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02nd Jan 2023

Leinster rugby issues apology for playing “Up the RA” song

Lee Costello

It was played during the team’s lap of honour.

Leinster rugby have issued an apology for playing the Irish rebel song ‘Celtic Symphony’ by the Wolfe Tonnes, over the tannoy after their game against Connacht.

Leinster won the game 41-12 and during their lap of honour afterwards, the tune was played out loud but was faded out after one verse and chorus.

The song contains the lyrics “ohh ahh up the Ra” in a chanting chorus and has sparked controversy in other sporting events in recent years.

Leinster Rebel song

Just last October the Irish ladies football team were fined €20,000 when footage emerged of the players singing the song in the dressing room following their qualification for the World Cup.

The players and manager Vera Pauw, apologised unreservedly for their actions but other Irish sports stars didn’t see it as big as an issue.

Boxer Michael Conlan made his ring walk to the song in 2019, which sparked chants of “ohh ahh up the RA” from the crowd as he made his way into the ring.

However, his promotor Bob Arum told people to “get over it”, stating that “I know he has received criticism for what he came out too, but I think people need to get over it because the Troubles are over.

“People need to move on but the songs and chants on both sides still stir the blood and the people in the arena went nuts when they heard it and I haven’t seen enthusiasm like that for a long time. But I’m an American, so maybe my view doesn’t count.”

Leinster Rebel song

A Leinster spokesperson issued a statement apologising for the song being played: “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.”

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