Monday evening Irish questions

Nov 29th, 2005 | By | Category: Ireland

I sat poring over the results and tables in yesterday’s Irish Times Sports Section. It was supper time and Miriam wanted to use the kitchen table.

“How did Bray do?â€? She asked.

“They weren’t playing, the season is over. There’s the final tableâ€?. I said, pointing at the details for the National League.

“Bray play in the National League? Then what are those results for; the ones for the Irish League?â€?

“Those are the Northern Ireland football resultsâ€?, I said.

A look of bafflement crossed Miriam’s face. “The Irish League is in Northern Ireland?â€?

“Yesâ€?, I said. “As well as that, the teams in Northern Ireland belong to the Irish Football Association and their cup tournament is called the Irish FA Cupâ€?.

“Then what do teams here play in?â€?

“They play in the League of Ireland, (the National League), belong to the Football Association of Ireland, and play in the FAI Cupâ€?.

Bafflement was replaced by a look of complete incomprehension. “Why?â€?

“I think it’s historical and I think there are reasons for them being separate, especially the violence, but, being honest, I have no idea how Northern Ireland football became the Irish League, especially when there is a big Loyalist following.â€?

I pondered the question further. One Irish League club plays in an area of Belfast where there used to be a big mural on a wall beside the main road declaring to passers by “Irish Outâ€?. How did the supporters feel about playing in the Irish League and the Irish Cup? Even though it may have started decades ago as the Irish League, it is a surprise that the anti-Irish vehemence of some of the Loyalists didn’t bring about a name change

Another unanswered question to add to the great list of Miriam’s questions I have failed to answer.

There are so many unanswered questions, like why there is no proper politics in the North or the South; like why Irish Government seeks an amnesty for Irish illegal immigrants in the United States, but treats harshly asylum seekers here; like why some people go to prison for violent crimes while those from a different background are admonished and set free; the list goes on.

Jesus asks questions of those things we take for granted, and even if we can’t answer the questions; there is benefit in at least thinking.

By the way, Bray were seventh in the League of Ireland Premier Division.

Leave Comment