A speech by comedian Paddy Kielty about a united Ireland has gone viral amid controversy over people singing “Up the Ra”.
ielty from Co. Down was just 16 when his father Jack was murdered by the UDA at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The chorus of The Wolfe Tones’ song Celtic Symphony has regained prominence after the Ireland women’s football team apologized for singing along after qualifying for the World Cup, while a video of passengers using the pro- IRA line sang along, sparking union anger over the weekend.
Speaking at the Irish Government’s Shared Island initiative in Dublin last December, the 51-year-old delivered an impassioned speech about the potential of a united Ireland and how the people who live in the republic care more about affairs in the North have to pay attention.
“In this centenary year, the spirits of the past are easy to honor. It’s a lot easier to sing a rebel song about a united Ireland than not to sing it to maybe have one. And yet we have to be honest with each other about who we are, how we feel and why we feel it,” he began.
“It’s not just trauma being passed on, it’s not just a ‘Northern thing.’ On this whole island, not talking and not meddling means other things get passed on as well.”
“One-sided story, clichés and perhaps worst of all, apathy. In a post-Brexit world, it’s easy to sit in Dublin and say: “The British government doesn’t care about the North, although the truth is that a lot of people in the Republic don’t care much either.”
“Unless a team from the North pulls off a hard Brexit with Sam Maguire. I know it can be difficult to find your way around. Somewhere that calls Orange Men and All Ireland winners home, but it’s a lot harder to understand unless you’re curious,” he continued.
He added that people in the north are still traumatized by the problems.
“In a post-Good Friday deal, a huge mistake, which I have already made, is to put the past behind you and hand this shiny new page over to the new generation without really talking to them or each other about the previous chapter .”
“We all share our opinions, our prejudices and misunderstandings. Usually without questioning them first.”
Sometimes we have to talk to people who don’t convey our own opinion to us,” he continued.
“The vast majority of people in the North no longer see things through a binary prism, they get along with their lives and with each other. Say that softly, but the common island we’re talking about is happening today, just up the road.”
“Is it infatuation? no is it united Definitely not. But you know, too often on this island we get fixated on the idea of being united. Remaining part of the UK. Become part of a United Ireland. But being a fan of the Manchester red side these days, I can say that unity isn’t everything you imagine,” he said.
“This island will never be unified and that’s okay because no matter if, and it’s a big if when a border poll happens and more importantly, no matter how it turns out, most of the people who live here will do just that have the same sense of who they are and what they believe in.”
“There will still be around a million Britons on this island. They not only think they’re British, they don’t need to be converted, they’re not confused, they’re British,” he explained.
“Just as about a million people living north of the border today know they are Irish.”
“Shared island means being Irish in a future Northern Ireland or British in a future Ireland and not afraid. That way we can all feel just as comfortable on the day of a border election as we did the day before the result.”
One person shared the speech on social media and wrote: “This is really excellent and well worth a listen considering the week we’ve had.”
“When emergency services arrived from Northern Ireland to help the victims and the people of Creeslough. A lot of us were so proud of the Irish team’s performance in Glasgow and at odds over a song,” they added.
Another shared: “Ten minutes Patrick worth an investment of your time…”
However, not everyone shared the same sentiments.
“Are we now blaming the women’s football team for preventing Irish reunification? Because that seems a bit excessive,” one person wrote.
“I literally don’t want a united Ireland when it comes to oppressing our culture and music so no thanks,” said another.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/comedian-paddy-kieltys-speech-about-united-ireland-goes-viral-following-up-the-ra-controversy-42071660.html Comedian Paddy Kielty’s speech on United Ireland goes viral after ‘Up the Ra’ controversy