Queen’s Visit to Ireland

What did the Romans ever do for us?

So what did the Brits ever do for us? I demanded, rhetorically, of the boys below in the Duck ‘n’ Drake as I tried to raise a posse to run her Maj clean out of town.

Queen Elizabeth is due to run her regal eye over the psychiatric wing that is her former colony on Tuesday, bridging a 100-year gap since George V visited the once and future set of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

George hopped across the Irish sea as our reigning monarch, took one look at drink-addled wretches within, and then, like Julius Caesar an epoch before him, did a runner.

A few years after George’s visit, the Bhoys took over the GPO and the rest, as the say, is history.

Meantime, below in the bar the lads were growling into their pints. “They never did fuck all for us, the bastards,” snarl, froth at the mouth, etc.

The opening bars of Sean South, who, according to the Rubber Bandits, starved a dog out in his back garden for 17 years, were beginning to rise up in the background, fists starting thumping the table.

“Too right, they never did fuck all for us. Let’s get out there like proper Irishman and tell yer wan not to be darkening our door.”

More snarling, fist thumping, pint drinking, Fields of Athenry singing, etc.

“They robbed this country blind, persecuted us, starved us and what, what, I ask thee, did they ever give us in return?”

What have the Romans ever done for us?

“The aqueduct,” ventured a voice, tentatively at first, from the back of the throng.

“The what?”

“The aqueduct.”

And then they grew bolder.

“And the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bowie, Manchester United, Celtic, Liverpool, Arsenal, The Smiths, Rugby, The Clash, Roxy Music, John Lydon and Elvis Costello” added another.

“And we’re speaking their language, and they employed thousands of Irish people who had no option but to take to the boats because of the failed economic policies of Fianna Fail since the foundation of the state,” chipped in a third.

“And built most of our universities, railway stations, castles, cities and postal infrastructure – what about Jack Charlton?”

“And the gave us a unilateral loan at a reasonable interest rate recently when the Germans borrowed 100 billions at 3% and flogged it to us at 6% in the bail out.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, but apart from the aqueduct, the Beatles, Stones, Bowie, Smiths, Celtic, Arsenal, their language, The Clash, Roxy Music, Lydon, Charlton, Costelloe, United, Rugby, Liverpool, postal infrastructure, universities,cities, castles, low interest loans, employing our unemployed. Despite all that, what have the British ever done for us?”

“Fuck all. They’re only bastards. Go on away down outside your own door with that monarch,” the boys shouted in unison, fists thumping the air.

Welcome home to the mental home Your Majesty.


59 thoughts on “Queen’s Visit to Ireland

  1. I wonder what she’ll think of Cashel! That Tipp crowd are an awful shower altogether!

  2. Tipp, now there’s a security nightmare. For no matter how draconian the security, someone will find a way through and pop open the booth of a car and start drinking tea and atin sandwiches out of it.
    Meantime, behold democrats dipping the knee to hereditary privilege, the antitheses of democracy, over the next few days

  3. Seconds Out, my late father in law was an Englishman of Irish origin (2-3 generations). He was a confirmed socialist yet a devoted monarchist all his life. T’was manys a bottle we finished trying to reconcile his views.

  4. They might have given us the language, but they’re in awe of our nicer pronunciation.
    Was in Brighton last summer and upon hearing my “brogue” these English people at the bar got all excited and asked me to say ‘tirty tree and a turd’ and got into hysterics for some reason when I said it.

  5. Jimmy, Kilmarnock should be booted out of the SPL 3-0 down after seven minutes at home against the evil empire. They threw that match, the baaaaaastards. Then again, the Bhoys loosing to that crowd managed by that clown Terry Butcher fucked up everything.

    Amazing No 8, maybe we, to an extent, bowing to a dictator in Rome, is similiar. Most English sure do appear to like their monarchy.

    Thirty three and a turd, hah, good one FME.

