plenty of overpriced Magners and Guinness.

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  17. Andy

    There is a major St Patricks Day celebration taking place in Merchants Square. You may wish to ignore it however as it poses the danger of denting your perpetual sense of victimhood.

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  18. Jonathan

    Scotland as a whole owes a great deal to Ireland. The Irish brought Christianity to Scotland and their Gaelic culture which united to indeginous people of Scotland. Later immigration brought many Irish people seeking a better life in a country which their ancestors helped build.

    Those of Irish ancestry in Scotland have every right to celebrate their culture and heritage and perhaps Scotland as whole should to.

    Scottus is Latin for Irish.

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  19. 32 Always

    Paul

    Could you name me any other country in Europe indeed the world where the major police force in that country would claim to have “lost” data and statistics on hate crimes against a major part of the population?

    Or indeed any country where the police force would be present at a gathering where at least 25,0000 people broke the law and only make two arrests?

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  20. jonjo macd.

    Ah well, not a day to debate anything for me. As a supporter of Scottish Nationalism and holding dual nationality as a citizen of the Irish Republic as well as the land of my birth, Scotland….I’m comfortable with both…. I’ll just be taking myself along to my hometown of Coatbridge with my wife and family and enjoy a part of our heritage this lovely day. Today is for all who celebrate inclusive difference: A GREAT DAY TO YOU ALL.

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    1. John Burns

      Be very careful in what you wish for – you’re SNP independence support leaves me speechless – do you know what you are voting for? – or are you just voting against something?

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  21. Mouldy67

    My heart is in Ireland

    Maybe one day the Scottish government or glasgow city council will recognise this point

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    1. John Burns

      You mention a Scottish government – God help us of Catholic/Irish persuasion if there is ever such a thing.

      As Phil points out the level of sectarianism and anti-Irish feeling runs high in our bigoted little country at present, if, and it is an enormous if, Scotland breaks away from the UK, all the “we are a protestant country brigade” – The Church of Scotland, the Wee Frees, The Loyal Orange Lodge and the Masonic Lodge, would make their presence felt in Scotland. These people have form – read some of The Church of Scotland literature of the 1920s – it makes the “famine song” sound like a nursery rhyme.

      Please stop confusing your hatred for the Rangers’ side and their so-called Unionist allegiance, with what is best for Scotland.

      I wish our 17% minority would get it into their heads that an independent SNP Scotland is in no way in our interests – for God’s sake read your Scottish social history from the mid 1800s – let’s not go back to the “what school did you go to” era. Of course this always assumes that the hard-core SNP zealots let us keep our Catholic education system.

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    2. Stu

      Jon, You’re living in a world of make believe, full of elves,leprechauns and eskimoes (as Homer would say)

      I’m Catholic, and I’d vote for independence in a heart beat. All the massed forces of Orange oppression that you cite, their influence on Scottish society waned a long,long time ago. The Wee Frees are about as relevant to Scottish people today as Darien is.

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  22. Paul Mcgeachin

    Many disappointing comments on here from narrow minded people who have a victim complex does anyone really believe there is an anti Irish groundswell in Glasgow. As a patron of the city I can assure you this is an archaic train of thought and could easily be applied to Pakistani, eastern European, Chinese or Protestant peoples I.E lots of groups have a perceived sense of them and us. As a Rangers supporting Protestant who hails from Castlemilk in the citys predominantly catholic south side I have seen this argument from the other side so to speak. My vast experience of the city would contradict the thread of previous posts, and I can assure you that there is no inherent anti Irish culture in Glasgow. What we do have is a culture of divide and rule with sectarian schooling policies being doggedly per sued with divisive “faith” schooling for catholic , muslim and Jewish children. This tells young people that we are different, we are right , they are wrong, and instills a sense of self righteousness in groups. If the ” persecuted ” Irish or the Orange Order or Islamic fundamentalists etc would open their minds then we could all get along without olde world prejudices impinging our perception of others. Most people are generally decent irrespective of their background or culture. On the point of erecting a memorial to the famine I think it would be no more susceptible to vandalism than any other public monument. Finally , speaking as one of ” them” I can assure you we are on the whole friendly accepting tolerant and decent. In other words human. PS if it’s your thing , happy St Patricks day

