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No Fans No Problem Lets Party

3 September 2023

All good things come in 3’s as they say so this weekend couldn’t be any better and today completed my ‘treble’. My only daughter got married on Friday and we were back in sunny Donegal for the nuptials as they head to New York for the honeymoon.

Now it really couldn’t get much better but I suppose topping off a wonderful weekend put a veneer gloss on things when Celtic like PSV midweek beat the ‘Bears’ earlier today.

We watched the game in ‘Sibin Ceoil’ in North Donegal, the heartbeat of Celtic in Ireland, the ancestral roots of our club, John Glass and the first directors, Charlie McEleny the first Irish player, Jimmy McGrory with Donegal connections, big Packie and of course Andrew Kerins just down the road in Sligo.

My first experience of the ‘Blue terror’ was with Linfield in Belfast, cousins of the Glasgow bears and induced with the same disgusting sectarian bigotry. Windsor Park was the most bigoted place on earth according to Danny McGrain, Celtic’s great right back and Captain.

A Protestant, he called it what it was, pathetic. In 1971 I ventured over to my first Celtic v Rangers game, the Cup final replay; 108,000 watched as a young Lou Macari and a Harry Hood penalty put the bears to sleep.

Apres match they attacked us in Mount Florida but we survived and always will. I’ve seen many Glasgow derby’s since with mixed emotions in the 1980’s then the challenging 1990’s prevailed but the noughties brought unparalleled success right through to the present day.

Which brought us to the stage where inflicting another defeat on the bears tastes as sweet as ever. As time moved on I found the sectarian hatred emanating from Govan as archaic and simply pathetic with no place in the 21st century, so much so that I much prefer Champions League games at an atmospheric Paradise much more than listening to a song about a gay guy on a white horse crossing a river at the Boyne in 1690.

FF’s two foreign Kings squabbling about an English throne on Irish soil and these Neanderthals singing about it 300 years later. But when all is said and done it’s still nice to ‘draw blood’ when we face up to them especially at a 100% loyalist den of iniquity, sure there’s nothing like it and my weekend treble is complete. Yep it has been a bad week for the bears.

No Fans, No Problem, Lets Party

Paddy was born in Belfast with Donegal and Tyrone parents. He spent the 70’s in Long Kesh. He has been going to Paradise since the Benfica game in Nov. 1969. He lived in Donegal for 30 years but now lives in Galway. He returned to University at 50 and became a secondary school teacher of history and English.