Against The Disneyfication of Football - Mocking Celtic Fans Now Illegal
The club the reaction from Rangers is typical - instead of telling the police and their political masters to grow a pair they've taken the usual route of meekly accepting the latest politically-motivated tripe and then passed on the bad news as if there is nothing to be done in the hope that fan groups will quietly tell their members and hope that things don't get 'too bad.'
Here's the bad news RFC - the punters ain't for swallowing this one.
You'll have to come out swinging on this one - no doubt some of our highly-paid employees were hoping that the fig-leaf of "it's the polis" would suffice to make the 'problem' go away before the usual suspects start to call for sanctions against the club. Sorry - you're going to have to fight this one.
The background is simple. Many Celtic fans believe in the myth that they are descended from folks fleeing the Potato Famine which was at it's height from 1845 to 1847, although in some areas there were outbreak of the blight in later years. In fact, Scotland received relatively few immigrants as a result of the Famine - either as a percentage of the million or more left Ireland due to the Famine or as a percentage of those who over the last 300 years have come to Scotland from Ireland.
Most of us Scots who have Irish blood in us are descended from people who arrived long before or long after the Famine and for simple economic reasons. It's not romantic but it's the truth. Sorry to disappoint.
It's a bit like the halfwits who claim their grand-fathers or great grandfathers fought in the East Rising and then decamped to Duntocher or Royston. There were about 700 involved in the Dublin putsch of 1916 - to have accommodated all those alleged grandpas and grandpappies the GPO would have to have the floorspace of Heathrow Airport if Scottish Timmy is to be believed! Most of these imagined heroes are more likely to have been - in the words of one Irish wit - 'preoccupied with fetching things out of Woolworth's windows' rather than shooting 15 year old boy soldiers carry pails of soup in the back.
This latest wheeze is but another example of the interference of non-football people in our game. Scottish football is a pussy game as far as aggro is concerned - it's been transformed in the last 30 years and any violence is of a scale that makes it insignificant compare with even one run of the mill game in the 70s.
Once we were worried about the "Hail of hate" when the opposition scored and the bottles rained down on you. Now we worry that some IRA-supporting crackpot might be 'offended' by taking the piss out of his non-existent dead for a hundred and fifty years relatives? Get a life.
Should anyone wish to examine the numbers then the census figures for Scotland make mockery of Timmy's claims.
Handley ( 'Irish in Modern Scotland' pp.44-46 ) says that the Irish-born were 7% of the Scottish population in 1851, 15.4% for 'West of Scotland ( Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire ) and 18% of Glasgow. However, he seems to doubt the accuracy and reliability of these figures. Brenda Collins ( in Devine ( ed. ) 'Irish immigrants and Scottish Society' ) says that between the 1851 and 1871 census years the number of Irish born remained virtually static around 207,000. In the period 1876-1921 she says that some 94,000 Irish immigrants came to Scotland which involved a considerable number from Ulster. In Walker's book, 'Intimate Strangers', he refers to the 1931 Scottish census which showed that the total Irish-born was then 124,296 and this worked out at 2.5% of the total population. 55% of these were born in what was now Northern Ireland. However, the immigration during and following WW1 was heavily from what was now the Irish Free State.