Branching Out ?

I always try to draw distinction to whichever branch of the Celtic family I am referring to at the time . Im sure this has and does drive some people nuts but I think I have good reason.
Now to some when you hear or think the word “ Celtic “ they automatically think of the stadium and team in Glasgow’s East End . I shake my head at this although its an easy mistake to make.
Should you have got my grandfather ( RIP ) to stop talking about his beloved Gaa for a while and talk about Celtic those 11 players in Scotland didnt come up.
He would tell us how the crowds would fill the local bars then walk down to Celtic Park , Donegal Road , West Belfast to cheer on their mates in the Hoops . His mate Charlie Tully and many others gave him and the community tons of joy and pride not to mention entertainment .
Now it seems that dead giant may well be resurrected ( kinda ) and rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
Two businessmen are plotting to bring her back and give the community its old entertainment again . They intend to rebrand an existing club that they own ( Swifts ) . I will admit right now I am delighted about it .

The PLayers,,,First off the area produces great players and sportspeople in general , quality should be high .
As an example check out some of these names from only the West of the oul city,,,
Mal Donaghy , Gerry Armstrong , Anton Rogan , ( Father ) Phil Mulryne , Paul Mc Veigh , Paddy Kelly , JIm Magilton , and of course Charlie Tully himself.
Fiona Shannon and Rinty Monaghan were world champions in their sports of choice also ( handball and boxing respectively ) We would be looking at some good players here Im telling ya.
Entertainment factor and quality of play could well be high . Immediately though scout city wide and although west is best the rest of the city has produced decent players also notably Best , Whiteside , Blanchflower .

The ground,,No doubt the Holy Grail would be a new stadium on the site of the old one . About a year ago I was last in that shopping centre thats built on the site of the old ground and I was shocked at how little stores never mind shoppers there were . However right now that is not the ground that would be used . It would be the ground of the exiting club for now ( Swifts ) on up the windswept Glen Road in the shadow of Black Mountain.

The community,,,we all know theres nothing beats supporting your own homegrown sons , brothers , friends . Communities bond that way . Great inspiration for the kids also if they know they have a chance as ie yer mates brother plays for “ Celtic “ and he lives around the corner and isnt some megastar which proves you can actually make it. Its a fantastic idea. Lets not also forget many of these kids will watch the first team play whilst growing up which further inspires you to try to be one of them and helps you find that extra percent when needed as its “ your “ team just like KT . Great positive options for a youth that are besieged by suicide , drugs and drink at present. This project could really help the community that has seen its largest Gaa pitch and stadium go into disrepair while the court cases over how to renovate rumble on .
However , its not going to be all plain sailing . A group owns the name “ Belfast Celtic FC “ and
made clear that this is not connected to the original club in any way it would be a new club and thus could not be considered “ Belfast Celtic FC“ .
It seems the workaround that is to drop the “ FC “ part and simply become Belfast Celtic . This seems to be completely legal and has been put forward to the IFA board although they will not hear the case until the end of this season so any name change would take effect next season . Any name change must be passed by the IFA board by majority vote .
The Belfast Celtic Historical Society ( BCHS ) are disappointingly not on board either . I found their stance to be petty and believe its a case of we arent behind this so we cant support it ,,, despite the fact they have had all these years to do something of their own.

The Moral Dilemma,,,So its not Belfast Celtic and its not an offshoot of Glasgow Celtic or even Donegal Celtic so what is it ? Can you just stick a “ Celtic “ on it and thats it youre in the family ?
This will be a personal decision just how much to recognise this new entity .
I will give my take and Im sure you expect nothing less .
Any “ Celtic “ club or branch or team of any kind or level is a manifestation of our ( the Celtic with a K ) peoples nature . A nature that is charitable and will stand up together for oppressed and against oppression .
No one , absolutely no one , has the right to say you may or may not use that name ,,, it is a right bestowed by being a member of the family . Any of us has the right to name any endeavor that name . That name should come with responsibilities though , such as standing up for your fans and being community inclusive in its affairs not to mention continue or charitable traditions .
The owners had this to say of their intentions ,,,
“ Our club have not entered this process with opportunism and exploitation in mind rather we see it as a chance to encourage the growth of Senior football in the west of the city and to develop talent and encourage a better view of our area from people who reside outside of West Belfast . Ultimately it is our view that if we progress this initiative to its fullest potential then we will attract more investment to the west of the city which can only benefit local footballers and supporters . “
I fail to see anything wrong with that at all and if anyone reading does please let me know . Sounds to me like a little bit of the original spirit of Celtic that Br Walfrid held in his heart ,, lets help this community .

The biggest loser,,,Its kinda hard to see exactly how much impact this would have in the bigger picture . Should the key areas of investment ( it has been promised ) and possibly a change of home venue to something more fan friendly be met then interest should be high . A new kit should be popular as ever .
Should the plan and action match the words and vision then we could have a formidable new member of the family . We seen just what can be achieved in terms of crowds , entertainment , and being a focal hub of the community by the old team , the bar is already set . That could be done again make no mistake . If the snowball starts rolling and gathering pace the biggest loser would surely be Glasgow Celtic .
The day out from Belfast to see the Glasgow based team play usually starts with waking up at about 4.30 am to catch bus to early ferry , getting dropped home again around 9pm or so and costs about 100 quid per adult once youve added ticket , travel , drink , food . Its a hell of a slog Ive done myself trust me.
With the ease of having a normal day and dinner then grabbing a child and taxi down to the game for maybe 15 quid and 2 hours I could see a significant drop in the numbers to go through the long haul over the water , thats if this new club does indeed become what it aims to be . And as mentioned earlier once your kids know some of the players or possibly play for the youth team , going to Glasgow will be a thing of the past for many if not most .
Supporting the local community financially and emotionally is always a good thing and that will be encouraged .
Would be a delight to see things going the way they were for my granda , Celtic was that big stadium and team right there down the road and we have our own team thanks.

