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Indy? It’s in our DNA

’When the next referendum takes place, Ireland and Europe won’t be taking a neutral line’ - Feargal Dalton

IN the latest iScot Question and Answer feature, DAVE BOWMAN turns the spotlight on Glasgow City SNP councillor and proud Irishman FEARGAL DALTON and asks about his previous career in the Royal Navy and why he requested a move to the Trident nuclear submarine base at Faslane.

Feargal - who is married to SNP MP Carol Monaghan - also talks about Ireland’s huge contribution to Scottish society and politics and expresses the hope that Glasgow might soon be able to celebrate its Irish links by staging a family-friendly cross-community St Patrick’s Parade.

DAVE BOWMAN: I believe you were born in County Monaghan, but raised in Dublin and also lived and worked in Belfast and Bristol. So why and when did you decide to move to Glasgow?

FEARGAL DALTON: I graduated from University College Dublin with a degree in Electronic Engineering in 1993 and moved to England to take up a commission in the Royal Navy. My rough plan was to complete my eight-year commission and then maybe move on to Germany or wherever else took my fancy.

I first visited Scotland in June 1994 as part of a training exercise with the Royal Marines in the mountains around Glencoe and Ballachulish. Even though I had learned about Scottish Gàidhlig at school I was still amazed when I saw all the place names on the map, how similar Gàidhlig was to Gaeilge (Irish) and how strong the cultural links are between Scotland and Ireland.

Shortly after that I had two weeks in the simulators at Faslane and spent the intervening weekend in Glasgow. I was struck by the raw urban friendliness of Glaswegians; it reminded me of my fellow Dublin northsiders. I went back to England enriched by the experience of meeting my fellow Celts/Gaels. When I had to decide between Devonport and Faslane based submarines, Faslane won easily and I was posted there in 1996.

I spent my first year living on the base in Faslane, saved for the deposit on a flat and bought said flat in Glasgow in 1997. My plan to complete my eight-year commission was scuppered by the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in submarines and was having a ball living in Glasgow when on leave. I ended up on a 16- year commission and in anticipation of my termination date in 2010 I bought a flat in Belfast in 2005.

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About iScot Magazine

iScot Magazine March 2017 116 quality pages from THE ONLY TRULY INDEPENDENT PRO SCOTTISH MAGAZINE PUBLISHER HQ'd IN SCOTLAND. "The one with the Up Helly Aa front cover" Featuring the best writers in Scotland today Robbie Dinwoodie, Tom Morton, Derek Bateman, Wee Ginger Dug, Jennifer Harper, Grousebeater, Major Bloodnok, Zoe Weir, Vivien Martin, Dave Bowman, Mary Edward, David McVey, Alyn Smith MEP, Peter A Bell, Dr Steve McCabe, Dr Jamie Reid Baxter, Delia Forrest, Ann MacKinnon, Indy Lawyer, Fiona Nicholson and Jason Michael McCann