Ireland apologise for singing pro-IRA song after reaching Women’s World Cup | Republic of Ireland women’s football team

The Football Association of Ireland has apologised after a video emerged on social media of Ireland’s women singing a song with a pro-IRA chorus after qualifying for the World Cup on Tuesday.

The clip showed the team celebrating in their Hampden Park dressing room after their 1-0 victory over Scotland, singing “Ooh ah, up the ’RA” – words associated with support for the Irish Republican Army. It comes from a song, Celtic Symphony by the Wolfe Tones, released in 1987 for the centennial of Celtic football club.

In a statement the FAI said: “The Football Association of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland women’s national team manager Vera Pauw apologise for any offence caused by a song sung by players in the Ireland dressing room after the Fifa Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff win over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.”

Pauw said: “We apologise from the bottom of our hearts to anyone who has been offended by the content of the post-match celebrations after we had just qualified for the World Cup.

“We will review this with the players and remind them of their responsibilities in this regard. I have spoken with players this morning and we are sorry collectively for any hurt caused, there can be no excuse for that.”

The veteran player Áine O’Gorman reiterated the apology, telling RTÉ Sport: “We sang 100 songs last night and that was the one that went out. We would just like to apologise to anyone who was offended.”

The apology came after Ireland’s stunning victory over Scotland, with a goal 18 minutes from time by Amber Barrett. Afterwards she dedicated her goal to the 10 victims of the Creeslough tragedy, saying: “My grandparents are born and bred there. I spend my holidays there with my uncle. I know people who died in the tragedy, who were affected by it, who were first on the scene.

“I’m dedicating this result and the goal to the 10 beautiful souls who unfortunately perished, for all their families. I know they touched their lives and they have touched ours. This is for Cresslough. This is for Donegal.”

The apology was welcomed by the Ulster Unionist party leader, Doug Beattie. “They have let themselves down,” he said. “Truly disgraceful. Apology welcome. I was moved by the Creeslough dedication. We cannot have that. We cannot glorify the actions of a terrorist group.”

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