The threat to the Celtic support

The biggest threat to the enviably good reputation of the Celtic support isn’t the number of idiots who attended the game at Dens Park against Dundee in December, it’s complacency.

You can’t take a good reputation for granted. It has to be worked at and maintained.

If a number of Celtic fans spent their entire Boxing Day getting into a drunken state which left them unable to tell if they were in Dundee or Derry, never mind watch a game of football, what is the big deal in saying so?

Celtic supporters are world-renowned, globally welcomed and respected by other clubs and cultures. There is not a bit of that worth risking for the sake of protecting a minority group of wannabe-rebels who, more often than not, need a sturdy dose of Buckfast to help with the bravado.

Being a rebel involves being clever. It does not involve a booze-fuelled rendition of IRA songs. In 2012, with a peace process in Northern Ireland and thousands dead as a result of The Troubles, it’s an insult to stamp feet at a football ground and belt out songs in a manner which can only create tension. It’s highly disrespectful.

The biggest threat facing Ireland’s sovereignty right now isn’t the British. Will we hear songs about the IMF and the European Union at Celtic Park anytime soon?

Celtic fans should be careful they don’t become immersed in their own hype. A small observance of Twitter over the last week has highlighted a point blank refusal by some of the club’s fans to accept that the support isn’t perfect. Any trouble and complaints of chants are simply blown out of proportion, they say.

It’s not as bad as the events at Ibrox earlier in the month when eight people were arrested, they say. Nobody stopped to think that the very making of this comparison should have been the most uncomfortable thought.

I spoke on Twitter of my opinion on matters. Some of the hard core rebels in a Celtic shirt worked up the courage to tell me to where to go. Classy, intelligent debate.

Celtic Football Club prides itself on being inclusive, it doesn’t demand its fans come from any race, religion or political background. That is a concept lost on those who abuse fellow Celtic fans for offering an alternative opinion.

I assume they are of the same ilk as the “rebel” in a Celtic jersey I witnessed ripping the wing mirror from a moving bus just outside Celtic Park after the bhoys beat Spartak Moscow and sailed through to the last 16 of the Champions League. On a freezing cold night, a bus load of Celtic fans were ushered onto dangerously icy streets thanks to that little freedom fighter, who ran away quickly afterward.

The neds who behave in such manners are being protected by the wider support because of a fear that an attack on one is an attack on all.

The truth is, if the Celtic support becomes complacent about the minority, however tiny it may be, it will become a bigger and harder problem to deal with in the future.

Forget the media coverage, forget what the rest say and remember what Celtic stands for. The pressure on anyone who risks those principles should come, in the first instance, always from within. That has always been a Celtic strength.

The next generation of Celtic fans need to be taught the Celtic way, and, importantly, they need to be led by example.

49 thoughts on “The threat to the Celtic support

  1. James Cameron January 3, 2013 at 10:25 am Reply

    Well said Angela. It is important that we police our selves as there is a queue of people waiting to give us a kicking in the press as witnessed last week.
    It won’t come as a surprise to those on Twitter and TCN that I am against the singing of PIRA songs at Celtic games.

    Well done

  2. chancer67 January 3, 2013 at 10:39 am Reply

    Although I dont condone the stupid behaviour of a few drunken Celtic fans, I think the press in Scotland will highlight any negative regarding Celtic.
    The actions of the fans at Dens should be a watershed moment and a wake up call to Celtic FC

    The press in this country are a disgrace and not fit for purpose, they dance to Sevco’s tune and seize on any chance to discredit Celtic FC, let’s not give them the ammo.

  3. Verdebhoy January 3, 2013 at 10:42 am Reply

    Excellent blog.

  4. Mickbhoy1980 January 3, 2013 at 11:08 am Reply

    @chncer67 i thnk you missed the point of the whole blog there mate. Excellent blog angela. Spot on.

    • chancer67 January 3, 2013 at 11:48 am Reply

      Doh! please explain then to me mate what i missed !

  5. Auldheid January 3, 2013 at 11:10 am Reply

    Well said and hats off for having the courage to say it alhough if the Celtic support were the paragons of virtue of a growing myth, courage would not be required.

    Trying to be what we cannot ever be, ie human beings who can do no wrong, only provides a rod for others to beat us with when, inevitably, being human, we err.

    We should be proud to love ourselves warts and all, whilst always striving to be less error prone humans.

