Tag Archives: tribalism

Christy Moore and tribalism

I watched the second part of the Christy Moore Journey documentary tonight, having watched the first part at the weekend. I’ve always liked Christy and his music: he is a man who clearly cares about a lot of people, but I wish he were not so selective in his caring.

A teenage girl who dies giving birth in a grotto will have a song written about her; names of the Birmingham Six and the victims of Bloody Sunday will be recited in songs. That is right and proper. But teenage girls killed by the IRA in Birmingham and children killed by the IRA in Warrington will not have a song written about them. Their names will not be recited. They are of the wrong tribe for compassion or for outrage. Neither will members of the ‘right’ tribe have their names recited if they were killed by the same tribe. Mary Travers, a 22-year-old Catholic teacher, was murdered by the IRA as she left a church. Christy won’t be writing a song about her.

Christy cares about injustices in Latin America, and that’s good. In our own situation, though, his songs show that he cares only about Irish nationalist victims – not about the victims of Irish nationalism. This is tribalism.

If you want to be a tribalist, that’s fine. Just don’t pretend to be something else altogether – a humanitarian, for example.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ireland, Music, Politics

Sport

That was an incredible rugby weekend, with the nerve-shredding rollercoaster of the Six Nations finale on Saturday followed by Ireland’s women lifting their own Six Nations trophy on Sunday after a display of great verve and skill.

I find big rugby occasions like these very emotional now, as does Pauline. Tears, at times, are not far away. We think of Sean – a huge rugby fan – and how he would have loved to share these moments: and how, on some level, he may still be sharing them. He would have been so proud of Ireland.

Sport matters. On some levels it doesn’t matter at all (I have written before of how we operate on different levels); on others it matters a great deal. It can be an arena of moral and physical courage, excitement and skill; the identification it engenders can be uplifting and life-enhancing. At is best, it makes tribalism and/or nationalism joyful and sublime.

People who don’t ‘get’ sport are missing out, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter, yet it can matter so much.

2 Comments

Filed under Ireland, Sport