‘Irish fans backing ‘Anyone but England’ need to get over themselves’

By on June 11, 2014

Asked why they won’t be supporting England in Brazil this summer, many said simply that “it just wouldn’t feel right”.

THE World Cup is here again. And Ireland aren’t in it – again.

So that must mean it’s time for a peculiar crowd to emerge from the shadows. They’re a motley crew of killjoys, some Irish-born, others Irish-descended, bound by a shared hatred of all things English.

As pubs around England fill with Asian and African families proudly cheering on their country of residence, this Irish group will be hoping for quite the opposite.

They will be praying that Luis Suarez – the avowed cheater who single-handedly (no pun intended) ruined the 2010 tournament – is fit enough to send Steven Gerard and his men packing at the first hurdle.

Even better, they think, if the Uruguayan does so by deploying those cheating appendages in the style of another South American striker’s infamous ‘Hand of God’.

They are the ‘Anyone But England’ brigade and I find them pathetic.

You might think that harsh, but I’ll tell you why I find this group so tragic.

The ‘Anyone But England’ brigade made up more than half of the 40 people who spoke to The Irish Post this week, most of whom were second or third generation Irish.

To be sure that’s no academic study. But their comments were telling of a malignant hatred that has been passed down the generations in some families

“I don’t even like England winning the toss,” said one second generation Irishman from Luton.

Another, a second generation Irish woman who grew up in the shadow of Wembley Stadium, said: “I will only support the teams playing against England. I would love to see the English lose at their national sport.  I have no loyalty to England.”

The Anyone But England crowd’s favourite memories of England’s World Cup exploits were predictable. They included Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ and the scenes of a teary Paul Gascoigne as he was ruled him out of a final England would never reach.

Asked why they won’t be supporting England in Brazil this summer, many said simply that “it just wouldn’t feel right”.

Others conjured images of St-George-cross-clad skinheads singing ‘No Surrender’ to explain why they hold their home country in such contempt.

One London-born man with roots in Mayo and Westmeath needed a list to make his point.

“What they’ve done to Ireland down the centuries, what their fans did at Lansdowne Road in 1995, my Irish passport, the thought of not being able to look my dad in the eye and two grandfathers turning in their graves.”

There’s a great story about inferiority complexes that explains why such antipathy seems so pathetic.

The tale – which may or may not be true – goes like this: New Zealand was building a tower in the 1990s and it had to be a big one. The aim was to outdo their antipodean rivals, Australia, by erecting a structure that surpassed the 309m Sydney Tower.

But when the last slab was put in place on Auckland’s shiny Sky Tower, its government backers learned to their disgust that their creation came up short, at less than 300m.

That just wasn’t good enough. So what did they do? They stuck a giant needle on top of the building to take it to its current height of 328m. And then they unveiled it, proudly, as the tallest building in Australia and New Zealand.

But what did Aussies tell journalists when asked what they thought about being second to their nearest neighbours in the tall building stakes?

Something like: “Mate, I didn’t even know they had a tower. We don’t hear about them in the news here. But they can build it as tall as they want, they’ll always be our little brothers!”

To me, the Anyone But England brigade looks much the same as the New Zealanders in this story – except worse.

To say the least, they will be shaking their heads when Michael D Higgins, their proclaimed President, fulfils his promise to raise a glass to England this week.

They also clearly think he was wrong to talk of a “new era of friendship” between Britain and Ireland during his State visit.

Yet what is striking is that this era started many years ago for English people. I’ve never known an English person who begrudged Ireland success in the same way.

On the contrary, my English friends roar on Ireland unless it’s England they’re playing.

That’s why they are like the Australians in the Sky Tower story.

To them, Ireland is a harmless footnote in their history and public life, gladly cheered on as a benign and happy friend and not significant enough to be despised.

Meanwhile, “the old enemy” retains its huge importance in Ireland. You just have to open a newspaper or sit in a history class to see that.

England is ever-present in Irish broadsheets, if not in the main news section then right up the front of world news.

By contrast, you would be hard-pressed to find any domestic Irish news in English papers – ever.

It’s the same with history.

If you were educated in England and had no reason to believe otherwise, you would think England and Ireland had never disagreed about a thing. The Troubles and the creation of the Irish State aren’t even mentioned.

Ireland might as well be Sicily as far as English history textbooks are concerned.

But across the Irish Sea, history might as well be re-named “the history of Ireland’s fight with England”.

That’s all understandable, given Ireland’s relative youth as a nation.

But those Irish people who continue to view England as an enemy today are trapped in a past that England has forgotten or never paid much attention to anyway.

Meanwhile, those second and third generation Irish who feel the same look like they are clinging to the past for the sake of their identity. Their loathing of England reveals how insecure they really are of their Irishness.

