McClean in Twitter row over 'IRA song'

Published Monday, 25 February 2013
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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.

McClean in Twitter row over 'IRA song'
Derry-born Sunderland player James McClean. (© Getty)

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.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
60 Comments
Eil Bhis in Woodvale wrote (559 days ago):
This is what Campbell is complaining about: "There's a uniform that's hanging in what's known as father's room A uniform so simple in it's style It has no braid of gold or silk nor hat with feathered plume Yet the mother has preserved it all the while One day she made me try it on, a wish of mine for years "In memory of your father, son" she said And when I put the Sam Browne on she was smiling with the tears As she placed the broad black brimmer on my head Chrous It's just a broad black brimmer with ribbons frayed and torn By the careless whisk of many a mountain breeze A old trench coat that's battle stained and worn And breeches almost threadbare at the knees A Sam Brown belt with a buckle big and strong And a holster that´s been empty many's a day When men claim Ireland´s freedom the one who'll choose to lead them Will wear the broad black brimmer of the IRA It was the uniform been worn by me father long ago When he reached me mothers homestead on the run It was the uniform me father wore in that little church below When oul Father Mac he blessed the pair as one And after truce and treaty and the parting of the ways He wore it when he marched out with the rest And when they bore his body down that rugged heather braes They placed the broad black brimmer on his chest. "
Conor in Rep Of Ireland wrote (595 days ago):
Hold on, this is a massive storm in a teacup, the man is entitled to his choice of music, of course he enjoys it cos he's a Republican but it wasn't a political comment, the usual case of Unionist hyperbole and overreaction- ridiculous sensitive siege mentality, Campbell is a clown
Paddy in Derry wrote (600 days ago):
Over 300 jobs at risk in Coleraine and this clown Campbell is more interested in young James music choice.
Frosty in Here wrote (601 days ago):
Another I love being Irish lad that went to England asap. Nuff said.
s magowan in belfast wrote (601 days ago):
Then Eoin why are you condoning what this young man has said?, even many of the Sunderland fans who at one time supported him for his talent are now beginning to doubt the wisdom of Martin O'Neill in signing him in the first place.Martin o'Neill is one of the best managers in the game and is in charge of one of the friendliest teams in the Premiership,and he certainly does not want this club embroiled political argument because of one of his players.
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