THIS week I was asked to contribute a piece of writing to Slugger O’Toole.  It was a bolt from the blue and I was delighted to receive the request.

As most people in Europe have been glued to the fooseball whether they can be bothered with it or not, I admit I have been enjoying it until the Republic side were knocked out there.  Like most westies, I was supporting the Republic side because it was the natural thing for me to do.  I’m still not completely on board with supporting Northern Ireland. I’m just not ready, as are many others.

I decided to write about the conduct of the Irish fans in France and at home.

This is the piece here.

It’s had a good response on Twitter with both agreement and criticism of the points I raised.

I will address the criticism below and would like to thank everyone that read it and contacted me afterwards.  Your constructive criticism has been duly noted and I will endeavor to go to a home game at Windsor Park someday.

After hoking through YouTube, I’ve found no evidence of the Fuck The Queen/IRA chanting that is sung with the Fields of Athenry during Republic games.  But you all know what it is anyway.

“Aine you would need to do more research in my opinion, from someone who has followed NI for over 20 years the song you refer to “the bouncy” was sang at NI games 10 years before the incident you mentioned”

Evidence of The Bouncy being used as a gesture of hate in relation to the murder of Robert Hamill

The Bouncy used during a Loyalist Flag Protest

Northern Ireland Football Club clothing worn throughout

NI fans sing Fuck Bobby Sands he’s dead in the Aviva Stadium

NI Football Club flags in view while Billy Boys is sung by people wearing NI Football Club clothing

ROI fans sing James McClean hates the fucking Queen

Rebel Sunday’s at the Rock Bar. Unwelcoming for some.

Rebel songs and ROI football