    The act of denying our human character is an error in itself and if self correction is to be the way forward (as it should be) then correcting the unrealstic view of ourselves as a group who can do no wrong (that is the province of those who resent us) is the way of the truth.

  6. Brenny January 3, 2013 at 11:44 am Reply

    I hope you made a report to the police about the drunken ned you seen vandalising that bus?

  7. Hoops_8 January 3, 2013 at 11:57 am Reply

    Even the story you claim to have witnessed is one, yes one arse hole. There is nothing the wider support can do about that and of course that action is to be condemned but it’s not a reflection on the support for isolated cases, it’s a reflection of society.

    The biggest threat is folk like you and John Hartson using instances like this with limited evidence to enhance reputation and wallet where possible.

  8. Henry Clarson January 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Very well said, Angela. There isn’t the slightest doubt that every club attracts some repulsive individuals who camouflage themselves as die-hard supporters.
    Celtic is no exception.

    It’s a mistake to think that the character of a troublemaker is somehow changed by wrapping him in green and white paraphernalia and it’s an even bigger mistake not to challenge that fallacy when it’s essential to do so.

    Most fans get lots of enjoyment from watching football matches but in their midst there is a separate faction whose satisfaction comes instead from spreading negative energy.
    The number of people in the latter group is not the important part of the argument; what matters is that the occasion can be disrupted by a thoroughly anti-social element.

    If I wear a Celtic jersey with a number 7 on its back when I’m playing five-a-sides, I don’t become Henrik Larsson. The difference is easily recognised as soon as I start to play and the jersey fools nobody.

    Neds who wear Celtic colours at Celtic games can also be easily differentiated from proper Celtic supporters by the way they conduct themselves. It’s no excuse to allow their colours to blind us to that fact.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Apart from this, a totally separate matter is running simultaneously and there is a danger that it will confuse the issue. The media in Scotland will undoubtedly pounce on bad behaviour amongst the Celtic support in a manner which is in stark contrast to its determination not to embarrass the club currently operating out of Ibrox.
    That’s demonstrably true but at the same time it’s irrelevant to the matter of Celtic’s need to protect its supporters’ generally excellent reputation by taking action to weed out undesirable elements.
    The necessity to maintain good standards of behaviour should not be forgotten about just because the media is highly selective about which club’s bad news should dominate the headlines.

  9. McGee January 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm Reply

    Very opinionated for someone who wasn’t at the game and hasn’t seen any evidence of what was alleged to have happened at the game.

  10. Bill January 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm Reply

    Well said.

  11. Colin Dolan January 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Well said Angela, very well written too. I have for some years feared that something would happen within the Celtic support a split, the fans who have refused to conform and feel that whatever they do is right and NEVER EVER WRONG and the supporters who helped create the great reputation that Celtic’s support have. Thousands of older fans are fed up completely with the singing of IRA / PIRA songs, have accepted that FoCus are taking action against fans who sing songs that break the law. The young “rebellious” Celtic fans jump up and down about freedom of speech being taken away when they don’t want to take the responsibility and consequences of such a privilege. Onwards and upwards Celtic supporters have a duty to do all we can to keep up the reputation we have built over years. So glad you mentioned that these young fans need to be led by example, that means it’s up to us older guys us older girls to do our bit.

  12. Tom McGuire January 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Spot on Angela. I dont mind boys being boys and having a few shandies. However, the singing of IRA songs was embarrassing in the 1970’s; singing it at a football match in 2013 is moronic.

  13. andy odonnell January 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm Reply

    tbh you have to ask why were drunken supporters allowed into the ground in the first place. Dundee saying it was better to allow them in doesn’t wash with me. the police are there to control the crowd in and around the stadium so the drunks should have been refused entry and dealt with by the police. from what ive heard it ended up a fight because some celtic fans were less than happy with the drunken fans and this lead to arguments between the fans. its not up to celtic fans to sort out dundees poor policing or stewarding of the game imo

  14. Henriksson January 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm Reply

    Very good blog! Before any of the press could report anything, the commentator on the game on ESPN announced to the world that someone was setting bangers off in the crowd, not flares but bangers (don;t know which set of fans was doing it but I suspect home fans would not be that stupid), so its not just a case of the press against Celtic, a number of the fans were behaving like eejits and needed to be called out, its up to Celtic fans to police themselves if you want to protect our reputation then get these drunken neds out! I have no doubt the press do like to knock us down when we are on a high, but we don’t need to give them any help. And there is no excuse for singing songs relating to PIRA or IRA at games, its a sport not a battleground or a debate, I strongly believe in keeping politics and religion out of our football! if you travel to a game from Northern Ireland leave your troubles behind, if you are not from Northern Ireland but are fascinated with it why not go and live there so you can find out what its all about and gie us peace!

