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Irish Knighthoods

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  • 06-08-2004 12:19pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 19,777 ✭✭✭✭


    It has long been a point of curiosity to me how, in Ireland, there is no adequate means for recognising individuals who have done great service to the State. Pretty much every country has such an honours system, not just monarchies, but also republics and even Communist states. We, on the other hand, have at best rather inadequate honorary doctorates and the ‘Freedom of the City’ - there are no titles of recognition conferred by the State.

    Moreover, knighthoods are practically banned, even the constitution argues that “No title of nobility or of honour may be accepted by any citizen except with the prior approval of the Government” (although it’s arguable that this refers to non-hereditary titles).

    No doubt the Chuckies here will now raise objection to anything that may smack of ‘Englishness’ or ‘Elitism' - such as an honours system - but the fact remains that Ireland is one of the only countries in the World that lacks any such provision. Perhaps they would prefer murals dedicated to those recognised by the State? :rolleyes:

    On the other hand, maybe it's time to grow up?

    Should Ireland have an Honours System, similar to those employed by other European Re 19 votes

    Yes
    0% 0 votes
    No
    52% 10 votes
    Atari Jaguar
    47% 9 votes


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭Illkillya


    Theres freedom of the city, isn't the right to graze your sheep on St.Stephen's Green enough for anyone?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭arcadegame2004


    I am opposed to aristocracy but I am in favour of an Honours system in this country in order to confer due recognition upon those who have achieved great things in the areas of science, peacemaking, and others.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,411 ✭✭✭shotamoose


    What are we missing out on by not having a state honours system? Not much as far as I can see. Most such systems seem to serve to reward people the establishment is fond of for one reason or another.

    I think awards for excellence mean more when they come from your peers or relevant experts, and many professions, trades or artistic pursuits already have awards of this kind. Getting the state involved in judging achievement or excellence across a very wide range of activity seems a bit pointless, as where do you draw the line?

    I can kind of see a case for a very small number of awards for people who have, I dunno, perfected cold fusion or saved fifteen busloads of children from driving into a lake, but they should be genuinely exceptional or else it just doesn't mean anything.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,295 ✭✭✭ionapaul


    As long as it was fairly selective (no sport star- or celebrity-du-jour) I would be in favour. Giving anyone any sort of title would be going much too far - if you want a title become a doctor or a judge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,242 ✭✭✭aodh_rua


    As well as the various freedom of the city titles, the only other thing we have are honourary degrees. I'd certainly be in favour of some state honours system. There are lots of people who deserve to be recognised by society for their contribution to it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,001 ✭✭✭✭Flukey


    The way they are abused and "honours for the boys" attitude in other countries is one of the problems. Even some of the honorary degrees are a bit of a joke. teh best thing, which we have, is for relevant groups to honour their own people, like sportspeople being honoured by those in or associated with their own sport or sport in general. All sorts of organisations honour their own in this way. I have no objection to an national system, but unless some mechanism can be found to properly run an honours system and select those to be honoured, it should not be brought in.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,313 ✭✭✭bus77


    Yeah, Id be in favor of some sort of award for those that make the effort. But I think it should be more than simply recognition. Some sort of "wish" of the awarde should be granted, somthing that would help the recipient in his field or community at large(within reason ofcourse;))


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,243 Mod ✭✭✭✭flogen


    freedom of the city seems to be pretty selective, but honourary degrees have become a joke, handing them out to anyone just for appearing in a bloody tayto ad.

    I wouldnt be opposed to some kind of honour system, although I wouldnt want it to be 'sir/dame' or fake degrees, maybe just a certificate at some presentation, and a charitable donation made in the persons name (in a relevant field perhaps).

    The honour system in the UK has become a bit farcical too, although it is due for reforms... it just seems that people dont care if a scientist gets a knighthood, but they are desperate to get a look at Roger Moore getting one for his services to the fake tan industry.

    (Just incase anyone wonders, I would be opposed to a sir/dame system not because its too 'British', but rather that it seems to me like a pointless addition to a name. Dr. (a real one, not an honourary one :D) means something, and so do BA or whatever you stick on the end of your name... but sir is just there to massage the ego of celebrities the way things are now.)
    I always wished anyone knighted would have to fight in a war involving Britain... that would certainly make them think before they accept.

    flogen


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 42,362 Mod ✭✭✭✭Beruthiel


    well we were a land of kings before the english came, but I believe they became kings, not be blood but by strength. Did they have some sort of honors system back then? I don't know enough to answer that question - anyone know?

    I don't believe we ever had knights as such but we must in our history at some point have had something to recognise an outstanding individual, I'd have no problem with something like that but I would put another name to it rather than knighthood


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,295 ✭✭✭ionapaul


    Fianna Fail could bring in the 'Cute Hoor' award for members who have devoted their life to the party, personal enrichment, and populist politics. Jackie Healy-Ray and Michael Lowry would have to be given this award too, of course :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,007 ✭✭✭Moriarty


    Not bothered one way or the other. I don't see what the big deal is really, everyone and their aunt can seemingly get an OBE in the UK which from my point of view makes it pretty worthless. I mention the UK system as it's the only one I even vaguely know the details of.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,777 ✭✭✭✭The Corinthian


    Flukey wrote:
    The way they are abused and "honours for the boys" attitude in other countries is one of the problems. Even some of the honorary degrees are a bit of a joke. teh best thing, which we have, is for relevant groups to honour their own people, like sportspeople being honoured by those in or associated with their own sport or sport in general. All sorts of organisations honour their own in this way.
    To begin with many ‘relevant groups’ are hardly shining examples of unbiased adjudication. How many honorary degrees have been awarded to industrialists based upon donations alone? How many ‘awards’ are really money-spinning events?

