Line of Duty star Martin Compston ‘didn’t sing IRA lyrics’ at Celtic fan gathering

Line of Duty star Martin Compston has provoked a backlash after a video circulated online appears to show him joining in celebrations where Celtic fans sang IRA chants.

The incident is reported to have taken place at a Las Vegas hotel on Wednesday night as fans of the Glasgow club gathered for the annual North American Federation of Celtic Supporters Clubs conference.

Compston, who is a club ambassador with Celtic, is filmed on stage in front of the jubilant fans along with fellow ambassador and actor Gianni Capaldi.

The IRA song is being sung to the tune of the 1972 hit Beautiful Sunday by Daniel Boone.

Yesterday afternoon however, Compston issued a statement saying he “did not sing ANY sectarian songs”.

In a tweet, he said: “Not best pleased to wake up to a story eight hours ahead of me, before I’ve had the right to reply.

“Let me be absolutely clear, I unequivocally did not sing ANY sectarian songs. I’ve worked in Belfast too long to see damage done to think this stuff is a laugh.

“If people want to change lyrics to a song that’s sung at Celtic Park, weddings, Still game wherever that’s up to them I’m not the lyric police.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston (right) on stage at the North American Celtic supporters conference

He goes on to say: “If it was an IRA song and I was on stage bobbing along I would understand the story, but I’m pretty sure Daniel Boone had nothing more than Beautiful Sunday’s in mind when he wrote the song and that’s what I was singing.”

Compston is shown clad this season’s Celtic away shirt, clutching a drink and pumping his arm in the air in time to the singing.

He has spent time in Belfast during the filming of the hit television crime drama Line of Duty

One response on Twitter said: “Unbelievable that Compston thought that recording it on his phone was a bright thing to do. I wonder what his thoughts are now. We see you!”

Another said: “You’ve ‘acted’ in Belfast. Police officers, soldiers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, fire officers and others ‘worked’ in Belfast through years of turmoil. Please don’t patronise us.”

One said: “What a lack of judgement & insensitive display from someone with a high level of influence.”

However, a number of tweets suggested the actor would not necessarily have been aware that many in the crowd of revellers were chanting ‘IRA’.

One said: I’m pretty sure Martin Compston is very aware of the damage it could potentially do to him if he actually sang anything about the IRA & that’s why he did NOT sing along to it!! If he’s in front of a crowd & they start singing it, how’s that his fault??”

At the weekend, Compston played for the Soccer Aid World XI team against England to raise money for children’s charity Unicef.

Celtic FC and Gianni Capaldi have been also contacted for comment.