Sectarian hatred from Rangers….This is a title we all routinely hear, and we heard it all too clearly two weeks ago.
So, can we do something about it? Well, we at IN have decided to try something different…
And by different, we mean very different, but first the background to our idea.
Just two weeks ago, we all heard the outrage vented by the national talking heads about the Rangers songs we all could hear very clearly on TV.
And they are right.
Rangers have fans come from all backgrounds, nationalities and different religious beliefs. So, yes, some of our fans are Roman Catholic, and these songs are heard crystal clear by the many international fans, who just might now be thinking to support Rangers.
But there are always two sides to an argument, and (unlike the national press) we decided to go back to the coverage to find out what actually happened two weeks ago, and to perhaps try to work out how this curse that has fallen on both Rangers and Celtic just might be brought to an end. Yeh, we know….
But what we discovered was interesting, and we think it now might be worthwhile for both sets of fans to now take time out and think about it.
Going back to the audio, there is an event that no-one has talked about.
At the very beginning of the match, many Celtic fans (but not all, we should add) started to sing a song about the IRA.
This was not mentioned in any of the national outlets.
And that song, which I don’t think Celtic fans sing at any other game (?) naturally riled up the Rangers fans.
If you are a neutral and unaware of the background, this explosive reaction just might seem strange.
Why, would events that took place decades ago cause a massive reaction amongst all the Rangers fans watching?
Well, the reason is many Rangers fans have brothers, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, and grandmothers, who all died at the hands of the IRA.
Yes, some Celtic fans also lost relatives, but when Celtic fans sing IRA songs, these songs directly reference the loss of loved ones, amongst many who support Rangers. And that is a fact.
For some comparison. At the next football match, between Ukraine and Russia, what would the world reaction be, if Russia started to sing songs to celebrate those responsible for killing Ukranians?
Would any Celtic fans be happy if Rangers sang songs commemorating the death of their loved ones?
Of course not….
So, what we are trying to say is; this problem goes way beyond religion.
Yes, Ireland was divided by religion, but the war is now over.
The current problem is, these hurtful songs (which are sung on both sides of the divide) all belong in the dustbin of history.
And neither IRA songs or songs about religion should be sung at any football match…
Perhaps we at IN are wrong? Some think there is no solution to this problem. But the reality is if we don’t try, this problem will never go away, and it is necessary for both sides to learn the real hurt the other side is feeling.
So, let’s call a truce. When Celtic fans start to sing their songs about the IRA….our new suggestion is for all Rangers fans to go absolutely quiet, and let them sing, and let their songs commemorating death be heard loud and clear, on national TV.
Then, when they have finished their songs, begin to slowly applaud for one full minute, to commemorate all who lost their lives.
That response would be far more fitting, and far more appreciated by those watching down on us from above.
And perhaps just might bring this sad chapter to a final end.
We can only try…