  15. Davie Moloney January 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm Reply

    I can’t understand why some Celtic fans feel the need to act as the Scottish press and the footballing authorities think they should. As Angela rightly points out, the Celtic support comes from a wide range of race, religion, nationalities, social classes as well as political beliefs. The word “inclusive” is something that has always been associated with Celtic, but as soon as someone acts differently to those perched high and mighty, “exclusivity” seems to be continually pushed to the fore via the club, journalists and the uncle tims who jump up and down about these things to simply make mountains out of molehills in the eternal push for outsiders to believe that “One side is as bad as the other”. Whether or not they are buckfast powered wannabee rebels or not, they are still Celtic supporters, they might embarrass you and your “ilk” but get over it. It’s a non story in the grand scheme of things. People seem to get very upset about fans singing IRA songs,(the war is over as far as I know) yet not a peep when her majesty’s army is marching across Scottish football parks while they are currently engaged in war crimes and unjust wars across the middle east. Funny that! Eh?

  16. david clark January 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm Reply

    I witnessed the events at dens park for myself and although more than the usuall amount of celtic fans were worse for wear through alcohol i didnt see much to be alarmed at.I did see an altercation at the pie stall between some youths but it was more handbags and fizzled out.the crushing outside didnt help the mood of the fans or the inadequate toilet facilities and poor stewarding.Maybe angela you were seated in a different section of the ground from me and saw something different at first hand

  17. Leabrannagh January 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Agree Auldheid on human frailty, however it has always cheesed me off that we must always be whiter than white (the list on this is endless from fans, players to coaches ) otherwise we are scrutinised intensely for days on end. To me this is to perpetuate the one as bad as the other myth not to propagate a myth that we are paragons of virtue – does anybody really think that or has AT’s blog yesterday been set in stone from on high?

    We are not allowed to have the occasional wart, however when we do compound w should be applied by the club – as it was on this occasion. Anytime I have been to a late kick off on a weekend or public holiday, alcohol takes over the atmosphere, stupid by the organisers and consumees alike.

    That is a reason not an excuse, I could tell from the tv coverage that a lot of fans were way over the limit and I would not have liked to have been seated in the middle of some groups. We have some bams in the support, but I dont expect to see many more atmospheres like that one, if we do the club will sort it out.

  18. mick January 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm Reply

    angela happy new year to you 99.9% of the time celtic fans behave but that night was fuelled by hatred from dundee sing the billy boys the media did not mention this at all also celtic fans have been cheated for 15 years via financial doping and we have stayed calm and carried on with out justice for it yet the dundee farce was hyped and blown up via a msm with a agenda (what about ya)were there is thousands of fans you will always get a few numbtys causing trouble its the same at ever ground in the world dundee was a media myth were is the evidence of all this trouble a have yet to see a photo a video ,celtic fans are 99.9% good also you have to look at the timeing of the game and the long drinking session that was aloud by tayside police ,celtic are the benchmark in good behavior and just because a few young lads had a go at who we dont know does not mean the world will see us diffrent alcohol was to blame and tayside police for not having the game on earlier and the stewards also before we start to demonise our young supporters how many dundee fans were jailed for constant sing of the billy boys that night??? it was well out of order and not mentioned in msm not that that is a reason for drama but it was a contributoring factor along with late drinking and incompetent policing we could also blame the spl and sfa for not making it a early kick of if you go over to pie and bovril you will see the young dundee lads stateing they will be sing the billy boys to annoy the celtic fans this part was missed out in the msm coverage not that this balances it but that night was blown out of all porpotion via a celtic hating media but the good thing to come out it is that it lets the young lads know they must be on there best behavior at all times no matter what is going on around them as they now have a understanding of how they will be villianised in the media

    heres to a great new year to you angela and all your commentors and thanks for highlighting the importance of good behavior amongst the young fans am sure after all the drama it wont happen agian good celtic luck to you and a hope you have a great new year

  19. Jeanette Findlay January 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm Reply

    What exactly is the connection between any support for republicanism and the bad behaviour and hooliganism of which you speak? You seem to have seamlessly and without any justification linked the two. You might have a general and unassailable point to make about Celtic fans not being saints but frankly I found your piece dishonest and incredibly politically biased.