  6. what did the brits ever do for us? its the latter part of the question, the US, thats important,
    as in Us the divided country, Us the bigots, Us the classless society -run by the Irish rich elite over the sweat of the working poor,(note careful use of words) , Us the fat, Us the inner circle, Us the greedy, Us the religious, Us the Me Me Me, The brits gave Us Big Ian P, isnt that enough. I know they flooded our country with wildflowers and weeds. Queen annes lace, lords and ladies, cuckoo flower, Dianthus, Ladies bedstraw, they gave Us the English names of wildflowers isnt that enough..i know they gave us windscale and the worlds most radioactive sea. My mum, They freed my Dad from the nazis, they gave us David Beckham, Gary glitter and more.
    But most of all Billy Brag, I love his words and music. Yes they gave me Billy Brag and Kate bush, all else is forgiven. almost. xxx, thanks for the link, bocktherobber comes very high up on google searches.

  7. @ Al May, Kate Bush, another of the greats. Her mum was Irish, dad English, both musicians. Irish blood, English heart as Morrissey was singing on the Leeds side streets he slipped down.

  8. What did the brits do for us ? Ruined the last Milena for us they did, eight centuries of murder, rape and robbery and a country built on Blood money.

  9. As someone who lived in London in the ’80s and ’90s they gave us a lot. A job, a future, a chance. The national anthem at numerous halls and pubs every week. Can you just imagine British clubs in Irish cities openly celebrating British culture? Almost total support at the USA World Cup in ’94. At the same time WE were trying to kill them. Canary Warf, Enniskillen numerous bomb scares etc. We have a lot to learn about tolerence and national maturity. We seem to conveniently forget that the Croke Park killings were in retaliation for The Squads early morning visits to a number of British agents, killing most of them in their beds. And they say that history is written by the victor. If Germany can be reconciled with Europe after 2 WWs surely we can live with our neighbours.

  10. Ferdia – Can you expand on the accusation of rape and robbery?

    I’m also interested in your measurement of 800 years. Does that start in 1211?

  11. Well and eloquently said Mr 8.We’ll drink to that. Unfortunately, Cathleen Ní Houlihan still stalks the land, as we can see from the Irish terrorists (dissidents my ass) threat to bomb London today, a threat, considering that tens of thousands of Irish people live in London, is so perverse as to defy description – not to mention the threat to the many other nationalities living in the English capital. Meantime, Queen Elizabeth will be here tomorrow. She, unlike the vast majority of us, fortunately, lost a relative during the Troubles (Mountbatten). It’s time to bury the hatchet and move on, Why the last time I was watching the English football team – what’s this soccer sport everyone keeps going on about these days? – playing, I, er, wanted them to, ahem, I believe the word I am looking for is, win

    And I wouldn’t object to ditching the euro, putting a match under the bondholders and hitching back up with sterling either.

  12. They took stuff and never gave it back.

    Oh yes, they raped, murdered, pillaged and plundered along the way but mostly, they hung onto stuff they took – and painted big swaths of it red on the maps.

    They still have tons of stuff you know – which they could give back.

    “all the red stuff is ours… yours now, Wills “

    “thanks gran”

    “did you do that pre-nup thing, like that fool father of yours didn’t, Wills?”

    The suggestion that we forget – that we move on – that we have gained more or are better off because of their domination of us, is spurious. Ireland never had a chance to develop or emerge organically. Yes at the time, we had or our own delusions of grandeur and ongoing power grab, but what healthy turn of the millennium country didn’t.

    Who is to say what way things would have gone?

  13. Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and New Zealand were British colonies too…and shur havent they ended up like poor auld Paddy as well.

  14. don’t know what all the fuss is about. the head of a more insidious organisation came in the late 70’s and we flocked to see him. members of that group have certainly raped and plundered us. wonder how much protest will take place next year over the eucharistic games?

  15. I blame the Vikings, not the English, for Bertie Ahern’s stage Irish Dublin jackeen accent. The English gave us the English language and we’ve improved on it and spread it across the world. Why sure an Irish Jesuit missionary taught English to that nice Robert Mugabe – and look what he dun wit it!.

  16. Mr.Sniffle “Oh yes, they raped, murdered, pillaged and plundered along the way” didn’t we kidnap oul Patrick during a raid on their place? How far back do we go go to attribute blame?

