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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# from the stands
Simon Coveney hits out at 'idiots' who booed God Save the Queen at Northern Ireland match
The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland played at the Aviva Stadium last night.

Brexit PA Images Arlene Foster shakes hands with Simon Covenye at the Aviva Stadium. PA Images

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Simon Coveney has hit out at “idiots” who booed God Save the Queen ahead of the football international in the Aviva Stadium last night. 

God Save the Queen is used as the national anthem by the Northern Ireland football team and it was loudly booed in the stadium ahead of the kick-off last night.

The friendly match was a scoreless draw between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Coveney was attending the match and met with DUP leader Arlene Foster in the stands. 

After the match, the minister tweeted that he was “embarrassed that a small number of idiots” booed the anthem. 

Foster also tweeted in response to Coveney, saying:

Thank you Simon. Otherwise, it was a lovely evening. . . NI almost clinched it too! #GAWA

The DUP leader said she was at the match as a guest of the FAI and she thanked CEO John Delaney and president Donal Conway for their hospitality. 

Gardaí said they were crowd control measures in place ahead of the game and some minor incidents took place but no arrests or major incidents. 


The use of God Save the Queen by the Northern Ireland football team has been questioned many times in the past, with suggestions that it should be replaced with a song that would be more inclusive to those from the nationalist community. 

Neither Scotland nor Wales use God Save the Queen as their anthem during football matches, using Flower of Scotland and Old Land of My Fathers respectively.

Northern Ireland does not have an official national anthem. 

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