Belfast Telegraph

Police urged to probe video of kids singing pro-IRA song in bar

DUP MLA Jim Wells
DUP MLA Jim Wells
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

Police have been urged to investigate an online video which appears to show children taking part in pro-IRA singing at a west Belfast bar.

The footage shows young people, some wearing GAA tops and standing on chairs, apparently singing along to a rebel song which praises hunger striker Bobby Sands, the IRA, and denounces the Queen.

The incident is thought to have been filmed at 'Rebel Sunday', an event held at the Rock Bar on the Falls Road on August 18.

DUP MLA Jim Wells, who has had the party whip removed, slammed the organisers of the event, which he claimed was "indoctrinating" children and "promoting hatred and bitterness".

Among those performing were singer Gerry Og McConnell and former IRA leader Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane, who led a Provo gang that bombed the Bayardo Bar off the Shankill Road in 1975, killing five people. He also played a key part in the Maze Prison escape in 1983.

"I was utterly appalled when I watched this video," said Mr Wells, a South Down MLA.

"We are talking about primary school children here singing along to this extreme republican song which eulogises the IRA.

"What was even more sinister was that adults were clearly encouraging their children to take part, while they sat and cheered them on.

"Children should never be exposed to such blatant extremist propaganda.

"It is very depressing to witness their indoctrination by people who have such twisted views.

"It begs the question, what are children of that age doing at that event in the first place?"

Mr Wells said he intends to report the incident to police as a hate crime.

"These are our future generations and how are we ever going to move forward as a society if this is the sort of thing they are exposed to from a young age?" he added.

"Management should be asking themselves if this is an appropriate use of their premises."

Police said they have received no complaints to date.

The Rock Bar has not replied to a request for comment.

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