Belfast Telegraph

Nolan’s Twitter followers trade insults over post about Irish national anthem

By David Young

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan ignited a Twitter firestorm yesterday when he revealed that he holds an Irish passport and stands for the Irish anthem - but still considers himself British.

The phone-in radio show host was in Las Vegas attending the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor fight when he decided to tease his followers on social media.

As Dublin pop singer Imelda May launched into an impassioned version of the Irish national anthem Amhran na bhFiann (the Soldier's Song), Mr Nolan tweeted from ringside: "I'm currently standing for the Irish anthem in Vegas & I got an Irish passport this year.

"Still British. #swingbothways."

The reaction from his Twitter followers was almost instantaneous - and little of it was complimentary.

Michelle @Ladymuck9999 posted: "Leave the Norn Iron cr*p at home. #GetsBoring its about the match," while Tim Knight @timgknight wrote: "You can't have it both way. Make up your mind what you are. I find that statement insulting."

Brian Gerard @BrianBirdieBhoy responded: "Oooh! Controversial! You were born on the island of Ireland."

There were more than 100 responses to the tweet from Nolan, who hosts current affairs ring in shows on both BBC Radio Ulster and Five Live, by last night which ranged from humorous to abusive.

Thomas Simmons responded: "Yeah take our passport when it suits you. Have you no shame?"

Under the terms of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, citizens in Northern Ireland can choose whether they want to be British, Irish, or both.

It's believed around six million people in the UK have the right to an Irish passport, which is almost the same as the total population of Ireland, both south and north (6.6million).

Belfast Telegraph

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