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Northern Ireland deserved place in Team GB

During the Olympic fortnight, one of the main talking points was the swell in our nation's feeling of Britishness and although I have never been the flag waving type, I couldn't help feel a sense of pride as I watched the opening ceremony. However, every day since my sense of pride has been eroded by one of alienation.

Here in NI we are used to our public figures in sports, acting, music etc, being referred to as British when they are successful and Irish when they are not and so none of that surprised me.

Even the omission of NI in the Team GB name could be forgiven as a marketing tool to make a slicker brand for our national team.

What did surprise me was a series of comments from Piers Morgan on Twitter. At one point before Alan Campbell's rowing final Mr Morgan tweeted 'Northern Ireland is NOT part of Great Britain despite (confusingly) joining Team GB for the Olympics'.

This tweet was part of a series which included criticism of British gold medal winners for not singing the national anthem on the podium. Alan Campbell answered Mr Morgan's comments when he insisted on standing to sing the National anthem when it was being played for someone else, namely Kath Grainger and Anna Watkins.

Over 3,000 people died in this country and many more put their lives on the line in armed forces all in the name of Britishness. We deserve to be part of Team GB.

David Johnston


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