Irish Times/Ipsos poll indicates most people do not believe ‘Up the Ra’ chants glorify IRA

Respondents questioned about controversial after-match celebrations by victorious Republic of Ireland women’s football team

A clear majority of voters say that people who sing songs which contain pro-IRA chants do not “mean to glorify the IRA”, the latest Irish Times/Ipsos opinion poll finds.

Respondents to the poll were asked about the controversy that arose recently when the Irish women’s football team were filmed singing the song Celtic Symphony which included the chant “ooh ahh up the ‘Ra” — a reference to the Provisional IRA. The team and their manager apologised following criticism after the footage circulated on social media.

Respondents were asked which in a series of statements about the subject came closest to their views on the issue. A large majority of those who expressed an opinion (59 per cent) said they “don’t think people mean to glorify the IRA by singing these songs”.

This was the most common view across all age ranges, social classes and regions, but was strongest in Munster (66 per cent), among those aged 18-24 (63 per cent) and the wealthiest ABC1 voters (63 per cent).


Just over a fifth of voters (22 per cent) agreed that “people shouldn’t sing songs with IRA chants as they are offensive to IRA victims”; a view that was most popular among older voters, with 36 per cent of those over age 65 agreeing. Just 11 per cent of the youngest 18-24 voters agreed.

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Just 12 per cent of voters said that they think “it’s okay to sing songs in praise of the Provisional IRA”. Seven per cent said that they had no opinion.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voters are most likely to think that people should not sing these songs. Among Sinn Féin voters, just 13 per cent of respondents say that people shouldn’t sing them, while almost one in five (19 per cent) say that it’s okay to sing songs in praise of the Provisional IRA. Almost two-thirds of Sinn Féin voters say that people don’t mean to glorify the IRA by singing them.

General election

Elsewhere in the poll findings, a clear majority of voters (57 per cent) say they want to wait until the Government’s term ends in 2025 before holding a general election, while 37 per cent say they want an election now.

Asked about their preference for who should be in government after the next election, the most popular choice is a continuation of the current Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael-Green coalition, which is favoured by 30 per cent of respondents. The next most popular government is a Sinn Féin administration without either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, which was chosen by 24 per cent of voters.

The poll was conducted among 1,200 adults at 120 sampling points across all constituencies between October 23rd-25th. Respondents were interviewed at their own homes. And the accuracy is estimated at plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times