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Is anti-British sentiment at the heart of Irish nationalism?


Drogheda445

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Irish nationalism basis itself on Ireland's relationship with Britain, or England, for obvious reasons. The long presence of political union with Great Britain means that our history is heavily intertwined with them and our history is hugely influenced by them. Irish nationalism, perhaps for this reason, is unique in Europe in that, unlike France or Germany of Italy or even Britain, where the emphasis on nationalism is asserting national unity and pride, Ireland's has often been linked to a general anti-British sentiment. Our cultural association with Britain has had a profound effect on the cultural environment of Ireland today; the vast majority of us speak English as our mother tongue and British media and culture is very familiar to most of us here in Ireland. This has happened all lver the former British empire and of course right here in these islands. And yet many Irish nationalists show disdain for all things British, rather than simply promoting aspects native to Ireland such as the Irish language and Gaelic games. When we think of the other nations of this archipelago, Wales and Scotland, they have experienced similar histories with their neighbours in England, and yet their nationalism is more based on their own cultural traditions and history rather than a deep-seated hatred of England and the English. Very rarely has a Welsh nationalist politician spoken out against "foreign games" or "de-Anglicising Wales" or indeed British culture in general. Many Irish nationalists also speak out fervently against British "imperialism" (usually only Britain) and Britian's legacy across the world (especially through things such as poppy-wearing).

It is understandable that some might dislike or feel resentment towards Britain, especially as the existence of Britain's presence in Northern Ireland is one of the major aspects which nationalists oppose, but is Irish nationalism significantly built on Anglophobia or is it just a case of fervent nationalism.

This is not intended to be an anti-nationalist thread, it is just out of curiosity.
 


ruserious

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Que Toxic telling us there is nothing that divides us from the Brits and Irish culture is a myth.

Please....less of the inferiority complex!
 

Riadach

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Irish nationalism could be termed a response to British nationalism.
 

Quebecoise

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Define 'British' though. I've known Irish people to be anti-English or anti-Ulster Unionist but I haven't come across many who are anti-Scottish, and for the life of me I've never come across an Irish person who is anti-Welsh.

Does anybody talk of de-Anglicising Ireland in this day and age? I thought being an English-speaking, generally pro-European country was how Ireland sold itself to North American investment during the Celtic Tiger years. North America's anglophone gateway to the EU.

And the Scots can be quite anti-English btw. They always cheer on England's opposing team in every soccer match.
 

Schomberg

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Obviously.
 

Riadach

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Define 'British' though. I've known Irish people to be anti-English or anti-Ulster Unionist but I haven't come across many who are anti-Scottish, and for the life of me I've never come across an Irish person who is anti-Welsh.

Does anybody talk of de-Anglicising Ireland in this day and age? I thought being an English-speaking, generally pro-European country was how Ireland sold itself to North American investment during the Celtic Tiger years. North America's anglophone gateway to the EU.

And the Scots can be quite anti-English btw. They always cheer on England's opposing team in every soccer match.
British identity appears to be English identity when it extends beyond England. I can't say the cultural idiosyncracies of the Celtic Fringe are ever brought to mind when hearing the term.
 

Quebecoise

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British identity appears to be English identity when it extends beyond England. I can't say the cultural idiosyncracies of the Celtic Fringe are ever brought to mind when hearing the term.
I get that sense too. Sometimes it's hard to know where English identity ends and British identity begins. In many places of the world people think the Union Jack is the flag of England. At a Bureau de Change in Montreal for example the exchange rate for British pounds will be shown with the Union Jack beside it. But the name beside the flag won't be 'Royaume-Uni', it will be 'Angleterre'.

You get that even in the U.K. with 'English'-Defence League supporters waving the Union Jack. And what about English football supporters waving the Union Jack, especially at Scotland games. What's that all about?

Scottish fans are waving the St. Andrew's cross saying 'C'mon Scotland!'

English fans are waving the Union Jack saying 'C'mon on England.......and Scotland........and 19th century Ireland!'
 

Riadach

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I get that sense too. Sometimes it's hard to know where English identity ends and British identity begins. In many places of the world people think the Union Jack is the flag of England. At a Bureau de Change in Montreal for example the exchange rate for British pounds will be shown with the Union Jack beside it. But the name beside the flag won't be 'Royaume-Uni', it will be 'Angleterre'.

You get that even in the U.K. with 'English'-Defence League supporters waving the Union Jack. And what about English football supporters waving the Union Jack, especially at Scotland games. What's that all about?

Scottish fans are waving the St. Andrew's cross saying 'C'mon Scotland!'

English fans are waving the Union Jack saying 'C'mon on England.......and Scotland........and 19th century Ireland!'
Indeed, don't forget the Union Jack was England's football flag in the 1966 world cup, and England was an alternative name for the United Kingdom as late as the 1930s. The Oxford History of England is not just focussed on the lands between the Tweed and the Severn. But of course, English identity, given population numbers, would always dominate any political or cultural union in the "home countries".
 

