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07th Sep 2023

Leo Varadkar makes united Ireland claim when asked about the Wolfe Tones

Stephen Porzio

united ireland

The Taoiseach made the comments when asked about the Wolfe Tones’ recent success.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he believes that Ireland is “on the path to unification” and that there will be a united Ireland in his lifetime.

The Taoiseach made the comments on RTÉ’s News at One on Thursday (7 September) after he was quizzed about legendary Irish rebel band the Wolfe Tones.

Leo Varadkar believes that there will be a united Ireland in his lifetime.

Fresh off the back of seeing record crowds at Electric Picnic last weekend, the Wolfe Tones this week announced a 60 year anniversary concert in the 3Arena for next year.

That said, in the days since the group’s Electric Picnic show, many have expressed concern over audiences singing along to the refrain of their track ‘Celtic Symphony’, which contains the lyrics: “Ooh, aah, up the Ra,” referring to the IRA.

Asked if he would be buying tickets to see the Wolfe Tones at the 3Arena next year, Varadkar responded “Probably not,” before laughing.

He was then questioned as to what he thought of the band’s recent success. The Taoiseach replied: “I was at Electric Picnic, didn’t get a chance to see the Wolfe Tones.

“I probably have a more sanguine view of this than maybe other people. People like ballads and they like songs that they can sing along to.

“I think some people maybe read too much into the politics of this,” Varadkar said, before bringing up the topic of unification.

united ireland

Leo Varadkar on a United Ireland.

“There is one thing that I would say. I believe we are on the path to unification,” he explained.

“I believe that there will be a united Ireland in my lifetime and in that united Ireland there is going to be a minority, roughly a million people who are British and you judge the success and the quality of a country by the way it treats its minorities.

“That’s something we’re going to have to think about because what is a Republican ballad – a nice song to sing, easy words to learn for some people – can be deeply offensive to other people.”

“Bear in mind, in the southern states, for example, when people sing about the confederacy and Robert E. Lee, they think it’s an expression of their culture and so on. That’s what they say. But that is deeply offensive to the minority, the black community in America.

“If we’re going to unite this country and unite the people of this country, a bit like Patrick Kielty says, we just need to have a think about how our words and how the songs we sing might be heard by other people.”

You can see the Taoiseach make the comments right here:

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