The Heartlands

Sometimes I need a top up.

Residing in central California through choice, it’s easy to forget the size and scope of the club we all love to some degree or other.

The supporters club I visit is a few hours drive northeast, so aside from the nostalgic mancave, there’s no visible signs of Glasgow Celtic in my day to day life.

I’ve honestly gone years without meeting another Tim bedecked in the glorious hoops.

And that’s why it’s so heartwarming and refreshing to find myself back in the heartlands with visible support here, there, and everywhere.

Minutes into ‘the west’ came the first glance of the green and white, some random proudly strutting along in full ignorance of the small smile his attire had brought to this man.

Within hours I found myself indulged in an depth family discussion regarding the team’s affairs, plus travelling over in general. The impressive Ange was lauded.

Upon my first visit to the local shopping centre, a glance at the local sporting goods giants reveals two sets of hoops on display, similar yet each distinct. 

The new Belfast Celtic entity has somehow gained prominent display space alongside the familiar Hoops, both vying for your attention and your hard earned.

Come Friday past, enroute to the usual haunt, I noticed a plaque on a wall celebrating a Belfast Celtic legend, and briefly pondered the fact ‘we’ had lost our own ‘something special’.

I console myself with the idea the extra hopes and dreams placed upon it’s Glasgow counterpart helped propel that club to the games pinnacle once.

Having settled down amongst quality company my eyes are reassuringly drawn to the club’s mini shrine all night long. It’s simple, a green Celtic cross with a pair of rosary beads hanging from it’s peak, with gold writing proclaiming ‘Glasgow Celtic, you’ll never walk alone’, something we’ve all realized by now.

This weekend that shrine meets some real Tims.

More real Tims, I should say. Old Charlie, with more fingers than teeth remaining, and knowing my late father’s sporting allegiance, correctly assumes I’ve followed in his footsteps and soon begins the history lessons that are so very priceless, tales worthy of being listened to before their teller departs once and for all.

Judging by the twinkle in his eyes, that’ll be a wee while yet.

“Been travelling over since I was 16, until my health could no longer allow in my 70’s” he proudly informs me. 

“Jocks my manager, that’s the man for me”  and its duly noted. These men are hard men who’ve witnessed the harsh edge of life more often than not, having come through hard times together. They are not prone to handing out anything. To earn their admiration and respect is truly something, it’s actually a rarity all can unite behind a single man. 

Jock won the European Cup yes, but also the hearts and minds of the common people. I’m not sure which is more important.

I inform old Charlie great company shall soon arrive, there shall be willing ears galore for his memories, which puts a spring in his step. Come Saturday, many shall realize he’s a friend they just hadn’t met yet.

Woden’s day found me enroute to the picturesque Kilkeel, with a warning to leave the colours behind as it’s a mixed town. The Jubilee bunting confirms the tipoff was well warranted but I’m soon giggling. Under that bunting, hiding nothing, sits a Tim in a crisp top, it’s green and white shining like a beacon.

Unrepentant and unconcerned, the chap waits for someone, unaware he’s made me laugh, his confidence the sign of a growing wind of change in the north now the once oppressed minority has become the more educated and ambitious majority.

Thirty or forty years ago that top could have cost the man his life, but not today.

Nowadays its not bravado or provocation, it’s simple pride that drives him to display the shirt.

That and the fact it’s beautiful of course.

I type this days before some of us meet again at long last, and though there shall be one obvious absence, we shall raise a glass to him, I like to think he will be there in spirit. 

Enjoying good company is priceless,,much like an electric car I shall plug in and fill up my tank, my Celtic gas tank.

In the heartlands, amongst other folk of the heartlands, one can easily see the bond between team and supporter, behold the size and scope of the club, and its impact on many lives. Glasgow Celtic remains a giant in many aspects, Walfrids vision grew wings and soared, once to the pinnacle manned by men only from the heartlands.

It’s spawned the finest team ever, alongside world class supporters to cheer them on. Some call the heartlands home, others like myself have moved on, but one things for sure.

It truly is a special place.

By Mahe

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Superb article Mahe 👏 👍


Aye- brilliant Mahe

Top form!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone.



Fan your comment last night

“ Scotland are purely reactionary.
Unfortunately a mile late in reaction.”

The ponderous reaction/action was noted and your comment struck a major chord (probably minor… but ye know what I mean…)

Generally, If any tactical guys are lurking.

What did Ukraine do to completely negate, then rip up scotland?