    • John Bell January 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm Reply

      I agree with you Jeanette seems that supporting the Republican movement nowadays is wrong amongst some of our support who would rather criticise a minority of our support than do what they are at the games for to support the team. And I wonder if this blogger is old enough to remember when the “british” government tried to make the club take the Tricolour that proudly hangs above our stadium down in the dark days of the 80’s.

  20. Dan Doherty January 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm Reply

    Glad to see this blog, it is stunningly obvious to most that individual or group episodes of misbehaviour will happen pretty much anywhere and anytime, dependent to some extent on circumstance,certainly, but ultimately down to individual choice. There are no excuses for events at Dundee or indeed anywhere else, only lessons to learn and mistakes to avoid repeating.

  21. Kev McG January 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm Reply

    In all fairness Angela whatever you debate online there will be those of limited intelligence who will use disgraceful language to put their point across you should remember that and also football is a working class sport so now and again there will be bother….every single club in the UK will have bother sometime or another, however it feels like at the slighest oppurtunity Celtic fans are destroyed in the media and without doubt its all blown out of proportion. Do we have a few daft ejiites in our support, course we do, however has the media reaction being OTT, without doubt. Hartson’s piece was a disgrace in my opinion for someone who was not even at the game and finally I think in your piece you may be trying to appease the other half of Glasgow by having a cheap shot at TGFTIW!

  22. EUGENE MCGEADY January 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm Reply

    I dont disagree with sentiments but having been at Dens Park I think there has been a little bit of an overstatement from people like John Hartson who was not even at this match. Giving fans ample drinking time the day after christmas day and likely no work the next day was a recipe for disaster and I aint condoning nothing but the so called ‘riots’ and stories (yes stories from dundee security) need to be looked at with different asks such as ‘Why was there only 2 gates open at 7.15 when thousands were queuing up? Where was his security team and police horses outside the stadium to stop the pushing etc? Why if people were in his words being abusive not being arrested there and then?. I aint hiding behind this, there were idiots there and I hope not to see them again but there are neds in society and unfortunately we have them as much as anyone else.

  23. JP January 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm Reply

    Sorry I can’t relate to this or much of the other stuff written in the msm about Dundee. I agree with aspects on the songs we should all work harder in this area however the home fans sang dirty Fenian bastards on several occasions, I saw 1 Celtic fan ejected but several Dundee fans including a couple fighting with stewards and police, I saw no trouble in the stands or outside before and after the game, I have yet to read from any fan up at Dundee who witnessed what has been reported, no urinating no fighting (apart from home fans) the only thing was the songs, however because I don’t agree with some of the songs doesn’t mean I am right before others, this SNP government have made a rod for there own back here.

    Sorry Angela but like John Hartson whom I also admire I believe you have jumped in with very little proof, either that or I was blind for 2 hours last week.

    • Angela Haggerty January 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm Reply

      I appreciate your experiences. Others at the very same game had different stories to tell.

  24. markybhoy75 January 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm Reply

    Two friends i know attended the same game but entered the game at different times one saw nothing although there was blood all over the toilets. the other said about 100 Celtic fans knocking lumps out of each other outside the stadium the police did nothing (what could they do with so many ) this continued into the stadium. If crap like that continues they Celtic fans wont have to worry about the busies filming them as other Celtic fans will be happy to do it for them. Hopefully it was just a one off with so many fans blazing drunk on boxing day.
    Oh and do we really need the Rebs we have so many football songs.

  25. StMiley (@StMiley) January 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm Reply

    Let the people sing….

    I wasn’t present at the Dundee riot, but if John Hartson says it happened, then I trust his source. 😉

  26. alex birrell January 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm Reply

    absolutley on the money Angela,most don’t seem to see the bigger picture,it’s not just about Dundee

  27. Tal Fanzine January 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm Reply

    Where are these different stories from others who attended the game Angela?

    The majority of the accounts I have read from fans who were there have described the incidents as quite minor. I am not condoning any anti-social behaviour that did take place, but your article lacks perspective and proportion.