And further, such vitriol only highlights England’s status as Ireland’s stronger sibling. Far from affirming Ireland’s strength, the Anyone But England brigade make their homeland look like a little brother.

Really, it’s quite tragic. I for one will be hoping England do well in Brazil and beat Italy on Saturday.

Comment: Why I’m supporting England in the World Cup

Niall O Sullivan

About Niall O Sullivan

Niall O’Sullivan is a reporter at The Irish Post. You can follow him on @Niall_IrishPost on Twitter


  1. Seamus

    June 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    That’s why you emigrate to the states and avoid the whole mess. England is America’s female dog.

    • Alice Nolan

      June 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

      And the US is such a great place? I don’t think so! Not to get involved in history or politics – because for instance – we all know too well what part the English played in the Great Famine and why the Irish were forced to emigrate there. But the red carpet was not exactly waiting for those poor unfortunate souls when they walked down the gangway. Far from it – for those who made it to the US – if you read your history Seamus – they were treated like dirt. If they did not meet the ‘US criteria’ they were sent back to Ireland – and so many died on that return journey. Also watch Gangs of New York sometime and your eyes will be opened. All you Irish think the US is so wonderful – what a laugh!!!!

  2. rupert

    June 11, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    strange really with rooney gerrard and lambert all with obvious irish ancestory they obviously come from the 60% of anglo/irish who do get behind england ?

  3. Michael

    June 11, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I’m fairly sure anyone who is “Anyone but England” is like that because of the media. I’m “Anyone but England”, not because I hate the team but the media portrayal is a joke, and annoying really. There are far better teams than England in the World Cup and have been for many years, but the media persists in the whole “C’mon England we can win this! We will win this! We would’ve won this if Maradonna never cheated!”

    • Patrick

      June 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Michael’s right the media portrayal is a strong influence. I for one always back their athletes in world championships and olympics but struggle to want their soccer team to do well… probably because the media portrayal is different.

      Too much hype around the soccer team is what does it for me.

      I’m Irish born and bread so I find it strange that people who’ve grown up here all their lives class themselves as Irish and support ‘Anyone But England’ considering England is their home and has done so much for them. But saying that people have opinions, home is where the heart is etc. I’m glad people have opinions. It’s best to let them have one rather than lecture them on what the should and shouldn’t think like in other parts of the world!

      • Alice Nolan

        June 20, 2014 at 11:19 am

        Top class reply Patrick – one of the best and honest comments so far. Well done!

  4. SpurredoninDublin

    June 11, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    During the last World Cup, I was in Thailand and came across an ex-pat from Co. Mayo, who would buy the football strip of the team opposing England and wear that on match days. It was quite difficult for the locals to understand what was going on, as most Thais thought Ireland was part of England anyway.

  5. Dom

    June 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    You are right about one thing and that is the lack of understanding from the English about Irish history. Nothing in the media at all. As a middle aged Englishman the only time I heard anything about Ireland as a kid was the troubles. I now realise there was a propaganda of silence in England at the time which meant that ROI and NI felt like the other side of the world not a hop across the water. We were never taught anything about Irish history in school even in a cursory way to help us understand what was happening in Northern Ireland and who the IRA were.

    The result is a nation in denial. Where the Irish have emotional scars of past struggles past down from generation to generation, the English only have ignorance. It isn’t a wilful ignorance on the part of the average Englishman, it is just a black hole. One that should be filled with knowledge of the historical injustices of our past.

    On a trip to Dublin this weekend with my wife to enjoy this fantastic city and people for the first time, I picked up on numerous tours talking about the War of Independence and it struck me that I know nothing of that time.

    With each new generation there is the prospect of leaving old hatred behind, and I do believe that there is a new era of friendship ahead.

    Your average Englishman will quite happily root for the Welsh, Irish or Scots in sports and doesn’t understand the animosity towards the English team, it’s true.

    But I for one don’t expect the Irish to suddenly start rooting for the English football team, just as I don’t expect England to suddenly start rooting for Germany – but maybe one day the English will be taught their countries historical role in Irish history with honesty and humility, and the Irish may learn to forgive if not forget.

    Maybe then we can all enjoy life, the world-cup and everything a little bit more, together.

    • Fee

      June 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Actually we covered irish history in my school and I’m sure most others schools do too. We even had it for coursework topics.
      Despite my irish heritage I found it boring and don’t see history as an excuse to not support the country I live in. I am not ignorant to the past but accept all countries have history.
      If anyone “Irish” living in England can’t show support to the country then they should be on the first ferry back.
      Also please everyone stop calling it soccer.

      • P O'Neill

        June 16, 2014 at 3:40 pm

        It is soccer. Or is there another game that uses that name?