I suspect it’s more than their players looking like players: taller, leaner, stronger, fitter, faster… and technically proficient.

How are they organised tactically, in a way that made Scots look less than ordinary?

Croatia & Czech did similar last summer, and it’s probably no surprise the only time ‘we’ looked half decent was against England.

Just about every country in Europe is playing a style of football that makes anything in these islands look guff. It seems.


How would Ange’s team have fared against a similar set up?

Thinking next season and CL teams etc., etc..


Magua – thanks for info on book.

I’ll need to get your two books back to you – fascinating read btw. Thanks.

Jobo Baldie

Good morning friends. That’s a wonderful lead article Mahe. I hope you continue to enjoy your stay.


Good morning (from the heartlands) and many thanks for the compliments amigos.
It’s nice to be home, as always.
Really looking forward to the next few days, one week today I shall fly back.

“I’m not a bigot!” Andy Goram
Coulda fooled me.

Hail Hail


FYI Old Charlie was at the Hampden game against Leeds and explained it in glorious detail. Don’t think he made Lisbon but he’ll clearly go to his grave still reminiscing of that Leeds tie. It made a huge impression upon him.
I’ve seen the highlights, was some goal Bremner scored.

Enjoy the holiday everyone.


Ajer to Everton for 25m.
Told ye he would go places lassie.

Hail Hail


Looks like CalMac,without a close season to speak of for the last few years,will,get TWO this year.

The Gombeen Man

Great read Mahe, enjoy the reminder of your time in The Heartlands.


You would never know how much that resonates with me. HAIL HAIL BROTHER.


Cheers junglegerry


Seriously, that gets to the heart and soul of every true celtic man. GBY

The Gombeen Man

I noticed that Dunfermline is to elevated to City status during the celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Dunfermline was the birthplace of Charles I.

In all of this celebratory fervour I doubt any recognition to the fact that it was Ireland that fought valiantly for the Royalist cause and supported Charles I, while he battled with Scotland’s Covenanter Army.

Ultimately it was the Scottish Covenanters that accepted Charles I’s surrender and handed him over to English Parliamentarians and his execution.

The fundamentalist arm of the Covenanters didn’t like Charles’ attempt to introduce a Book of Common Prayer and other changes of an episcopalian flavour.

The Scottish aristocracy weren’t too keen on some of Charles’ other ideas…

The Act of Revocation for example, which among other things rescinded “all grants made of crown property since 1540, … all disposition of ecclesiastical property and the erections of such property into temporal lordships.”

Property that had found it’s way into private hands as a result of the Reformation was under threat.

The Crown was short of funds, especially after the debilitating wars in Ireland.

To set the scene,

The Plantations of Ulster had caused enormous social and economic and hardship among the indigenous population. Things were desperate.

The Catholic Aristocracy throughout Ireland including the English Catholics were concerned about the loss of their lands.

Initially a coup d’état was planned by members of the Catholic aristocracy in Ulster and Dublin. They’d seize power in a bloodless coup and negotiate a deal with the King, to safeguard their interests.

The plan in Dublin was frustrated by an informant.

Instead of being a quick incisive action, things got out of hand. The impoverished Irish seized the opportunity. They went into rebellion. There was no plan. No leadership.

Outrages were happening. Presbyterians and Protestants were being killed in large numbers.

It got very nasty. The Portadown Massacre for example. One hundred settlers were mercilessly killed by Irish rebels at the River Bann.

Scotland and England were in uproar.

Scots refugees were arriving back in Glasgow and Ayrshire in their droves. Bad though it was, the media were  exaggerating the horror.

If the seeds of future centuries of sectarian conflict weren’t already sewn in Scotland. They were now.

A Scottish Covenanter army of some 15,000 was dispatched to Ulster to protect settlers and settle scores.

Heavily armed, angry Scots were taking their revenge and saving their kin. The Irish would pay a terrible price.

Decorated soldier Owen Roe O’Neill, was brought home and charged with leading the Irish forces. He observed, “Ulster is not only like a desert but was like hell. If hell could exist on earth.”

Charles I wasn’t Catholic –  but his war against the combined Scottish Covenanter and English Parliamentarian armies, presented an opportunity.

The Irish Catholic Confederation were the defacto government of the Irish Catholic nobles. They controlled much of the country. The Roman Catholic Church and nobility believed that by supporting Charles I, they would gain negotiating advantages and protect their lands.

