Northern Ireland

Rugby World Cup organisers apologise after Wolfe Tones' Celtic Symphony played at hospitality event

Ireland celebrated a brilliant victory over defending champions South Africa in Paris (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Ireland celebrated a brilliant victory over defending champions South Africa in Paris (Bradley Collyer/PA) Ireland celebrated a brilliant victory over defending champions South Africa in Paris (Bradley Collyer/PA)

RUGBY World Cup organisers have responded to yet another Irish song controversy after the Wolfe Tones song Celtic Symphony was played at a bar in France.

It is reported that video footage shows a DJ playing the song, which features pro-IRA lyrics, for Ireland supporters at a private hospitality event.

The France 2023 Organising Committee, responsible for official entertainment, has since apologised.

“France 2023 can confirm the song was played post-match in a private hospitality area outside of the stadium,” a spokesperson said.

“The DJ booked for the evening was not aware of the history of the song and the Organising Committee will make sure the song will not be played again in hospitality areas managed by France 2023.”

After Ireland’s 13-8 win on Saturday over defending world champions South Africa, there was some online criticism when the Cranberries’ hit song Zombie played out at the stadium.

The 1994 song was written by singer Dolores O’Riordan in disgust at tribute at the 1993 IRA Warrington bombing which killed 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Jonathan Ball.

Read more

  • The Wolfe Tones and Celtic Symphony: Why is the song contentious?
  • Zombie: IRA victim's father says Cranberries song is ‘not partisan' after Ireland rugby row
  • Zombie by The Cranberries: What is the song about?

Tim Parry’s father, Colin, has since commented that he considers Zombie to be a “peace song” and should not be considered as divisive, although others have claimed it does not show understanding for northern nationalists.

The former Ireland rugby player and UUP election candidate, Trevor Ringland, also said that those opposed to it "should look deeper at what that song was standing against, and how it also represents what we see on the sporting field".