  6. Anthony Holmes

    June 11, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I was the one that doesn’t like England winning the toss even but this is not loathing of England as I don’t mind them in some sports but soccer is different – when you’ve been at Ireland matches against them and been on the receiving end of the vitriol dished out I am happy to return it tenfold. I’ve been lucky to get away with my life in a Stuttgart car park, at Wembley several times and in Dublin – also be aware that this is not a minority of England fans either. I have no inferiority complex about being second generation Irish and I’m 64 years old now – loads of my mates are English and we have a healthy bit of banter where the English football team is concerned. Its not unnatural for neighbouring countries to dislike each other – you wont find many Dutch fans supporting Germany for instance. I’m lucky that I now live overseas and don’t have to put up with all that flag waving, racist singing etc whenever England are involved in a major tournament. I remain firmly ABE and don’t need your patronising comments Niall about why my view is wrong and yours is right

    • Aj

      June 15, 2014 at 12:14 am

      You’re an arsehole. Get over yourself. Mates support their mates, not their mates’ opponents.

    • P O'Neill

      June 16, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Ah Anthony he’s just a kid and doesn’t know anything about the why.
      He shouls read Dom’s answer above which is straight and honest. I had a chat with some Englanders some years back and what they said mirrors what Dom said above.
      I’ll try to explain it to “One Eye”. If I battered you and then robbed you how much support would you be willing to give. Then consider that I have broken into your house that you have built and claimed the top ensuite master bedroom and bring a load of my mates in and throw loud parties with druggies roaring and shouting so that you always have to look and remember that it once was yours– how quick would you be willing to forgive and forget?

    • Dan22

      June 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      We’ll said Anthony

  7. Fer

    June 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    They’re not just supporting anyone but England but also anyone but Ireland as once again they’ve failed to qualify and have no other reason to watch.

  8. Ed Gilmartin

    June 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I am anyone but England for a couple of reasons. The least being that we are still hearing about the 66 world cup that was half a century ago. Every year you would think Jesus was playing for England until they get hammered and then the poor excuses start flying. We Irish bow out of big tournaments with dignity. At least when we are in them we do. After the last Euro’s we were the talk of the continent and not for our footballing prowess. The fans are not hooligans and are loved everywhere they go. The English on the other hand? Full of hooligans but I do commend them for at least trying to curtail it. I have never seen a Black athlete have a banana thrown at him during any Irish sporting event. It is a regular scene in England. Disgusting.

    My bigger reason, which the moron that wrote the article calls pathetic, is that I grew up in Belfast in the 80s and 90s. I am from Twinbrook. I was never a part of any organization in my life. Just a Catholic from a Belfast ghetto. I was beaten by the Brits, shot at, thrown out of the back of a moving jeep. My friends and family were interned and murdered by Brits. All of this happened in Ireland. Not England. We did not go there looking for trouble. It all happened in Ireland. My first memory as a child was 12 year old Carol Ann Kelly being shot dead by Brits using her as target practice. But the idiot that wrote this article would never have experienced that. The Brits brutally oppressed the Irish for 800 years and I lived through 16 years of that. The Irish genocide when the potato crops failed led to the death or immigration of half the population of Ireland. We still have not recovered to that number. Does the author find that pathetic also? Do you still think it is pathetic that I want anyone but England to win? The only thing pathetic is the authors ignorance to English slaughter in Ireland. Make no mistake he is not one bit Irish. Maybe what I have mentioned above is not as bad a reason as putting a pin on a building but to me it is more than enough reason to enjoy them lose at their own national sport. In fairness this is directed at the country and their murdering past not one bit of this is directed at any player and I wish them all the best as far as health goes during the world cup. But I also hope they get knocked out in the group stages.

    • Padraig Cronin

      June 14, 2014 at 12:27 am

      Hey Ed,

      It is important to remember it is just a football contest and not drag the troubles into it. Also remember that words like idiot and moron have no place in reasoned debate.

    • Pasquale Paoli

      June 20, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Maybe no bananas, but there are lots of examples of racism in the GAA.

      • Alice Nolan

        June 20, 2014 at 11:52 am

        Well said Pasquale! The thing with the GAA is they manage to hide their racism and get away with it! For example I know of a young man born of Irish parents – proudly holds his Irish passport and very proud of his Irish roots. He loves hurling and joined a club in London. He put his heart and soul into training – coming home after a hard day’s work – tired – but still never missed sitting in traffic in order to attend training. But as soon as he spoke – obviously with an English accent – what else would he have – being born here – he was slated and jibed – by, guess who? players who had arrived here from Ireland – looking for work and playing hurling. What a cheek! What did they expect him to speak like – one of them perhaps? If he had been born in say Westmeath then he would have! What ignorance! On top of that they would all sit in little clicks and leave him out. Small wonder he gave the whole thing up – and who could blame him! No wonder second generation Irish – like this fine young man – have no interest in GAA! If that was not racism – I don’t know what is!

