Irish Senator Mark Daly is calling on Irish Americans to have their say on the most appropriate way for the Irish State to treat Amhrán na bhFiann.
Should there be guidelines in place for how and when the Irish National Anthem is used and how it is respected? In light of the recent NFL anthem protests, Irish Senator Mark Daly, Rapporteur of the Seanad [Senate] Public Consultation Committee, is calling on the millions of Americans who claim Irish heritage to have their say on how we treat the Irish National Anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann (or The Soldier’s Song in English).
Any Irish person, wherever they are in the world, is welcomed to take part in the public consultation by sending their views to the committee on the most appropriate way that the Irish State can treat and respect the anthem and whether this calls for guidelines to be put in place to ensure that it is respected in this way.
“Amhrán na bhFiann / The Soldiers’ Song is a crucial and core part of how the State commemorates events and people. It is right that we have rules and guidelines in place to ensure it is treated with respect,” said Fianna Fáil Senator Daly.
“The Committee, and I, are very clear in our determination to hear and receive as many views and opinions as possible on the National Anthem.
“Our National Anthem should be respected and used appropriately. It is used right across the State, and abroad, to signify and commemorate important events and occasions. It’s only right that we have clear guidelines in place, and it’s equally right that the Irish people are involved in designing those same guidelines.”
The Irish National Anthem, in both Irish and English, has been out of copyright since 2012, leaving some concerned that the national symbol is now left in a precarious position where it could be disrespected.
“The basis of this public consultation comes from the recent change to the copyright of both the music, and lyrics, in Irish and English of Amhrán na bhFiann. All are now out of copyright since 2012, and it’s imperative that rules and guidelines are put in place to protect the anthem,” continued Daly.
“The lack of strict copyright in place for the national anthem has left this important state symbol exposed.”
In particular, the recent protests taking place across the USA where sports players are choosing to take a knee during the National Anthem to highlight systematic racism within the country and the unwarranted police brutality that has led to the deaths of many innocent black men and women, has caused the Senate committee to contemplate how the Irish anthem should be treated.
“The issue of the NFL protest is part of the discussion in Ireland, on what to do in the event of a protest during the playing of the anthem,” Daly said in an email to IrishCentral.
While the #TakeAKnee protests, sparked by former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have since moved outside of the NFL itself to high school and college football leagues, as well as to leagues in other sports, it is yet to appear within Irish teams.