st. paddy’s day “too english”

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I had a story in today’s paper about complaints by a new sovereignist group, the Réseau de Résistance du Québécois, that Montreal’s St. Patrick’s day parade is too English. The RRQ plans to crash take part in the parade even though organizers say the group is not authorized. RRQ members will be distributing leaflets and waving Quebec and Patriote flags.

Here’s a response from a reader who describes himself as a “bitter Irish man living in Montreal.”

Too English….I agree.
It should be Irish….. it makes me sick when I see a bar by the name of Sir Winston Churchill advertising their events for the celebration.
A good read…. thanks.

Eddie (bitter Irish man living in Montreal)


Filed under Humor, Language, Montreal, Montreal News, My Articles, News, Quebec, Quebec Politics

10 responses to “st. paddy’s day “too english”

  1. Eddie has a good “Point”. Everybody loves the Irish on the 17th of March but then we get backburnered the rest of the year. Look at the Griffintown redevelopment proposal wiping out some of the strongest cultural remains of one of the city’s 4 “founding” groups. Where does it all lead to? The Black Rock ending up in a suburban basement?

  2. lawrock

    don’t worry, I’m sure this obscure group will never show up for the parade.

    i mean what’s the plan, don’t they know that a very strong proportion of the population have irish roots?

    what’s next?
    let’s burn down all rusty head?

  3. Malarkey

    I have read EVERYTHING about them and what they want to do and what you are reporting is FALSE omg do some research before writing stuff like that, all you are doing is dividing two culture even more.

    Shame on you.

  4. Bart

    They simply want to make the point that the majority of Irish descendants in Quebec are french (40% of Québécois have Irish in their family tree) and that it is awkward that the parade is practically all english.

    We know from the fact of the disapearance of Irish language (Gaelic) that the Irish people have been forcefully assimilated by the British, but in Québec this process was mutual, friendly, and in french. Yet, there is no trace of this reality in the parade !

    The parade gives the impression of a celebration of the assimilation of the Irish by the British !

    Like going back before Irland independance !

    Surely there must be some Irish pride still alive amongst the Irish anglophones !?

  5. David

    Dans le mille, mon Bart. On n’aime tellement pas la chicane ici qu’on est prêt à célébrer nos assimilateurs, dans leur langue s’il-vous-plaît.

    C’est à peu près comme si les Corses ou les Basques faisaient une parade pour célébrer la France ou l’Espagne. C’est là qu’on est rendu. Donc qu’on vienne pas se choquer si il y a des vrais Québécois qui essaient de refaire les ponts avec nos frères irlandais, ensemble on partage le même combat contre le bulldozer anglicisant.

    Vive le RRQ !!

  6. I’m not sure what “Malarkey” means when s/he says that what I’m reporting is “false.” I gave the RRQ co-founder a lot of space in the story to explain what they’re up to. And I haven’t gotten any complaint from them about the story. In fact, I get the impression they are enjoying the publicity. They’re getting a lot more press since my story, the first to cover their event. It’s certainly generating discussion about them online. (Examples here and here). And in other news… here’s an email response I got from a reader named Robert who wants to bring some levity to the issue: “Well, being of Irish decent I have to say I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix politics with me fekin Guinness… LOL.”

    Here’s the entire story about the parade:

    St. Patrick’s Day parade too English, says sovereignist group
    The Réseau de Résistance du Québécois say its members will march in the parade to lend a French angle to the event

    Andy Riga, The Gazette
    Published: Tuesday, March 11

    Complaining Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is too English, a new hardline sovereignist group says its members will march during Sunday’s event, distributing leaflets and waving Quebec, Patriote and Irish flags.

    But parade organizers say the Réseau de Résistance du Québécois is not authorized to take part and they will ask police to remove RRQ members if they attempt to take part in the official parade on Ste. Catherine St.

    On its website, the RRQ asks supporters to meet at the beginning of the parade route on Sunday, 30 minutes before the event starts.