    • Alice Nolan

      June 20, 2014 at 11:36 am

      While all you have written Ed is true – your grievance should be with the British Government not with footballers and the ordinary supporter who goes to work – buys season tickets and just wants to support his/her country of residence – and that goes for first, second or third generation Irish.

    • Honest Frank

      August 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm


  9. Paul

    June 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Well said Niall. I was born in Ireland but have spent virtually all of my life in England. Unfortunately Ireland didn’t qualify this time so it is now a case of good luck England.

    Some of the second and third generation in this country need a serious rethink because the reality is the overwhelming majority of people in Ireland see them as English.

    Maybe it is time to start seeing themselves as others see them.

    • Fee

      June 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      I agree Paul! If you refer to yourself as second/third generation irish you’re english with a chip on your shoulder.

      • Dan22

        June 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm

        You are clearly a real Englishman so if you don’t like what we have to say why are you on this site.

  10. Sherdy

    June 13, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I am sure if the Irish were neighbours of the English we might be on more friendly terms.

    But the English invaded and colonised our country and still hold onto the northern six counties by force of arms. It is impossible to treat someone as a neighbour when they have their jackboot on your neck.

    So I suggest if they want us to behave like neighbours they treat us as neighbours and give us back what they stole.


    • Padroutlook.comaig Cronin

      June 14, 2014 at 12:23 am

      Hey Sherdy,

      Do you think that today’s Irish Republic actually wants the six counties? “Our Country” did not exist until 1922 and never included the six counties. Whose jackboot? Whose neck? I was born and bred in the republic and never felt remotely jackbooted.

  11. Shane

    June 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Luckily I have always had the Netherlands to support through dutch parents, so it makes no difference to me
    whether Ireland are there at a major tournament, as regards getting behind England, I could see the point a few years ago-when the english supporters were out of control- who would want to associate with mindless soccer thugs, but now 2014 – I think okay if that is the individual’s choice so be it

  12. AndrewGMooney

    June 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Probably the same eejits you see wandering around Dublin head to foot in Man U clobber. To be fair, lots of “island-born Irish identified” folk I know will be cheering on Wayne Rooney, the Lancashire Shire Irish hero in waiting as well as the wider post-colonial spiral tribe of Eng-Eire-Land, but the rump trash can really be a pain in the pubs.

    I’m cheering Rooney & Eng-Eire-Land. And Brazil. Ecuador and Belgium as Dark Horses.

    Oh, and why is it Strachan and Roy Keane deliberating on the telly if the bitter, twisted Celts can’t stand Rik Mayall’s “Noble England”? Has Hanson gone yet? I like him, but he’s Scottish, innit.

    HaterzGonnaHate but they’d be better off getting their act together for 2018 and arranging a decent burial for those babies.

    best wishes
    “Mad Paddy From Brum”
    [on 45rpm & 12" extended play]

    ps: Louis Suarez – please drop dead!

  13. Padraig

    June 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I am the “London-born man with roots in Mayo and Westmeath” who answered the following emailed request from Mr O’Sullivan: “I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but if you were able to answer a few quick questions it could really help. I think there’s a good piece to be done about this subject!”.

    I did not expect the courtesy of a thank-you (which I still await) to my considered reply but nor did I expect my reply to be thrown back in my face. Silly me, you might say, for as the great Irish-Londoner Oscar Wilde once said: “Bad manners make a journalist”.

    I gave a list to make my point because I believe that we should back up our assertions with facts, even journalists Mr O’Sullivan!

    Anyway my personal indignities aside, my main gripe with the article is that in the same way no-one other than my family, friends and work-colleagues will have any interest in my views on this issue (or any other), very few will have any interest in Mr O’Sullivan’s personal view that it is somehow egregiously wrong not to support England at the World Cup.

    This was a great opportunity for the Irish Post to gauge London-Irish attitudes to the England football team and perhaps act as a wider barometer of changing attitudes to the increasing closeness and warmth between England and Ireland in recent years (in fact I was surprised that only 40% did not support England and the reasons for this would have been of great interest). An opportunity wasted, however.

    Please do better next time, I expect more of the Irish Post.


  14. Alex

    June 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Niall, what difference does it make if the majority of ‘anyone but England brigade’ are second or third generation Irish? Second generation Irish automatically become Irish citizens and third generation Irish have the right to Irish citizenship whenever they chose, guess how? There Irish, Irish is an ethnicity and a language and you are merely a low quality reactionary reporter, not a minister for the Irish department of Foreign Affairs. Niall you do not dictate who is irish and who is not, where someone is born does not change who they are, its in their genes and DNA. Run along back to your fascist Free State masters, who serve and toast a foreign monarch who attempted to annihilate the Irish and who continue to do so.

