Three Kerrymen at Centre of Amhrán na bFiann ‘Use’ Discussions

Senator Mark Daly pictured with Sabina and President Michael D. Higgins.

Senator Mark Daly pictured with Sabina and President Michael D. Higgins.

Three Kerrymen find themselves in the middle of a controversy over use of lyrics from the copyrighted National Anthem, Amhrán na bFíann. 

Kerry Fianna Fáil Senator, Mark Daly has said that any proposal to remove the words ‘Fianna Fáil’ from the national anthem is simply populism.

Former Kerry footballer, Paul Galvin felt inspired by the anthem and used lyrics from it to promote a line of clothing he had designed for Dunnes Stores.

Now, Castleisland native, Eoin O’Dell, a Fellow and Associate Professor at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin is to address a Seanad committee tomorrow on the topic of inappropriate and unauthorised use of the anthem.
Guidelines on Use
“Over the past number of weeks, there has been a public consultation on the use of, and guidelines surrounding, our national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann,” said Senator Daly in his role as the coordinator of the Seanad’s National Anthem Public Consultation process.

Castleisland native, Eoin O'Dell to address the Seanad on copyright and the National Anthem.

Castleisland native, Eoin O’Dell to address the Seanad on copyright and the National Anthem.

Meeting on Tuesday
“Many different viewpoints have been received by the Seanad public consultations committee, which will meet on Tuesday the 5th of December to hear from the Minister for Finance, the Defence Forces, the Lord Mayor of Cork, schools, experts on copyright, including Mr. O’Dell, and members of the Deaf Community.
Changing the Lyrics
“While every person is entitled to put forward their opinions on the national anthem, we were surprised to receive a number of submissions which proposed changing the lyrics of Amhrán na bhFiann.

Paul Galvin,  inspired by the lyrics of Amhrán Na bFíann. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Paul Galvin, inspired by the lyrics of Amhrán Na bFíann. ©Photograph: John Reidy

No Public Support
“There is no public support, I believe, for changing the wording of Amhrán na bhFiann’.
“Some years ago, the idea of removing Fianna Fáil from our national anthem was mooted by a number of figures connected with Fine Gael.
Stamped out Talk
“Thankfully common sense prevailed, and the former Minister for Finance, and Fine Gael grandee, Michael Noonan stepped in, and stamped out any talk of changing the words.
“Fianna Fáil does not, and will never support such a change. Amhrán na bhFiann has been our national anthem since before the foundation of my political party, Fianna Fáil.
Irish Language Version
“In fact, the Irish language version, translated by Liam Ó Rinn from Peadar Kearney’s original English language version, was first published in the Freeman’s Journal on 3 April 1923, under Ó Rinn’s pen name ‘Coinneach’, three years before Fianna Fáil was even established.

Need to Reflect
“Those who still harbour partisan, political positions need to reflect on their position.
“Amhrán na bhFiann, irrespective of one’s political loyalties, has been, and remains a source of national unity.
82% Support
“I am confident that support for our national anthem as it is currently is shared by the vast majority of the public. A recent opinion poll showed 82% support for the National Anthem,” Senator Daly concluded.

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