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    1. droid

      Shock headline response – blame the schools

      Best wishes to one and all regardless of colour and creed – it’s a beautiful day

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    2. Gav

      Paul,

      I’m afraid your rather parochial view of the world prevents you from seeing the bigotry inherent in your comments. I grew up in Glasgow, I went to a Catholic school. I was taught nothing but tolerance of all regardless of race, colour or creed. I left Glasgow, as did Phil, in no small part because of the bigotry displayed to myself and my children. You see I have three children all with Gaelic names and Gaelic spellings. My two boys have Irish names and my girl has a Scots name. I sent them to a non-denominational school so they could make up their own mind about religion. Non-denominational does not actually mean what it implies in Scotland. When my son came home asking what’s a tattie muncher? what’s a taig? what’s a pape? (in primary 5 at the time) I was definitely alarmed. I decided there and then it was time to leave.
      I now live in Brisbane, I send my older boy to a Catholic school. Guess what? There’s no apartheid here. Aussies couldn’t give a toss what school they go to. His friends go to a Lutheran school. Guess what? Neither he, nor his friends care what school they go to nor what religion they are. My two younger kids are in a non-denominational state school. Neither of them have ever been called a taig nor a tattie-muncher. I guess non-denominational here has a different meaning. Please revisit your bigoted views. You’ve never visited a catholic school i’d venture (unless you were scrawling obscene graffiti). Oh and for the record, My wife and I are atheist, my son made his own choice with regards to religion and school.

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    3. Jay

      Good on ya! About a couple of points, I come from a country that received among the most famine survivors and non survivors from that time, Canada! Since that time, Canada has brought in people from all over the world and have schools of many faiths! We are a British colony that accepted these people throughout the last two centuries and have somehow found, in the heart of our society, to merge our cultures and live and work as one, despite our differences! We are a country who fought as Britain and under the Union Jack, against the American’s to keep our Britishness in bloody wars! Still, all groups, the Irish and French (Britain’s largest enemy at the time) being the first, have been aloud to prosper and succeed in our land. Our loyalty to the Crown has not abandoned us, the Queen is still our Head of State and she appears on most of our money! We’ll be celebrating the jubilee, singing God Save the Queen! But, somehow in a civilized society, all people have come to work together evenly to build the great, well respected country we have today! In the two largest cities of Toronto and Montreal, there are Famine parks and huge memorials to remember the parts we played in that horrible time! Unfortunately, when I’m in Glasgow every year, I see the exact opposite! It’s a third world mentality, disguising itself as a modern country! What was previously written about your school system and Protestants coming through it believing they are somehow superior is nothing short of disgraceful! This “We Are The People” crap and “Famine Song’s”, go so far to humiliate your country to the rest of the world! And when it starts getting picked up by media in the Colonies, you can be assured you have a big problem on your hands in Scotland! I would encourage all who look at the Scotish/Irish as somehow subhuman to the great Scotish “Master Race”, (sound familiar) to look in the mirror long and hard. Your making yourselves insignifagant not just to the rest of the world, but to the English people as well, and further more, to all of us who are flying the fags of Great Britain around the world! To you and all others, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Join the world in celebration!

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    4. Brendan

      Sorry Paul, you seem like a decent and reasoned guy but you really ought to examine this argument about faith schools with some scrutiny. I will give you credit, unlike most Rangers fans on here you at least acknowledge the plethora of faith schools and not just “them” however, it has to be a measure of an abnormal culture where faith schools are even the subject of conversation, that they are not seen as a normal function of parental choice and a valued contributor to the fabric of life here in Scotland. No, only here is it seen as divisive, only here do people crawl out of the sectarian cesspit and state their opposition to faith schools, You could not make it up.

      As someone who knows the Carfin memorial rather well I can assure you it is frequently the subject of attack Paul.

      As I write this note I am watching the Rangers game – the rangers fans have given us the Famine song, they have been singing about fenians again, how they hate Neil Lennon and now Andy Walkers is getting it big time….