    • Paul O

      June 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      I hear the makers of Jurassic Park are casting for a sequel.Maybe you should go along-they could always do with a few more Dinosaurs.’…who serve and toast a foreign monarch who attempted to annihilate the Irish AND WHO STILL CONTINUE TO DO SO” What are you on about ?Forgotten to take your meds ? If you live in the UK I’ll happily pay for a ticket for you back to Ireland.One way of course.

  15. Alex

    June 15, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Maybe you would understand if your ill grandmother jumped at the sound of any peculiar noise outside the door, due to the traumatising experience of being on the receiving end of Crown sponsored, B Special terrorism as a child. Foreign mercenary criminals taking over your house and wrecking it at their will and on a whim. I imagine your grandparents were West Brit touts, informing against Irelands sons and daughters and causing incidents of massacres and state sponsored terrorism. O Sullivan clans ancestors are from Galicia and made a right botch job of the battle of Kinsale, thanks O’Sullivans for nothing lol.

  16. Alex

    June 15, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Irish citizenship= A legally recognised Irish subject or national. lool

  17. Geraldine Cowan

    June 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I’m an Anyone but France kind of person after what Thierry Henry did to us, i’m not sure if I am spelling his name correctly but I don’t care! He used to be one of my football heroes but now, thanks to him, the French team is a big fat ZERO. If England play France I’ll be on their side. God has obviously more than or hand!!!

  18. Preacain

    June 19, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    this is the new politically correct mind control of modern british imperialisim, to accuse Irish people, who show good feelings for other teams that are not england is foolishness the Irish mix well and as I have friends from all countries am I to censor my feelings and force myself to support england first?that is bullshit I am an Irish Man I am a Free Man I can cheer for any team I like!

  19. Dan22

    June 19, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    A surprisingly nasty article aimed at those of us born in the UK who are Irish and support the Irish team (you cannot get automatic Irish citizenship if you are not) and even the likes of Gerry Adams if you follow O’SUllivans logic. Since my 20′s I have experienced the insults and begrudgery of the ‘plastic paddy’ brigade and O’Sullivan is clearly the next generation. I didn’t care then and I don’t now. I know I am Irish even though I was born In The UK and proudly share that distinction with The likes of James Connelly, Tom Clarke and Joseph O’Sullivan, to name a few.
    As others have said, I don’t support the England football team because many of their supporters are anti Irish, the media hype is annoying and I am not English. If this reporter does not like it, I am glad.

    • bigmax

      June 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      The article wasn’t about Irish people SUPPORTING the Irish team, it was about Irish people OPPOSING the English team because of negative feelings they have about England and the English (amazing isn’t it that this feeling never includes Scotland and the Scottish-considering the Scots’ role in Irish history).

      You don’t say where you were born or where you live-you just say “the UK”, but if you live in England, have you ever considered living in what you consider to be your real home, and going to live in Ireland?

  20. Patrick

    June 20, 2014 at 12:53 am

    I find this string of comments very interesting. My dad’s family are Irish and Scotch, and his mother’s first words to my English mother on meeting her were “I hate the English”, despite the fact that my grandmother had lived happily here about 20 years by then. Nationalism is a hugely destructive thing. Much of it was self consciously created as a sort of fairy tale in the 19th and early 20th century. It often amazes me how intelligent Irish people uncritically swallow the nonsense that has been made up about Irish history and nationhood. But the Victorian English and Scots were just as bad. I often think that this sort of bogus nationalism that holds grudges, keeps score and hangs on to the fairy tale myths pedalled by the Victorians was a con trick played on the populations of each country to distract them from the appalling wars and working conditions they had to suffer. Let’s drop it, and certainly not rehearse all the same old nonsense over a game of footy! Come on Chile.

    • Dan22

      June 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Are you another example of Britain’s state education system producing the belief that history is an inpenetratable soup where everyone’s actions blend together and no one is at fault?
      The truth of course (which the awarding of OBE’s, MBE’s ignore) is that Britain was an Imperial aggressor who was responsible for the murder, rape, mutilation, enslavement, starvation and torture of millions of men, women and children all over the world for hundreds of years.
      This imperial aggression has been felt traumatically in Ireland.800 years of Irish resistance to this murder machine is not bogus nationalism.

