Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Paddy Barnes: Time for new flag and national anthem for Northern Ireland

Gold winning Paddy Barnes is welcomed home by daughter Eireann and partner Mari
Gold winning Paddy Barnes is welcomed home by daughter Eireann and partner Mari

Gold medallist boxer Paddy Barnes has called for a new flag and national anthem to be devised for Northern Ireland.

The north Belfast fighter was speaking after criticism for publicly distancing himself from Danny Boy — which currently serves as Northern Ireland’s national anthem at the games.

As the strains of Danny Boy started, Paddy stood on the winner’s podium clearly saying: “That’s not my anthem.”

The remarks sparked a stormy row on Twitter on Saturday immediately after the medal ceremony.

Paddy responded via his Twitter account by saying: “So I said that's not my anthem, so who cares, it's not NI hasn't got one educate yourselves, football is GSTQ so make your minds up!”

He added: “Im a sportsman I couldn't care about anything else, I'm Irish, doesn't matter if I'm Catholic or Protestant! I won that medal for everyone that supports me, Catholics and Protestants alike, I don't care what your religion is! Some clowns out there!”

He explained the context of the remark as being in response to another boxer asking him why the Irish national anthem was not being played.

Paddy would usually box for Ireland in major international competitions and would hear the Irish national anthem when he wins a medal.

Barnes said: “Let’s be honest, not only is it not my anthem but it is nobody’s anthem because Northern Ireland hasn’t got a national anthem. I think it’s time we had a proper flag and a proper national anthem.”

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