Irish WNT World Cup qualification marred by social media storm

Sean Jevens

Irish WNT face social media storm after World Cup qualification

After sealing qualification to their first ever World Cup, the Irish WNT caused a massive stir in the media both at home and in the U.K.

Following their victory in Hampden Park, footage emerged on social media of the team celebrating in the changing rooms by singing Celtic Symphony by the Wolfe Tones. The song is considered by most to be a pro-Irish Republican Army chant, and saw criticism from many British media voices.

According to Lost Lives, the IRA was responsible for the deaths of almost a thousand British soldiers during the troubles in Northern Ireland, and more than 1,700 total deaths. It is also alleged to have been involved in various other crimes in order to finance its operations, such as robbery and kidnapping for ransom.

This clip has divided many, with people rushing to defend the ladies, who were proudly singing the Irish song. Take a look at our own National anthem, it translates to ‘A Soldier’s Song’. Many felt though it was wrong of the Girls in Green to sing those lines, it was not the place of colonisers to educate them about this faux pas, when they seem so uneducated about their own history.

Even now, Great Britain is supporting a Saudi-Arabian led intervention in the Yemeni civil war, where Amnesty International has said the Saudis breached international humanitarian law during airstrikes on densely populated areas.

After the qualification match, the famous Wolfe Tone’s song has been revitalised, hitting number one in the Irish music charts and number three in the UK, a sign perhaps not all who viewed the clip were dissenters.

Irish WNT impress with “gritty defensive performance” against Scotland

On the pitch before any controversy, the Women’s National team created one of Ireland’s proudest sporting moments of the century, beating Scotland 1-0 in Hampden Park to clinch a spot in their first ever World Cup Finals. The team dug out victory by the narrowest of margins, eliminating Scotland in what was a gritty defensive performance from Vera Pauw’s side. Goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan made a crucial penalty save in the first half from Real Madrid midfielder Caroline Weir.

The game’s only goal came in the 72nd minute, when on the counter attack, substitute Amber Barrett smartly prodded the ball home past the helpless Scotland keeper. Barrett, a Donegal native who plies her trade in the Frauen-Bundesliga in Germany, kissed the black armband at her shoulder in celebration of the goal, a salute to the 9 victims of the tragic explosion in her home county only days previous.

The goal could not have come at a better time from a more fitting hero, who lifted a nation to its highest ever point in the sport, in the midst of a national tragedy.

Ireland have since been drawn into Group B with co-hosts Australia, where they will play all of their group matches, as well as Canada and Nigeria. The competition commences on the 20 July 2023, and is the first senior World Cup competition the nation has competed in for 21 years, since the men’s football team reached the Round of 16 in Japan and South Korea in 2002.

Sean Jevens

Image: Press Association