      • Patrick

        June 20, 2014 at 8:37 pm

        Not at all Dan, I have a degree in History, and I am very interested in the subject. I was referring to romantic nationalism that was very self consciously created and mythologised by Yeats and his contemporaries in order to help foster a sense of Irish nationalism. The result has been the most astonishing suspension of critical judgement amongst subsequent generations of Irishmen. You use very emotional language when describing the British Empire, and it’s impact on Ireland. I don’t seek to defend British Imperialism, but what does using such terms achieve? The history of mankind is one of the strong abusing the weak, almost everywhere and at all times. That this happened in Ireland is sadly unremarkable. Without wishing to be rude – get over it. It all happened a long time ago, and virtually everyone involved in 800 years of British imperialism in ireland is long dead. What is interesting is how Ireland has acquiesced with a programme of economic austerity and very high unemployment imposed by the EU, and a very obvious trampling of Irish democracy, with barely a mutter. Had a similar set of circumstances been imposed from The city of London, we can all imagine the uproar and violence that would have followed. Why the difference? I believe it is because the Irish have uncritically swallowed the nonsense pedalled about Irish nationalism, the weird cult of martyrdom, and its conflict with England, and the only people harmed by this are the Irish. For the English it is an old and boring story. Wake up and challenge the lazy fairy tales td to you on your grandmother’s knee.

      • Patrick

        June 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        Also Dan, it would be a great mistake to assume that all the hardships suffered by the Irish were at the hands of English imperialists. The English usually had eager helpers amongst the local populations. The potato famine is a good example. I think you will find that Ireland remained a net exporter of very many foodstuffs during the years of the potato famine. The only crop blighted was the potato crop. But because potatoes formed the staple diet for much of the population, they suffered a terrible famine. My point is that the local landowners, very many of them Irish, chose not to feed their tenants, but to export their food for profit and allowed the local populations to starve. Scotland has similar myths regarding Culloden and the subsequent brutal clearances of the highlands. The “English” army at Culloden was made up entirely of Scottish troops loyal to the Protestant monarch and German mercenaries. The subsequent clearances were predominantly carried out by Scottish landlords who found sheep more profitable that people. There are countless examples like these from across the British empire. That isn’t to excuse the very many examples of English cruelty, and I am sure we could both cite many examples. Let me leave you with a thought. If you think the Irish have had it tough, imagine how the poor bloody English fared under 1000 years of Norman rule. In the words of Monty Python, “you were lucky!”

  21. Alice Nolan

    June 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

    No wonder Ryan Air charge so much for excess baggage! If the comments from these 23 people to date are anything to go by I’m not surprised! That big ‘chip on their shoulder’ – in fact the ‘chip on both shoulders’ must weigh a ton! Travelling back and forward Ireland must be costing them a fortune! No one is asking anyone of them to stay here in the UK. Planes and ferries run daily and with opinions like you lot you would be better off back in the Republic! Get over yourselves – and stop bringing politics and history into sport!

  22. Alice Nolan

    June 20, 2014 at 10:40 am

    What really amused me was the interview with the woman who lives near Wembley stadium. If she hates the English team so much why in God’s name is she living in that area? The traffic and parking problems to name but a few is living nightmare in itself – let alone for her to be among the thousands of football fans who fill the streets during the season. My advice to her is go back to Ireland and live near Landsdowne Road or Croke Park. Or better still – if she is supporting Brazil – move there and live near or even on one of the landfills those poor people have to do! I don’t think so – the benefits and conditions in the UK far outweigh that decision!

  23. Alice Nolan

    June 21, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Can anyone tell me what is meant by ‘Your comments are awaiting moderation’? Help! My replies are posted but with this comment – this is not against anyone elses.

  24. Rozogor

    June 22, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Dear Niall

    I am disappointed that you have produced such a biased report that does not reflect the views of less than half the 40 people who responded to your request. I wonder did you particularly target a section of your readership that would give the response you were looking for to write the one-sided article that you had in mind?

    This divisive article serves no purpose other than to stir up bad feeling between Irish people. Furthermore it is about time the Irish Post ‘got over itself’ and stopped dividing its readership into first and second class/generation Irish.

  25. Anyone But England’ brigade

    June 23, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Well, well, well. A lot of English style responses and comments….amazing to see Alice Nolan. Yes, it is the Woman who grew up by Wembley and the clue there my love was in the words….grew up…no where does it say I still live there!!!
    The journalist has written an article to provoke why else would he have written “They are the ‘Anyone But England’ brigade and I find them pathetic.”
    The people reading this need to understand there are 2 sides to every story and making ridiculous comments like “the benefits and conditions in the UK far outweigh that decision!” is pointless.
    The article is proof there is still an Irish / English divide, plain and simple.
    The comparison between NZ and Australia is a good one, but when it comes to a question of loyality in sports like Rugby or Cricket a Kiwi living in Australia is NEVER EVER going to support the Aussies. Why is it so hard for people to understand a PROUD IRISH MAN OR WOMAN would never support England. Really, you need to get over that it’s a fact.
    There are 2 further points to make here.
    1) I grew up in Wembley in the 80′s. As a matter of fact I now live in Ireland. I come from the HARDWORKING Irish born people and trust me my father worked hard to build most of the major roads in London that you probably still drive on everyday. The attraction was hard work and making money….not the benefit system.
    2) I have also lived for 4 years in New Zealand and was there when the Australians were beaten by Ireland in the Rugby world cup. Were these English supporters cheering for Ireland then or Australia???? Well I can tell you the entire stadium was made up of a lot of Kiwis and they were all proudly cheering for Ireland and booing the Australians.

