The Wearing of the Green

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I came by a video on YouTube recently entitled: Noel Gallagher on Celtic FC, Ireland and Irishness. Being born in the UK myself from a family from Dublin, I was obviously interested. And so I started to watch. The two-and-a-half-minute video was nothing technically innovative – we have a picture of Noel against a green background and a number of statements that pop up followed by answers to those statements made (supposedly) by the musician himself. NOEL ON CELTIC, NOEL ON HENRIK LARSSON, NOEL ON ROY KEANE, NOEL ON IRELAND, NOEL ON THE IRISH THING, NOEL ON IRISHNESS, NOEL ON IRISH REBEL SONGS. The first four are very soccer related, and though I feel sorry for him for being a Manchester City supporter, his views are his own on that and I respect them; however, the last three, it seems, don’t cut it with me at all. I will now quote what the Mancunian said ON IRISHNESS:

‘I clearly remember me Mam saying to me and me two brothers when we were growing up: “You’re only English because you were born here”, and with a mother from Mayo and a father from Meath, there’s not a drop of English blood in me. I recently had a child with my Scottish girlfriend, and there’s no English blood in him at all. I feel as Irish as the next person.’

And who is the next person sitting next to you, Noel? Joseph O’Stalin?

Most British-born people of Irish parents or grandparents brought up with the Irish culture as an important part of their lives will certainly understand this statement to be true. I, myself, have never felt English. Years spent in America, Poland as well as Ireland have seen to that, I think. I’d rather walk into a swarm of African killer bees or give the kiss of life to Father Jack Hackett off Father Ted than wear an England shirt, and that’s not disrespecting the land of my birth or my English grandmother, whom I love dearly. What it’s really to do with is finding my own identity as a person and living by it. I do that every day. When Noel Gallagher starts going on about the whole Irish thing I somehow get the feeling the man’s playing with us and on to some nifty marketing scheme – wasn’t he the one who in the mid-1990s was strutting every stage of the world with his band Oasis with a guitar painted with a Union Jack on it, claiming English – or British culture – was the best in the world? Wasn’t he – and I remember hearing this on a few radio interviews during Euro ’96 – a massive England supporter? Sorry, Noel, but I don’t believe you. I respect another son of Manchester more, Morrissey, born of Irish parents himself – IRISH BLOOD, ENGLISH HEART. At least that sounds believable and honest.

Does anyone really go for this? I think it’s his attempt to sell cds in Ireland, or he’s got a concert or two lined up there, nothing more. Noel, you’re such a plastic Paddy you’ll melt if you go too near the fire. Please, just stop it now!

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