'Leo should back Anthem bill' Daly

FF Senator says Varadkar should put his words into action

Simon Brouder

Kenmare based Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly is calling on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to support FF's National Anthem Bill.

While in Chicago for the city's St Patrick's Day celebrations Mr Varadkar was asked if Amhrán na bhFiann' - of which only about half of Irish people actually know the words -should be taught in schools.

"I think it would be a good idea for the national anthem to be taught in schools. It was actually taught to me when I was in primary school. Whether it was mandatory or not, I don't know. That's where I learnt the anthem, so I think that would be good," he said.

Mr Varadakar was keen to play down any overly nationalistic aspect to the suggestion.

"I don't think I would go down the American route, you know the pledge of allegiance at the start of the day, I'm not sure that would really fit in with the Irish culture. But the words of the national anthem - I think that is something every kid should learn in primary school," he said.

The Taoiseach's comments have led to a call from Senator Daly - a long time proponent of the importance of the anthem - for Mr Varadkar and his Government to back Fianna Fáil's Bill.

"I welcome the Taoiseach's positive words on the National Anthem, he now has the opportunity to put these words into action," said Sen Daly.

"While the Anthem is currently on the primary school curriculum, this Bill would give official recognition to Amhrán na bhFiann and the Irish sign language version. I urge the Government to support the Bill and progress it through the Oireachtas," he said.

"Our anthem is an intrinsic part of Irish identity. This weekend it was sung in venues all across the globe. It is imperative that it is given the same honour and respect here in Ireland and that the Government support its protection", concluded Sen Daly.

Kerryman

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