Controversy Over 'Up The Ra' A...


Controversy Over 'Up The Ra' An Attempt To Erase Irish History - Wolfe Tones

Ellen Butler
Ellen Butler

04:40 3 Jan 2023

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Leinster Rugby have apologised for playing Celtic Symphony at the RDS - a song that some believe glorifies the Provisional IRA.

The man behind the rebel song Celtic Symphony says a recent string of sports-related controversies related to people singing the song feels like an attempt to erase Irish history.

Dublin songwriter and member of the Wolfe Tones Brian Warfield says he made no reference to the Provisional IRA, when he wrote the lyrics 'Up the Ra'.

Leinster Rugby is the latest side to be tied up in the controversy after the song was played at the RDS, following their match last Sunday night.

The Republic of Ireland women's team previously apologised for singing the chant in their dressing room, after qualifying for the World Cup last October.

The FAI was also fined €20,000 by UEFA, for violating "the basic rules of decent conduct".

Brian Warfield says it's been blown out of proportion and people are jumping to conclusions about the meaning of the lyrics;

"I think they want to erase the IRA from our history books. It is the foundation of our state, people like Michael Collins. That's the people that we're supporting. (sic)

"We never said at any stage that it was going to be about the Provisional IRA. In fact, it could be about the Egyptian sun god, Ra... I never said what it was, and I'm the writer!"

The song was released in 1989, to mark the 100th anniversary of Celtic Football Club in Glasgow, a club with a strong Irish republican background.

However, Mr. Warfield says Irish people are entitled to honour those who defended Ireland from British occupiers, stating the song "refers to all the IRA".

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