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- William Struth

Channel 4, Famine and Phil the bigot

Written by: BB
Wednesday, 7th January 2015

With the news Channel 4 are considering commissioning a ‘comedy’ set during the Irish Famine, I see the guy who was ‘tarred with the sectarian brush’ Phil MacGiollabhain, is promoting a protest against this idea. Calling the famine an act of ‘genocide’, he also claims Rangers fans find it ‘funny’. Bearing these accusations in mind, it’s probably worth a closer look at this protest, and the motivation behind it.

The Irish Famine was unquestionably a horrific period in the country’s history. There is also no doubt the Government of the time could have done more, but genocide? Not for me thanks. Putting 6 million people into gas chambers was genocide. This kind of inflammatory rhetoric suits MacGiollabhain’s all too evident anti British (and by extension anti Rangers) agenda.

I am more inclined to agree with the Irish Professor of Economics at University College Dublin, and prolific academic author Cormac Ó Gráda, who disagreed that the famine was genocide: first, that "genocide includes murderous intent, and it must be said that not even the most bigoted and racist commentators of the day sought the extermination of the Irish"; second, that most people in Whitehall "hoped for better times for Ireland" and third, that the claim of genocide overlooks "the enormous challenge facing relief agencies, both central and local, public and private". Ó Gráda thinks that a case of neglect is easier to sustain than that of genocide.

It isn’t the first time this chapter in Irish history has been the subject of humour. Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge character once referred to the Irish as paying the price for being ‘fussy eaters’.

No outcry from MacGiollabhain then. With the famine song and Rangers fans satirical take on their rival fans’ faux Irishness however, MacGiollabhain was all over it like a rash, but do Rangers fans really think a million people dying of starvation in the 1800s funny? No, it is a ludicrous assertion, a preposterous accusation. Neither of course does Channel 4’s executives. It is satire to make a point.

On penning the well-known British comedy Blackadder Goes Forth, did Richard Curtis find it humorous that young men were slaughtered by the thousands going “over the top”? Of course not, it was a brilliant take on how ridiculous, how needless, and how utterly tragic the First World War was.

George Bernard Shaw once remarked, ‘An Irishman will do anything for his country, except live in it’. This is more reflective of where ‘Gers fans were coming from. Given Celtic couldn’t sell a relatively small number of tickets for a Champions League qualifier at Cliftonville, it only added weight to the charge of synthetic Irishness. A Celtic fan will do anything for Ireland, save set foot in it.

Speaking of which, when Celtic do ‘fly the flag’ for Scotland in Europe, there is hardly a saltire in sight (this may change with the flag’s recent hijacking by the British hating Yes-tapo). It is one big Irish festival; IRA songs, tricolours and starry ploughs, a sort of ‘Last day of the bombs’ if you like.

Rangers’ fans were onto something, and he knew it. He also knows a mainstream television channel possibly using the famine in a satirical context further undermines his scandalous, hate-filled agenda-driven allegations against the Rangers support.

He may or may not have some genuine reasons for petitioning Channel 4 given his propensity for lying, but I strongly suspect that, should this project get off the ground, it gives more credibility to Rangers fans use of satire also, and this just won’t do. For him, this is the stuff of nightmares. Given his contempt and indeed loathing for Rangers Football Club and its support, this is not an unreasonable analysis. Not when he constantly refers to football fans with a red, white and blue scarf as ‘Klan’, a deeply offensive not to mention wholly inaccurate term.

It is worth pointing out here that it wasn’t Rangers fans who threw bananas on the pitch at Parkhead, rather it was their rivals in a shameful episode which resulted in the normally unscrupulous Tommy Sheridan never again returning to Celtic Park. He (MacGiollabhain) also cynically twists the Red Hand of Ulster gesture into a Nazi salute.

Taking into account it was MacGiollabhain’s beloved Eire Premiere Eamon De Valera who signed the book of condolence in the German Embassy when Hitler perished in his bunker, as well as the ‘Reichskonkordat’ (Reich Concordat) the treaty between the Vatican's Holy See and Germany negotiated during its transition into Nazi Germany, irony appears to be lost on this bigot....even more so when he starts citing one Judge as authority over the famine song.

This from a man who criticizes Judges when they convict Celtic fans of "offensive behaviour", a man who supports an organization who would murder Judges and blow up courts - an organization which also murdered Protestants for 30 bloody years, particularly around the border areas, systematically ‘taking out’ the male head of household, the aim being the farms and businesses would be sold off to Nationalists.

It is ethnic cleansing in all but name, or we could use another word in its truest sense – Genocide.

It appears MacGiollabhain the republican bigot is a fan of the 'systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group' after all.......


by D'Artganan
by BB


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