I must take exception to Jude Collins’ rant in the Andersonstown News (May 26) regarding his ‘Dilemma of standing up for the Ulstermen’.
Rugby internationally is played by Ireland – all 32 counties of it – and I as an Ulster Prod have stood in Lansdowne Road and Croke Park and sung Amhrán na bhFiann with the best of them. I have also followed Ireland and Ulster to all part of the British Isles and beyond (I know Jude won’t like to see the word British here but it is a fact of geographical life that Ireland is part of the British Isles, whatever he may think).
Contrary to what he seems to think, I have never heard a sectarian song/chant at an Ulster game – can the same be said of the GAA games he has attended? Agreed, many fans wave what is the flag of Northern Ireland that may be more appropriate at Windsor Park than Ravenhill, but real Ulster flags – like the one I carry proudly – aren’t always easy to find, even in the nine counties, though if he bothers to look they are seen in increasing numbers whenever Ulster play.
For his information, some 15 per cent of the rugby clubs affiliated to the Ulster Branch of the IRFU are based in the three counties. He seems to dismiss that with contempt and I am sure all of these clubs had no problem standing up for the Ulstermen on May 19, either in London or back in their respective clubhouses.
While in London myself, I met numerous ex-pats and second and third generation emigrants who were more than proud to be standing up for their Province, whether that province was Ulster or Leinster.
I think that maybe Jude needs to grow up before he tries to stand up.