Sunday, 25 February 2007

Good Sport

Another sporting post. England got stuffed (their own manager's words) at Rugby by Ireland yesterday, 43-13, a record defeat. Your drummer is an Englishman by birth and sympathy but in 1920 his antecedents (father's side)were involved on the republican side in precisely the war which is so important to Croke Park itself and Hill 16 (a side of the stadium built on the rubble of O Connell Street)in particular.
Despite the predictions of some, the performance of God Save the Queen was well observed and the match a mixture of wonderful attacking rugby by Ireland and pisspoor skills, tactics and performance by England. I thought before the game that the whole occasion would have made it very difficult for even a good England side to win, but for a poor one - it was an impossible task.

I wouldn't change it for the world, though. The game was played. The world moves on.


Crushed by Ingsoc said...

We would seem to have similar antecedents in our family history, though I am more Irish by sympathy.
I support the English EXCEPT when they play the Irish.
The Croke Park incident was an appalling black mark on the history of British rule in Ireland.
I saw my grandmother at church this morning and she mentioned something about moving on. I said to her, as I say here 'We can forgive, but never forget, not things like that.'
I'm glad it all went off without incident. It bodes well for the future.
But if my mind serves me right the last time we had trouble at an Anglo-Irish sporting event, it was the UVF and NF that was the problem, not the Irish.

The Tin Drummer said...

I agree with all of that, cbi: but I do have one question. Given the terrible atrocities perpetrated by the Germans during WWII, _should_ we adopt the attitude that some things can never be forgiven? Indeed, during WC 06 in Germany the pressure was on England not to mention the atrocities, not on the Germans to apologise.

The Tin Drummer said...

Sorry, I'm misreading you. I meant should some things never be _forgotten_? In the sense that they need to inform future relations I mean. What about Germany v Poland in WC06? If they took that view then the match almost certainly could not have gone ahead.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Forgive but don't forget means exactly that. It means holding out the hand of friendship whilst making sure it doesn't happen again.
It is quite right that Poland doesn't go to play Germany prepared to dredge up old history- that's football, but if far-right groups in Germany started talking about Lebensraum, then they should sit up, alarm bells ringing.
To refer to your post yesterdayabout historical threads continuing, it is wise to observe that the causes of past atrocities may still be latent and it is prudent of Irish people to note what happened at Croke park, and at Derry in 72, move on from those events sure, but notice that the background that caused those events has changed, but not gone.
He who does not learn from History is forced to relive it.

The Tin Drummer said...

As far as I'm aware the rightist groups in Germany have never shut their bloody gobs, but that doesn't stop Germany & Poland getting on.

It all depends on what you mean by "note". My point is: ok then, well I will "note" what Germany did in WWI and II and what France did in 1790-1815. And so we can't get on, forge relationships, or act together as equals. Where do you stop? Where do you say: "ok well that is no longer a moral issue between the two of us, because no-one alive was involved and the world is a different place now." Or I could "note" what the IRA did to innocent British civilians and use that as an argument in itself.

I'm not trying to stoke a row - I'm genuinely interested. In fact I agree with the thrust of your argument but as an Englishman of the XTC variety I get a bit confused & frustrated by the constant demands for me to feel guilty and/or apologise.

james higham said...

Nevertheless, it does add a bit of stick to the game. Like Russia and Hungary in '56 and Scotland v England every year.