• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • Unionists Refuse To Back Sending Letter Of Congrats To Both Ireland Teams

Unionists Refuse To Back Sending Letter Of Congrats To Both Ireland Teams

Unionists Refuse To Back Sending Letter Of Congrats To Both Ireland Teams
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
Share this article

The Alliance councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown had what he thought was a lovely idea of sending a letter of congratulations to both the IFA and the FAI to "express its admiration on behalf of all the citizens of Belfast."

However, it merely set the stage for yet another bravura display of petty charmlessness from Belfast City Council.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/272149382" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

Prior to the tournament, UUP councillor Jim Rodgers objected to a joint reception for the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland teams, saying that if such an event was to go ahead, they would have to invite the Welsh and English teams as well.

Almost nine months later, he remains steadfastly consistent.

He does not want to sign any letter of congratulation that only honours Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. If the Republic of Ireland are to be included then Wales and England would have to be congratulated as well. He explained his position on the famous Stephen Nolan Show on BBC.

We put forward an amendment recognising the achievement of Northern Ireland, England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland because they all reached the last 16 of the competition.


The UUP and DUP are devoted to the United Kingdom and the concept of the British Isles. They are sensitive towards creeping 'All-Ireland' style initiatives or anything that frames the island as a unified entity. That is fair enough.

And who wouldn't congratulate Wales on their stunning tournament? But...

One would assume - given the events of the 27th June - that the FA would be rather bemused to receive a letter of congratulation from Belfast City Council.


Those unaware of the peculiar political hang-ups (and never underestimate English ignorance of the Celtic Fringe) that might prompt such a letter may even suspect a degree of sarcasm was being employed.

They might kindly tell the councillors to shove their letter of congratulation. Councillor Jim Rodgers could cause a diplomatic incident between the people of England and Belfast City Council.

As Councillor McDonough-Brown - himself exasperated that this provoked another row - noted to the Belfast Telegraph, 'they would think we were having a joke at their expense'.


Read more: Euro 2016 Qualification Proposal Is Not Going Down Well In Belfast




Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com