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Wolfe Tones Critical Of Leinster's Decision To Apologise For Playing Celtic Symphony

Wolfe Tones Critical Of Leinster's Decision To Apologise For Playing Celtic Symphony
By Donny Mahoney Updated
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Leinster Rugby have apologised for playing Celtic Symphony by the Wolfe Tones over the RDS tannoy after their victory over Connacht on Sunday.

Anyone watching the game on television would have noticed the song playing in the background after the match, as fans left the stadium and the Leinster players performed a lap of honour.

The club released a brief statement Sunday evening apologising for any offence caused by the song.

"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."

Johnny Watterson of the Irish Times reported that the 'up the Ra' line was played once before the song was 'faded out'.

Early Monday morning, the Wolfe Tones criticised the 'need to apologise' for the song's playing.

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They tweeted: "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 …"

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Celtic Symphony: Leinster and the Irish WNT

Celtic Symphony was at the heart of one of the biggest Irish sporting controversies of 2022, after members of the Irish women's football team celebrated World Cup qualification by signing the song's 'Oooh ahhh up the Ra' chorus in the Hampden Park dressing room. The Irish team would apologise, UEFA would fine the FAI €20,000 because of the incident, and player Chloe Mustaki was asked on Sky Sports if the Irish team required historical education.

In the aftermath of the controversy, Celtic Symphony shot to the top of the Irish Spotify charts.

For what it's worth, it's not the first time the song has been connected to Leinster.  In 2019, Dublin Live posted footage of Leinster players singing some of the song on a flight back from Glasgow, though it must be said the video ends without the 'oooh ah up the RA' chorus being performed.

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Former Offaly hurler Daithi Regan - whose son Jack came through the Leinster academy - was one of many on social media Sunday evening asking if a similar amount of outrage will be expended by certain media circles to that which was directed at the women's football team after the 'up the ra' controversy.

Of course, there is a difference between the song being sung by a team and it being played over a loudspeaker. But, though the calendar may have flipped to 2023, it's clear the country's relationship with this song remains as complicated as ever.

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