Tuesday 16 January 2018

It's high time we silenced Ireland's Bawl once and for all

Bring back Amhran na bhFiann and put passion back into the pre-match anthem, writes Tim Pat Coogan

Tim Pat Coogan

WHATEVER finally emerges from the post-mortems into the death of our hopes for another rugby Grand Slam in Paris recently, one piece of evidence is already glaringly obvious, and damning -- it's time to blow the full-time whistle on Ireland's Call.

I watched all three of the Six Nations matches last weekend and like everyone else who saw the games was struck by the fervour and intensity with which five of the six teams involved gave vent to the passion, pride and intensity of feeling for their nation in the way they sang their national anthems.

The sixth team, Ireland, was the exception. Half of the players did not appear to be singing at all and the rest mouthed the sombre Ireland's Call without any apparent conviction or intensity. Do they even know the words I wondered? Do they care? To paraphrase the song, shoulder to shoulder they may have been but they quite literally were not answering Ireland's Call.

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