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There are two sides to religious bigotry

 

In relation to the letter of 25 July: "Irish republican songs are born out of oppression", the anonymous writer seems unaware that it was Celtic FC who decided not to sell tickets to their own fans.

Both Linfield and the PSNI stated that they would welcome Celtic fans to the game. However, given the sectarian behaviour of the Celtic supporters who did attend, one can understand the decision of the club to try to discourage them.

As for the strange rationale that vile republican songs spring from seemingly thousands of years of Catholic oppression, this is nonsense.

Rather, the truth lies in the nature of the bigoted and sectarian anti-Protestant mentality of the republican constituency in NI.

I recently had the misfortune of listening to drunk Celtic fans on the ferry singing their obscene and repulsive anti-Protestant version of 'Roamin' in the Gloamin' (to cite but one 'song').

In terms of oppression, one only needs to look south to see what happened to Protestants there during the past 100 years. They were murdered, maimed, their property destroyed, had their small businesses boycotted by Catholics and were driven out in droves.

Over 60,000 Protestants left in the period 1911-1926 alone.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, republican terrorists have carried out a campaign of attempted ethnic cleansing through the murder of Protestants.

As for Orange bands playing sectarian tunes outside St Patrick's Church in Belfast, I agree that this was shameful. Hopefully it has now stopped.

But the writer does not mention the republican bands who regularly play anti-Protestant tunes outside Protestant churches in Dungiven.

There are two sides to the story of oppression and bigotry in Ireland.

David Collins

Belfast

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