    Regardless of what is written on this website I will remain PROUD to be in the ‘Anyone But England’ brigade.

    • Alice Nolan

      June 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Reply to ‘Anyone But England brigade’ – 23/06/14

      As I said, I am 1st generation Irish, from Co. Wicklow. I came to the UK 1970. Not because I was looking for work – but to help my sister who was having her last child. I was a secretary working in a Stockbrokers office in Dublin – so what need would I have to come to the UK apart from personal/family reasons. Much to my dear old mother’s dismay, I decided to stay – originally for a short period – but then one year lead to another and the rest is history.
      I was treated very well in this country. Office work was in abundance and I landed some of the best jobs over the years with large corporations and my knowledge, experience and skills were greatly appreciated. Never once was I discriminated for being Irish, or never once was an English girl given preference over me.
      I had bought my own property – and I was quite happy – until the unexpected happened in 1989 and I became a mother at the grand old age of 40!!!I had chosen to be a single mother – even though my son’s father was Irish – from Dublin – not English as all those probably reading thought I was going to say!
      And so I entered a era of great uncertainty. Gone was my freedom, my ‘easy come – easy go’ attitude to money – and in came the fear of losing the home I had worked so hard for – and the worry of how was I going to cope on my own. I now had entered a world of living on State benefits – which was something I had never ever done. My pride was at an all time low.
      But when ‘the crap hit the fan’ guess who came to my rescue – yes the English! – there 100% for me every step of the way! Work colleagues – in their BMW’S taking me to hospital appointments – good neighbours there in case I was not well in the night – to name but just a few good deeds. My English friends, never once poking there noses into my business – unlike the Irish – who only ever did it once – otherwise they would have been looking for a nose replacement!!!I had a wonderful English family who ‘adopted’ my son and myself – Pauline the mother of the family – whom we sadly lost in 2006 – had been my friend – and consequently became my son’s Nan – who he loved so dearly. They looked after him at weekends when I worked – Christmas and birthday presents, so many I could not list – designer clothes all through the years. Mind you they have all prospered – and I believe God and Karma has rewarded them!!But I was not alone with that wonderful family – I had endless other English friends who rallied round over the years.
      My son chose to have an Irish passport – I did not force him. He knows probably more about Irish history than you or I. He supports the Irish Soccer and Rugby – and all the Irish jockeys!!!He does not support the England Squad – not because of deep-rooted history – not for the fear of losing his 2nd generation identity – as seems to be the case with so many of you – but because of the sporting knowledge which he studies. He even joined a hurling team in London – and got ‘slated’ for his English accent!!! He was born here for God’s sake! I’m sure you had a ‘Wembley’ accent when you grew up here! Any these guys were from the arsehole of Ireland – over here looking for work – no wonder the Irish are called thick!!!
      He’s proud of his Irish roots and everything that is Irish. But he is likewise proud of the country – the United Kingdom – that looked after him and his mum when it was most needed – gave him a good education – which in turn has landed him a great trade and work that please God he will never be out of – or be made redundant.
      I often think back to when I was pregnant 26 years ago – if I had gone back to Ireland seeking maternity treatment or consequently help in supporting my son – I would probably have been told to go back to England and let them sort it out – like they did to all the poor mothers that went before me.
      Now the ‘tables have turned’ and the maternity services are being ‘drained’ by every nationality but the Irish! Serves them right!!!!!
      So don’t ever forget ‘Anyone But England brigade’ and all you others with that big ‘chip on your shoulder’ -the country that gave you birth, and your family a living before you start ‘trying to be all Irish’, and clinging like ‘shit to a blanket’ to your 2nd generation Irish connection.
      England – so you did bad this time round – even my English friends had to admit that – but at least your were there – which is more than Ireland can boast!!
      I had my flag out my window – cheering you on – even though I was the only one on my road who did – and me all the way from Wickla!!!!!!!

  26. Anyone But England’ brigade

    June 23, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Niall O Sullivan who do you work for the “Irish Post” or the “English Post”?

  27. mulliganv@msn.com

    June 24, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    The Irish will start supporting England when the English start supporting Germany – FFS

    • Patrick

      July 5, 2014 at 7:37 am

      From the BBC website….

