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DUP's Campbell in war of words with Wolfe Tones over Sunderland ace James McClean remarks

By Christopher Woodhouse

Published 09/04/2013

Wolfe Tones (with Brian Warfield on the right)
Wolfe Tones (with Brian Warfield on the right)
Controversial Sunderland player James McClean

A war of words has erupted between Wolfe Tones singer Brian Warfield and East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell over comments made by Sunderland player James McClean.

The controversial footballer tweeted in March that The Broad Black Brimmer of the IRA, sung by the Wolfe Tones, was his favourite song.

Campbell claimed that McClean was “promoting terrorism”, but Warfield on Saturday branded that “a ridiculous statement”.

Speaking to Sunday Life on Saturday, Warfield added: “I thought this sort of thing only happened in North Korea. He had better move over there.”

Responding to Warfield’s suggestion, Campbell hit back: “Is that to join him?”

Things threatened to go nuclear when Campbell in turn invited the Wolfe Tones to move to North Korea, saying: “They may feel more at home, there is a leader with a similar mindset to those they celebrate.”

Dublin-born singer Warfield hit back, saying: “The man doesn’t know much of Ireland or Irish history.

“Everybody has their own history and their own heroes. We do have a right to celebrate our history.”

However, the DUP MP said he would like to know if Warfield thought that those who firebombed the La Mon Hotel were heroes.

He added: “This is more to do with selling tickets. They invited me to their concert a few weeks ago, now they are inviting me to move to North Korea, I hope sales aren’t that bad.

“If a footballer from the Shankill or Ballysally went to a Premiership team and then offered to join a loyalist tribute band on stage, imagine the outcry.”

The row began when Derry-born footballer McClean tweeted: “On flight for the maras game. Only one thing for it — headphones in Wolfe Tones on! What’s everyone's fave song? Broad Black Brimmer edges mine.”

The song is about a boy whose father was killed fighting for the IRA in the War of Independence, the title referring to a hat popular amongst IRA fighters at the time.

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