Now I believe by the Irish Times journalist’s attack against John Delaney singing this song, it was an attack on our freedom of speech. The sing song at gatherings in Ireland is a great Irish tradition and has been around for generations. When friends get together in celebration, or even without reason, a sing song is likely to erupt, all will join in and sing their party piece. The journalist called this song an IRA song, it never mentioned the IRA, he called it a rebel song, it never mentioned rebellion, it’s a song about Joe McDonnell’s love of his Wife and Family, his City, his Friends and his Country. No man could have more love than to lay down his life for his friends.
I called the Joe Duffy show on RTE radio on my arrival home and defended the rights of free speech and John’s right to sing a song without harassment. I pointed out that he would not be so vocal if a head of English FA sang Land of Hope and Glory or Rule Britannia or a head of the Scottish FA sang Flower of Scotland. I would defend their right to do so. Many joined the discussion but you would be surprised how many were blinded by ignorance of the meaning behind the song and did not bother to listen to the song words. Some readily admitted on air that they had never heard the song, however, this did not stop RTE affording them airtime to give their opinion on a song they had never heard! Joe Duffy read the selective words to me as if I as the writer did not know them already, he read words out of context that he thought would show the song in a particular light. They then brought on a guy who has a history of castigating everything Irish, his name is Tom Carew. He used ridiculous arguments to blame or connect Joe McDonnell to crimes he or none of the Hunger strikers had anything to do with. These are the same people who hate all things Irish and will oppose and object to celebrations of our great heroes of 1916.
The people of Ireland indeed spoke back in huge numbers with The Ballad of Joe McDonnell rocketing into the download charts, the song on YouTube got over three million hits. Where is the same Irish Times journalist now, his paper did not take the time to report those facts. I’m just wondering if there are any fair journalists out there that are willing to defend John Delaney's right to sing a song of his choice or are all of our press tainted by West Britism and afraid of losing their jobs?