Leinster Rugby apologises after ‘Up the Ra’ song played at RDS

Wolfe Tones’ Celtic Symphony played after Leinster’s dominant win over Connacht

Leinster Rugby released a statement on Sunday night after the Wolf Tones song Celtic Symphony was inadvertently played over the public address system following their United Rugby Champion league win against Connacht in the RDS in Dublin.

“A song was played over the PA at the RDS Arena this evening that shouldn’t have been played,” said the statement. “Leinster Rugby has taken measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again and apologises sincerely for its use and any offence it caused.”

One line of the song “Ooh ah up the ‘RA, say ooh ah up the ‘RA” caused controversy in October, when a video of the players from the Irish women’s football team sang the song in their changing room after they beat Scotland in a play-off to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Australia.

The players, manager Vera Pauw and the FAI apologised for any offence caused by the Irish team. The Uefa Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body then launched their own investigation and the FAI were fined €20,000 for “violation of the basic rule of decent conduct.”


The song was one of several played when the match ended and as the Leinster players were doing a lap of honour after beating Connacht 41-12. The offending line was played just once before the music was faded.

The song, written by group member by Brian Warfield in 1986, set out to reconnect Ireland with Celtic when he became aware that the young people in Ireland in the early eighties were not aware of the connection with the Glasgow club.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times