    I might also point out that there were 5 arrests made at this game around an incident claimed by police and press to be a “mass brawl”. At the recent Dundee derby match there were 18 arrests. Tayside Police congratulated both sets of fans for their ‘good behaviour’.

    You were not at the game yourself, but you have written an opinion piece that is pushing a particular political agenda, one that clearly sees a connection between drunkenness, boorish behaviour and support for Irish republicanism. I reject the association.

    Like Jeanette Findlay, I too found your piece dishonest and incredibly politically biased.

  28. Gerry Moore January 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm Reply

    Couldn’t agree more with Jeanette Findlay, a ridiculous article which included linking republican songs being sung at Dundee to a young boy knocking off a bus wing mirror the previous month?! Just waiting for the next clamour to have supporters stop waving the Palestinian flag in support of their cause now that we’ve signed an Israeli

  29. Stephen Dedalus January 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm Reply

    Angela, a very well intentioned piece. I think we all recognise the ‘young freedom fighters’ to whom you refer. However, I have no idea as to what is a ‘IRA’ song. Are these Irish rebel songs reclassified so as to be ‘unlawful’ in the same manner as sectarian songs? If so, the national anthem of a full member state of the EU is demonstrably a ‘IRA’ song. I may be wrong, of course.

  30. Gordon January 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm Reply

    An excellent, well written and thought provoking piece. I could not agree more. Well done.

  31. Felix Gallagher January 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm Reply

    Why do you equate Republicanism with an alleged drunken brawl? I’ve supported Celtic for over 40 years and welcome our diversity – that includes Republicanism. Your piece lacks evidence, substance and honesty. If you really want to be a notable journalist, try investigating, substantiating and presenting facts, rather than another opinion piece.

  32. Hoops_8 January 4, 2013 at 8:16 am Reply

    Is this about singing IRA songs or about what is alleged to have happend at Dundee? How the hell do you link the two?

    Celtic fans have been singing about the IRA for decades through extended periods where reputation has been at its strongest. The carry on alleged at Dundee has also been prevalent through those times often at the longer distance away fixtures. Its not ideal but its not the melodrama you present it as.

    Some including this interet blogger are way out of touch with the Celtic support. Arm chair fans generally are.

    I’ll keep an eye on wing mirrors at the next game though, cheers.

    • Angela Haggerty January 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm Reply

      The majority of responses I’ve had on the site and social media have been in agreement with the piece. If you’re reaction is to claim all of those with a differing view to your own are simply “arm chair” fans, it’s laughable.

  33. Ross January 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm Reply

    There were 4 arrests at Dundee….4. I was there and honestly never saw any bother. There were 4 arrests at the Edinburgh new year celebrations. Where is the outrage at that? A martian could have told you that a night time kick off on boxing day would ensure a lot would have had a good drink beforehand. Four arrests when 90 percent of the support was tanked up should be a boost to this precious reputation the internet fans hold dear.

    Also, you have no right or mandate to tell people what to sing. I take it there were no rebel songs in Seville or on the run up to it when the cringeworthy ‘GFITW’ label was established?

    Take the mock outrage elsewhere please.

  34. Stephen McCormack January 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm Reply

    A very bold and honest assessment. As a Celtic supporter I always hate that we do our dirty washing in public. The problem we also have is that TV companies are now in greater control of our game and can arrange for TV games to be kicked off in the evening and therefore allowing “supporters” the opportunity to get tanked up before belting out the party tunes. Although some fans who attended the game in Dundee are stating that the incidents were blowing well out of proportion, surely they must understand that the mainstream Scottish media, who are now deprived of succulent lamb, will feast on the bread crumbs of a story that our own supporters provided. Jock Stein famously stated “The Celtic jersey does not shrink to fit inferior players.”….. perhaps this should be extended to the fans who wear the famous hoops and bring the club into disrepute.

