Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Michael Long has commended an Irish Football Association (IFA) report calling for a new anthem for the Northern Ireland soccer team to go along with moves towards a new stadium. He added that the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) should also be involved in such a project.
Cllr Long stated: “The IFA’s ‘Football for All’ scheme has been an outstanding success over the past few years, and this report, complete with the suggestion for a new anthem in line with Scotland and Wales, promises even further progress.
“It is entirely fitting that a new venue for the international soccer team should be accompanied by a new anthem. That would come close to completing the project of making the Northern Ireland team genuinely open for all except the most outrageous extremist.
“Many would say ‘Danny Boy’, used at the Commonwealth Games, would be fitting although I have had people express concerns that that is not rousing enough. I note the proposal in the report is specifically for the anthem to be written as new, and that may be the best way.
“Any project on a new anthem, however, should include all the main associations behind the new stadium, including the GAA. If people are genuine about wanting their sports and their teams to have the backing of the whole community, then they have to come together on a project like this.
“It would be a fitting start to the campaign to bring parts of the 2012 Olympics to the Greater Belfast area.”