The Confederation, principally at the instigation of the Earl of Antrim, Randal Mac Donnell decided to send a force of around 1,500 men to Scotland to support Charles in 1644.

Relations between Scotland and Ireland were about to get much worse.

They were desperate and also walking into centuries of bloody unresolved inter- Clan conflict in Scotland.

Three shiploads of men and equipment sailed from Waterford, on a mission that meant almost certain death.

It was led by two men, Alisdair MacColla, born in Colonsay, of MacDonald lineage. Reputedly MacColla was 7 foot in height. He was in Ireland as a result of the long-standing conflict between the Campbell and MacDonald clans.

MacColla’s cousin, Ulsterman Manus O’Cahan led the Irish regiment of professional soldiers, which is fondly remembered as Manus O’Cahan’s Regiment.

These soldiers had seen conflict in Europe and weren’t the usual conscripts that were often pressed into service.

On arrival in Scotland the Irish met with James Graham – better known as Montrose, the legendary Scottish military tactician. Montrose raised the Royal Standard and on the 28th of August 1644, sympathetic Highlanders joined them and they embarked upon a remarkable campaign.

The results of the small force’s efforts have never been fully recognised. They traversed rugged terrain in record times, they fought and defeated forces which were far superior in number and for a time controlled the majority of Scotland.

Mistakes were made, the sacking and looting of Aberdeen, wasn’t only unnecessary but caused a damaging public backlash…

The shooting of a Royalist drummer boy by a Covenanter at a meeting before the battle, seemingly provoking the otherwise controlled leader of the Royalist forces, James Graham.

Irish and Scottish soldiers fought and won the following battles against overwhelming odds.

Tippermuir (1 September 1644),
Aberdeen (13 September 1644),
Inverlochy (2 February 1645),
Auldearn (9 May 1645),
Alford (2 July 1645) and
Kilsyth (16 August 1645)

Graham was elevated to 1st Marquis of Montrose by Charles I. He is rightly lauded in Scottish military folklore.

The combined Irish and Highland forces entered Glasgow without opposition the city paid a ransom of £500 to the Royalist forces to prevent any looting.

Montrose asked that the city hold a meeting of the Scottish Parliament and handed the city back the money.

Without pay and denied the opportunity to loot the city the majority of Scottish born soldiers left the army and returned to the Highlands.

Perhaps rightly they feared that their families were at risk, from the revenge of Covenanters or the Marquis of Argyll.
Winter was also approaching, the harvest had to be secured.

Alisdair MacColla was dispatched to a subdued Ayrshire and the familiar territory of Argyll and the Western Isles to raise more men.

Conflicting reports from the Campbells and MacDonalds surround MacColla’s activities at this time. The Campbells allege barbarity in Argyll.

Montrose left Glasgow and headed for the Scottish borders to raise support. He was accompanied by approximately 500 Irish soldiers of Manus O’Cahan’s Regiment and a number of inexperienced Scottish cavalrymen.

The Irish forces had their families with them (it was safer than the horrors unfolding in Ireland.)

Apparently Montrose wasn’t aware of resounding victories against Charles I’s Royalists, south of the border by Parliamentarians and Scottish Covenanters.

At Philiphaugh, outside of Selkirk on 13th September 1645 a much superior Covenanter force made up of 6,000 cavalry, surprised Montrose.

Montrose fought his way out of the conflict with the majority of the Royalist Cavalry.

The Irish infantry fought gallantly for an hour before being offered quarter by Lieutenant-General David Leslie.

Upon the surrender Presbyterian Ministers at the scene instructed that all the Irish present be killed.

The soldiers were shot and the were wives and children were either slaughtered or taken to a nearby river and drowned.

Manus O’Cahan was taken to Edinburgh and hanged without trial.

The Scottish Parliament directed,

“This House ordains the Irish prisoners taken at and after Philliphaugh in all the prisons of the kingdom, especially in the prisons of Selkirk, Jedburgh, Glasgow, Dumbarton and Perth, to be executed without any assize or process… “

Alisdair MacColla was pursued in Kintyre and returned to Ireland.

The Covenanters led by David Lesley and Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll laid seige to Dunaverty Castle and 200-300 MacDougalls/McDonald’s.

They were promised quarter and surrendered.

Again the terms were broken and practically every man, woman and child was put to the sword.

