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Watch: Irish women’s football team apologise for IRA chant

The Ireland women’s team were overheard making the chant after qualifying for the World Cup.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has issued an apology after a video emerged on social media which appeared to show members of its women’s national team singing a pro-IRA song shortly after defeating Scotland to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Ireland’s women qualified for their first-ever World Cup with a hard fought 1-0 victory against Scotland at Hamden Park in Glasgow thanks to a goal from Amber Barrett, the Donegal native who emotionally used her time in the spotlight to pay tribute to the ten people, including a five-year-old child, who died in an accidental explosion in the Donegal village of Creeslough last week.

But afterwards, the moment was overshadowed somewhat by a video showing several players singing “Ooh ah, up the ’RA” – a term sympathetic to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) from a song called ‘Celtic Symphony’ and which was originally written and performed by the band The Wolfe Tones to mark Glasgow Celtic’s 1987 centenary.

The IRA is a name given to various paramilitary organizations which objected to British influence on the island of Ireland – with the most notorious being the Provisional IRA which engaged in terroristic campaigns throughout a period known as ‘The Troubles’ between 1969 and 1998.

“The Football Association of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland women’s national team manager Vera Pauw apologize for any offense caused by a song sung by players in the Ireland dressing room after the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff win over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night,” the FAI statement read.

Dutch coach Pauw added her own disapproval, saying: “We apologize from the bottom of our hearts to anyone who has been offended by the content of the post-match celebrations after we had just qualified for the World Cup.

“We will review this with the players and remind them of their responsibilities in this regard. I have spoken with players this morning and we are sorry collectively for any hurt caused, there can be no excuse for that.”

Irish player Aine O’Gorman, who has 111 caps for her national team, said that it was an unfortunate moment which occurred while the players were celebrating their win.

“We sang 100 songs last night and that was the one that went out,” she said. “We would just like to apologize to anyone who was offended.”

The offending phrase has prompted several apologies from players of various sports in recent years, perhaps most notably current England international midfielder Declan Rice – who has three caps for the Irish senior men’s team – after a years-old social media post of him posting ‘Up the ’RA’ was highlighted prior to his England debut in 2019.

“I am aware that a poorly-expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been circulated on social media,” Rice said at the time.

“I recognize now that my attempt to show support for my teammates at the time could be negatively interpreted.

“While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologize for any offense caused.”

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Source:RT News

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