Monday, February 27, 2006

Dublin Riot

Sinn Fein may not have been officially involved, but were they provisionally represented?

We had a riot in Dublin on Saturday to prevent a couple of hundred unionists/loyalists from parading from Parnell Square across the city centre to Leinster House.

It’s ironic then that up to 10,000 unionists were in Dublin the following day and there wasn’t a hint of trouble. Most of the Northern rugby fans down for the international against Wales would be of the unionist political persuasion. They come down for every international and shout as loudly for Ireland as their southern counterparts. I'm not sure that they join in "The Fields of Athenry". There's never a sign of a row.

It’ll be interesting to see what impact, if any, the use of Croke Park has on northern ticket demand next year, when our 6 Nations home matches will be played there. The GAA has long been regarded up North as “the sporting wing of the IRA”.

It’ll also be interesting to see what impact Croke Park has on their view of the GAA. Gaelic football is referred to in some unionist circles as “bog ball”. Will the ultra-modern stadium with its fantastic facilities cause them to reconsider some of these long-held prejudices?

I’m not holding my breath, particularly if the Northeners get mugged by the Northsiders and their cars are stolen or torched. Jones Road is a long way from leafy, middle-class, cosmopolitan Ballsbridge.

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