      Dont think I have heard a football song yet – Don’t think I would want to break educational bread with that lot…

      Oddly, it is about education though…

      Brendan

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    5. PaulMc

      Hi Paul, thanks for the St. Patrick’s Day wishes, much appreciated. Irish people and those of Irish descent across the globe celebrate their shared heritage today. This is a great joyous occasion and not something we do to cause splits in society, everyone is welcome. A smashin big guy I know is off to the Merchant City in Glasgow today to celebrate St. Patrick’s day along with eight of his pals. He is Rangers through and through and so are six of the rest of the guys! If I met you tonight I’d buy you a pint myself. Have a good day, I know I will!

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  23. Willie

    Happy St Patricks Day one and all. Sad thing I find about Scotland is that there was a Famine here in the 1600s. I think it was 1660. They killed rioters for breaking into grain stores. Sold others as slaves and many died of starvation. The bigots here either deny it happened or do not know about it such is their warped and tainted view of their own history.My family came from Buncranna during the Famine.I was born in Lennox Castle. Celtic now training ground, part of which had been turned into a maternity hospital during WW2. I thank God I was born a Catholic and was educated in a Catholic school. Why? because it gave me a sense of who I am and taught me a true history. The Saltire flies here but is seen as a Fenian Flag by many. St Andrews day is just beginning to be recognised after so much resistance by those with a Govan perspective. I am a Celt in more ways than one. Irish and Scots and proud of it. God Bless the Irish. I will close on what Hugh McGonagle says. The lions af the flag an regin the countryside.

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  24. joe crawley

    When all this Rangers Tax Case comes to its natural conclusion i.e. liquidation,we should make a Famine memorial for George Square the next target,as you say Phil a large minority of Glasgow and the west of scotland residents are 2nd or 3rd generation Irish so lets honour our parents/grandparent for all that they suffered!Happy St Patricks Day from Greenock

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    1. droid

      Don’t hold your breath, they have only just got round to commemorating the brave souls of Clydebank who died in the blitz.

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  25. Bazza

    I’m not Irish, I have no Irish heritage, so I, like probably the majority of Scotland will not be celebrating “St Paddys Day” and why should we? Your warped and bitter mind will probably perceive me as being like one of the anti Irish brigade you pleap on about almost daily, well I’m not, I don’t celebrate independence day or
    Australia day, in fact I don’t celebrate any foreign countries special days, and why should I? If you want to celebrate being Irish then go and do it, just dont sit and stew and write these bitter bitter blogs promoting your hatred and stirring up other peoples hatred of the country of your birth.

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    1. Pod

      Why read this article then Bazza? Do you read articles about Australian aborigines on Australia day? I doubt it.
      Hatred? What hatred?
      Whether you have a guinness today or not, have a good day!

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  26. john hughes

    happy st.patricks day phil,all off to coatbridge to enjoy the dancing and music which is open to all,not a sectarian note to be had,yet still some still complain,i wonder who?god bless.

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  27. RalphWaldoEllison

    Phil, Have a truly fine day.
    As for the city you speak of, I too, hope that one day it might leave behind the medievalness that continues to blight it.
    The current crisis at one of the city’s football clubs could have presented an opportunity for reconciliation and change, but I fear that when the mist clears most positions will have become more entrenched than ever.

    Sadly, if that city was to erect a memorial to an Gorta mor on this St Patricks Day, it would likely be vandalized by Easter Sunday.

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  28. Karen

    Happy St Parick’s day. On your point of a famine memorial. I believe Glasgow has the greatest of them all – Celtic. Let’s not get hung up on a bit of carved stone or whatever only to see it regularly vandalised or a focus for anti Irish hatred. The memory of my family and others don’t deserve that.
    Celtic is the greatest and most fitting famine memorial because it lives on, we live on and we will never forget.

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    1. Brian

      Karen, I have to agree with you – Celtic FC is the largest, greatest Famine Memorial in the World. Ironically one that grew in the most hostile environment!

