Seanad seeks views on how State should treat national anthem
Members of the public have been asked to submit suggestions by November
Noel Murphy salutes during 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 in 2016. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
The Seanad Public Consultation Committee is calling for submissions from the public to consider the best way the State should treat the national anthem.
Rapporteur of the Seanad Public Consultation Committee, Senator Mark Daly Daly, has called on the public to make their views and opinions known on the most appropriate way for the State to treat and respect the national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann.
He noted that the basis of this public consultation stemmed from the recent change to the copyright of both the music and lyrics, in Irish and English of Amhrán na bhFiann.
“All are now out of copyright since 2012, and it’s imperative that rules and guidelines are put in place to protect the anthem.
“The lack of strict copyright in place for the national anthem has left this important state symbol exposed,” he said.
When this public process is complete, the Committee intends to publish a report for consideration by the Seanad and the Government.
Senator Daly said the purpose of this consultation is to invite submissions from interested parties and citizens, and especially students, to consider the most appropriate way the State should treat the national anthem.
“Amhrán na bhFiann is a crucial and core part of how the State commemorates events and people. It is right that we have rules and guidelines in place to ensure it is treated with respect,” said Senator Daly.
Chairman of the Seanad Leas-Chathaoirleach Committee, Senator Paul Coghlan said the consultation was necessary to determine how the National Anthem should be treated to consider options such as the passing of legislation.
“In terms of free speech, placing restrictions around the use of the National Anthem may contravene well-established rights within this area. For instance, the usage of the National Anthem is particularly popular amongst sporting organisations.
“This has many positive implications and there is a consistent respect shown to National Anthems within this sphere on a regular basis. Were conditions as to when, where, and how the National Anthem could be used put forward, this area would need to be given particular consideration,” said Senator Coghlan.