Much has been said in recent years about the suitability of God Save the Queen remaining the Northern Ireland National Anthem, particularly for sporting events and especially its use in Windsor Park for Northern Ireland matches. Seldom discussed however are the suitability of the militaristic, xenophobic and insular lyrics of Amhrán na bhFiann (The Soldier’s Song) remaining the National Anthem of the Republic of Ireland.
A poll by the Sunday Independant has indeed revealed that a large number of people (16%) think that the incantation is indeed ‘warlike’ and out of date. However it also suggested 70% of citizens are broadly content with the anthem irrespective of its imagery and overtones, although notably (and perhaps very tellingly) the Independant remarks of those polled ” a large number of them wished they knew the words better”.
Irelands Call was favoured by 7% and a further 7% favoured The Fields of Athenry, observed as being ‘seen as a football hooligan/IRA-type anthem.’
Unashamed Ulster Loyalist. Marching band activist and band member for over 25 years. Contributor for the Belfast Newsletter and currently studying History at QUB.