March 30, 2019

Ireland's "up the 'RA" problem

Recently Declan Rice caused huge controversy after it emerged that in 2015 he wrote "up the ‘RA" on Instagram. Only a few days earlier Michael Conlon entered the ring in New York to chants of "ooh ah up the RA".

Then of course the President of Sinn Fein Mary Lou McDonald caused great controversy when Sinn Fein proudly shared a photo of their leader walking in New York with a banner stating, 'England Get Out of Ireland.'

Thirty years ago the President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams said:
"Anyone unwilling to accept a united Ireland and wishing to leave should be offered resettlement grants to permit them to move to Britain, or assist them to move to a country of their choice."
Then around the same time Sinéad Ryan of NewsTalk tweeted:
"I am Irish. We started 800 years ago and they're still not fully gone!"
Journalist Paul Doyle reported, "In China, a class of children are sitting down for an English lesson. Their teacher, an Irishman, has devised a helpful chant to acquaint them with the language: 'Ooh, aah, up the RA! Ooh, aah, up the RA!'"

In 2013 the Republic of Ireland player Shane Duffy who was born in Northern Ireland tweeted “up the ra” but said someone had stolen his phone.

In April 2018 Cliftonville’s Rory Donnelly shared on Instagram a photo with the comment "up the RA"

Coleraine player Jamie McGonigle sang anti-British songs in the summer of 2018, chanting "fuck the queen".

Cliftonville’s Ryan Catney liked social media posts praising the INLA.

A Belfast rap group called Kneecap led chants of "Get the Brits out now" at the Empire Music Hal, the same pub Prince William and Kate Middleton graced 24 hours earlier.

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney had to apologise after singing the Wolfe Tones' republican ballad Joe McDonnell in a Dublin pub in 2014. It happened in the Bath pub following the Republic of Ireland's 4-1 win over USA at the Aviva Stadium. John Delaney said:
"I'll give you an example. Sean South from Garryowen has been sung on the Irish team bus for years, from the Jack Charlton era, right up to the current era."
At the end of the West Belfast Festival Feile an Phobail 2018 a concert was held in Falls Park at which The Wolfe Tones sang Go On Home British Soldiers, Go On Home. The crowd chanted “Ooh, ah... up the ’RA”, other chant included "We will fight you for 800 more" and "you’ll never defeat the IRA" and "So f*ck your Union Jack". And there were Irish tricolours decorated with the letters IRA. Other groups to play that night included Shebeen, The Rising of the Moon and Gary Og, all “rebel music”.

Shouts of "up the Ra" were heard from across the Liffey as Harry and Meghan arrived at the Famine Memorial in Dublin city centre. While crowds in the background on this side gave them a big cheers.

Wolfe Tone wrote after the failed 1798 rebellion:
"For a fair and open war I was prepared. That it has disintegrated into mayhem and assassination and bloodshed I am extremely sorry, this is not what I had wanted."
Joe, speaking in a bar in Belcoo on the border, a farmer who owned land on both sides of the Border said:
"I’m saying this as someone who stands up for them, but they shouldn’t be here, if you really want to go into it like that. They are planters. They were planted in here, and what happened over the years was scandalous."

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