“Bishop Guthry’s Memoirs it is distinctly said that the garrison had been promised quarter, “But having surrendered their arms the Marquis of Argyll and a bloody preacher, Mr. John Nevoy, prevailed with him to break his word, and so the army was let loose upon them and killed them all without mercy, whereat David Lesley seemed to have some inward check. For while the Marquis and he with Mr. Nevoy were walking over the ankles in blood he turned about and said, Now, Mr. John, have you not once gotten your fill of blood?”

For a very brief period the full extent of the tragedy of Ireland visited Scottish shores.

Scotland has never fully acknowledged her part in sectarian violence at home or in Ulster.

Healing my require the airing of some uncomfortable truths.

The Gombeen Man


Battle of Tippermuir – 400-2000 Scottish Covenanters killed. Light loses on Royalist/Irish side.

Battle of Aberdeen – 520 Scottish Covenanters killed. Light loses on Royalist/Irish side.

Three days of looting followed the battle in the city. Accounts provide numbers of locals killed between 100-160.

Battle of Inverlochy, 1,500 Scottish Covenanters killed. Mainly Campbells. Few Royalist/Irish fatalities.

“On 11 February the Parliament of Scotland found Montrose and 19 of his main followers, including Mac Colla and Graham of Inchbrackie, guilty of high treason in their absence. The following day Argyll himself appeared before Parliament, with his arm in a sling, dismissing the loss as a minor setback. Robert Baillie afterwards wrote that “this disaster did extremely amaze us. I verily think that had Montrose come presently from that battle he should have had no opposition in the Highlands scarce till he had come to Edinburgh. But God in mercy put other thoughts in his heart”. Napier, 1838.

Battle of Auldearn, 1,500 Scottish Covenanters killed. Light losses on Royalist/Irish side.

Battle of Alford, 1,500 Scottish Covenanters killed. Several hundred Royalist/Irish killed.

Battle of Kilsyth, 4,500 Scottish Covenanters killed. Light losses on the Royalist/Irish side.

1) Alisdair MacColla was killed at the The Battle of Knocknanuss, County Cork on 13th November 1647. Apparently MacColla was shot in the head after being taken prisoner.

Memorial to MacColla,

2) Charles I was executed on 30th of January 1649.

3) James Graham / Montrose was executed in Edinburgh on 21st May 1650.

His last words were.

“God have mercy on this afflicted land!”

Reportedly tears were running down the hangman’s face as he pushed him off the scaffold.

Graham’s head was displayed on a spike in Edinburgh for 9 years.

He was given a “befitting funeral” upon The Restoration at Charles II’s expense.

4) Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll was executed in Edinburgh on the 27th of May 1661.

5) Archibald Campbell’s son, the 9th Earl of Argyll was also executed in Edinburgh on the 30th of June 1685.

He had led a rebellion in Argyll in an attempt to despose James II.

Some source material on the Massacre at Dunaverty Castle,


Calmac was the only decent performer last night.

Let’s dispel the nonsense that he has never had a proper break from football- like everyone else he didn’t play any football for 4/5 months two years ago. This nonsense that’s he’s somehow facing burnout is rubbish.



Very good point!

A thing of beauty

Great lead article and it really resonated how glad you are to be home.
As for Ajer, my opinion hasn’t changed. He’s not a centre half for the top level of the game. As for you saying you told me, I remind you that you also told us all we should sign Nicke Kabamba after he’d rag dolled Julienne at Rugby Park………
I am not a tactical genius but it was clear to see that we are playing football from the 80s and other teams are passing and moving through us with ease. Three cart horse centre halves and a RWB that is left footed and raw as mince and you are always going to struggle. That’s before we get to the two centre forwards, neither of whom are goalscorers. Steve Clarke is a manager who would get football stopped. I was so desperate to get rid of Lennon I’d have considered him for Celtic. Thank the lord others, many on this blog, have more sense.


The Gombeen Man, Many years ago I read the 2 books by Nigel Tranter on James Graham the Marquess of Montrose. A very fine man and a hero. Treated disgracefully by Archibald Campbell of Argyll, a hateful person.
I visited St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh to see James Graham’s memorial there, where he is interred. Interestingly there is a memorial to Campbell at the opposite side of the church to James Graham’s. So opposed in life and opposite each other in death.


ATOB,I’d rather have you i/c of Celtic than Lennon! 🙂 (Half joking, fully serious!)

Angel Gabriel

Mahe .

That’s not just a very good article , but a wonderful piece of writing.
Breathe in and soak up your visit home . There’s more good company coming your way. Enjoy. HH


Mahe 👏👏👏💚🍀



Always interesting thanks.

