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03rd Jan 2023

Wolfe Tones react to Leinster Rugby’s apology for playing Celtic Symphony

Fiona Frawley

an empty rugby stadium at night with floodlights on

‘Why the need to apologise?’

PR wise, it’s been a busy few months for the Wolfe Tones. Obviously as Irish people, the band always hold space in a corner of our minds (we’ve all given it socks on a wedding dancefloor to Celtic Symphony, whether we’re prepared to admit it or not), but they’ve been more at the forefront since that fateful changing room recording during the latter half of 2022.

Back in October, the Irish women’s football team’s World Cup qualifying win was somewhat overshadowed after a video circulated of the team singing “Ooh ah, up the ‘RA” in their changing room after the match. The team were obliged to issue statements of apology, and the FAI were fined €20,000 by Uefa for “the violation of the basic rules of decent conduct”.

Fast forward to January 1st, and Leinster Rugby appeared eager to avoid any similar controversy as they apologised immediately for Celtic Symphony being played at the RDS after their win over Connacht.

One verse and chorus of the song was played as the players did a lap of honour after their 41-12 win, but it was then faded out.

A Leinster spokesperson then issued a statement of apology, which reads:

A song was played over the PA at the RDS Arena this evening that shouldn’t have been played.

Leinster Rugby has taken measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again and apologises sincerely for its use and for any offence caused.

The Wolfe Tones have publicly reacted to the apology with a Twitter post, which reads:

Why the need to apologise … maybe those complaining should actually listen to the song in context … the usual suspects make yet another attempt to alienate Irish songs …

Where will we see the song cropping up next? Cricket World Cup? Your mum’s next bridge game? It’s all to play for.

Header image via Instagram/leinsterrugby

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