The battle for the soul of Belfast Celtic, 69 years after the club folded

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October 1, 2018 4:46 am


I wish them well. Excellent accompanying piece by Michael Wood.

,big packy
October 1, 2018 7:38 am

mahe. yes have read many articles on Belfast celtic, doesn’t matter where you come from Donegal Belfast or Glasgow, we are all celts.hh.

saltires en sevilla
October 1, 2018 11:03 am

Belfast has a wonderful football tradition.

Wish them every success.

Genuine question: will this have an impact on Cliftonville & Donegal Celtic in terms of existing support?

Garry Duncan
October 1, 2018 6:02 pm

When I lived and worked in Kirkcaldy in my late teens, my gaffer was a near retirement Dundee United fan from Fife. He had been a big Belfast Celtic fan, as his dad was from Andersontown and was a big BC fan before they stopped playing. Loved to listen to his stories about Belfast Celtic. That accompanying link reminded me of that kind ould Fifer. Thank you.

Fairhill Bhoy
Reply to  Garry Duncan
October 1, 2018 8:34 pm

How dare you dingy me?

The Exiled Tim
October 1, 2018 8:51 pm

Very quiet

The Exiled Tim
October 1, 2018 8:57 pm

Big Packy
I am thinking about buying a pair of clippers, need heavy duty ones, what do you recommend ? second hand will do as they won’t be getting used that often, only a couple of dugs need clipping.

Reply to  saltires en sevilla
October 1, 2018 9:38 pm

SES, I would say a small percentage maybe but they have pretty much hit their level and those that do attend are hardcore fans . I see a lot of potential to shake up the status quo and if they have the funding which they claim then where to play is the biggest obstacle . If they can source somewhere with good facilities and take a good split of the gates / takings then they could platform . TBH the GAA would probably be hardest hit in terms of talent disappearing to another sport all together . Theres a huge void ,, the clubs in the west are very parochial ,, should one team embrace all and give the fans the stadium to match they will clean up . The kit should be very interesting and I would expect to sell like hotcakes . A yearly friendly with the bigger Hoops in solidarity would be nice no ? Some day out that would be . The family vacation dates would be organised .
Hope alls well
Hail Hail

,big packy
Reply to  The Exiled Tim
October 1, 2018 9:40 pm

the exiled tim, just saw your post quiet on here,what breed are the dogs,hh,

The Exiled Tim
Reply to  ,big packy
October 1, 2018 9:52 pm

One is a Spanish water dog, the other is a wired haired terrier cross, a very big one tho.

,big packy
Reply to  The Exiled Tim
October 1, 2018 10:12 pm

Hi, this is big packy’s wife. I would recommend a professional clipper as they are more heavy duty. However, it all depends on how much you can afford/want to spend. Andis AGC super 2 speed clipper is nice to use. Cost is approx £145 or you could try Ebay for second hand. Please bare in mind that you will also need to purchase separate blade sizes depending on what length you want to achieve depends on the blade size. 4F will leave the coat longer than a 5F and a 7F will leave the coat shorter than a 5F. Each blade costs approx £35 or again try Ebay. Hope this helps.

The Exiled Tim
Reply to  ,big packy
October 1, 2018 10:21 pm

Thanks Mrs BP
I will have a look see on Ebay, didn’t know about buying the blades on their own, very helpful.
We have been using scissors for years now and every time I say I am gonna buy a set of clippers, the blisters today were the last straw, maybes if they were sharp it would help right enough 🙂
Take care

Margaret McGill
October 2, 2018 12:59 am

Every time I hear the name Belfast Celtic for some reason my mind wanders to Third Lanark, Airdrieonians and Glasgow Rangers. Then I catch myself and think aye milking bigotry to its full extent. cannae beat it! Point proven!

Margaret McGill
October 2, 2018 1:02 am

Where’s Lord Livingston of Parkhead these days?
I miss him.

Margaret McGill
October 2, 2018 1:06 am

I was going to do a retrospective analaysis on the amazing rebirth of the huns. No point.
It confirmed my suspicions that Scots and Celtic supporters are afflicted with the same pathetic character flaw. Scots want the Tories to give them a good rogering up the jacksey. Always have always will.
Something to bitch and whine about.
We’re good people
They’re bad people
I’m gonna needs stitches
Look at the mess
Whose gonna pay?
Awe I guess I will
Aye Thats awe guid and well but it’ll no tak oan here.

Reply to  Margaret McGill
October 2, 2018 1:14 am

Mags, many have wondered where the dough came from. Chelsea fans ? Cold shouldered King and about to collapse remember.

Margaret McGill
October 2, 2018 1:15 am

Ok I suggest only bored positivity between now and January Willo time.

Margaret McGill
Reply to  mahe
October 2, 2018 1:16 am


Reply to  Margaret McGill
October 2, 2018 1:31 am

I can see a real attempt to land a few in Jan tbh. Especially if behind on points. Even happy clappers expect it. At least a striker.

Margaret McGill
Reply to  mahe
October 2, 2018 2:02 am

Only if Rangers beat Celtic on the 29th Dec else nothing.

October 2, 2018 5:29 am

New article posted.

Reply to  Margaret McGill
October 2, 2018 5:33 am


I can’t disagree with much of what you say,even if your terminology wouldn’t necessarily be mine!

We are allowing ourselves to be cheated,to be battered by hammer throwers,to be laughed at by everyone who wishes us harm. And that is one long list,btw.

Someone is going to be seriously injured because of this. And the perpetrator won’t be entirely to blame,there are also those who facilitated it. And I include our board in that.