Leinster Rugby ‘sorry’ after pro-IRA song played at match

Leinster said they have taken measures to ensure the song is not played again   (Getty Images)
Leinster said they have taken measures to ensure the song is not played again (Getty Images)

Leinster Rugby have issued an apology after a pro-IRA song was played at their stadium following Saturday’s 41-12 win over rivals Connacht.

The apology came after the Wolfe Tones’ ‘Celtic Symphony’ was played. The song features the lyric "Ooh Ah, Up the Ra!", in reference to the Irish Republican Army.

Last month, European football’s governing body Uefa fined the Irish FA 20,000 euros after videos emerged of the Ireland women’s team singing the same song following their win against Scotland to qualify for the World Cup.

A Leinster statement said: "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."

According to reports, the ‘Celtic Symphony’ song was played as the Leinster players completed a lap of honour following their win over Connacht. It was then faded out after a verse and a chorus.

Leinster are Ireland’s most successful team and are the current leaders of the United Rugby Championship.

Their team features several Ireland stars, including the captain Johnny Sexton.

The manager of the Ireland women’s football team, Vera Pauw, apologised after footage emerged of her side singing the song in October and said the incident had taken the shine off their World Cup qualification.

“This goes deep into the history of Ireland,” she said. “We’ve hurt people and we are very, very deeply sorry for that.”

The incident also coincided with ‘Celtic Symphony’, released by the Wolfe Tones in 1989, climbing to number two in the UK iTunes chart.