The £500 paid to prevent sacking of Glasgow: recall a story that to this day the Earl ( now Duke) of Atholl is entitled to have the Tollbooth or Tron bell sounded if he enters the city.. (provided he notifies in advance ) might be some other ‘noble’ but Atholl or Maybe Mar ?? Resonates.


“ 5) Archibald Campbell’s son, the 9th Earl of Argyll was also executed in Edinburgh on the 30th of June 1685.”

After he was captured at either Bowling or Erskine – some of his soldiers escaped and made their way towards Howwood in Renfrewshire and were confronted by Opposition troops ( Royalists) from Paisley

This led to the Battle of Muirdykes ( now a farm ) about 3 miles from where I’m sitting now:

“A battle took place between Government forces and Covenanters at Muirdykes on the 18 June 1685, led by the Cochrane family of Johnstone The Iron Age hillfort of Walls Hill lies on Whittliemuir with the Walls Loch lying to the west of it.”

The Covenanters claim to have won that ‘battle’ but it was hardly that and more a skirmish with their leader taken to Edinburgh and hung.



An excellent summary of ex pats’ feelings on returning to the old country. I have experienced similar. As an immigrant you are neither one thing nor the other. You miss home(a home that no longer exists as you knew it) and you are seen as an incomer in your new home.

Like you, while in Newfoundland, there was one other known Celtic supporter and he was a two hour drive away. To summarise that is two Celtic minded people in an area the size of England and Scotland combined.

Under these circumstances, your connection to the club is largely through the Web. Blogs assume greater importance than they should.

Enjoy your trip “home.”



On the subject of Covenanters, I lived in Fenwick prior to emigrating. Loved the place. There is evidence of Covenanters all over that area. Across the road from my house was Bobby’s farm……a crumbling relic of a once prosperous enterprise. I would take my sons for walks in the woods around this farm. One day we came across six headstones forgotten in the woods. From these we could piece together a tragedy. These six had been holding a Covenant service in the woods when they were surprised by soldiers. They were executed on the spot.

Six lives taken and others ruined for what?

As I look out my window, I see two chipmunks fighting over the seed I put out. Three are three dishes plus a feeder…..enough for all to share…..but one b…g…r cannot tolerate anyone else eating! Is it any different in the human race?


St tams

Lovely article, Mahe 👏



Aye thanks – 80’s fitba it seems to me.

The conditioning and tactical knowledge – improved technique

What do they do all day?

We can’t produce 2 strikers given all the fit healthy boys cutting about

Seems to me the guys that select ‘spot’ talent here couldn’t spot a shark swimming in their soup.

Are they being discarded early and lose heart or the path is blocked by dinosaurs?

Remember Auldheid saying it was a numbers game small population and often wondered how we got good players in the past?

On last nite’s evidence there is No end in sight.



Thank you for an enjoyable leader,

Irrespective of a homecoming or a trip to Celtic park your words came from the heart and as such heartland.

From generation to generation Celtic football club is as we know at the heart of many individuals and families.The enjoyment brought,the entertainment and elation and the acceptable disappointments along the way.

Regarding generations explaining to my son how we were systematically cheated in a rigged game down the years to an extent falls on deaf ears as he just loves the Hoops.

Hope you have a fantastic time home and create new and lasting memories.Our team has done and will do in the future,the guarantee is our lives will be enriched thereof,good and bad.


Never went down the history route at school.As it stands I did not have to as all that is prevalent to me you provide and explain.


Scotland play Ukraine at football. Ukraine, a nation at war with a despicable, despotic dictatorship. The prize ? The chance to play football IN a despicable, despotic dictatorship.

International politics is a dirty, murky world. Football itself, governed by UEFA and FIFA, is inherently and openly corrupt. When the two worlds collide, are we all supposed to suspend disbelief ? Just accept this to be the case ? Apparently yes .

The fact Ukraine were playing against Scotland, now the home of football corruption and skullduggery, only adds to the sickening irony….


Quite brilliant…an enjoyable read indeed.


The books are yours to keep. 😀


2 quite brilliant posts. A most informative read.

Hail Hail.


On the Scotland vs Ukraine, another glorious failure, much can be said about our performance. Clearly, the causes of our exit are both strategic and tactical.

On the strategic front, you could summarise them by saying there is a lack of innovation and long term planning. This is laid at the door of those running(or should I say administering the game) in Scotland. There is a pattern of career progression in the governance of the Scottish game, based on years of service rather than merit. Promotions are normally internal so nothing really changes.

