I often forget I am, in fact, English.
I have an Irish passport, which I got 33 years ago.
I didn’t jump ship because of Brexit. That was only a twinkle in David Cameron’s eye then. I jumped ship because I hate the inflated sense of England’s superiority.
Do I sound like I am from Ireland?
I have the worst accent in England, in my view (Birmingham). It is now in Ireland. I hope you enjoy it.
Peaky Blinders has helped, but we don’t all look like Cillian Murphy.
Yes, I would pull down Britain’s statues of slave-owners too. It would be the least I could do.
I hate the things England has done to Ireland.
I hate the things still done to this island in the name of King and country, and any British government that fancies a tilt at supremacy.
Cúpla focal will not erase the past, wherever they are spoken and whoever utters them.
Queen Elizabeth II might have acknowledged the “painful legacy” of the relationship between Britain and Ireland when she visited these grateful shores, but is that enough? Is all forgotten?
What is a famine between friends?
“Together, we have much to celebrate,” the late queen of England said. “The ties between our people, the shared values and the economic, business and cultural links that make us so much more than just neighbours – that make us firm friends and equal partners.”
I deplore the violence of the Troubles but do I think Ireland should show “forbearance” and “conciliation” and not be bound by the past as England’s queen wanted?
I do not sir.
Keeping your upper lip stiffened is the British way, whatever they steal and wherever they steal it. There is no point in crying over spilt people – and they don’t.
Are the bonds that bind me, a little Brit, to Ireland, strong?
If the West Indies take England on at cricket, or the Republic of Ireland take England on at soccer, you know who we will be cheering for
To paraphrase the late British queen, my relationship with Ireland is long, complex and has often been turbulent, but it is there that she and I must part company.
We are a class apart.
I was on the beach in Co Sligo with my Nan on August 27th, 1979, when my grandad returned from Sligo town to tell us that Lord Mountbatten had been blown up in Mullaghmore on the beach next to us.
We could see the smoke.
Did I care? I was 13, I had other fish to fry, but my grandad went quiet. The ferry back to Holyhead would be interesting. You could see it in his face.
For a man who had lived through the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974 and all that meant for Birmingham’s Irish community. He knew.
He was dead by the time the St Patrick’s Day parade re-started in Birmingham in 1996. The Birmingham Six, who were wrongly sent to English prisons for the 1974 pub bombings, knew what it meant to do time.
My brother-in-law Junior’s parents come from Jamaica. He is English in Jamaica, but not everyone sees it that way in England.
We both fail Norman Tebbit’s cricket test (young people of Ireland can Google it). If the West Indies take England on at cricket, or the Republic of Ireland take England on at soccer, you know who we will be cheering for.
I used to see Steve Staunton at Dublin Airport when he was flying back to Birmingham after an Ireland match. To say I was thrilled was an understatement. The fact that he played for Aston Villa was the icing on the cake.
When it came to international fixtures, I have always cheered for Ireland. England was a foreign country to me even though I lived there.
Jamaica can be proud of Junior and Ireland can be proud of me. We are both products of Britain’s not-so-proud colonial legacy.
Deal with it.