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Wednesday Feb 14, 2024

Andrew Trimble poses stark question to fellow Irish international Barry Murphy

Former Ireland and Ulster Rugby player Andrew Trimble has always been an interesting character in the scope of an Irish Rugby player.

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The 39-year-old has recently produced a remarkably insightful documentary called “For Ulster and for Ireland”.

Focusing on his cultural identity as an Ulsterman, a Northern Irishman, Trimble discusses the struggles he encountered on understanding who he is and what he represented.

Discussing his reasons for producing the documentary, Trimble said, “People down south would look at me and think, ‘there’s a very obviously Ulster Rugby Christian Protestant.

“It’s obviously way more nuanced than that.

“The last couple of years I’ve been a little bit more vocal about this. It’s my generation and I think there’s a growing middle ground in Northern Ireland.

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“It’s led me to go back and think, ‘right, what is my identity and where did I come from?’

“It’s a really interesting time to look at all of this in Northern Ireland. The continuing fallout from Brexit has re-exposed the old tribal divisions. We used to add religion and national affiliation to the binary political and North-South split.

“I want to know if people still think about identity in this way today.”

Speaking to a wide variety of guests who each offered an interesting opinion on what their identity meant to them, Trimble offered a really well rounded view on the interesting social dynamics that lie within every day life in Northern Ireland.

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Two of those guests were Trimble’s podcast co-host and fellow Irish international rugby player Barry Murphy and Antrim hurling star Neil McManus.

In an interesting snapshot of the two separate mindsets, Trimble went on to explain the significance of Ireland’s 2007 match with England at the home of GAA Croke Park.

“When Lansdowne Road was getting rebuilt, Ireland played England in Croke Park, nearly 90 years after 14 people were killed here by British forces in the War of Independence.

“The GAA had a rule banning foreign games being played in their grounds. They changed it so this game would go ahead. Considering what happened here, that was a momentous decision.”

Adding his views on the occasion Murphy said, “I think we all knew, without anyone saying it, that there had to be respect shown when God Save the Queen was sang and there was and we all played our part.

“And when Amhrán na bhFiann was sang, it was one of the most emotional times I’ve ever seen an anthem being sang.”

From here, Trimble posed an interesting question to Murphy, “How many caps have you got? Four caps. All starts?” To which Murphy shakes his head, and both laugh, “So for your caps, would you be happy for two of those to take place in Belfast, and you have to sing God Save The Queen before them?”

Immediately firing back amongst some laughter, Murphy said, “No way, not a hope in hell!” to which Trimble jokingly said, “I’ll put you down as a maybe.”

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