Kevin Myers: Ronan O'Gara's a real lout for not giving the Queen some respect

It's simple. Ronan O'Gara is a lout.

Either he kept his hands in his pockets when he met the Queen because he was unaware that no gentlemen ever keeps his hands in his pockets when he is meeting anyone — whether tinker, tart or toff — which means that he is a lout. Or that he went up to Belfast, freely and of his own accord, and very deliberately kept his hands in his pockets in her presence, in order to establish some political point. Which also means that he is a lout.



And those bigoted midgets who have applauded him for his bad manners have merely shown that they are louts also.



Some things are important. You do not insult the flag of another country, and you do not show disrespect for its head of state.



The English captain Martin Johnson showed such disrespect to the Irish President at Lansdowne Road by refusing to stand closer to the presidential red carpet, thereby making her walk over to him to shake his hand. Whether he did so accidentally or deliberately is irrelevant. He should have been publicly rebuked by the English Rugby Union and forced to apologise. He wasn't and he didn't. He is a lout also.



What he did was a serious breach of international protocol. But this should not have set a standard of Anglo-Hibernian bad manners to which Ronan O'Gara then uniquely adhered. (After all, no other Irish player felt the need to behave like him.)



Which means, if intentional, he went 300 miles to insult the sovereign of a friendly power. How heroic.



Which brings us to the tiresome issue, yet again, of Ireland and the British monarchy. Frankly, I am bored out of my skull with this pathetic, infantile obsession about Ireland not being British and therefore you don't invite the Queen (yes, that's deliberate) to the country.



Only nationalist dwarves accept that argument. If she can visit Germany, whose cities were laid waste in her lifetime, with tens of thousands of civilians being slaughtered in their homes by an air force whose commander in chief was her father, then she can surely visit Ireland.



This issue has all the hallmarks of a very stupid family row. We know that the vast majority of Irish people use the term 'the Queen' when describing the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Even Seamus Heaney wrote that in his family they never raised a glass to toast the Queen: yes, his capital letter.



The largest immigrant group in Ireland is British. For decades, the largest immigrant group in Britain was Irish. The laws of Ireland are based on English common law, and Irish barristers wear black in mourning for Queen Anne (died 1714). I could go on. So could you. This is because we all know the fundamental truths of this issue.



The culmination of next's season rugby championship will also see the 70th anniversary of the commissioning of Michael Floud Blaney, a Catholic and nationalist from Newry, and a graduate of UCD, into the Royal Engineers. He was rushed through a mine-defusing course, becoming one of the first of the new generation of bomb-disposals officers.



In September 1940, an unexploded German bomb in East London was paralysing traffic and preventing thousands of workers from doing vital war-duties.



Captain Blaney volunteered to defuse the bomb, and working alone — a method he pioneered — he succeeded.



A month later, a new type of bomb was found in London. Fitted with two very dangerous time fuses, its sole purpose was to kill bomb-disposals officers like him. However, it was causing major economic dislocation and had to be tackled.



Again he volunteered to defuse it alone. He was successful. Then, a fortnight before Christmas, just after his 30th birthday, Captain Blaney was called to deal with another bomb.



It had lain unexploded for several days, and was causing huge economic disruption. As usual he crawled unaccompanied into the crater, and while he worked on it the bomb exploded.



King George VI — the father of the woman in whose company Ronan O'Gara thought it appropriate to keep his hands in his pockets — awarded Captain Michael Floud Blaney a posthumous George Cross, the highest possible British decoration for a soldier not personally present in the face of the enemy.



As Ronan O'Gara travelled North last week to insult — either intentionally or otherwise — the Queen, he would have passed Newry Old Chapel Graveyard, where the remains of Captain Michael Floud Blaney GC are buried.



How many people now know of this gallant man in the town where he was born, and where he had once been in charge of the roads department?



Not many, I'd guess. Still, it's worth remembering that he used his hands to save life, not insult people.



The ultimate reward of the endeavours of so many Irishmen like him is also known by the name 'freedom', beside which two words such as 'Grand Slam' or 'Ronan O'Gara' do not properly belong.

This story was sourced from the Belfast Telegraph.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album