Joe Duffy slams Wolfe Tones for “irresponsible narrative”, unveiling a list of ten songs he believes glorify terrorism.
Veteran radio host Joe Duffy, often viewed as the moral compass of Ireland, took to the airwaves on his iconic radio show Liveline to drop a cultural bombshell.
Known for dissecting every issue under the sun, from healthcare to potholes, Duffy now aimed his ire at a new target: The Wolfe Tones and their controversial anthems.
“Look, let’s get straight to the point: these lads are glorifying terrorism. There’s a line between patriotism and romanticising terrorism, and they’ve smashed it to bits,” Duffy blasted.
“I’ve got no patience for anyone who bops along to their music. They’re fueling an irresponsible narrative!”.
Without further ado, here’s the countdown of Duffy’s most detested Wolfe Tones tunes and the reasons why he finds them utterly objectionable.
- Joe Duffy slams Wolfe Tones for “irresponsible narrative”, unveiling a list of ten songs he believes glorify terrorism.
- 10. ‘The Streets of New York’ – “tasteless”
- 9. ‘A Nation Once Again’ – “fanning the flames of modern-day terrorism”
- 8. ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ – “a dance tune about the Troubles”
- 7. ‘The Men Behind the Wire’ – “undermines the legitimate struggle for civil rights”
- 6. ‘Four Green Fields’ – “trivialising a complex issue”
- 5. ‘You’ll Never Beat the Irish’ – “the audacity!”
- 4. ‘Joe McDonnell’ – “misleading and dangerous”
- 3. ‘Rock on Rockall’ – “a flag of insurgency”
- 2. ‘Celtic Symphony’ – “It’s not Beethoven”
- 1. ‘Rifles of the IRA’ – “Unbelievable!”
10. ‘The Streets of New York’ – “tasteless”
“Why does a band that claims to epitomise Irish pride spend so much time waxing lyrical about New York?
“And that, too, without mentioning the sacrifices made by Irish immigrants? It’s tasteless and contributes nothing to an understanding of the conflict back home”.
9. ‘A Nation Once Again’ – “fanning the flames of modern-day terrorism”
“This tune might be a product of 19th-century nationalism but don’t be fooled. It’s just fanning the flames of modern-day terrorism. The song was once used to boost morale, but now it’s exploited to justify radical ideologies”.
8. ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ – “a dance tune about the Troubles”
“You might as well make a dance tune about the Troubles! The song may date back to the Irish War of Independence, but its message is often co-opted to support violent acts today. It’s lunacy set to music”.
7. ‘The Men Behind the Wire’ – “undermines the legitimate struggle for civil rights”
“Internment without trial is a dark chapter in our history. But that doesn’t mean we make folk heroes out of everyone detained. This song glorifies people who took up arms and thereby undermines the legitimate struggle for civil rights”.
6. ‘Four Green Fields’ – “trivialising a complex issue”
“This one makes my blood boil. The song likens the province of Ulster to a ‘stolen field,’ trivialising a complex issue by reducing it to mere property theft. It’s irresponsible songwriting, to say the least”.
5. ‘You’ll Never Beat the Irish’ – “the audacity!”
“The audacity of this one, honestly! As if being born on this island makes you some kind of superhero. This attitude only breeds extremism. As if we’re beyond reproach or above the law.”
4. ‘Joe McDonnell’ – “misleading and dangerous”
“Here’s another one that infuriates me. McDonnell might be revered in certain circles, but let’s not forget that he was convicted for his involvement in terrorist activities. This song paints him as a martyr, which is both misleading and dangerous.”
3. ‘Rock on Rockall’ – “a flag of insurgency”
“Is this a joke? They want to make a rebel song about a piece of rock in the ocean? It’s silly, but also worrying if they’re going to drape it in a flag of insurgency.”
2. ‘Celtic Symphony’ – “It’s not Beethoven”
“A symphony? It’s not Beethoven; it’s a glorification of paramilitary culture. Putting ‘Ooh Ahh Up The Ra’ in the middle of the song is just reckless. It’s incitement, plain and simple!”
1. ‘Rifles of the IRA’ – “Unbelievable!”
“Unbelievable! A song that actually celebrates the instruments of death and destruction. It’s not just disconcerting; it’s morally reprehensible. How can anyone listen to this and think it’s okay? It’s the epitome of irresponsibility.”
Once Duffy unveiled his scathing review, the phones buzzed like a beehive disturbed by a hurling ball. Agitated callers from every corner of the Emerald Isle either applauded Joe’s audacity or challenged his views.
Among the callers, Fergus from Galway said, “Ah, Joe, lighten up. It’s just tunes”.
Duffy was quick to rebuff him. “Just tunes? That’s the sort of complacency that keeps these toxic narratives alive. You might as well say propaganda leaflets are ‘just paper.’ No, I won’t have it!”
Whether you’re for or against Duffy’s opinion, there’s no denying that he has thrown down the gauntlet.
As Ireland grapples with its evolving identity, perhaps it’s worth examining the songs that have shaped, for better or worse, our collective consciousness. But for Duffy, the line is clear, and anyone who crosses it had better prepare for a verbal skirmish on Liveline.
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