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Taoiseach rules out removing ‘FF’ from Defence Forces logo

Enda Kenny has ruled out changing the logo of the Defence Forces in advance of 2016, or changing the national anthem.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has ruled out the prospect of changing the logo of the Irish Defence Forces to remove the letters ‘FF’, which stand for Fianna Fáil – despite backbench calls to do so.

Kenny had been asked to consider setting up an ‘independent commission’ by backbench TD Derek Keating, of Dublin Mid-West, which would have been tasked with considering both the adoption of a new national anthem, and the review of symbols worn by national services like Gardaí and the military.

The commission would have been tasked with considering new emblems for the Gardaí, Defence Forces, Fire Service, Civil Defence and other offices of state.

In response to a parliamentary question, however, Kenny said there were “no plans” to appoint any such commission.

Fleming told today’s Irish Daily Mail he had raised the question because the emblems all carried the lettering ‘FF’, which had become more commonly recognised as the letters of Fianna Fáil.

The logos predate the foundation of the party, however, with the phrase ‘Fianna Fáil’ used as a phrase meaning ‘soldiers of Ireland’. This was also the origin of the phrase ‘Sinne Fianna Fáil’ appearing in the national anthem.

Finance minister Michael Noonan had earlier this year quelled suggestions that the wording of the anthem could be changed to remove the reference to the words ‘fianna fáil’ too.

Noonan had told independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan that the State’s copyright over the anthem was due to expire at the end of 2012, but that the State did not own copyright over the Irish language translations that had been made the song was written, originally in English as ‘the Soldier’s Song’.

Noonan said that the most popular translation of the song, which begins with the words ‘Sinne Fianna Fáil’, was the “appropriate and correct interpretation” of the words originally written by Peadar Kearney in 1907.

The words ‘Sinne laochra fáil’ are occasionally sung in order to avoid reference to the political party.

The matter of the national anthem has been occasionally discussed during this year’s presidential election, with some candidates expressing their interest in having it replaced.

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Gavan Reilly

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