Sunday Is A Cup Semi-Final. It Is Not, In Any Way, “A War Under The Flag Of Ireland.”

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What in God’s name kind of statement was that which The Green Brigade released yesterday? It is the kind of rhetoric we can all do without.

Their call for every fan to take a tri-colour to the game as we “go to war under the flag of Ireland” is one of the most overblown pieces of ludicrous hyperbole I have ever heard from these guys.

And I wonder sometimes if these guys ever stop to think about the perception it creates not only of them but of our wider support. There is no way in Hell that we should be endorsing a sentiment like that, as rhetorical as I’m certain it was.

If a Sevco supporter’s organisation had asked their fans to bring Union Jacks and said that they would “go to war” at the weekend flying it, I’d be calling them raving maniacs unmoored from reality.

I get that it’s Easter Sunday, but this is a game of football, not a re-enactment of the Rising.

This is a cup semi-final, being played in Scotland, in the year 2022.

This is not Ireland. This is not 1916. Whilst some tiny number of people might long for war and violence and the resumption of hostilities, the war they are talking about has been over for near on 25 years.

The people of Ireland aren’t remotely interested in resuming it and especially when most folk are horrified by the very real war happening in Europe right now.

And it does not look like fun. For anyone.

If a tiny handful of people really do lust for the thrill of battle, the Ukrainians would be happy to have them.

Hell, when you consider that the Russians are drafting in mercenary forces from around the globe they’d be happy to have them as well.

I suspect they would find real combat, on either side, somewhat less thrilling than they imagine.

Repeatedly on this site it has been pointed out that the Celtic fan’s objection to the Old Firm tag started, years before Rangers fell into ruin, on the premise that we are not like them, that we do not indulge in hatred for its own sake, that we do not fetishize militarism and war … and you know what? This ticks more than a few of the old, tired, worn boxes.

I cannot believe some of the stupid stuff that our supporters do from time to time, like the resurrection of songs like the sectarian Roamin’ In The Gloamin’ which this blog has written about before, and grotesqueries like the hanging effigies which outraged thousands of Celtic fans when they were displayed at Celtic Park some years ago.

The Green Brigade are not some band of out of control supporters … this perception does exists in some sections of our fan-base.

If you are one of the people who thinks they are a menace we’re not going to agree.

If you are one of the people who thinks they can do no wrong then we’re definitely not going to agree.

If you are one of the keyboard warriors who wants to get arsey with me over this, get a grip of yourself and consider your attitude. It’s hunnic behaviour, and I have no trouble calling it that.

There is an aggressive militancy on both sides of the Glasgow derby right now which I think is dangerous not only to both clubs but to wider society, and I would very much like to see it stamped out.

More people don’t want to see parts of Glasgow turned into 1980’s Belfast.

I struggle to comprehend the thinking of those who do.

What a lot of fans are uncomfortable with here is the sentiment and the language of war.

War is not a word that should be used loosly or thrown around with carefree abandon.

As far as I’m concerned it has no business being used here … it is inflammatory and dangerous and exactly what allows outsiders to continue to push this “two heads of the same coin” shite which none of us has any time for.

It also creates the false impression that our club is Irish first … and it never has been,

We’re a Scottish club which has Irish roots, not an Irish club which happens to play in Scotland.

There are those who are going to say this is much ado about nothing.

But I don’t think the use of the expression “this weekend we go to war” is appropriate in the context of a game of football. The other side doesn’t need an excuse to indulge its own militaristic tendencies and all this does is encourage them to believe that all of us are spoiling for a fight. If it’s fighting that interests you, keep it the hell away from our club.

On top of that, I was always to the way of thinking that the commemoration of the Easter Rising was a celebration of heroic sacrifice and a nation’s will to be free … not the glorification of war for its own sake.

If some people have failed to comprehend that, then more fool them.

I rather suspect most Irish people have seen and heard enough of war and want nothing further to do with it.

This kind of talk doesn’t impress them one bit.

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  • John O'Connell says:

    Excellent piece of work

  • Dennis McLaughlan says:

    I don’t think the use of words like ” enemies ” is appropriate. They are opponent’s like every other team we play Use of such expressions belongs elsewhere, not in parlance of Celtic fans.

  • Pan says:

    Very good James. I very much agree!
    The Green Brigade are full of their own self importance and this stupid idea should not be encouraged.

    Please excuse me for pointing this sentence out to you, which you might want to change as I don’t think it is what you meant. You may need a ‘not’ between ‘a’ and ‘a menace’.

    “If you are one of the people who thinks they are a menace we’re not going to agree”.

  • John S says:

    An embarrassing choice of words. Keep politics out of Celtic Park.

  • king murdy says:

    100% agree…
    i’m proud irishman…spent a long time in scotland…back “home” in ireland…
    have always been proud of my scots upbringing….
    ALWAYS saw celtic as a scottish football club, with strong irish roots, and long may those roots flourish…
    we have always had a bigoted element in our support….when dalglish returned as manager in 1999 i heard a tic supporter referring to kenny as a “protestant hun bastard”….ffs.
    beggars belief…!
    way past the time that the green brigade had their wings clipped…if not “demobbed”….the rebel songs have NO place at a Celtic match…think the GB believe their own publicity.
    give the press and the bastards across the river no reason to point the finger…

  • Bhoys says:

    Some amount of dafties in the replies here. We shall on Sunday how your thoughts are reflected when see you number if tricolours at Hampden.

