McClean in Twitter row over 'IRA song'

McClean in Twitter row over 'IRA song'

Sunderland footballer James McClean has come in for criticism from East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell, for tweeting about his favourite song - a republican track by the Wolfe Tones.

Ahead of his club side's game on Saturday, Derry-born Republic of Ireland winger McClean took to Twitter to tell followers that he was listening to music while on a flight.

"Headphones in, Wolfe Tones on," he said, before asking what everyone's favourite songs were.

"Broad Black Brimmer edges mine."

The song in question is about a young boy whose IRA man father died before he was born - the title refers to the hats worn by many in the IRA in the 1920s.

It features the line: "When men claim Ireland's freedom, the ones they'll choose to lead 'em will wear the broad black brimmer of the IRA."

Gregory Campbell is welcome to attend any Wolfe Tones show for a lesson in history.

The Wolfe Tones

Following reports that MP Gregory Campbell had called on Sunderland's manager - Kilrea's Martin O'Neill - to discipline McClean over the tweet, the 23-year-old hit back.

"According to Gregory Campbell, I shouldn't be allowed to listen to Wolfe Tones, ha ... Someone give Greg a tissue and a big hug from me," he tweeted.

Another Derry-born footballer, Everton's Shane Duffy responded and branded the row "shocking" - adding that people "will do anything" to try to get McClean in trouble.

The Wolfe Tones also tweeted a message which read: "It is ironic that, in 2013, Unionist politicians try to chastise those who listen to Irish ballads.

"The songs are a reflection of history, not the cause of it. To find the cause, some politicians need to look closer to home. Let The People Sing!"

McClean has previously courted controversy on Twitter, including with a rant against Giovanni Trapattoni's decision to leave him on the bench for an international game.

His Twitter account was no longer available on Monday evening.


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