  35. john ward January 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm Reply

    I am probely one of the unintelligent celtic fans you talk about…because all my life iv been a celtic fan and a repulbican, as an irish person i take pride in hearing songs of freedom about my country sang at celtic park, songs of brave people from all cornors of the world who fought for the rights i have today…i know this is not about what happened at dundee. but it gets to me when “celtic” fans talk of EMBARRASSMENT at hearing these songs sung at a place where my flag proudly flys a flag that was giving to celtic by a president of my a 42 year old i have heard the “debate” about what songs sld b sang at celtic park before in my time we had mc canns bhoys against bigotry. now we have the police trying to tell us what too sing. we are singing songs of freedom at celtic since before the” 70’s” and i hope my grandkids and there grandkids will hear our songs in years to come..i know ur intelligent and you will probely rip this to pieces but this is the celtic i love through the years we had some very bad ones but we sang our songs and as one gose “IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY………….ps what will u write about when the rangers march on celtic park again telling us to take down my flag??? will you and some others say yes take it down its an EMBARRASSMENT……

    • Angela Haggerty January 5, 2013 at 1:16 am Reply

      To suggest those speaking out against IRA chants would sit by and watch the Tricolour be taken down at Celtic Park is scaremongering and actually quite manipulative. I’m not accusing you of trying to manipulate as such, but it can have that effect. A discussion is due on which songs are acceptable and which aren’t. Not everybody who attends Celtic Park holds the same views as you, and of those that do, not all want to see Celtic Park become too heavily political. It’s a football club, an inclusive football club, with Irish roots at the heart of it. It has to be open to all. The finger-pointing response to those who don’t want IRA chants at Celtic Park will alienate a number of fans and create a split. If the majority are saying something needs to change, it’s time to have a real discussion about it. All the best John.

  36. john ward January 5, 2013 at 2:47 am Reply

    told you that you would rip it apart… you did what the meida do.. why say scaremongering then say your not ACCUSSING me of it. again your doing what the meida do put it out there then it sticks. AND just who are going 2 say what songs are acceptable!!! will they come too dublin and ask may be derry may be cork, will they go too bairds bar, the hoops bar the 67 bar i dont think so… im not a complete thick i never said evey celtic fan has the same views as me if they did we would not have the english in the ireland or scotland….i love the fact we have fans from everywhere and backrounds, but dose that mean u can exclude my views, what would celtic be whithout me and people like sure cars have been smashed up around celtic park all the time.the first time i drove to a match from here with my wife and parked at the janefields end a young lad said he would “look after my car” im sure he had no republican views!!!! im sure ur not as old as celtic fc so i DO know people like you and me will come and go but one thing im sure of as long as the rangers or some fans dont rip the IRISH out of celtic or pull down my flag songs of freedom will be sung by celtic fans for as long as CELTIC are playing…

  37. Jeanette Findlay January 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm Reply

    Oh dear Angela, I have just read John Mulrine’s comments – I don’t know you but I would hope you would want to disassociate yourself from such bigotry and intolerance. However, I would have to say that it was your own willingness to link two completely different issues – bad behaviour and support for a united Ireland – that has attracted this sort of support for your position. As my mother would say, if you lie down with dogs you’ll rise up with fleas.

    • Angela Haggerty January 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm Reply

      John got in touch to say the comment wasn’t written by him. It was duly deleted. The link between bad behaviour and IRA chanting was made by the police, not me. One of the arrests at Dens Park was for pro-IRA chanting. Irish people are striving for change through political means. I support that. Jeanette, I hope you will accept others’ opinions are as valid as your own.

  38. Jeanette Findlay January 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm Reply

    Angela, I cannot imagine why you would even ask me that since nothing I have said has indicated otherwise. I am concerned though that you now say that your piece was not based on your own opinion but on a link made by the police. As a founding member of Fans Against Criminalisation I have evidence of numerous examples of the disgraceful behaviour of the police in terms of trying to criminalise young Celtic fans for singing (or not as the case may be) songs which you may not like, may not agree with and/or may wish not to be sung at football matches, but which would not be criminal in any normal society. I would like to see someone with your journalistic skills investigating the abuse of their powers by the police which is a far more dangerous development than than the declining incidence of songs about an organisation which has not fired a shot for 17 years and has not existed for almost a decade. In fact, most of the songs in question are not even about the most recent armed struggle against British rule but about the prison struggle or about the War of Independence which led to the establishment of a member EU state, whose participants have been honoured recently by the British Queen. If you bother to follow this story up I would be prepared to bet that there will be no conviction of the person you mentioned unless he was a young boy who has pled guilty through fear or ignorance. You will note that, at no time, have I called on anyone to sing any song or, indeed, not to sing any song. The key issue facing us is not an internal, friendly debate about what we should or shouldn’t sing but the devastating impact on young people of the operation of one of the most illiberal acts this country has seen in a long time. That is what any journalist worthy of the name should be examining.

