There is a classic comedy moment in the vintage TV series Fawlty Towers where Basil Fawtly welcomes German tourists, telling them “we’re all friends now” while warning staff “don’t mention the war”.
Irish soccer fans could do worse than dwell on that as England go into the quarter-finals of the World Cup, with a real chance of reaching the semi-finals.
The ability of many Irish football fans to support an English club like Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs while revelling in the international failures of our nearest neighbour is a curiosity that should be given the red card or, at least, sent to the sidelines.
After all, the popularity of the Premier League in Ireland means that English players are better known to us than most of their international counterparts.
Indeed, they tend to be better known than many of our homegrown players.
We may not be quite ready to shout for England but let’s show we are good friends now and at least whisper support.
More importantly, don’t mention the War of Independence!