For the four proud provinces of Ireland

21 March 2006

Personal opinions are strange things. The way I view something can differ wildly from another perspective. I’m all about the seeing both sides, but sometimes you just want to shout at people to stop being such fucktards and tools. Sometimes.

Today, in the Times there are two letters bemoaning the fact that Amhrá¡n na bhFiann wasn’t played in Twickenham. That the IRFU are sullying our national anthem by playing Ireland’s Call at away matches.

But the IRFU is one of the few all-Ireland bodies on this island. Cross-community initiatives and all that malarky. Why should unionists and loyalists be represented by the anthem of another country? Because whatever you may want, the fact of the matter is that the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are two separate entities[1]

Of course, this does then raise the point, well why don’t NI have their own rugby team, and how can we unite two states together to form one national team. But thats the problem with real life. It isn’t all straight lines and easy answers.

“Madam, – Will the IRFU have the decency to play our national anthem in Croke Park?
[subs req’d]

Amhrá¡n na bhFiann will be played in Croke Park, because, if the rugby team do play there next year it will be their home stadium, and they always play both Amhrá¡n na bhFiann and Ireland’s Call at home matches.

In a few days of great celebration here in the UK for Ireland, I had to suffer the indignity once again of hearing an announcement on Friday evening at Kingsholm at the A rugby international and on Saturday at Twickenham that a cheerleaders’ song called Ireland’s Call is my national anthem.
[sub req’d]

Is it really an indignity? and an insult? Really?
Ireland’s Call is not the Irish national anthem, I’ll agree with you there. But it is the anthem the Irish rugby team use. I would prefer is both the anthem and Ireland’s Call were played, but then again I’m not a Northern Irish unionist who wants no part of the republic, am I?

I doubt the Scots complain when we refer to Flower of Scotland as their anthem, when it isn’t, not officially.


  1. – and no discussion of the politics here right, I’m not interested at the moment

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14 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    Oh thank GOD you said that thing in the footnotes about not discussing politics. I was starting to sweat. Although, because I can, I'll choose YOUR side, okay? Whatever it is… =o)

  2. anne says:

    Some people will always write to papers because it's their only shot at their fabled fifteen minutes, and if everybody else is having those, well then, why shouldn't they?! Or… you know… something.

  3. Fence says:

    Kelly, of course you chose my side. It is the right one :) And I couldn't have sports and irish politics in the one post, now could I?

    Anne, dont they know they should get a blog. then we could leave comments responding to their silliness

  4. Alan says:

    Actually, some of the Scots do complain. My Dad is one of them. He vehemently refuses to accept Flower of Scotland, and insists the Scots Wha Hae is the only true anthem. But that can't be political, because both songs are about the Battle of Bannockburn and what complete shits the English are, after all.

  5. Kelly says:

    Sports AND politics in one post would put me in a coma, so thank you.

    <spoiler> I will send you weapons. Just have your guy call my guy.</spoiler>

  6. I think it's a simple issue – Amhran na bhFiann shouldn't be played. I think the real problem is that Ireland's Call is just a big stinking pile of crap.

  7. Fence says:

    Really Alan? I think that Flower of Scotland is probably the nicest anthem out there.

    kelly, I'll have my guy call yours, we'll get it sorted.

    UI, I quite like Ireland's Call. Think it sounds great when there are a huge group of people singing along, but it isn't the easiest song to sing.

  8. JL Pagano says:

    Maybe I'm wrong here, but I think Ireland's Call is the only song played at ANY away rugby stadium, and the only time we hear the two played is at a home match. If this is true, then those Times readers seem to be just looking for another excuse to gripe at the English, which is a sport in itself in this country. For me, while Ireland's Call may not be the most tuneful ditty ever penned, it's what it represents that matters to me more; a respect to both traditions on the island, which is what the team is actually playing for anyway.

    Do we really want to subject away fans to both songs or do we just want to get on with the sporting contest?

  9. Fence says:

    Yup JL, tá tú ceart (just cause it isn't Irish week doesn't mean I won't through in the odd bit of irish).

    The two are played at home matches, Amhrán na bhFiann because it is the anthem of the host country, Ireland's Call because it is the IRFU's anthem, and then the opposition's anthem.

    "it’s what it represents that matters to me more; a respect to both traditions on the island"

    But I've no problem with subjecting away fans to both songs, after all we watch the hakas of NZ, Samoa etc, as well as listen to their anthems.

    But, if we were to ask for Amhrán na bhFiann to be played at away matches then we'd also have to have the British Anthem played, because some of the players are from NI, and that is their anthem. So that'd make another song.

    Best to leave it the way it is I think.

  10. NineMoons says:

    Why don't we just invent a sport where everyone turns up to sing their anthems and the best anthem or performance of said anthem would win!

    I like La Marseillaise myself. But that's probably more to do with Casablanca than anything else…

  11. Fence says:

    CAuse it'd turn out like the Eurovision on crackers ;)

  12. denish says:

    throw is not spellled through

  13. Fence says:

    Cheers denish. Wanna go through the rest of the archives and pick up on all my other typos. You'd have enough to stock a dictionary. But feel free to amuse yourself :)