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Thread: Is anti-British sentiment at the heart of Irish nationalism?

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    Politics.ie Member Drogheda445's Avatar
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    Default Is anti-British sentiment at the heart of Irish nationalism?

    Irish nationalism basis itself on Ireland's relationship with Britain, or England, for obvious reasons. The long presence of political union with Great Britain means that our history is heavily intertwined with them and our history is hugely influenced by them. Irish nationalism, perhaps for this reason, is unique in Europe in that, unlike France or Germany of Italy or even Britain, where the emphasis on nationalism is asserting national unity and pride, Ireland's has often been linked to a general anti-British sentiment. Our cultural association with Britain has had a profound effect on the cultural environment of Ireland today; the vast majority of us speak English as our mother tongue and British media and culture is very familiar to most of us here in Ireland. This has happened all lver the former British empire and of course right here in these islands. And yet many Irish nationalists show disdain for all things British, rather than simply promoting aspects native to Ireland such as the Irish language and Gaelic games. When we think of the other nations of this archipelago, Wales and Scotland, they have experienced similar histories with their neighbours in England, and yet their nationalism is more based on their own cultural traditions and history rather than a deep-seated hatred of England and the English. Very rarely has a Welsh nationalist politician spoken out against "foreign games" or "de-Anglicising Wales" or indeed British culture in general. Many Irish nationalists also speak out fervently against British "imperialism" (usually only Britain) and Britian's legacy across the world (especially through things such as poppy-wearing).

    It is understandable that some might dislike or feel resentment towards Britain, especially as the existence of Britain's presence in Northern Ireland is one of the major aspects which nationalists oppose, but is Irish nationalism significantly built on Anglophobia or is it just a case of fervent nationalism.

    This is not intended to be an anti-nationalist thread, it is just out of curiosity.

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    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
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    Que Toxic telling us there is nothing that divides us from the Brits and Irish culture is a myth.

    Please....less of the inferiority complex!
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

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    Irish nationalism could be termed a response to British nationalism.
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Ding! Next!

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    Politics.ie Member Quebecoise's Avatar
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    Define 'British' though. I've known Irish people to be anti-English or anti-Ulster Unionist but I haven't come across many who are anti-Scottish, and for the life of me I've never come across an Irish person who is anti-Welsh.

    Does anybody talk of de-Anglicising Ireland in this day and age? I thought being an English-speaking, generally pro-European country was how Ireland sold itself to North American investment during the Celtic Tiger years. North America's anglophone gateway to the EU.

    And the Scots can be quite anti-English btw. They always cheer on England's opposing team in every soccer match.

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    Politics.ie Member Schomberg's Avatar
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    Obviously.
    What have British in Ireland contributed to Ireland? Nothing of the scale that the Irish have contributed to Britain. - Runswithwind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quebecoise View Post
    Define 'British' though. I've known Irish people to be anti-English or anti-Ulster Unionist but I haven't come across many who are anti-Scottish, and for the life of me I've never come across an Irish person who is anti-Welsh.

    Does anybody talk of de-Anglicising Ireland in this day and age? I thought being an English-speaking, generally pro-European country was how Ireland sold itself to North American investment during the Celtic Tiger years. North America's anglophone gateway to the EU.

    And the Scots can be quite anti-English btw. They always cheer on England's opposing team in every soccer match.
    British identity appears to be English identity when it extends beyond England. I can't say the cultural idiosyncracies of the Celtic Fringe are ever brought to mind when hearing the term.
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Politics.ie Member Quebecoise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riadach View Post
    British identity appears to be English identity when it extends beyond England. I can't say the cultural idiosyncracies of the Celtic Fringe are ever brought to mind when hearing the term.
    I get that sense too. Sometimes it's hard to know where English identity ends and British identity begins. In many places of the world people think the Union Jack is the flag of England. At a Bureau de Change in Montreal for example the exchange rate for British pounds will be shown with the Union Jack beside it. But the name beside the flag won't be 'Royaume-Uni', it will be 'Angleterre'.

    You get that even in the U.K. with 'English'-Defence League supporters waving the Union Jack. And what about English football supporters waving the Union Jack, especially at Scotland games. What's that all about?

    Scottish fans are waving the St. Andrew's cross saying 'C'mon Scotland!'

    English fans are waving the Union Jack saying 'C'mon on England.......and Scotland........and 19th century Ireland!'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quebecoise View Post
    I get that sense too. Sometimes it's hard to know where English identity ends and British identity begins. In many places of the world people think the Union Jack is the flag of England. At a Bureau de Change in Montreal for example the exchange rate for British pounds will be shown with the Union Jack beside it. But the name beside the flag won't be 'Royaume-Uni', it will be 'Angleterre'.

    You get that even in the U.K. with 'English'-Defence League supporters waving the Union Jack. And what about English football supporters waving the Union Jack, especially at Scotland games. What's that all about?

    Scottish fans are waving the St. Andrew's cross saying 'C'mon Scotland!'

    English fans are waving the Union Jack saying 'C'mon on England.......and Scotland........and 19th century Ireland!'
    Indeed, don't forget the Union Jack was England's football flag in the 1966 world cup, and England was an alternative name for the United Kingdom as late as the 1930s. The Oxford History of England is not just focussed on the lands between the Tweed and the Severn. But of course, English identity, given population numbers, would always dominate any political or cultural union in the "home countries".
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Politics.ie Member brim4brim's Avatar
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    To answer the question in thread title, no.
    "If you love god, burn a church" - Jello Biafra
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