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John DC Gow - A question for Journalist Phil Mac Giolla Bhain

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In a recent ââ?¬Ë?debateââ?¬â?¢ on twitter with the freelance Journalist Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, who often speaks on Sectarianism and Irish politics, I happened to ask him the following:


Why are you ashamed to admit your views on the Provisional IRA? Were you for or against them? Your followers await�




The answer he gave was just a link to a blog piece he had written which described how he saw no ââ?¬Å?utilityââ?¬Â for pro-IRA songs any more at Celtic Park. He describes his younger self as ââ?¬Å?an energetic member of the rebel choir at Celtic Park in the 1990′sââ?¬Â and that it was a ââ?¬Å?sub culture of IRA worship.ââ?¬Â


Now, there is no disgrace in making mistakes and it is very laudable for Phil to try and get Celtic fans to stop their IRA songs. However the blog piece still seemed to me more concerned that it was no longer justified in the utilitarian sense now, rather than wrong in the past.


For instance he states he spoke to an ââ?¬Å?anti-Belfast agreement Republicanââ?¬Â who is in an ââ?¬Å?organisationââ?¬Â he hopes to get an interview with. He asks this person about the current Celtic fans IRA slogans and how it affects his current ââ?¬Å?political projectââ?¬Â. Phil paraphrases the unknown interviewee by telling us that:


He pointed out to me that, of course, most of the songs and add ons was referring to are (sic) in endorsement of a now defunct republican organisation. The provisional IRA has left the stage and they�re not coming back.


Hold on! I thought the present and past IRA songs and slogans at Celtic Park had nothing to do with the Provisional IRA? I thought it was just a remembrance of Irish independence from the period around 1916?


I have repeatedly said that many, if not most, of those chanting about the IRA and UVF are not thinking about 1916 or 1912 respectively. It�s a trick so that those who wish to chant hatred and sectarianism at other people can get away with it under the cover of �politics�.


Phil goes on to reinforce this point by saying:


I was very clear a quarter of a century ago that I was taking part, as far as I was concerned, in a legitimate expression of political Irishness during the height of the Northern war.


Now, Phil Mac Giolla Bhain is always complaining that he is not treated like a respected journalist on these topics.


Well I will treat him like a respected journalist.


I therefore feel it is completely legitimate to ask a respected journalist on Irish affairs ââ?¬â?? who pro-actively commentates in the public sphere about sectarianism, racism and hate crime ââ?¬â?? a simple question about his views on the Provisional IRA:


Were you for or against them?


I would hope such an easy question could be answered rather quickly. Over to you Phil�



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What is political Irishness?


Yahoos talking pish or A Glasgow City Council meeting, but not for long hopefully. Good to see what happens when a sensible man takes on mcgobblgiver instead of the arse kissing Scottish media. Keep up the good work John.

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