    “The suggestion that we forget – that we move on – that we have gained more or are better off because of their domination of us, is spurious. Ireland never had a chance to develop or emerge organically. Yes at the time, we had or our own delusions of grandeur and ongoing power grab, but what healthy turn of the millennium country didn’t. ” The only people that stopped Ireland from developing were the Irish, specifically Dev and the catholic church. From a Limerick point of view there was plenty of work as it was the centre of feeding and clothing the British forces. I dodn’t claim that Ireland was some utopia under British rule and I for one am delighted to have been raised in an independent country and continuie to be a republican in it’s proper sense. Yes it’e great to have rid ourselves of our occupiers but I do believe we should shake hands and get on wth life and let bygones be bygones. We don’t have a monoply on outrage.

  17. Well God bless her, that’s what I say agus cead mile failte!
    We could do with all the friends we can get at this precarious moment in our beloved states existence. Britannia may have bade our wild geese fly but oh what a legacy our own have prescribed!!

  18. And who’s to say how our own “Earls” and “Wild Geese” who fucked off and left us would have treated the plebs. The majority of the Irish were no better than slaves to their own people in their own country at that time. How did the Celtic invaders treat the Fir Bolg and the Tuatha de Danaan? Was there ethnic cleansing? I wonder how clean our own hands are..

  19. I don’t know of any time when Ireland was governed for the benefit of the ordinary people, either by British or home-grown administrations. The argument seems to be about who has more right to abuse us.

  20. She’ll visit Croke Park and the word is that she will apologise for the original Bloody Sunday when British forces murdered 14 civilians at a Dublin v Tipp Gaelic football match at the venue. British forces? Some claim most of them were Irish recruits. I reckon this apology will merely feed into our sense of victimhood and shouldn’t be made. Will Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness apologise for the IRA campaign of terror in Britain, for the countless lives lost in IRA bombings in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Who will apologise to the descendants of Limerick-born James O’Brien of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, the first causality of the 1916 Rising? He was shot in the head at Dublin Castle. Ah sure, wasn’t he on the wrong side of history, a child of a lesser God than glorious Irish nationalism.Then again the leaders of the 1916 Rising were all Saints, right, guaranteed a place in heaven, just like the boys in Al Qaeda, minus the celestial leg over with a freckled virgin in the afterlife.

  21. Theres Cowen And Ahern standing shamelessly in the Garden of Remembrance. WTF is Martin Mansergh doing there? The electorate gave him the high road lately and he couldnt even get into the Talking House. Hard neck all around.

  22. King’s Bard: “How did the Celtic invaders treat the Fir Bolg and the Tuatha de Danaan? Was there ethnic cleansing? I wonder how clean our own hands are..” I love it. I thought these FBs and TdD were mythological make ups of the “academics” of the Irish Revival to give the Irish a more distinctive pedigree.
    Anyway, the point is valid. I’m sure the French could conjure a claim over England and the vica versa. As for what did the Brits ever do for us? The question implies an exclusive duality, a total separation of an “us” and “them” in terms of identity. For many Irish, their very identity is a mishmash of cultural influences, including the very obvious ones of blood, genes, language and names. Brirish!

  23. I’d have more of a b in my bonnet with the bigots up north on both sides than the queen.

  24. Did anyone see Philip the Greek hovering in the background as her outdoors was shaking hands. He’s gagging for a half pint and a Jameson the auld crater.

    The Brits never thanked us for the Dublin-born Duke of Wellies yet, and he put manners on the Frogs at Waterloo, nor George Best or John Giles.

    Brirish, nice one PD.

  25. A Phoill Dhorcha — We have to listen to a lot of bollocks in this country, much of it based on very dodgy notions of racial purity. I think this is a relatively new phenomenon, perhaps a hundred or a hundred and fifty years old at most.

    When do invaders stop apologising? Should the Danes, Norwegians and Swedes apologise for the Vikings? Should they also get together with the citizens of Normandy to jointly apologise for Strongbow?

    Maybe while we’re at it, we Irish should apologise to the Native Americans for our involvement in the US army’s genocide of their people.

    There’s no end to it, and no end to the bitterness for some people, as these so-called dissidents are proving. The People’s Front of Judea.