Tactically, Scotland was out thought last night. Ukraine were nervous at the start…two very quick bookings…put them on the back foot but we failed to push that advantage home. Our midfield in the first half was non existent….a coaching error. Gilmour was posted missing for most of his time on the park. McGinn, looking jaded, was foolishly told to man mark a defensive midfielder. The crying need was to shackle their creative player, Malinovskyi yet He was allowed the freedom of Hampden. This left Calmac to both provide the creativity and fill defensive gaps….an impossible task.

The back four looked as if they had never seen each other before. The CBs were oil tankers taking hours to change tack. The two FBs were afforded no cover from the midfield and were easily by passed by triangles of Ukranians who, perhaps inspired by their countryfolk, combined to be effective against an opponent. No fault to Hickey and Robertson, who both play at a high level, but they were exposed by a poor formation and coaching.

Up front we have been limited for quite some time….no Dalglish, Law, or even a Chalmers has graced the national side for decades. We must rely on the midfield to supplement the goals tally of our current two strikers. However the coach destroyed any chance of that by his selection and his instructions.

Scotland has a long way to go before they are at the level of Ukraine, and they are, at best, a mid level European team. It is a 15-20 year project to fix the problems using selective best practices from other countries. Currently, the governance of our game is not even aware of the gravity of the situation and has not been so for several decades.



Great Article MAHE, enjoy your trip…

The Gombeen Man,

Great info again, it only further frustrates that at primary school our history lessons included everything from Alfred the Great, through 1066 and the Tudors.

Of course Robert the Bruce’s spider was as famous as Alfred’s cakes but still, England was a foreign country at the time.

When a King of Ireland could well be an Ancestor during the time of William the Conquer, or Bonnie Dundee’s Army was billeted in the house where I was born (now Monkland’s Hospital) there is a huge amount of our history that is just unknown to us.

The victors do indeed write the history.

Thank you for casting a light on some real and tangible history, instead of the fairy tales and folklore that passed for history in my day.

Hail Hail

The Gombeen Man

Thanks Jim,

St Giles is somewhere I haven’t been. I’ll head that way on a future trip.

I’ve typed this quickly, apologies for any mistakes.

Anyone wanting to investigate the origins of anti-Irish/Catholic sentiment in Scotland would do well to start with the events of 1664.

Working from there look through the events of the Reformation. Why Scotland rejected Roman Catholicism?

The Catholic Churches response in Scotland. Corruption and scandal in Europe. The frustration with the absolute right of the monarch and a growing sense of unease about how things were done. Old alliances etc. More folk were asking questions.

The printing press’ invention of the mid 1400s. Folk were getting access to more ideas. You’ll see Francis Drake’s name mentioned below, horizons were expanding.

Parliament(s) wanted more power. The Gaelic/Irish peasantry were simply in the way.

If the Gaelic Lord wouldn’t reform he was disposed of. The peasant was seen as not fit for purpose. Lazy, indolent, untrustworthy with an compulsion to violence, especially when drunk. Which was seen as most of the time.

The Lowland Scot to many of these ‘Catholic’ Gaels would of been like something from another planet.

The predecessors of the McDonalds/MacDonnells have been at loggerheads with the Stuarts since the 12th century.

Somerled (Somairle mac Gilla Brigte, King of the Isles.) is believed to be the patrilineal ancestor of several Scottish clans.

He was apparently of Norse/Irish extraction.

In the Battle of Renfrew of 1164, Somerled was supported by the Kingdom of Dublin (Vikings and Gaels).

They we’re fighting the Kingdom of Scotland, who were supported by the Norman, Walter fitz-Alan, High Steward of Scotland.

Walter fitz-Alan was the first Stewart/Stuart.

So Irish-Scottish conflict has been around for a long time. Perhaps all the way to the Dál Riada in the 6th century?

(An Irish-Gaelic territory in the west of Scotland/Highlands.)

Scotland and Ireland were being ‘Normanised’. This meant conflict with the old Gaelic/Irish traditions.

The Lord of the Isles and their Irish connections, the MacDonnells of Antrim had been disputing  territory ever since with the Scottish Crown and clans like the Campbells.

The Tudors came to power in England and up the ante in Ireland.

Elizabeth I was in power at the Massacre of Rathlin Island – on 26 July 1575.