    As for those pontificating about there currently being a war ongoing, open your eyes and you will find there has been constant wars being fought long before the disgraceful Russian antics so not sure why such offense is being taken to the term “war”. Why weren’t you offended before?

  • Zeddy says:

    Talk about hyperbolic !!!!! I genuinely have no cards in this game but to compare their use of the word war to what’s happening in the Ukraine is nothing short of the the hyperbolic pot calling the hyperbolic kettle black.
    But to deny that there isn’t a Racist and Religious war going on in Scotland at a political, business and personal level is a denial of the highest order. Have you forgotten the allowances made in Glasgow over the last few years.
    I don’t think it’s the greatest idea but I defend their right to make a peaceful stand. End of.

  • SpaceCowBhoy says:

    I disagree, some people are just too serious, it’s only a bit of drama injected into the match to spice it up a little…..some people are so easily offended these days or actively hunt down opinions so as to cancel them….if you don’t like it then ignore it but don’t try and suck the little bit of joy from peoples life, it’s hard to find these days..

  • Michael McCartney says:

    The last two comments prove to me that we have some people just as stupid and dangerous as some of those at Ibrox amongst our support. “A religious and racist war going on in Scotland” and calling for war at a football match to spice things up a bit ffs. To hear these idiotic comments coming from Celtic supporters is so depressing.

  • Mark Elliott says:

    The team playing out of Ibrox these days used all this old rhetoric to get fans of the liquidated club on board with the new one, and it worked! …it was a shamefully exploitative act, but one which their desperately hurt fanbase was only to happy to swallow!

    While old Rangers went to the wall, and the new club settled in to its home, Celtic shone as it allowed the club to break free from the shackles of being tied to those dinosaurs and their archaic views of life in 21st century Scotland.

    Slowly, but surely, they’ve clawed their way back into Celtic’s company, and will desperately cling onto Celtic’s ankles in a bid to feel relevant; Celtic, despite what has been propagated, don’t need them or their backwards world views in order to be relevant, and should strive to not be dragged into a tit for tat mud slinging match on the terraces that only serves to validate and fan the Ibrox hoardes egos…leave them and their mass superiority complex to stew, and let the players on the pitch do the talking while we back them up the right way with our world famous support!

    Hail Hail!

  • john clarke says:

    Pope Francis has called for a stop of hostilities in the Russian initiated war over the Easter weekend and we all pray beyond Easter. Christians in Scotland are no more than 55% of the population. God gave us the 10 Commandments …remember “love your neighbour”. Jesus gave us the Gospels. Can any reader answer the question a Pharisee asked Jesus?. Q: What is the greatest Commandment?
    Argentina is 80% Christian, yet Boca Juniors vs River Plate fans, carry-on like pork chops in a synagogue at their derbies. It all started with misguided; alleged, “poor people” vs “El Millionaires” beliefs and evolved into conflict. There have been deaths and large numbers of injuries….all over a football game!. Fans invest a lot of emotional energy in supporting their teams. During the games, the endocrine system kicks-in, releasing and moderating hormones. Adrenaline is one of these hormones. Adrenaline is the “Fight or Flee” hormone. It can last for up to an hour after the game. Testosterone is also in the mix. If you win, endorphins make you feel happy. If you lose you feel a bit depressed and you might go looking for the reason. The reason you feel down, is always yourself. You can go and talk about the game with your mates or wife. This will make you feel better. Going home quietly is the way to go. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine if you feel agitated. Humans are not meant to act like wild animals. Be aware of your emotional state and control yourself.
    I hope Russia’s armed forces have a St Paul like awakening and go home to their families with contrition in their hearts; for they have been misguided by bad leaders, who should not be leading any nation.
    James, Thanks, for your enlightening story. Hope it is influential in a beneficial way.
    I am far from a good person, but I will still post this comment..

  • john clarke says:

    Sorry, Pope Francis wants all hostilities to stop everywhere. His traditional Urbi et Orbi Easter Message will be read midday on Easter Sunday 17 April over St Peter’s square.
    I must have verballed Pope Francis. There are many important things he will say.

  • george meighan says:

    Couldn’t agree more, this is a game of football, War is an atrocity to all mankind, Ireland has seen enough of that and they dont a return to those dark days of suffering and loss of life, lets just enjoy the occasion for what it is, a game of football and roar on the Hoops to Victory HH

  • Mr Sensible says:

    Firstly I am not a Celtic fan but I do read a lot of blogs. Thought I would let you know that in response to the Green Brigade’s bring a tricolour to Hampden appeal, Rangers supporters are now being urged to turn their end into a scene from the last night at the Proms. There is a growing sinister bigoted element at both clubs. There could be serious bother this weekend.

  • michael hollinger says:

    I agree with most of this blog. However I think The GB made a huge error here. I admire a lot of what they do. Wouldnt want to be sitting with them trying to watch a game lol. However I dislike this we are a scottish club founded by the Irish blah blah blah. We are a club very steeped in our Irish identity and should be very proud of it. Not sectarianism or racism but simply Celtic FC. A club for all. I think by also diluting our Irish identity we are as bad as those who want it eroded. The call to war thing abhors me however the flying of the Irish Tricolour on Sunday will make me smile and proud.

  • Dougie Barnes says:

    I wish some of our support would put as much energy into freedom for our own country. This kind of rhetoric plays into the hands of the SMSM and does nothing to dispel the notion that we are all the same.

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