  26. Too right, Pope Benny will be apologising for that alleged incident in the Garden of Eden next

    Does anyone think we have now crossed the threshold toward a more mature relationship with our neighbours following the playing of God Save the Queen at the Garden of Remberance today, seeing as the armed forces of the woman laying the wreath there put most of the inhabitants of said spot six foot under?

  27. I can’t help feeling that a more important threshold was crossed on the 24th of February 2007. To hear God Save The Queen played to a silent and respectful crowd of ordinary Irish people in Croke park before the Ireland-England game carries more weight than watching the handful of political figures and hand-picked “celebrities” enjoying this royal visit.

    I look forward to the day when a visit such as this doesn’t mandate a total security lock-down, and citizens of this country could be free to be out in the streets to greet the visitors should they so wish. That really will be a threshold.

  28. Absolutely. I was in Croke Park that day and it was one of the most emotional things I ever experienced. However, it might well have been an essential precursor to the final symbolic moment when QEII goes there.

  29. God Save the Queen has been played at Lansdowne Rd for years with no hysterics from the crowd or the media. Why does it’s playing at CP somehow hearld us a mature nation just because it was treated with the same respect as any other visiting teams anthem? It was also played at CP the year before at the Special Olympics again to no hysteria.

    I hope the Queen doesn’t feel compelled to apologise for the past, it makes us look like spoilt children who won’t play ball until we can own the ball and set the rules. Do we apologise for the bombing campaigns in Britain, our part in invading countries on behalf of Britain, as said our part in masacaring the Native Americans, our kidnapping of young Patrick. I’m sure Albion was parfidious in the past but it is in the past, leave it there. As a people we weren’t exactly received with red carpets in America. The digging out of the levees in New Orleons was done by Irish navvies rather than risk the lives of valuable black slaves, yet we love Uncle Sam. We can join the US military and police foreces with impunity yet membership of the British army or the Met is frowned upon. If we are so intent on cutting ties with Britain why haven’t we learnt the languages of our continental cousins to help improve trade? Hypocrits?

  30. Nobody said it heralds us as a mature nation. Relax yourself a small bit. I think it was a significant moment.

  31. Very relaxed. Look at the significance given to it in # 30. A number of commentators have mentioned the playing of GSTQ at CP as an example of us being a mature nation. The latest was Matt Cooper on “What have the Brits Ever Done for Us” shown the other night. Is CP some kind of national shrine because of the shootings? I accept you may have found it emotional but as I said we were standing for it for years in Lansdowne Rd. Obviously the rugby crowd are more mature than the common garden type GAA spectator.

  32. i think victimhood is part of the healing process – it’s a learnt response – from our parents
    who soaked it up from theirs – going right back i suppose, to when / where the
    atrocities origionally happened.

    the south africans had their truth and reconcilliation process,
    why can’t ireland have it’s victimhood. the english were here for a lot a longer then the dutch
    were in africa.

    and black america has had it’s historic moments and movements and continues to do so. fuck it,
    i cried when barack came along .

    not sure that liz should be the most welcome of visitors – not her personally of course,
    looking very smart today in her emerald guna agus hata – but the british haven’t really dropped
    thier jingoism. it could be said that she has replaced her colonising, with a commercial version
    of same. she contuinues to trade in serious weaponary, and her position as uncle sam’s
    lap dog doesn’t endear her to most of the planet and puts her in prime position for oil goodies.

    i like for a longer and less obsequious ( spelling?) view on the visit.

    young gerry mentioned that “having spent two periods are her majesty’s pleasure” he wasn’t
    exactly ready to roll out the red carpet – or words to that effect . i could understand what he meant.

    and can someone ask her to give back the stuff ( my ma made me do this when i robbed a
    mars bar – after bating me round the house with the wooden spoon)

  33. Your Ma is a wise woman Mr Sniffle…….where was that wooden spoon when you started experessing an interest in activities at Old Trafford?

