Celtic and the Irish Immigrants by Raymond and Bryan

Divided City is a book based on the culture of the Glasgow rivalry: the Celtic side and the Rangers side. Our inspiration to write this blog came from this touching and heart-pumping book. Our blog is based on the creation of Celtic F.C and  we chose this topic because it was humbling to know that Celtic F.C, one of the best clubs in the SPL, started from poor Irish immigrants…

The Irish immigrants that moved to Glasgow were really poor. They had to move because of the disastrous Irish Potato Famine. One of those immigrants was the founding father of Celtic F.C, Brother Walfrid. Brother Walfrid studied teaching at school. He joined the Marist Brothers group and moved to Scotland. He taught at St. Mary’s School and Sacred Heart School. He was also one of the founders of St. Joseph’s College, Dumfries before forming Celtic F.C.

Brother Walfrid moved from Sligo (a county in Ireland) to the East End of Glasgow. He saw that the Irish community were living in conditions only a tiny bit better than in Ireland. In Ireland everyone’s income came through agriculture. When the potato famine occurred, everyone was starving and child mortality rates were very high so that is why he wanted to help them. He came to Scotland trying to find a way to help his dying people.

Brother Walfrid created Celtic F.C to help the poor. He used Celtic F.C. to make money by winning competitions  to donate to his charity, ‘The Poor Children’s Dinner Table’. Irish immigrants were discriminated against because they were Catholic. Celtic F.C. helped all people that were discriminated against.

Brother Walfrid’s  charity also helped the unemployed, orphans and people in extreme poverty to survive and that tradition still remains today.

Brother Walfrid statue by Lynn M Reid [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

Brother Walfrid statue by Lynn M Reid [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

Brother Walfrid first established Celtic F.C. in St Mary’s Church Hall (it is situated at Abercromby Street in the Calton area of Glasgow) in 1887.

The first game that Celtic played was against Rangers in 1888. The final score was 5-2 to Celtic! In 1893, Celtic won their first Scottish Championship under the leadership of Brother Walfrid. it was their first league title and there were many more to come.

Celtic F.C., who started from nothing and helped Irish immigrants get a step up in life, have become one of the best teams in the SPFL and arguably  one of the best teams in the world. They have won so many trophies: their best achievement so far was winning the Champions League (or the European Cup as it was known then) in 1967. 

Links:

The Celtic Wikihttp://www.thecelticwiki.com/  – 20/11/2015

Celticfc.net –   http://www.celticfc.net/mainindex – 13/11/2015

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