Belfast Telegraph

Joe Brolly: I get up on my feet for God Save The Queen

BY CLAIRE GRAHAM

Joe Brolly has revealed that his son sings God Save The Queen while he and his wife stand for the anthem – as a matter of "simple respect".

The Derry GAA legend has told of the changed society in Northern Ireland in a new book.

Alternative Ulsters by Mark Carruthers is a collection of 36 interviews about identity with prominent people.

The barrister from Dungiven, Co Londonderry, explains if he had taken the same path as his own children 30 years ago, they would have been "sending for the men in the white coats."

"My son Toirealach, for example, plays rugby for Malone and goes to the cubs. Recently, he came home with a picture he'd drawn of the Queen," he told Carruthers.

"At cub services, he sings God Save The Queen. If I happen to be there, or his mother happens to be there, to pick him up and they're playing the anthem, we stand for it. These things are a just a matter of simple respect."

He also speaks of the effect Lord Mountbatten's death had on his town.

"I can remember Lord Mountbatten being blown up in 1979. The people in Dungiven saw it as a victory. Boys raised their fists at each other, saying: 'Did you hear, we got him?' Things like that would make your blood run cold now. It was a dreadful atrocity.

"Sitting here now, I think: 'Jesus Christ, what were we thinking of?' That's some mark of how things have changed."

He admits his time at Trinity College Dublin made him realise "that 'Prods bad, Fenians good' was not going to cut the mustard in the real world".

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