Ireland’s hockey team and ‘Ireland’s Call’

 

Sir, – Apart from all the skill, athleticism and spirit of the Irish women’s hockey team, their exceptional fair play and sportswomanship gives added depth to their status as role models. – Yours, etc,

DERMOT ASHMORE,

Elliac, France.

Sir, – Even as a proud Irishman and a sports enthusiast, never did I think the success of a hockey team would overwhelm me with sufficient levels of pride and joy that would compel me to hang our national flag outside my home.

Nevertheless, when the achievements of this team and the circumstances from which they arose are contextualised, as they have been within the public discourse, one feels not only that such pride and joy was well justified, but also that the said accomplishments should live long in the memory as one of our greatest ever sporting successes. – Yours, etc,

JAMES McELEARNEY,

Mornington,

Co Meath.

Sir, – Among the plethora of letters about hockey (August 7th) there is one that reads half-way through,“The well-worn jibe that hockey is little more than ‘Protestant hurling was made all the more apt given the opposition’s orange strip’.” Would you agree that a more apt word for apt would have been paradoxical? – Yours, etc,

MARTIN AHERNE,

Loughrea,

Co Galway.

Sir, – What a spectacular achievement by Ireland’s women’s hockey team in reaching the World Cup final. Truly a sporting achievement which will be remembered and spoken of for generations to come.  My one regret was their ditching of Amhrán na bhFiann in favour of Ireland’s Call.

The playing of the compromise anthem at Irish international hockey games, which may be regarded by some as politically expedient under the circumstances of a partitioned island, is I believe, regrettable.

A compromised anthem today may lead to a compromised flag tomorrow.

Why some players feel so threatened by the playing of the Irish anthem or the flying of the Irish flag is beyond my comprehension. I believe it displays an absence of maturity, sensitivity and tolerance.

It is also my view that those players honoured by being selected to represent Ireland in any sport and who feel unable to respect our anthem and flag should take the honourable course and render themselves unavailable for selection. – Yours, etc,

TOM COOPER,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Liam Dunne (August 7th) could not resist a snide comment regarding Ireland’s anthem at the Hockey World Cup.

I too find the absence of Amhrán na bhFiann a little jarring. But Ireland’s Call is used – as in cricket and rugby – because players are drawn from all parts of the island and from all religions and traditions. It unites.

Perhaps some people don’t recognise a united Ireland when they see one. – Yours, etc,

JOHN THREADGOLD,

Carlow.