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    2. DAI

      Karen a very touching piece
      I grew up supporting CFC and as I grew I sensed the togetherness of the CELTIC FAMILY, I learned where we came from and why Celtic was born.
      Memorials can and would be vandalised in this country whether it be in Glasgow or any small town, you hit the nail on the head when you said CFC is the greatest memorial to the famine and by god the powers that be have tried for years to keep us quiet,in our place,not to be taken seriously , but we have all stood shoulder to shoulder , educated ourselves . I am not Irish by birth but both sets of Great Granperents where from the green isle and today I will celebrate with family, raise a glass or 2 for our forefathers who came,struggled,worked and started the Celtic FC as a beacon of what is right and proper.
      We will never forget the famine, Celtic FC is a monument like no other.

      Have a great St Patricks day where ever you are in the world.

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    3. bodbhoy

      Karen,

      very well put, Celtic FC is indeed a living breathing memorial to our forefathers and the struggles they endured, and in turn this was made into a positive experience for them, as it is for the descendants of the brave Irish immigrants…our folks.

      I raise a glass to you and Phil and all others happy St Patrick’s day..god bless you all.

      Reply
  29. john fegan

    The problem is not with the people of Irish descent like me in Glasgow. The problem is with the “other side”. As soon as any memorial is erected it would be immediately attacked. Just look at the attacks on our churches here. You know the city Phil and the Irish here. We have stood firm against bigoted onslaughts for generations and are all the stronger for it. Our Irish and Highland forefathers would I think be proud of the way we have made this city great in so many ways notwithstanding a permanent memorial. Carfin is on Glasgows doorstep and can hardly be described as a ghetto. Anyone reading your article who has not visited Carfin would be excused for thinking it was a small shanty like establishment,that it most certainly is not.
    I am approaching my three score years and ten and in these years have stood toe to toe ,literally, with these anti Irish/Catholic morons and gave better than I got so I am not approaching this from a strictly pacifist standpoint. No I have always been pro active in all sorts of ways but I see the reality of this situation.
    I have been to the USA many times and can say the memorial to the famine in Boston is magnificent but can you ever see something like that surviving in Glasgow with the barbaric ideology that exists here amongst “them”
    Glasgow will have a memorial someday but I fear it will have to wait until it can be erected without fear of attack from the mindless racist bigotry that still prevails here.
    In the meantime we carry our heritage proudly in everything we do and can look at Paradise as a fitting tribute to the Irish martyrs until the day comes when a true memorial is unveiled. It WILL be in my lifetime.

    Reply
  30. john donaldson (fitzpatricks)

    thanks phil, apt commentary that many in glasgow will recognise.

    i’m from glasgow, my ma n da’s folks from Dungannon… as my da always said, the scots never wanted us and always hated us.

    but being a tim and following the ‘tic gave us that identity that ‘they’ could never take away from us, and by god they have tried over the years.

    the only slight regret i have, given that i have a mutual antipathy towards scotland, is that the reality is that ‘we’ distanced irish are rather frowned upon by many irish today.

    ha, we’r sort of the lost tribe, unwanted by the scots (that will do me sir) and the irish too.

    anyhow, i’ll be in paddy murhy’s in rotterdam for the day today and for the final tomorrow… and i’ll be quietly, and happily as irish as i like!

    very best wishes

    john d

    Reply
  31. Des O Brien

    Great blog today phil, i really enjoy reading your blogs each day, reading todays i could feel a tear in my eye, not of sadness but of pride and there has never been a nation more prouder than ourselves. So to all the irish at home here and abroad have a great day, cheers Phil

    Reply
  32. cautious dave

    Hi Phil. Happy St. Paddys day.
    Being a Scot with next to no Irish lineage (save for my grandmothers grandmother – mcgee) I can’t claim to be Irish. Its a strange thing in my country that had I not chosen to support Celtic at the age of 7, perhaps I too might have succumbed to Scotlands general feeling towards Ireland and the Irish. That would’ve been a real shame as I would’ve missed out meeting a lot of good friends over the years and some wonderful times. The Rangers fans I know, some friends some not, have a self imposed ban on meeting people just because where they’re from. Even the ones thete

    Reply

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