Irish Politics has been ingrained in the Scottish game for half a century if not longer, but with Ireland trying to put the past where it belongs, the glorification of the troubles continues in the West of Scotland. Celtic fans sing ditties celebrating not only the Irish War of Independence, but also the troubles in Northern Ireland. They sing about the hunger strikers, particularly Bobby Sands as well as Aiden McAnespie - an Irish Catholic - killed by a British soldier in 1988. Likewise across the city Rangers fans sing The Billy Boys, Build My Gallows High, the racist Famine Song and a few other ditties with add-ons such as F**k the Pope and the IRA. While both sides have fans who march alongside republican and orange marches up and down Scotland's streets.
But in 21st Century Scotland, what have such things go to do with our society let alone Scottish Football?
Last season Rangers were punished by UEFA for their continued singing of sectarian songs during their European games, resulting in a hefty fine and their fans being banned from attending the first away tie against Malmo. Despite their continued singing of the same songs that UEFA punished the Ibrox side for, domestically the SFA and the SPL failed to act.
In terms of the songs that Celtic fans sing, while the majority of them cannot be deemed legally as sectarian or bigoted, it doesn't make them acceptable. The singing of Irish republican/rebel tunes in itself has nothing to do with the Parkhead club let alone Scottish Football.
Celtic was founded in 1888, with its founder being a Marist Brother named Walfrid. The club's aims were to raise funds to provide food for the poor in the East End of Glasgow, as well as socially integrating the community - Scottish, Irish, Protestant and Catholic alike - to support the football club.
Brother Walfrid named the club 'Celtic' to celebrate its Scottish and Irish identity, in the hope to bridge the cultures from opposite sides of the Irish Sea.
Nowhere in the club's charter, its history nor folklore does it state that Celtic were founded to support Irish Republicanism. Where does it state that those of us who are Scottish and see us solely as Scottish should receive abuse for standing up for our own beliefs and wanting the end to this perceived Irish Republican love-in by individuals who 90% of the time have never set foot on Ireland's shores let alone experienced the troubles or lost family members to terrorists [on both sides] claiming to be freedom fighters.
It is clearly evident that while there is a sizeable number of Irish fans that support Celtic Football Club, the main protagonists of glorifying the IRA are Scottish born fans claiming to be political activists while hanging their banner upside down in some mock protest at Dr. John Reid being the Chairman of Celtic FC - yet welcome with open arms a singing section from the same board and the same man who they claim to detest with a passion.
The Green Brigade horde who bounce up and down, singing and chanting in the terracing, also target their own fans for not following their brainwashed doctrine handed down to them by their family members, but guys in pubs, by watching Hollywood movies. They are labelled 'Green Huns', they are abused and threatened - and I talk from experience in this matter. And the Green Brigade are no different to those from the other side who call themselves the Vanguard Bears who claim to uphold the Protestant traditions of Rangers Football Club.
With the proposed Offensive Behaviour Bill still being discussed by the politicians it gives these elements time to continue peddling their hate-filled ideologies, all the while the decent football fans among the support are tarred with the same brush and punished likewise. When or if the politicians stop talking and finally impose the new bill within Scots Law, hopefully these elements that continue to shame Scottish Football and our respective clubs WILL be banned from our games permanently.
The Greatest EVER Celtic manager Jock Stein - a Protestant - during a game against Stirling Albion at the start of the troubles in Northern Ireland, famously vaulted the perimeter fence to challenge a group of Celtic fans who had been chanting 'I, I, IRA rule ok!' and other IRA slogans throughout the first half of the game.
An eyewitness to this famous event stated that Stein said: "The players don't respond or react to your IRA songs or chants. Keep them for your buses or pubs. You have loads of Celtic songs, sing them and the players will respond better, thank you."
For the Second Half of that game, the Celtic fans sang only Celtic songs.
Maybe this 'new' generation of Irish Republican lovers/wannabes should remember what the immortal Jock Stein said of such songs. A man they continue to worship to this day. If they continue to peddle their Irish Republican ditties then they are hypocrites and have no right to mention Jock Stein in the same breath.
Ahead of tonight's Europa League clash with FC Sion, I hope ALL of the Celtic support celebrate Celtic and sing the songs of Celtic solely. Win, Lose or Draw.