  39. david January 7, 2013 at 9:47 am Reply

    Oh yeah, Jeanette it is the fault of the Police.
    Not fired a shot for 17 years- who murdered David Black then ( in the usual cowardly fashion? ) . And dont spout ” dissident ” , they are of the same ilk.
    You are an arch-bigot.
    The rest of the Scottish community dont want to listen to your bigotry hidden behind ” political ” songs.
    The Rangers support has a bad element, so does the Celtic support.
    Every other club in Scotland knows it.
    You delude yourselves.

  40. Colin Dolan January 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm Reply

    It certainly appears we do have a split within the support of Celtic, similar to the split within the support of Rangers. Within the Celtic support we have some who not only see nothing wrong about belting out songs re the IRA or PIRA they actually believe this is all part of being a Celtic supporter, then we have the other fans who do not wish to hear let alone sing these songs. I remember going from singing “We Are Sailing” along to the old Rod Stewart song to all of a sudden singing about Bobby Sands in the jungle. The majority of Celtic support enjoy singing Irish songs, The Field Of Athenry as well as The Soldier Song, Celtic have Irish & Scottish roots after all. Within the Rangers camp we also have a split, those who wish to re-introduce, as Bill McMurdo puts it. The Billy Boys and the Rangers support who would never sing such a song. Those who sing either type of song/chant will create more headlines than the fans who sing our traditional football songs. As for the hooliganism well that is also a society problem with so many youngsters simply ignoring anyone or anything that represents authority, this lot are just as dangerous for the reputation of both Celtic & Rangers.

  41. Mairtin April 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm Reply

    Some real anti Irish racism being displayed. One Scotland, Many cultures! As long as we don’t mention our Irish history and cultural background

  42. Joe Glackn ,Right Justice April 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm Reply

    “The biggest threat facing Ireland’s sovereignty right now isn’t the British.” is a correct understanding of present reality. I have got into a few heated debates over my personal opinion regarding Irish Unification, which is not fact, only a view/suspicion. Its all to do with the European financial power`s ( Masons) that Free State Ireland is imprisoned by .
    No Rebel sings or draws attention as you correctly say Angela , but singing etc is acknowledging, respecting all who sacrificed their lives in various ways. From the ultimate sacrifice , to imprisonment etc should never be forgotten. When we came over in the late 70,s/80,s to Parkhead, many of us felt untold joy, freedom by the songs chants etc.We were among our own and it never mattered where you were born,lived, 2nd,3rd,4th generation Irish.We were/are all one Celtic Irish and Faithful through & through. Theres a certain element trying to destroy our unique, racial,cultural, traditional bond ,which in turn ,identity. We are loved, respected throughout the world because of who we are,endured and came from. Our sense of historical pride expressed in ” Song and Story” is part of our being. Ra songs chants are part of our history as Irish Republican`s. Nobody is forced or expected to sing or chant but those that do ,” light her up nd ,let her go “. Using isolated incidences of disgraceful behaviour by some is not a reason to stop the songs. Why not stop them drinking or getting drunk .?? That wouldn’t work either . But its the best safe-guard against bad behaviour. Stopping songs etc is more beneficial for those (Masons) intent on destroying our Celtic Irish identity. In 800 yrs they failed and they are still trying. Good respectful, devoted fans are motivated by “love, loyalty,friendship” regarding their negative views of some songs/chants. But Celtic are more than a football Club and we are more than football supporters. When you see the Queen bowing , paying homage to TBOTOB in Dublin and Celtic continuing its ban???.Whose infiltrated the Board as they have ,Vatican hierarchy ???. Scotland`s Establishments orders of recent actions against the Green Brigade and Celtics response speaks volumes. The SNP are not what they make out to be by Mr Salmond`s actions ,speech over the years. Being Celtic Irish Catholic is not a love of the Orange/Loyal orders ,Free Mason`s or Mr Salmond`s inner circle.
    I still rem that first time hearing “Let the People Sing” the hair raising on my neck , our Celtic spirit .I don’t sing or chant today but appreciate and love all songs/chants.
    If our brother,cousin is causing problems through drink which may be embarrassing,etc do we deny or report him to Police ?. I think thats why theres a instinct of defence for present bad behaviour. Thats one of the unique qualities appreciated world-wide also.
    I feel theres more chance of loosing our good reputation by denying our songs, than drunken siblings or isolated bad behaviour . Its just my opinion.

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