Quebecoise

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Indeed, don't forget the Union Jack was England's football flag in the 1966 world cup, and England was an alternative name for the United Kingdom as late as the 1930s. The Oxford History of England is not just focussed on the lands between the Tweed and the Severn. But of course, English identity, given population numbers, would always dominate any political or cultural union in the "home countries".
Yeah I only found out about stuff like that recently. I think the UK prime minster used to sign treaties and stuff as 'Prime Minister of England' up until the 1930's until someone suggested that he'd better start signing treaties as the 'Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' or someone could start bringing the British government to court. England didn't exist as a politically entity and any treaty signed as 'Prime Minister of England' could be declared invalid.

It's a funny thing though that British identity is so 'Anglo'-centric. I mean Britishness you could argue was an early form of multiculturalism. But over time all it has really meant is that the Irish, the Scottish and the Welsh have become more English.

'No!' scream the various Celtic fringe unionists, 'they have become more British, not English'. But have they though? How have the English become more British then? What changes have they had to go through to become part of this British identity?
 

Riadach

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Yeah I only found out about stuff like that recently. I think the UK prime minster used to sign treaties and stuff as 'Prime Minister of England' up until the 1930's until someone suggested that he'd better start signing treaties as the 'Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' or someone could start bringing the British government to court. England didn't exist as a politically entity and any treaty signed as 'Prime Minister of England' could be declared invalid.

It's a funny thing though that British identity is so 'Anglo'-centric. I mean Britishness you could argue was an early form of multiculturalism. But over time all it has really meant is that the Irish, the Scottish and the Welsh have become more English.

'No!' scream the various Celtic fringe unionists, 'they have become more British, not English'. But have they though? How have the English become more British then? What changes have they had to go through to become part of this British identity?
I agree. I think then you have to see nationalism in the celtic fringe as a response to anglicisation, a process that held various customs and cultural idiosyncracies of the fringe to be beneath contempt. Views on the Irish/Welsh/Scottish language (even Germanic Scots) for instance created a situation where they could not be taught in schools up to the 1870s. It was inevitable that this would evoke response, and that it would frequently employ the same mentality but in reverse, which is how we got nationalism and eventually its more chauvinistic elements.
 

Desnyland

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The Ireland That We Dreamed Of - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I personally wouldn't subscribe entirely to Dev's (dated) vision but do have a sense of belonging ,solidarity and aspiration for the betterment of the country that it could actually provide opportunity's for all who reside in it . The Northern six counties are still in the process of working out an accommodation to all,but I would put the blame on present difficulties effecting the country on our own" powers that be" rather than those across the water.So I would identify myself as a nationalist but don't think I need to be a cultural purist to qualify.
 

Franzoni

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Personally i think were moving back towards the original ideals of social democracy....this is whats frightening the fuk outta FG,FF and Lab

I have no animosity towards british people.....had many a good time in their company on holidays and have relations there.....have a problem with the british establishment and government though... as do many of the british people i met on my travels especially those from the north of England....
 

Caothaoir

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There are undeniable links between the peoples of this archipelago.
British Nationalists (/Unionists) attempt to portray this as one overarching 'British' (national) identity for the inhabitants of these islands ('British Isles') - with other competing national identities, such as Irish, reduced to regional identities.
This is what Irish (& Scottish etc.) nationalism naturally, and rightly, rejects (obviously this does not necessarily involve enmity between ourselves and our neighbours or denial of any connections/similarities).


This 'British' identity has been long ago utterly rejected by the enormous majority in the ROI and has become a minority identity in NI according to the 2011 census.
We are not 'British'.
Any wider supranational identity which spans these islands is not a national/primary identity and most certainly not 'British'.
 

Plebian

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No. Irish Nationalism should always be about self-determinaton.

Now that the north has settled down you'll find plenty of Irish Nationalists who have respect for the Brits desire to maintain their own brand of self-determination in the face of EU integrationists. While the old Redmondites just seem confused about which version of Home-Rule they want.
 
Last edited:

Niall996

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Irish nationalism basis itself on Ireland's relationship with Britain, or England, for obvious reasons. The long presence of political union with Great Britain means that our history is heavily intertwined with them and our history is hugely influenced by them. Irish nationalism, perhaps for this reason, is unique in Europe in that, unlike France or Germany of Italy or even Britain, where the emphasis on nationalism is asserting national unity and pride, Ireland's has often been linked to a general anti-British sentiment. Our cultural association with Britain has had a profound effect on the cultural environment of Ireland today; the vast majority of us speak English as our mother tongue and British media and culture is very familiar to most of us here in Ireland. This has happened all lver the former British empire and of course right here in these islands. And yet many Irish nationalists show disdain for all things British, rather than simply promoting aspects native to Ireland such as the Irish language and Gaelic games. When we think of the other nations of this archipelago, Wales and Scotland, they have experienced similar histories with their neighbours in England, and yet their nationalism is more based on their own cultural traditions and history rather than a deep-seated hatred of England and the English. Very rarely has a Welsh nationalist politician spoken out against "foreign games" or "de-Anglicising Wales" or indeed British culture in general. Many Irish nationalists also speak out fervently against British "imperialism" (usually only Britain) and Britian's legacy across the world (especially through things such as poppy-wearing).