    The St. Patrick’s Day parade has traditionally “taken place entirely in English,” RRQ co-founder Patrick Bourgeois told The Gazette. “We want to throw a soupçon of French in there.”

    He said he expects “a few dozen” RRQ supporters to participate. They’ll be “pacifistic” and will not disrupt the parade, he said. “We want Quebec to be present in this parade and we’ll simply parade with Quebec, Patriote and Irish flags.”

    He said they will also distribute leaflets commemorating links between Irish and francophone Quebecers, including the involvement of Irish immigrants in the nationalist Patriote movement in the 1830s in Lower Canada, as Quebec was known at the time.

    There are parallels between nationalism in Quebec and in Ireland, he added. “The Irish Catholics fought to be respected, to defend their identity. We Quebec indépendantistes see ourselves in that. We’re taking the time to underline that.”

    The RRQ, an offshoot of the sovereignist newspaper Le Québécois, claims a membership of 500. In January, it staged a protest to support the toughening of Bill 101. The group considers the Parti Québécois soft on sovereignty and language.

    Jolyon Ditton, a spokesperson for the United Irish Societies of Montreal, which organizes the parade, said if RRQ supporters want to march on Sunday, they’ll have to use the sidewalk because they did not apply to participate in the parade.

    “They won’t be marching in the parade and if they try to get on the street, or disrupt the parade in any way, or try to march in the parade, I’ll have the police remove them,” Ditton said.

    “The parade has always been and always will be non-political. Even when politicians march, we don’t allow any political signs, any political slogans.”

    He denied the parade is exclusively English, noting much of yesterday’s press conference about the event was in French.

    “We have many francophones in the parade and we’d be happy to have more but not with political slogans. It’s just not allowed and it never has been.”

  7. Malarkey

    and you consider that to be crashing the parade ? I’m Irish and I say the more the marier…don’t we live in a french province anyways?

  8. Pierre-Luc Bégin

    Content de constater que plusieurs comprennent que les indépendantistes québécois admirent nos camarades Irlandais catholiques… Tous unis pour la libération nationale!

    Vive le Sinn Féin!

    Vive le RRQ!

  9. When I said “crash,” I was using the word colloquially — as in, to crash a party. … The RRQ says it’s going to march, the organizers say they aren’t authorized, so the RRQ is in effect showing up without an invitation. That’s all I meant. I covered the story and thought it was interesting so I posted it on my personal blog (as I have done with other stories) – that’s it. I’m not taking a position on the issue. Also, I’ve started moderating comments to avoid personal attacks and other offensive material.

  10. Rodney Moore

    The RRQ didn’t show up to protest, but to salute the Irish in their struggle for independence and to preserve their language, which is Gaelic by the way NOT English. The Mouvement Montréal français was there as well, with a sign that read “Nous sommes fiers de nos racines irlandais” we’re proud of our Irish roots.
    I have been to several Saint Patrick’s Day parades in my time, and I have to say this one was by far the most English. Even in London, Irish-English celebrate their Irish language, heritage and culture as much as they indulge in drinking. I thought New York and Boston had the worst displays of Plastic Paddyness, but Montreal(or Muntchreeall as anglos call it) takes the cake. I guarantee you, that 80-90% of the “Irish” in this parade couldn’t name the Taoiseach na Poblacht na hHireann, or tell you who Daniel O’Connell was, or even know what Sinn Féin means. Only in Montreal could St Patrick’s Day, which has a history of being political and sober, supress political dissent and be defined as a celebration of drunkeness and ignorance. There is MORE to being Irish than being intoxicated and singing Oh Danny Boy. The Irish diaspora has a proud tradition of fighting imperialism and tyranny from Chile, under Bernardo O’Higgins, to the San Patricios of Mexico, to John F Kennedy in the states, to the Irlando-Québécois fighting for Québec’s independence in 1837 all the way till today. Anglicising St Paddy’s Day, is like singing Deutschland Deutschland über Alles on Holocaust remembrance day.

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