      Some England supporters at the World Cup quarter-final between Germany and France painted their faces with the German flag and held up a banner intended for England manager Roy Hodgson that read: “Look what you’ve done to us Roy”.

      Mulligan, welcome to the dubious pleasure of supporting England.

    • Honest Frank

      August 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      English support the Netherlands when they play against Germany. Dutch and English have similar opinions on the Germans, as do many.

  28. Alice Nolan

    June 27, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Don’t TRY to patronize me ex woman from Wembley – who signs herself ‘Anyone But England brigade!!! Grow a spine and sign your name – like I did – Alice Nolan – living in West London – born in Co. Wicklow! Granted what was printed said you ‘grew up – nowhere does it say you still live there’. But likewise nowhere does Niall O’Sullivan say you had returned to ‘jolly old Ireland’!!!!!The article could indicate that you could be living anywhere – even still in the shadow of Wembley!!! His error – not mine – if you read his report again. I have a lot more to say – so keep your eyes on this site!!!! In the meantime – if you read ‘Irish Publican Bans Cheering Against England’ – you will learn quite a lot!

  29. Alice Nolan

    June 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Further reply to ‘Anyone But England brigade’ dated 23/06/14.

    So your parents were HARDWORKING – your father worked on the roads we now drive on!!! So what??? So did thousands of other Irish who came here in their droves in the 50′s,60′s & 70′s – from which I presume you are a product of. With your ‘hate’ of England – even though you were probably born and very well looked after – in a maternity hospital in the ‘shadow of Wembley’- don’t blame the English or the Famine for that mass exodus. The Irish chose to come here of their own free well. They knew there was good money to be made – they also knew that if they stayed in Ireland all they would be doing is digging the bogs or the potatoes!!! Your father may have worked hard – like all the rest – but he got well paid – he was not working for Smarties or peanuts!!! And as a result that is why he was able to return to Ireland having made a packet – like a lot of others, with his second generation family. If I was to ‘name and shame’ all the Irish of that era who ‘fiddled’ thousands of pounds ‘on the lump’, and many other ways – there would be a lot of red faces in this country! Some of which – like your family – returned to Ireland with their 2nd generation family – with pockets full – and you have the cheek to knock the English! And the Irish have the cheek to knock the Polish people and other nationalities who are now doing the same in Ireland!!!! I say – good luck to them!!!!

  30. Alice Nolan

    June 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Final message to Anyone But England brigade’
    Unfortunately I forgot to submit the most important information of all in my last set of comments.
    Apart from the excellent medical attention I received during my pregnancy, when I gave birth to my son, I will never,ever forget the way I was treated in Ashford Hospital, Middlesex. I had a very long and hard labour which resulted in very serious complications – which without quick and efficient action on the part of the wonderful staff – could have proved fatal for my son or myself – or even both!
    I put my hands at the feet of the NHS and the staff – and I will never, ever forget what they did for us both.
    When similar incidents to happen to celebrities it is splashed all over the TV and newspapers, so that is why I am stating all this here – because I am no celebrity – but I just want to praise those unsung heroes.
    Had it been a different era, and I had the misfortune to have been in that mother and baby home in Tuam, it might have been a very different story for both of us – in fact I most probably would not be writing this story at all!
    Just remember you all need the NHS and the maternity units – whether you are first or second generation Irish – and forget about the past and all that the English did. We don’t need to be told or reminded.
    They were there for me when I needed them at the most vulnerable time of my life. They are here for you as well.Think about that before you start ranting on about your ‘hate’ of all things English.

  31. Repeat66

    July 1, 2014 at 1:02 am

    I like this writer, it’s refreshing to hear an Irish person at odds with the whole small-mindedness of Anyone But England.

    Yes, there were some dreadful injustices to Scotland and Ireland carried out by the English in history but believe it or not, Steve Gerrard was not a part of that. And Adrian Chiles wasn’t responsible for the potato famine so why vent your anglophobia on England’s already failing international sports? Are the England football team not underdogs themselves? Rooting for England to lose is like wishing for an anorexic to get even thinner.

    I like this writer but he did mention ‘aussies & kiwis’ kindly rooting for each other which is something neither would dream of doing for Mother England. Sorry Niall, you’ll find antipodeans are as bad with A.B.E as Blighty’s celt neighbours!

  32. Theodore

    July 2, 2014 at 12:33 am

    For those who are peeved that the media in England have a bias, and appear to get behind their national team during the world cup really should move to another country. Of course English people and journos support England, why wouldn’t they? If you were in Belgium now they would all be drinking fruit beers and cheering for their national team. Are the Flems perhaps inward-looking or arrogant?

    English people support England, get over it.

  33. Aine

    July 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Its sport we can support who we like,anything I got growing up in England my parents & I paid for so there is no loyalty I back Argentina because I like them simple!!

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