It is understandable that some might dislike or feel resentment towards Britain, especially as the existence of Britain's presence in Northern Ireland is one of the major aspects which nationalists oppose, but is Irish nationalism significantly built on Anglophobia or is it just a case of fervent nationalism.

This is not intended to be an anti-nationalist thread, it is just out of curiosity.
The fundamental premise on which you base your post is entirely wrong and consequently everything that stems from it is profoundly flawed and misguided. There never was a 'political union' between Ireland and Britain/England. Ireland was forcibly, involuntarily and violently occupied by the British/English.

The second misguided view you express is that highlighting the atrocities of colonial rule here in Ireland, deriding Britains colonial past and challenging those on this island who have a fetish for Empire and the 'Great' in Great Britain and all that horse shyte is in any way being anti British. To the bulk of people living in Britain, good honest hard working profoundly civil, cultural compatible people, the barbarity of the past is equally abhorent to them when they are informed. The historic class structure imposed by the British ruling class that reached it's nadir in warfare is as tragic to modern Britons as it is to Irish people and democrats the world over.

However there is a group on this island who were the direct beneficiaries of colonial barbarism, the Anglo Irish/Unionist rump who exist and have survived directly through oppression. They try to not so much rewrite but write off British history ultimately to hide the crimes of their ancestors and in the North, themselves. Irish people will and should always counter. That is not anti-Britishness. It's anti many things that have also been exhibited by many other nations. And it's an opposition shared by vast numbers of British people themselves. In the exact same way, I can be horrified by what the Nazi's did and discuss it endlessly because it is one of the biggest events in hman history. But that doesn't in any way equate to being anti-German. That's a ridicualous idea. the difference is, the Nazis aren't marching down my street evey Summer. They're certainly not allowed ,march through Jewish areas chanting songs of hatred.

The third misguided point is this old red herring about the Irish somehow being more or less British anyway throught the adoption of their cultural lead. The three things I hear most to support this are language, football and media (soaps etc). Anyone who has actually travelled a bit will know that The Premier League is a global phenomenon. It is the worlds best soccer league. It has many of the worlds best players. It is watched all over the world and team jerseys are everywhere, from Ciaro to Capetown, Mexico to Bejing. It is an international global sports event just like Grand Prix racing, the Ryder Cup etc. Does watching McIlroy winning the Masters make me a slave to American culture? What a moronic idea. Does loving the Le Mans 24hrs make me a slave to Frech culture. Does a Ferrari key ring mean one is casting aside their Irishness and turning all Italian?. What kind of idiots keeep banging on about this sort of thing. In actual fact, the Irish have a pretty inique dialect of English infused gaelic grammer and 'isms. And of course, the Irish didn't embrace some cultural fashion for speaking English. They were forced to adopt it to get work in a society perversely dominated by an English speaking ruling elite. In reverse, the Irish have injected a huge amount of Irish culture into Britain. The Olympic openign ceremony had a noticably Irish perspective throughout. Northern English cities like Manchester and Liverpool had huge concentrations of Irish peole whose influence through music and television has enriched Britain. Most of the Beatles were Irish Britons, the group that defined so much of what we see as British iconography.

Finally, the other regularly touted attack on Irish people who engage in any discussion about their history is that they are victims. It's the primary ranting loop of one particular poster on here. And again, it's nonsense. When it is raised, it's just another obvious and miserably pathetic attempt by Unionists and the Anglo Irish/West Brits to deflect from the substance of the discussion which is probably about some aspect of history that makes them deeply uncomfortable. Which is understanable. If my tribe had been butchers of fellow human beings out of religious fanaticism or pure greed for land, I'd want to bury the past also. As it happens, I've never been in a famine, I've never been driven out of my cottage, I've never been left to starve by a roadside. I've never had to choose which children to take or leave as I boarded a coffin ship to America. I've never been held in internment. I've never had a job denied to me because I was a Catholic. None of the litany of horrors that were brought to this island by the British/English and cheerleaded along the way by unionists and anglo-irish benificiaries have affected me. I'm not a victim of anything. Quite the opposite. I'm the beneficiary of a country that achieved independence, went on to be one of the worlds most successful countries, remains one of the most significant cultural influences in much of the world and remains amongst the best places to live on earth. So no victim here. Sorry Ifor. But that doesn't mean I should forget about those who went before, who were victims, and whose memory should be preserved. And some day the Unionists and Andlo Irish will run out of excuses and deflections and will have to face up to who they are, where they come from and how they got here.
 