    Secondly there are numerous other groups within Society that are completely unrecognized or represented in this manner. For example, were senior diplomat to go beyond the call of duty, perhaps even risking life and limb, for the State, it’s unlikely to even make the papers, and even if it did, should she just get a pat on the back?

    Indeed, love him or hate him, Bob Geldof was ultimately responsible for raising a significant amount of money for the Third World through Live Aid in the mid 80’s. And as he is an Irish citizen, did we recognize this? No, to our shame, we left it to the British to do.
    flogen wrote:
    I wouldnt be opposed to some kind of honour system, although I wouldnt want it to be 'sir/dame' or fake degrees, maybe just a certificate at some presentation, and a charitable donation made in the persons name (in a relevant field perhaps).
    Oddly enough, only the British (Commonwealth) use the titles sir or dame. Other countries use other titles, generally in their own languages. I’m sure we could stretch the Gaelic lexicon for the occasion...
    The honour system in the UK has become a bit farcical too, although it is due for reforms... it just seems that people dont care if a scientist gets a knighthood, but they are desperate to get a look at Roger Moore getting one for his services to the fake tan industry.
    Perhaps, but that reflects democratic opinion, and that’s the price one pays for such democratic accountability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,001 ✭✭✭✭Flukey


    I didn't say I was against, just that some organisation do have their own systems. Some people aren't covered by anything like that. As long as it was done properly, it would be fine, so that others could be recognised.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Keithl12


    I'm not familiar one the specifics of visiting monarchs, but does that mean if the queen or POTUS came to Ireland they would be, in constitutional terms, be considered equal to a regular Irish citizen? i understand article 40.1 refers to citizens of Ireland but i couldn't find anything about visiting dignitaries. I'm aware that the queen has no passport and must request entrance to a country from its president or other but i was just curious as i cannot find anything in the constitution to clarify this query.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    we already have an honors system...its called appearing on the "Late Late Show" or the dubious recognition of the "RayD'Arcy show"! the All Stars in GAA is good enough


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    I suggest a new award for noble Gaels; The Order of Hippophagy.
    As practiced by our forefathers on the Hill of Tara...
    horse sacrifice was common in inauguration ceremonies around the world, and even up until a few centuries ago in Ireland....The horse — sometimes it’s specifically a white mare – was killed, and the meat was cooked and eaten. There’s even a word for that: hippophagy.
    In one infamous account of a ceremony in County Donegal in the 12th century, the king supposedly mated with a white mare, before the animal was slaughtered. But that account was by the notorious Giraldus Cambrensis, a Welsh-Norman chronicler who liked to paint the Irish as heathens.
    (actual mating optional)
    On the other hand that could all be a bit of anti-Gael mud-slinging by those foreign Norman knights.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,828 ✭✭✭5rtytry56


    You are a member of NATRIUM who bought Cleary's in 2015.
    You are held in high esteem by the rest of the 'team' having acted the way you did at this time.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,479 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    recedite wrote: »
    I suggest a new award for noble Gaels; The Order of Hippophagy.
    As practiced by our forefathers on the Hill of Tara...


    (actual mating optional)
    On the other hand that could all be a bit of anti-Gael mud-slinging by those foreign Norman knights.
    5rtytry56 wrote: »
    You are a member of NATRIUM who bought Cleary's in 2015.
    You are held in high esteem by the rest of the 'team' having acted the way you did at this time.

    Mod note:

    Please stick to the topic at hand


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Personally, I think there's a strong argument for having something like the French "Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur" or the German Order of Merit of - "Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" as a means of recognising service to the nation, the state and the country.

    And yes, it should be ranked and divided into classes (culture, military, social, political etc) - that way we could recognise the service of ordinary citizens in a more visible way.

    It'd also be useful to have something to award to non-citizens who make a contribution to the country beyond a pint in the Storehouse or a "certificate of Irishness."


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    Is this a record for the oldest deadest thread revived without a mod noticing?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,813 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    It's cynical and possibly unambitious, but I always thought we had a strangely useful degree of pragmatism in not having an honours system in Ireland. There is an acceptance that even if brought in with the best intentions, it would end up being controversial, abused and awarded to a lot of utterly galling recipients.

    It would become obligatory for politicians, ex politicians, and politicians friends to get it. They'd have been handed out by the fistful to developers and bankers and financiers in the 00s.

    I don't feel we're lacking anything by not giving out honours or recognitions like those in other countries.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    It would become obligatory for politicians, ex politicians, and politicians friends to get it. They'd have been handed out by the fistful to developers and bankers and financiers in the 00s.
    I agree with that.
    We do have Bravery Awards already, mostly for saving other people's lives.
    Its a better system IMO because these are genuine heroes.
    BTW I just noticed from the website that anyone can nominate anyone else they think is worthy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,426 ✭✭✭Neon_Lights


    Instead of OBEs we should have GOB****Es, Great Outstanding Belligerent Superb Highly Irish Tribe Excellencies.


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