    In the National Boxing Stadium the English boxing team always stand to Land of Hope
    and Glory – a cracking auld anthem – and then they try to kill us, but we usually kill them first as our Elites, fearsome men and women, did to Team GB in Germany last weekend, 7-2,7-2,7-2,7-2…

    The English rugby league side used same up to 2005 – a poll a few years back by the BBC had 55% polling in favour of the above as opposed to GSTQ

  34. Does politics transcend sport Mr Sniffle, as in the emotional reaction to GSTQ in Croker a few years back?

  35. No 8 — I hope you’re not calling me a GAA spectator, unless you want tay and sangidges all over you.

  36. If only we’d been colonised by China, why we’d be eating with chopsticks and the boglands of Offaly and Mayo would be abundant rice paddies. And there’d be exotic pagodas instead of conical round towers. In fact the Chinese would have put gunpowder into the base of the round towers and sent them to the moon.

  37. Nothing wrong with a GAA spectator though the warm soggy sangidges outside the catheederdle car park can wear on you.

  38. How come only the Irish Times and RTE were invited to tonight’s bash in Dublin from the media? I see auld Noddy two-pensions is there also – it’s bad when the Queen knows more Irish most of us.

  39. Sniffles says ” why can’t ireland have it’s victimhood. the english were here for a lot a longer then the dutch
    were in africa.” I’m inclined to think we have had a long enough misery fest at this stage. Anyone weaned on Stair Sheanchais na hEireann, or similar such text books which proliferated in Irish schools throughout the 40′, 50s and 60s, will remember the mature tone of reconcilation, sense of diversity and moderation!

  40. Hey, I don’t care if the queen visits — the whole thing is a bit stupid if you ask me. And I’m no fan of groaning about ‘de Brits’ either. Whatever happened in the past, they’re allies now.

    But we shouldn’t pretend like certain things didn’t happen. We shouldn’t snarkely gloss over events like the famine. The trade policies implemented — or, more precisely, kept in place — during the famine by the British government (all in the name of the Spencerian dogma that was echoing around Britland at the time) was probably one of the worst atrocities of the 19th century.

    The fact that many justified it because it was believed that the Irish — together with the Blacks — were less evolved and closer to apes (an idea only occasionally reflected in this blog) was pretty disgusting too.

    I’m not saying that we need to obsess over history. As is shown in many ex-colonies, that can be the worst thing to do. But we shouldn’t forget.

    And now, because I’ve seen how this works before, the writer will chime in and claim that he didn’t deny the famine, he was just satirising the whole thing by taking the piss out of people who hate the Brits — comparing them to the ‘what did the Romans ever do for us’ Monty Python sketch. I’ll point out that I was just trying to show that the resentment was not without some reason and that even the more enlightened among us should remember a little history and recognise just why this hatred has been carried within the culture. He’ll aggressively demand that I point exactly where in the article he made a counterpoint to this. I’ll try to point to the theme of the piece. He’ll demand line-by-line quotes. I’ll give up and call the whole thing childish.

    So, let’s save a few hours: the above comment was actually not about Bock’s piece. I am just writing it here because I am a weird internet guy who posts his thoughts randomly in comments sections. Bock is always, by default, right and everyone he disagrees with, wrong. Commentators should not take anything out of the context that Bock — whether a priori during writing or a posteriori in the course of argument — gives them. If people get certain impressions off Bock’s pieces, they should not voice these in the comments section because they are ‘objectively’ invalid. Impressions given subjectively by Bocks’ pieces have no standing nor should they — because he is right and everyone else wrong, so anything subjectively generated in the minds of others is invalid (unless Bock says it is).

  41. Stair Sheanchais na hEireann = moderation, Mr Sniffle?.To paraphrase the Blessed Virgin, “come a fucking again”.

  42. And when the war is over and dear old Ireland is free
    I’ll take her to the church to wed, and a rebel’s wife she’ll be
    Well, some men fight for silver and some men fight for gold
    But the IRA are fighting for the land that the Saxons stole

    @poll dorocha, i rembember learning this song in primary school in the late
    sixties. an example of the reconciliatory tone you
    refer to ?.

    of course you’re right – life can be difficult enough without holding
    onto a previous generation’s baggage.

    but the huge love in – lack of balance – the rush to bow to
    Elizabeth R ( which i think would be a cool street name) and
    phil the greek ( who incidentially signed into the aras as Philip – like
    my kid wrote his name when he was 5 )

    the love in , the love fest, obsequious squirms and scraps from the
    top table, a coming together of an old northern academic elite
    and the breathless mary, mouthing – WOW – when liza said uchtarain
    and cairde.

    when we went to connaught cause hell was a bad idea, who
    gots the land ? i know, a little mugabeish(?) , but who gonned
    the land ? we’re an island nation and the fields are important, who gots
    the fields now .

    bitter ?

    me ?

