In 1960's England, and in London in particular, many landlords and owners of bed & breakfasts and boarding houses put signs in their windows stating "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish". Other owners of property and rented accommodation put up signs stating "Vacancies available - Irish Need Not Apply". These signs became known as "INNA" signs, and the blatant anti-Irish prejudice and discrimination was apparent. Having said all of that, Northern Irish people, Catholics in particular, didn't need to travel across the Irish sea to England to experience discrimination, as they were receiving perfectly good and adequate discrimination here at home.
I recently did a tour of English cities, flying to Manchester, then made my way to the Lake District, then to Leeds, York, Nottingham, Birmingham, Chester and Liverpool, before heading back to Manchester airport and home to N.Ireland. When I booked into the Hotel in Leeds I noticed that the Hotel receptionist behaved in a slightly stand-offish and suspicious manner towards me, but thought nothing of it. When I went on a guided tour of the Lake district, the tour guide described me to other group members as "Irish", and I didn't object or bother to take the time to explain that I'm actually British and Northern Irish, as it's easier to acquiesce in Irishness than it is to begin explaining 800 years of British-Irish history to English people who regard all people from N.I. as "Irish", and regardless of whether they are a Unionist or a Nationalist, and who really don't discern between these important distinctions. Besides, I have no issue with my dual British-Irish national identity, as "Irish" is a part of who I am. During the guided tour a guy from London acted towards me in what can only be described as in a subtly contemptuous manner. I was perplexed, to say the least.
On making my way to the plane in Manchester airport I was stopped by airport security and asked if I was carrying a mobile phone. I told them that I was. They asked me to produce it, which I did. They then set about rubbing some sort of cloth all over the surface of the phone, and I assumed that they were checking the phone for traces of explosives. I wasn't offended, and didn't object. If I had of they probably would have taken me into their quarters and performed a strip search. Thankfully, after all of these years I have not succumbed to the temptations of ramming my finger up my own arse, my sphincter is consequently still intact, and I regard my anal cavity as a sacred temple and designed exclusively for the expulsion of human waste, and would like it to stay that way.
We've come a long way since the 1960's and attitudes have changed. Regrettably, the PIRA's mainland campaign exacerbated what anti-Irish prejudice and discrimination already existed in England, and only made a poor situation for the Irish in England worse. What is clear is that despite much progress in terms of British-Irish national equality, there clearly remains a certain "attitude" towards the Irish to this day, and I am pretty certain that I have experienced it at first hand. Anti-Irish discrimination comes in may forms, and it can be quite subtle, such as in the expression of innuendos and inferences, snobbish behaviour, and in the not so subtle manner of putting signs in a window stating "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" and/or "Irish Need Not Apply", as has been the case in previous decades.
My ancestors were English (and Scottish), and I still have family in England to this day. And yet, because I live in Northern Ireland and thus speak with a Northern Irish accent, I am simply Irish and thus stereotypically lazy, stupid, an alcoholic, a potato eater, a Paddy, a terrorist, and probably an undercover ******************************ing leprechaun in the eyes of many ignorant and prejudiced English, who despite the great achievements of the Irish people (too many to list here), and the British imposed oppression that the Irish people have had to endure, continue to take a superior attitude towards the Irish, and despite independence for the 26, today's buoyant Irish multicultural society, the GFA, and the Queen's speech at Dublin Castle, where she stated:
As a Northern Irish/Irish person, have you ever experienced anti-Irish prejudice in England, or indeed abroad?"Madam President, Prince Philip and I are delighted to be here, and to experience at first hand Ireland’s world-famous hospitality.
Together we have much to celebrate: the ties between our people, the shared values, and the economic, business and cultural links that make us so much more than just neighbours, that make us firm friends and equal partners.