On that day 600 (400 women, children and the elderly) MacDonnells were murdered by English/Scottish troops, acting on the instructions of Henry Sidney the Earl of Essex, Francis Drake and John Norreys.

Sorley Boy MacDonnell, (Somhairle Buidhe Mac Domhnaill) was the Chieftain of the MacDonnells at the time (of the Rathlin Island Massacre.) He was a major player in fighting with surrounding clans, the MacQuillans, the O’Neills and the English.

Paradoxically, at varying times the English wanted to remove the troublesome Scots from Ulster. (Cromwell even considered this later).

The MacDonnells were causing the Old English more trouble in Ulster than Scotland, it seems.

These were seafaring people and we’re backward and forward between Antrim and Kintyre for generations. They were often in conflict with the neighbouring clans in Scotland and Ireland.

The MacDonnells initially married into the established Bissett family in the 14th century and thereby acquired land in Antrim.

The Bissets were Anglo-Norman, arriving in Antrim via Scotland.

“John Bisset, destroyer of churches and of Gaidhil, perished by the sudden death.”

Annals of Ulster 1257.

That means the Bissets had been destroying Gaelic Christian churches since 1257.

Incidentally Rathlin Island is apparently where Robert the Bruce hid from the English in 1306. It’s where he had that moment with the spider.

The Marquis of Antrim, Randal Mac Donnell was Sorley Boys’ grandson. He helped orchestrate the Irish attack on Scotland the Covenanters and Campbells in 1664.

That title still exists and can be traced back to Sorley Boy MacDonnell. Ultimately, these ruffians were to some extent absorbed in the British aristocracy.

It was a slow business. It took about 600 years.

James I, a Stuart and son of Mary Queen of Scots brought the long running conflicts with the Gael to new heights with the Plantations of Ulster.

The Gaelic Earls had gone. Next step = remove the lazy Gaelic peasantry.

That led to the Rising of 1641…An estimated toll of between 400,000 and 600,000 lives in Ireland.

War, famine and the bubonic plague.

To Manus O’Cahan and Alisdair MacColla and the Irish expedition to Scotland.

These Gaels were often of Viking/Gaelic origin. On Alisdair MacColla’s memorial in Cork, it’s noted that he was buried under the Nordic Right.

So essentially you have a religious conflict, national conflict, historical feuds over territory, the Divine Right of Kings, Parliamentary democracy all erupting at the same time.

Essentially all boiling down to money, wealth and power and manifesting as the Irish/Gaelic problem.

The Gael/Irish has always been viewed as a second class human being.

That’s perhaps why Celtic’s success galls so much.

(Gall is the Gaelic for foreigner.)

The following is just for interest.

I haven’t checked out the lineage. From a brief read the editor has been busy with those scissors…


Rebus @ 3:03 pm,

Good analysis of the game last night.

I found Scotland’s performance most peculiar, I read somewhere on social media Scotland threw the game, there is certainly an argument that says they didn’t seem to want to win it.

I’m not sure what Aaron Hikey has done in Italy that would cause a Manager of Steve Clarke’ s experience, to risk a rookie in such an important match where experience was the name of the game.

Hope the young man develops into a fine wing back but his inclusion when SC had Stephen O’Donnell, his go to man, available or later not to hook him, obviously out of his depth, for Ralston, whose physicality and crossing ability would have been a Godsend last night and he never stops…

When the game was lost he brought on skill and experience and changed the game.

All very odd..

Hail Hail

The Gombeen Man


Thanks. You are probably better off watching those chipmunks.

Heavy stuff, I know.

I’m hoping that folk will pick up on a couple of bits and pieces.

I’ll look for something lighter. That’s more difficult than you’d think living in Ireland.


Thanks, I’ll check out your observations and come back.


That Rathlin Island spider has made a comeback.
More comebacks than Frank Sinatra.

Did they mention the massacre and Francis Drake’s involvement?

Maybe you were ‘running a message at the time?’

I’ve not forgotten your post from the weekend.


Thanks Danny. You’re reply is much appreciated. There’s plenty of really positive things in Scotland too.

Looking at this stuff gives me loads of ideas about places to go and an appreciation of the bigger picture.


Thanks. You were missed on here…Good to see you back…

My boy is back home for a couple days.

He was on a flight out of Glasgow to Dublin the other day and low and behold…

There was a guy with a Sevco top onboard.


The poor guy got up to go to the toilet during the flight…

He was met by a chorus of…

“That toilet’s no for drinking mate.”

I think even he laughed.

