'We should all know it' - Campaign for everyone in Ireland to learn Amhrán na bhFiann

This year marks the centenary of when The Soldier's Song was first published as Gaeilge
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.59 30 Jan 2023

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'We should all know it' - Camp...

'We should all know it' - Campaign for everyone in Ireland to learn Amhrán na bhFiann

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.59 30 Jan 2023

Share this article

A new campaign is calling on everyone in Ireland to learn the words to Amhrán na bhFiann.

The 'Learn our Anthem' campaign is launching with a competition for primary school children.

Rachel J Cooper, author of Our National Anthem children's book, is heading up the imitative.


She told Newstalk Breakfast this should be important to everybody.

"It's no secret that the majority of us here in Ireland don't know the words of our own national anthem," she said.

"I was the same before I embarked on this journey as well.

"I'm starting a nationwide initiative to raise awareness, and to get people at home learning and singing Amhrán na bhFiann - and also to get the Irish communities abroad learning.

"The school competition is launching at Croke Park this afternoon, and I'm really excited about it."

'Huge focus on Irish language'

Ms Cooper said this year is a good year to start, as there is a big focus on the Irish language.

"It's the centenary of when our national anthem was first published as Gaeilge," she said.

"It was written in English as The Soldier's Song and it was later translated by Liam Ó Rinn into Irish.

"We all know there's huge sporting events this year... we want to be able to sing our national anthem with pride in the crowds, and not be mumbling along beyond the first few lines.

"There's no better time to be proud of Irish culture and language.

"An Cailin Cúin is currently placing a huge focus on Irish language at home and abroad, we have Irish actors with nominations.

"Amhrán na bhFiann is the most famous Irish song in the world, I think we should all know it."

'No politics in sport'

Ms Cooper said the anthem being as Gaeilge is just part of the reason why it is not as well-known.

"People just aren't aware of it in general; it's not taught in schools regularly," she said.

"There's not enough focus and attention on it".

She said the debate around Ireland's Call at rugby matches, which is sung as an all-island anthem, should be separate.

"I don't think politics should be brought into sport at all, personally," she said.

"It's completely separate thing.

"If you represent our country, you should know our anthem - you should be able to sing it from start to finish," she added.

Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil, atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,

Buíon dár slua thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,

Faoi mhóid bheith saor,

Seantír ár sinsear feasta,

Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.

Anocht a théam sa bhearna bhaoil,

Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,

Le gunna-scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,

Seo libh canaig' amhrán na bhFiann.

Main image: Ireland players stand for the national anthem before the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and Fiji at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in November 2022. Picture by: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

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Amhrán Na BhFiann An Cailin Cúin Irelands Call Irish National Anthem Liam Ó Rinn National Anthem Newstalk Breakfast Rachel J Cooper The Soldier's Song

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