The respect of other people’s culture here in Northern Ireland needs a lot of work. It should cut to each community within the diversity that we have within our wee country, but it is hard enough when the biggest two groupings fail to show mutual respect for each other.
Yesterday we saw an example of the problems caused by both. We had a protest against the Republican Chairman of Moyle District Council opening a sports halls for all the community, because of comments he allegedly made about a flute band at the Twelfth of July marches. We also had a future DUP minister saying that GAA Clubs shouldn’t be allowed to collect funds by packing customers bags at supermarkets.
While we still have elected representatives who aren’t mindful of their language when talking about the diversity on our communities how can we expect the people to show respect. We have a diversity and the sooner our elected representatives embrace that we do the better. Now I don’t expect them to agree with everything, nor do I expect that those who see them at every sort of event would expect it, but at least you’d expect them to honour the differnces.
As for the music of our different cultures (often the same tunes divied my different lyrics) maybe we should take a leaf out of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann‘s book in Cavan the other week. Then there was an attempt to fuse the diversities together and it was appreciated. Of course there will be occasions that is not possible but we need to find things that can be done together. When it comes to collection of funds from bag packing, when I was working for the Yes! campaign I often saw Association Football Clubs from the Sandy Row collecting by bag packing at the Tesco on the Dublin Road. Not hte sort of location you’d expect to find GAA clubs fundraising, unlike Mr Well’s South Down constintuency maybe, but it is not exclusive to one side or the other.
Time for us to truly look for a shared future and learn to appreciate the differences