  43. She’s played a blinder for the last three days, I’ll give her that. She made no apologies either, thankfully. She’ll head to Cork morrow and that’s it. Obama on Monday. All these visits to Ireland – bit like when someone is on their last legs in hospital and they all come round before he kicks the bucket, the auld bollocks. Will we get through Monday without someone making a show of the us on CNN. It’s not looking good. Paddy Power have it at odds on that some arsehole will leave us red faced before the sun goes down.

  44. bock, yes you’re right, innit ! – and that’s the way of things. but the inner idealist never stops hoping for some day, those with power realize we’re all in this together and the concept of plenty, adequate and sufficient is adapted ( adopted ?). greed is a bollix .

    but getting back to the(my :-)) point, in this case it was greedy english fuckers who gonned the fields – and the truth of things is that , and let me get all robert mugabe again, the truth is that their kids still have it , whilst i’m still in connaught ( methaphorically ) ! (and with a seany cronin- less, rugby team too next season )

    god bless her mr. out. but she’s a great pair of pegs. and her with the house maid’s knee and how @ 85 she’s still able to climb them stairs – her stamina – she wintered well but trained hard.

  45. There might not have been any fields only for them….there was nothing but fucking woods when they came.And no roads or bridges either.

  46. Commentator on TV3 just spoke about the Queen speaking Irish, and suggested that nobody had even dreamed about the Queen speaking Irish at Dublin Castle before this trip.

    I know I have never had a dream about the Queen that I remember, let alone one where she speaks Irish to me.

    Would anyone else ever admit to a dream, including the Queen, and was there any Irish involved ?

    I could dream about Kate Middleton, wonder if that counts ?

  47. Is that Midleton wan from Cork boyo?

    Mr Sniffle – Our mother is 87, has lost the use of one leg and arm and is battling all sorts of ailments.

    She’s so bad we have to lift her down stairs every morning to make our brealkfast


  48. Well Holy god as Miley would say. The Uncle Toms are all out of the cabin into the glorious sunshine brought about by the visit of her magnificent and Glorious omnipotent self.
    Seconds I think you should lead the delegation to Cork today. I can see it now….playing in the background a beautiful hollywoodish version of Danny boy. Whilst slowly almost majestically, Seconds out ,walks towards her magnificence. A big smile on his face, as he clutches his cap firmly to his chest and utters the immortal words ‘Welcome home Ma’ His eyes all a flutter he continues. ‘We is so sorry Ma for all that hurly playen and all that trying to speak Gaelic stuff and all that freedom republican nonsense, will ya not stay a while longer Ma Ma? please! Danny Boy has reached its climax in the background. The credits roll

    The End.
    An Uncle Tom production.

  49. By the way, what kind of paddywhackery are they up to in Cashel?

    May the road rise to meet you. Traditional Irish blessing, my arse

  50. They’re out on the streets protesting at the visit, going on about the Great Potato famine of 1916 and such.

  51. Of course I will Seconds Out, and then its off to wonderful Cork with me. ‘Sure with a Shillelagh under me arm and a twinkle in me eye, Sure isn’t Cobh, (sorry, Queens town) a lovely place in the morning’
    In fact Cork city is only gorgeous! Fair place to the British for building it for them. And do you know, most of those Corkonians wont even thank Her Royal Highness for creating such a wonderful county. What an ungrateful bunch of shites. And sure if it was up to the Irish to build their own towns and cities…… well shur we all know what the result of that would be eh?

  52. @Bock47 I can feel the anger and determination in that response. Reminds me of the Bull McCabe confronting Flanagan the bar owner( a.k.a Tom Riordan a.k.a John Cowley)… outsiders? are these the same outsiders……..?
    Well said,well said,well said,youre the bock,youre the bock,youre the bock!

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