Two Irelands - the Ireland of "Zombie" versus that of "Celtic Symphony."

At the time it was written and released in 1994, the pro-peace message of The Cranberries' song "Zombie" was relatively uncontroversial to the point of being anodyne. Throughout the troubles the vast majority of people in both Britain and Ireland, North and South, Catholic and Protestant, Nationalist and Unionist, condemned paramilitary violence, whichever group was responsible and whoever it was directed against.

The song was a reaction against decades of violence both in Ireland and on mainland Britain, although it is often particularly associated with condemnation of the Warrington bombings in which the Provisional IRA exploded two bombs in a crowded shopping centre, killing two children and injuring more than fifty other innocent people.

All the evidence suggests that most people in Ireland today would still reject the violence of the paramiltaries during the troubles, and the fans and players who joined in when the song "Zombie" was played at the conclusion of Ireland’s bruising, nail-biting win against South Africa in Paris on Saturday evening at the rugby world cup were representative of the majority.

However, in the years since the end of the troubles, some of those who have grown up fortunate enough never to experience the full horror of the violence of those years have begun to romanticise it.

Owen Polly argues in a powerful article on the CAPEX site that while a majority of people in Ireland still reject terrorist violence,

"A noisy minority rails against any account of republicans’ role as perpetrators of the Troubles, rather than propaganda that depicts them purely as victims of the state. This new mood is typified by a resurgence in the popularity of the song Celtic Symphony by the folk group the Wolfe Tones, with its celebratory chorus ‘Ooh, ah, up the ‘Ra’ (Belfast street slang for the IRA)."

Hence the attacks on social media against the spectators and players who joined in the chorus of "Zombie" on Saturday from a noisy group of ghastly pro-republican internet trolls, a type of  nationalist so unpleasant as to make the notorious "Cybernat" supporters of Scottish independence seem to be all sweetness and light.

For anyone who has seen some of the social media, and occasionally mainstream media, fuss about the singing of "Zombie," and wants to understand what is going on, I can recommend Owen Polly's article, which you can read by clicking on the following link:

 'Zombie' attacks and the worrying rebranding of Irish republicanism - CapX

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