Seanad committee to consult public on future of national anthem

Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly cites need to protect Amhrán na bhFiann from abuse

Defence forces veterans stand for the national anthem at the the State ceremony to commeorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in The National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, Dublin, last July. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Defence forces veterans stand for the national anthem at the the State ceremony to commeorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in The National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, Dublin, last July. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

The public will be asked for submissions on how the national anthem should be treated in the future.

A Seanad committee will be set up with Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly as chair.

Senator Daly has been vocal in his belief that copyright surrounding the anthem should be restored. He described it as “imperative” that rules and guidelines are put in place to protect the anthem from misuse.

Amhrán na bhFiann went out of copyright in 2012. Last year he introduced the National Anthem Protection of Copyright and Related Rights Bill 2016 but it got no further than the Seanad.

He said the national anthem should not be used for commercial purposes citing its use by Dunnes Stores as an example. The company used the words in English to promote a clothing range designed by former Kerry footballer Paul Galvin.

Mr Daly described himself as “delighted” that the Seanad committee was agreed to by all parties.

“It’s imperative that rules and guidelines are put in place to protect the anthem. Over the next number of months, Seanad Éireann will consult with citizens on their views on this issue.

“The National Anthem should be respected, and protected, and I am delighted to see that there us such cross-party support for such measures.”

He said the purpose of the committee will be to ask for submissions from the public on how the anthem should be treated. It will not be seeking submissions from those who believe the anthem should be changed.

He added: “The lack of strict copyright in place for the national anthem has left this important state symbol exposed. Other countries have ensured that their national anthems continue to be protected by copyright. It’s important that we take similar measures to protect Amhrán na bhFiann.”