Till later.



Excellent article 👏👏👏👏

Hope you have a great time at “Home”.



Ukraine did not really do anything to negate Scotlands tactics or more realistically the lack of them.
They simply played their game confident it was enough to win.
Clarke is a negative thinking coach as his team selections clearly show.
I mentioned last night Ukraine always formed a triangle or square near man in possession always giving him the choice of at least one or two clear passing lanes.
There was either no recognition of this from Scottish coaches and our players were often left wrong side due to attempting to late to close down miles late.
It’s like boxing a true exponent of counterpunching is not purely defensive they use that strategy to lure you in then strike decisively .
If you are merely reacting and fending off blows eventually you get punished.
Clarke constantly puts out teams with no creativity in the hope of stifling opponent and scoring a goal via set plays.
Our open play has no focus, threat or shape.
Ukraine had a plan with or without ball.
Scotland approached the game with a negative mindset hoping to pinch a result.
Even after McGregor scored he was kept in a deep lying role while the defensive mindset of McTominay played higher up offering no threat.
Robertson who is very good for Liverpool even against quality international class opponents often looks lost in his Scotland role as does most of our players.
Also looking at mssm ratings last night where Adams had same rating as McGregor also shows the difficulty in being Scotland’s coach as they have an agenda so picking certain players keeps them onboard and probably helps to retain job.
Strachan demonstrated it perfectly by avoiding Celtic players despite them being better options and finally changed it which nearly saw him triumph.
The knives were out by mssm not for failure but for picking too many Timmies and the inevitable dismissal came.


Jota to start next season with 10 game ban after retrospective action following this foul.


Looking forward to meeting up with you again over the weekend S.


JIM / MAGUA, a true story as its royal bank holidays, 1977 think it was lizzies silver jubillee or something, was living in liverpool at the time, her convoy of cars were due to come close to my lodgings in old swan, then she was going on to knotty ash which was about a mile away, yes there is a place called knotty ash🤩 driven thru it, walked thru it hundreds of times, but never seen any diddymen 🤩 my landlady asked me to take her young son to see the queen which I did thru gritted teeth🤩anyway the big black daimler with the flags on it is just about to pass, when I saw lizzie mouthing something to phil,thought she said what time is it phil I just went across to the window of the car and put my fingers up its 2 – clock your majesty, bliddy hell all hell broke loose the special branch merseyside police scotland yard ,I was handcuffed FFS it was only when I explained the situation they let me go, footnote ,never ever will i tell lizzie the time again🤩 another true story,


Anonymous, LOL 🙂
Went to the chemists today for my repeat prescriptions. CLOSED today & tomorrow for the bank holidays in honour of lizzie! I never heard the likes of it! A pharmacy shut for 2 days. 🙁

big packy

JIM a bliddy disgrace,,another true story

bada bing1

G Mak starts for Greece in Belfast…🤞,Starfelt and Abada start in their games as well

Big Packy

You naughty bhoy. 😀

Hail Hail.


Fan @ 4:09 pm,

Interesting analysis as always but the thing I can’t get passed and you allude to it, is this; like him or not, Steve Clarke’s teams are hard to beat – you can’t say that of yesterday’s lot.

If it wasn’t for Craig in goals it could have been five nil at half time. He then changed Dykes for Christie which was odd, now Dykes was on a card and I’m sure the last thing SC wanted was to go down to ten men, it already looked like they had a couple extra players on the pitch.

Yet it was hardly like for like – if it was a tactical change it was an odd one – yet, if it was, it was decisive, so why not take off Gilmore & /or Hickey who looked out of their depths.

He’s had lots of time to think about this game and it looks like his game plan, was cobbled together on a fag packet before kick off.

The only thing I can think off is that Nathan Patterson was key to his plan and when he cried off, rather than change the plan they got the back up left back to play right back as a “Best fit” that just didn’t work.

Still head scratching.

Good luck to G-Mac tonight, could have done with him.

Hail Hail

A thing of beauty

Great insight into the game last night, encompasses a lot of what others have been saying. One of the things I would definitely question was the fitness of the players. I think a few (most) have had far too much down time and have been unprofessional. I accept that Ukraine’s coaching and technical ability meant they always had options and we were chasing shadows but the pressing and ability to do it consistently was lacking.

big packy

HI MAGUA ,didnt know you had not been well ,hope you are ok now buddy.👍

Big Packy

Cheers pal. 😀

Hail Hail.


Get well soon Magua!

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