An encounter with a bigot

Yesterday I mentioned a conversation I recently had with a member of the Labour Party about the state of the British government’s finances. When I suggested he might be a bit “iffy” on the subject I got the following reply

“Yeah ..a bit like your relatives who took the soup when the going got tough in Ireland and you having “schizophrenic” tendencies over supporting the Cats in GAA when you’re clearly a Prod. You’re just a plastic Paddy”

Some of this might need a little explanation. My Irish ancestors, so I gather, converted from Catholicism to the protestant Church of Ireland at the time of the Irish Famine (about 1850) as the Church of Ireland had a better famine relief program (they “took the soup”). G.A.A. is the Gaelic Athletic Association which was founded in 1884 as part of a revival of Irish cultural nationalism, and the Cats are my team, Kilkenny.

Now, I could explain that I myself am not religious. I could explain that, while nationalist, the G.A.A. has a long history of protestant involvement (indeed, the All-Ireland Senior Football trophy is named after a Prod; Sam Maguire).

But I’ll simply ask this; why should the religious choices of my distant ancestors dictate which sports I watch today?

Beats me. But then, that’s bigotry for you.

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