What have the Scots ever done for us?

Next week when the Scots go to the polls to vote whether to stay or nay, there'll be mixed feelings on this side of the country. We might have watched with pride the exploits of Mel Gibson as William Wallace, roaring on his compatriots (all of whom looked like Brendan Gleeson ) in the battle against the Sassanach in Braveheart; we might have found ourselves running down that street with Ewan McGregor in the opening of Trainspotting; we might have found ourselves singing in the street at 4am to the lyrics of The Proclaimers; we probably roared on Archie Gemmill when he scored that wonder goal against the Dutch in the '78 World Cup, but here in Galway, there is only one thing that we have not yet forgiven the Scots for — and that's the stealing of Digital.

We had lived peacefully with our Celtic (and Rangers ) cousins for centuries, always eying each other up and down with a degree of camaraderie but with an even greater degree of suspicion in a sort of 'you couldn't be up to them' sort of way.

But we got on with it. We helped them chop down our trees; we picked their praties, our priests set up their football clubs; we even pretended to believe them about the Lough Ness Monster in a 'sure ya did, sure ya did' sort of way. They even accommodated us when Ollie Campbell kicked us to the Triple Crown back in the eighties. And seeing so many of these Scots on British TV (that we watched illegally using deflector systems across the west ), we became attuned enough to their accents to be at last fully able to understand what Donegal people were saying.

But all that was blown to bits in 1993, when we were told that the Scots were stealing Digital. Our Digital. The mainstay of our economy. Our best hope in the annual Tops of the Town competition. The only company around with the dosh to spread around on frivolous things like that.

Yes, they were stealing our Digital.

And bringing it off to Ayr. Where? Ayr?

Only those of us who had regularly perused the fourth division of Scottish football for results like East Fife 4 Forfar 5 had ever even heard of Ayr. It was probably a grand place but we didn't know much about it. We didn't know that it was in fact the location for the first Scottish Parliamnt 800 years ago next year, that Cromwell was there and built a huge wall around it. You see. We can’t even blame Cromwell for Digital cos he never came west.

What made the stealing of Digital even worse was that Ayr was actually just across the water from this island of ours. On a clear day from the promenade in Ayr, your eye can stretch itself and see the Northern-most tip of Northern Ireland. However, the only consolation to us was that Ayr never got to win the Tops of the Town competition, so they might have taken our jobs, but they didn't manage to steal our creativity here in the west.

Now it emerged at the time that the only reason Ayr got it was because some large UK Ministry of Defence contract had swung things in the favour of the Scots... but at least that won't happen again if the Scots vote to leave the UK next week.

It will be a momentous vote and one that might embolden the newly independent Scots to be a major player in the battle for foreign direct investment. So no doubt they might come sniffing around our top companies now. So if you see anyone with a clipbaord and a kilt, shout at them, get a Donegal person to act as an interpreter and tell them to feck off back to Ayr or Dunfermline or Arbroath or wherever the hell it is they're planning to bring Boston Scientific or Cisco or SAP to.

An independent Scotland changes so many things — Great films like Gregory's Girl and Trainspotting will no longer be found in the UK Cinema section of the DVD shops. Instead it will be moved into the category of World Cinema.

But the best part of it all, is that for the first time in ages, we have a close neighbour we could invade. And win. No more moral victories, but a real win. Recall all the FCA guys, get the lads from Dun Ui Mhaeliosa and Athlone to head east and let’s get sailing.

We've a chance of wining, cos unlike in Braveheart, Brendan Gleeson would now be on our side. The Brits will take all their nuke submarines from the Scottish ports as the new Scots put all their money into bairns not bombs. We could invade them on a Saturday night, catch them unawares and in the dark of the night, with a few hefty fishing trawlers from Rossaveal and in a Dunkirk-like operation, we could steal back Digital. Now wouldn't that be something. Best of luck, my Scottish friends. Vote early and vote often.


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