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How should we protect our national anthem? The Seanad wants your input

What would be classed as misuse of the anthem, and how should potential misuses be punished?

Floyd Mayweather Jnr v Conor McGregor - T-Mobile Arena Imelda May performs the Irish national anthem before the McGregor-Mayweather fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Source: PA Images

Anocht a théim sa bhearna baoil, Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunnascréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar, Seo libh canaig’ Amhrán na bhFiann!

DO YOU THINK those words, and the rest of Ireland’s national anthem, should be protected by the State?

If we do protect the national anthem, should it be enshrined in legislation? What should be classed as misuse of the anthem? And if it is misused, what should be the punishment for those who misuse it?

These are just some of the questions Seanad Éireann want to ask its citizens about how the national anthem’s use should be changed.

The copyright on Amhrán na bhFiann, which was composed in 1907 by Peadar Kearney and Patrick Heeney, is due to expire – prompting the revision and review of how it should be treated by its citizens.

The song, which is written in Irish, was used by rebels during the 1916 Easter Rising, by the IRA during the War of Independence and was and was used often at military functions as a popular Irish Army tune.

It was informally adopted as the national anthem of the Irish Free State in May 1924, and subsequent legislative changes up until as recently as 2013 have strengthened its legal position since.

Today, the Seanad Public Consultation Committee said it’s looking for written submissions between now and 4pm 2 November on how we should treat our national anthem. (There’s more about how you can do that here.)

Among the questions that they want people to answer are:

  • If the national anthem is enshrined in legislation, what versions of the music and words should be used, and in what languages?
  • What should be classed as misuse of the national anthem?
  • What penalties should be put in place if any proposed restrictions are breached and who should enforce the rules?

The committee is also asking if there should be restrictions for the use of the national anthem for commercial purposes like advertising – so what do you think?

Should use of the national anthem for commercial purposes be restricted?


Poll Results:

Yes, it should be restricted (3957)
No, anyone should be allowed to use it (2067)


Poll: Do you know all the words to our national anthem?

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