Belfast Telegraph

54% say ditch God Save the Queen for Northern Ireland sporting events

The Northern Ireland international football team line up to God Save the Queen ahead of fixtures.
The Northern Ireland international football team line up to God Save the Queen ahead of fixtures.
Should Northern Ireland have its own anthem? Pic Presseye/Freddie Parkinson.
The Irish rugby team has its own national anthem played ahead of games. Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

By Jonny Bell

Thousands of people who took our poll asking if God Save the Queen should be ditched for sporting events say its time to call time on the anthem.

Westminster MPs are to debate a motion calling for England sports teams to have a new national anthem instead of the 'God Save the Queen'.


The anthem is played at sports events for English teams and athletes.

However, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has argued it should be changed because Scotland and Wales have their own anthems.

The move sparked a debate calling for Northern Ireland to have its own national anthem for sports events.

The Irish FA has already said that should England drop God Save the Queen, then it would be "very difficult" for Northern Ireland to continue using the anthem.

First Minister Arlene Foster, however, said there was not need to tinker with tradition.

Read more:

If England gets a national anthem, Northern Ireland will be left singing the divisive God Save The Queen alone 

Poll: Should God Save the Queen be dropped for Northern Ireland sports events - and what could replace it? 

'No tinkering with national anthem' says Arlene Foster

English national anthem: MPs to debate whether England should stop singing God Save The Queen at sport events 

We ran a poll asking if it was time to ditch God Save the Queen as the anthem at Northern Ireland sports events and nearly 6,000 took part.

Of the near 5,846, people who voted up to Tuesday, 54% say its time for a change.

We also asked for suggestions as to what a possible new anthem could be and received a huge response.

Danny Boy (or Londonderry Air), Abide with me, Be Thou My Vision, Teenage Kicks, Mickey Marley's Roundabout have all been raised as possible alternatives.

One joker even suggested introducing the Frankie Goes to Hollywood classic, Two Tribes.

Some who contacted the Telegraph said a new song should be commissioned with Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody involved.

Matthew Neill asked why it always had to be "musical dirges" and proposed Stiff Little Fingers 'Alternative Ulster'.

"What we need, is an alternative Ulster, grab it, change it, it's yours," he said.

Sharon McCaffrey also added her own take on When the Saints go Marching in - with the lyrics modified to recognise the history of Northern Ireland international football.

While Andrew Rainey said there was not need for a change.

He added: "As a Northern Ireland supporter, when you are standing at Windsor Park with a full house, it gives you pride in your team and gives you pride in your country identity.

"Under no circumstances will the national anthem ever be changed."

And Howard Burns questioned the need for any anthem.

"It's not a politically rally," he said.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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