Madam, - Given that Ireland’s current economic slowdown is expected to result in an increase in racism, I believe that Scotland provides a good example of what Ireland needs to guard against in its treatment of immigrants.
I read your Michael Walker’s article on the Celtic-Rangers match with great interest. I was invited to the match by a client and heard the singing from the Rangers fans. It wasn’t difficult to decipher as the Celtic team was completely dominated by Rangers, resulting in a stunned silence from the Celtic fans and non-stop noise from the Rangers supporters.
There was much abuse aimed at Celtic players who were not of Scottish origin, with a Pole and a Japanese player being the target of sickening insults. But this abuse paled in comparison with the anti-Irish chants aimed at the Celtic fans and at the Irish international player Aidan McGeady. Most distressing of all, however, was a song, aimed I assume at all Irish people, which repeated the line: “The famine is over, why don’t you go home?”
This casual racism does not appear to be confined to Rangers fans alone, as one of Scotland’s red-tops had a cartoon the following Tuesday making a joke about the post-match assault with Neil Lennon the former Celtic captain, who was depicted with bandages and black eyes.
Although Irish people have been part of Scottish society for over 160 years the cancer of racism still persists. I hope Irish people will remember this should racism come to the fore in this land of emigrants and immigrants. - Yours, etc,