Organisers apologise after Wolfe Tones song plays in Rugby World Cup hospitality area 2 months ago

Organisers apologise after Wolfe Tones song plays in Rugby World Cup hospitality area

Organisers have said the song will not be played again.

Organisers of a Rugby World Cup hospitality area have apologised after footage of The Wolfe Tones' controversial song 'Celtic Symphony' playing during an event was seen online.


Following the controversy of earlier this month after the Irish folk legends drew a record crowd at Electric Picnic, they're once again making headlines after the song which features the infamous "Ooh ah, up the RA" line was played at a bar in France.

A spokesperson for the France 2023 Organising Committee said: “France 2023 can confirm the song was played post-match in a private hospitality area outside of the stadium.

“The DJ booked for the evening was not aware of the history of the song and the Organising Committee will make sure the song will not be played again in hospitality areas managed by France 2023.”


The incident apparently happened after Ireland's win against South Africa on Saturday evening.

Wolfe Tones at Electric Picnic The Wolfe Tones playing at Electric Picnic in September 2023.

Irish song sung by large crowd, controversy ensues.


The apology comes directly after a similar controversy over the song 'Zombie' by The Cranberries, which was sung by large crowds of Irish fans at the Ireland v South Africa in France.

Written by Dolores O'Riordan after a 1993 IRA bomb explosion in Warrington killed two children, the song's recital by the crowd in Paris after Ireland's victory over South Africa has garnered mixed reception, with some saying the song discredits the experience of nationalists in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

The debate culminated on screen during RTÉ's Upfront programme, which saw presenter Katie Hannon trying to drill down into the nuance of the argument on Monday, September 24.

The debate featured former Irish rugby player Shane Byrne, who defended the use of the song by fans


"Sometimes its just a good tune," Byrne said. "Yes there's a meaning behind it, yes it was originally written as a protest song, but sometimes a good tune is just a good tune."

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