Ireland’s Call is a necessary rugby anthem to unite both the Republic and Northern Ireland, according to one former Irish rugby player.
As Ireland has a nice start to the Rugby World Cup, some fans argue that Ireland’s Call is not a pre-match anthem for the island of Ireland.
Former Irish Rugby Player Trevor Ringland told The Hard Shoulder he remembers when they played games without an official anthem as neither Amhrán na bhFiann nor God Save the Queen was considered appropriate.
“I remember once we were playing against Wales in the Rugby World Cup in Wellington,” he said.
“We were listening to the very powerful Welsh anthem, standing there, wondering what we were going to get.
“Then they played a pretty poor recording of the Rose of Tralee.”
Mr Ringland said both the team and the IRFU agreed the team needed a song to reflect the entire island of Ireland.
“The IRFU approached Phil Coulter and asked would he produce a song – he went away and came back with Ireland's Call,” he said.
“It worked and it is important to put the context of those times - when I was playing rugby for Ireland, my father was a police officer in the most dangerous place to be a police officer in Northern Ireland.”
Peace on the island
Mr Ringland argued sports and the anthems we sing are an important part of maintaining peace on the island.
“When Ireland partitioned 100 years ago, even though constitutionally, two parts of the island moved apart, the ambition was they would stay together in a lot of ways,” he said.
“One of those ways was that a lot of sports that were previously all-Ireland sports remained all-Ireland.
“It was an understanding that emerged over the years, they played matches in Dublin and flew the tricolour but also played in Belfast the Union Jack was flown.”
He said, during the Troubles, Ireland’s Call was “one way of tackling the problem in an inclusive way.”
As a self-identified Irish unionist, Mr Ringland said “extreme” unionists and nationalists like to “create a binary image” of Northern Ireland and the Republic.
— Piarais Mac Alastair (@piarais91) September 16, 2023
“To me rugby represented an Irishness but also reflected a Britishness and a Britishness could also be very comfortable with its Irishness,” he said.
“The concept of us and our Irish team is that it represents all of us on this island.
“Even if we remain constitutionally apart, there are so many ways we are together.”
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