The Irish team has been forced to apologise by “cranks who complain about everything Irish,” according to the man who wrote the song they were filmed singing.
The FAI this afternoon apologised after a video of the team singing ‘Ooh ah, up the RA’ was shared widely on social media.
The team was criticised because the chant is often associated with the Provisional IRA of the Troubles.
In a statement, manager Vera Pauw said the team apologised “from the bottom of our hearts to anyone who has been offended” by the song and a number of players have apologised in media interviews this afternoon.
The players were singing Celtic Symphony by the Wolfe Tones in the video – a song written to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Celtic Football Club.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, Wolfe Tones singer Brian Warfield said he was very proud of the team’s marvellous achievement and very proud “they chose to celebrate it with a good song”.
He said there have been those who denigrate Irish rebel songs ever since he started out as a musician in the 1960s.
“Anti-Irish people who hate everything Irish,” he said. “They hate the music and they want everything to be pro-British.
“We live in a country called Ireland. We are Irish people and we have suffered terribly over the years.
“I am suffering this since the 60s. I started way back in 1963 and ever since then, Irish music and Irish song and Irish ballads – Irish historical songs you might say – have been blackened all over the place and it goes back years.”
Warfield said the team live in a free Ireland and should be free to sing any song they want.
He said it is a “stupid kind of argument” to suggest people should be prevented from singing about the IRA.
“It is a great song, that’s why they sing it,” he said. “They don’t sing it because it is a terrible song.”
“By the way, they have the right to sing a song of their choice and no crank should be on there telling them what to sing and how to sing it.
“This is a free Ireland. It is not an Ireland where we stop people from singing a song – ‘You can’t sing that because it mentions the IRA; that is a stupid kind of an argument.”
He said the team was forced into making the apology.
“They didn’t want to do that,” he said. “They wanted to celebrate in the way they wished.
“They were forced by people complaining. It is all these cranks around the place that complain about everything Irish.”
This morning, Vera Pauw said: "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.”
The team qualified for their first-ever World Cup last night after striker Amber Barrett raced clear to score the winner.
After the match, defender Niamh Fahey said the achievement had yet to sink in.
“I can't put it into words,” she said. “I'm still in a bit of disbelief that we're actually going.
"It hasn't sunk in, but just relief; we've been trying for so long... and we're actually going now.
"We're going to the World Cup – amazing."
You can listen back to Brian Warfield here: