Oh that’s because you’re Irish!
Oooh- er! His neighbour turns out to be ‘Not Irish’. What Jamie doesn’t realise, being from England, that there are parts of Ballymena, most of Ballymoney and many other places in Norn Iron where ‘Not Irishness’ abounds.
Now as most people know I don’t really go in for politics on this blog. Politics makes me dizzy and if I get dizzy I might fall off the fence. I’m OK with people being ‘Not Irish’ but the situation that Jamie found himself in bothers me a lot. What’s the problem? Don’t be Irish if you don’t want to be. But why jump down someone’s throat or take offence if someone thinks that just because you live in Northern Ireland that you might be Irish God Forbid!
Whilst in England in the 1970s I was frequently ‘accused’ of coming from Scotland. I explained that I was actually from Northern Ireland and I did not take offence at the assumption. I do realise that cultural identity is important to many people living in this place but there is no need to get surly just because someone doesn’t get the Ulster, Northern Ireland, and British thing. Being a bit more easy going about it might help to allay that other cultural stereotype which is - Ulster Protestant = dour and humourless.
And if anyone wants to know I consider myself to be from County Antrim and I’m Irish, Northern Irish and British. If I have to pick one, say for administrative purposes, I’ll say British. That is until some government, somewhere, someday decides that I’m not.