The City of Dundee and its relationship with its Irish Immigrant Community

HERE’S an interesting follow-up to our article this morning about the day the Dundee FC steward grabbed one of our flags and the brilliant job the two Bhoys did in getting it back hen forcing Dundee FC to apologise.

Their actions, as our earlier article pointed out, sadly follows a long tradition of Celtic and her supporters having to fight for the right to wave the flag of our fathers. You can read our earlier article – The Day Dundee FC Snatched our Flag – ‘So they started Celtic Football Club and they raised the flag up high’ – HERE.

The follow up comes from one of the Celtic Supporters from Tayside, Spherical Planet
Spherical Planet, who is a well-known member on the fabulous Celtic Noise forum. Here’s what he had to say about the steward who grabbed the flag and the wider situation with the Irish community on Dundee…

Safe-Tay are a bunch of polis rejectees and that bar was never very high in the first place.

I’m sure others will agree, that the polis in Dundee are one of the only really high-profile perpetrators of sectarianism within the city.

DC Thomson is another and the more exclusive departments in Dundee City Council are a distinct lack of anything other than WASP privilege.

Beyond that, Dundee generally accepts it’s high-proportion of the Irish population with relatively good grace. During Dundee’s industrial boom in the 19th century, my city was home to the second largest percentage of Irish migrants in the whole of the UK.

Approximately 25% of the population were of Irish origin and particularly the weavers of Limerick and Galway who found work in the jute mills and textile industries.

In a city which was historically noted for it’s role in the rise of protestantism in Scotland, I am mainly proud of the relationship that the Irish have with Dundee and Dundonians.

Dundonians baulked at the feeble attempt to introduce an annual march and our chapels remain intact and free from trespass.

The Diocese of Dunkeld holds significant titles and deeds gifted by the city and Dundee is home to one of the largest convents in the country.

Catholicism and Irish Catholicism are given a fair hearing in Dundee and many families of Irish descent chose to support Dundee Football Club during their time here.

Something has changed quite dramatically in the make-up of the Dundee fan over the last few years. There are a hardcore who are evidencing the worst traits of neocon values and they are openly contemptuous of Catholicism (particularly those Catholics of Irish lineage). They are still very much in the minority, but many of them are ex-forces who served short terms of service and it appears to have left a stain on them.

I was ashamed of my city on that day. I was sat in the ‘Derry’ where I have often watched Celtic and heard songs and comments that turned my stomach. There is a well-known and somewhat notorious family in Dundee who descend from Irish Catholics. They support Dundee, but got caught up in the atmosphere and their cultural roots took precedence.

Perhaps it is because DUFC have taken a small step towards their own point of origin recently, but there is a very small section of Dundonian society which appears to be find succor and comfort in the union. It’s not a coincidence that some of these non-starters find employment in dodgy security firms.

When even the polis don’t want these types of tyrants, then you know something is wrong.

Spherical Planet

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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