Cheering for England?

 

Sir, – Having been brought up in England but long resident in Ireland, I agree with Finn McRedmond that “the ‘anyone but England’ mantra . . . cannot be kind to the thousands of British citizens who call Ireland their home” (“The case for supporting fascinatingly boring England”, Opinion & Analysis, June 24th).

Even my own Dublin born and bred daughter has drunk the potent anti-England football team brew. She inserts the word “not” whenever I sing the England footie fans’ (admittedly annoying) mantra “Football’s Coming Home”. I’ve never encountered any serious anti-English sentiment in all my 25 years living in Ireland. Quite the opposite: as a second generation Irish person – born in London (with accompanying English accent) – most Irish people are very eager to offer me a warm welcome “home”. – Yours, etc,

JOE McCARTHY,

Dublin 7.

A chara, – I shall be cheering for England in the Euros. Having lived in England, I was always impressed by the overwhelming English support for Ireland in international tournaments. If England exits the tournament, Irish interest diminishes. I’m aware that my support will not be universally popular but my English friends are more important to me than my prejudices. – Yours, etc,

ENDA CULLEN,

Armagh.

A chara, – I like to think I am broad-minded enough not to reject out of hand Finn McRedmond’s call for us all to “get behind Team England”. However, she hasn’t offered any advice on what to do after Tuesday when they succumb in the traditional penalty shoot-out with Germany. – Is mise,

JOE McLAUGHLIN,

Bonnyrigg,Scotland.

Sir, – Finn McRedmond’s comments remind me of a story told by wife Marian who was born in Hackney but spent much of her childhood at the small isolated family home (now used as a barn) in the Cuilcagh Mountains of west Cavan. The single-storey dwelling, with two bedrooms built into the roof space and accessed by a ladder, had no running water but electricity had finally arrived, and the family then owned the only television in the area. On July 30th, 1966, the house was crammed with farmers who had walked miles across mountain tracks keen to see the World Cup final and, this certainly surprised me, they were all supporting England. – Yours, etc,

DAMIAN HUGH O’NEILL,

London.

Sir, – This patriotic Irishman always wants England to win early in a football tournament. This is because watching them go out in the later stages, preferably on penalties, with all the tears and paeans to “Our brave boys”, is one of the highlights of my sporting year! – Yours, etc,

JOHN COTTER,

Ferrybank,

Waterford.