southwestkerry

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To answer the OP.. NO.
What an utter load off bull crap. Even some SF supporters would cringe at that.
All those who keep banging on about anti British sentiment tend to want their numbers look a lot bigger than they are.
Thankfully the anti Brits are such a small group you would find more folk on a bus in a riot.
swk
 

MauriceColgan

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www.irelandtoo.com
The fundamental premise on which you base your post is entirely wrong and consequently everything that stems from it is profoundly flawed and misguided. There never was a 'political union' between Ireland and Britain/England. Ireland was forcibly, involuntarily and violently occupied by the British/English.

The second misguided view you express is that highlighting the atrocities of colonial rule here in Ireland, deriding Britains colonial past and challenging those on this island who have a fetish for Empire and the 'Great' in Great Britain and all that horse shyte is in any way being anti British. To the bulk of people living in Britain, good honest hard working profoundly civil, cultural compatible people, the barbarity of the past is equally abhorent to them when they are informed. The historic class structure imposed by the British ruling class that reached it's nadir in warfare is as tragic to modern Britons as it is to Irish people and democrats the world over.

However there is a group on this island who were the direct beneficiaries of colonial barbarism, the Anglo Irish/Unionist rump who exist and have survived directly through oppression. They try to not so much rewrite but write off British history ultimately to hide the crimes of their ancestors and in the North, themselves. Irish people will and should always counter. That is not anti-Britishness. It's anti many things that have also been exhibited by many other nations. And it's an opposition shared by vast numbers of British people themselves. In the exact same way, I can be horrified by what the Nazi's did and discuss it endlessly because it is one of the biggest events in hman history. But that doesn't in any way equate to being anti-German. That's a ridicualous idea. the difference is, the Nazis aren't marching down my street evey Summer. They're certainly not allowed ,march through Jewish areas chanting songs of hatred.

The third misguided point is this old red herring about the Irish somehow being more or less British anyway throught the adoption of their cultural lead. The three things I hear most to support this are language, football and media (soaps etc). Anyone who has actually travelled a bit will know that The Premier League is a global phenomenon. It is the worlds best soccer league. It has many of the worlds best players. It is watched all over the world and team jerseys are everywhere, from Ciaro to Capetown, Mexico to Bejing. It is an international global sports event just like Grand Prix racing, the Ryder Cup etc. Does watching McIlroy winning the Masters make me a slave to American culture? What a moronic idea. Does loving the Le Mans 24hrs make me a slave to Frech culture. Does a Ferrari key ring mean one is casting aside their Irishness and turning all Italian?. What kind of idiots keeep banging on about this sort of thing. In actual fact, the Irish have a pretty inique dialect of English infused gaelic grammer and 'isms. And of course, the Irish didn't embrace some cultural fashion for speaking English. They were forced to adopt it to get work in a society perversely dominated by an English speaking ruling elite. In reverse, the Irish have injected a huge amount of Irish culture into Britain. The Olympic openign ceremony had a noticably Irish perspective throughout. Northern English cities like Manchester and Liverpool had huge concentrations of Irish peole whose influence through music and television has enriched Britain. Most of the Beatles were Irish Britons, the group that defined so much of what we see as British iconography.

Finally, the other regularly touted attack on Irish people who engage in any discussion about their history is that they are victims. It's the primary ranting loop of one particular poster on here. And again, it's nonsense. When it is raised, it's just another obvious and miserably pathetic attempt by Unionists and the Anglo Irish/West Brits to deflect from the substance of the discussion which is probably about some aspect of history that makes them deeply uncomfortable. Which is understanable. If my tribe had been butchers of fellow human beings out of religious fanaticism or pure greed for land, I'd want to bury the past also. As it happens, I've never been in a famine, I've never been driven out of my cottage, I've never been left to starve by a roadside. I've never had to choose which children to take or leave as I boarded a coffin ship to America. I've never been held in internment. I've never had a job denied to me because I was a Catholic. None of the litany of horrors that were brought to this island by the British/English and cheerleaded along the way by unionists and anglo-irish benificiaries have affected me. I'm not a victim of anything. Quite the opposite. I'm the beneficiary of a country that achieved independence, went on to be one of the worlds most successful countries, remains one of the most significant cultural influences in much of the world and remains amongst the best places to live on earth. So no victim here. Sorry Ifor. But that doesn't mean I should forget about those who went before, who were victims, and whose memory should be preserved. And some day the Unionists and Andlo Irish will run out of excuses and deflections and will have to face up to who they are, where they come from and how they got here.
That makes sense. A lot of sense.
 

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