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James McClean in new row over Wolfe Tones song tweet


James McClean

James McClean

James McClean

A DUP MP has told Sunderland player James McClean to stick to football after the controversial winger revealed his favourite song is a Republican folk song.

A post on the Twitter account of the Londonderry-born Sunderland and Republic of Ireland player professed his love for The Broad Black Brimmer — written by Noel Nagle of the Wolfe Tones.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said if McClean continues with his “contentious” comments, Kilrea-born club manager Martin O'Neill should tell him to pack his bags. The tweet appeared on his account on Friday.

McClean wrote: “On flight for the maras (tomorrow’s) game. Only one thing for it —headphones in, Wolfe Tones on! What’s everyone’s fave song? Broad Black Brimmer edges mine.”

The song tells of a boy whose father is killed while fighting for the IRA, with the title referring to the wide-brimmed hat worn by many of the group's members in the 1920s during the War of Independence and civil war.

One verse refers to “a holster that’s been empty many a day... (but not for long), and when men claim Ireland’s freedom, the one they’ll choose to lead them, will wear the broad black brimmer of the IRA.”

Last night Mr Campbell called on the Premier League side to investigate the latest comments.

“As someone playing football at a professional level for Sunderland, McClean should be an example to young people,” he said.

“It is obviously up to his manager... to decide what course of action to take now.

“Three simple words should suffice — stick to football. If he doesn't heed this then a final three words should be given — pack your bags.”

The 23-year-old’s comments on Twitter have previously prompted Martin O’Neill to ban him from the site.

Earlier this month McClean said he was unaffected by the abuse he receives and it would “only make (him) play better”.

McClean and Sunderland football club were unavailable for comment last night.


  • James McClean played seven times for Northern Ireland's under-21 side and won the 2008 Milk Cup.
  • On July 26, 2011, he was called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad for a match against the Faroe Islands.
  • But he declined the invitation because he wanted to play for the Republic. He was named as part of the Republic's squad for Euro 2012

Belfast Telegraph

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