Victims ‘hurt’ by Limerick hurling players singing IRA song

Phyllis Carrothers, from Brookeborough in Co Fermanagh, whose husband was killed by an IRA bomb
Phyllis Carrothers, from Brookeborough in Co Fermanagh, whose husband was killed by an IRA bomb

IRA victims have described their “hurt” after the Co Limerick hurling team’s players sang a song celebrating an attack on an RUC barracks after their All-Ireland victory.

After winning the hurling final against Galway on Sunday, Limerick’s players and backroom staff belted out the rebel song ‘Seán South’.

The song celebrates the actions of an IRA man from Co Limerick, named Seán South, who died in an attack on Brookeborough RUC station on New Year’s Day 1957.

A woman whose husband was killed by an IRA bomb placed under his car in 1991 has described the singing of the song as “hurtful” and a “bad example to young people”.

A survivor of the 1957 attack in Brookeborough, who asked not to be named over fears for his safety, has also hit out at the singing of the song.

He said: “I seen Sean South. I wouldn’t like them boys singing that song in the street because I would have to stop them, and ask them what they think it’s about?

“The boys who were singing that wouldn’t even have heard tell of it.”

Meanwhile, Phyllis Carrothers from Brookeborough, whose husband Douglas, a 51-year-old timber yard worker and RUC Reservist from Mullybritt, Lisbellaw in Co Fermanagh was killed by an IRA car bomb, told the News Letter she was “hurt” by the singing of the song.

“I’m shocked and hurt,” she told the News Letter.

“The song is not about sporting victory. It is a rebel song. Let’s call it what it is, a song that sings the praises of a terrorist.”

She added: “The Limerick hurling team have every right to celebrate their success and I say well done to them, but it is very hurtful when they’re signing the praises of a terrorist.

“I honestly think it would be more fitting if they provided better role models for their young supporters.”

Kenny Donaldson, a spokesperson for the Troubles’ victims’ support group South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF), said: “Limerick hurlers should not be engaged in terrorism glorification singing rebel songs which apologists seek to portray as pieces of folk music, there is no place for such terrorism idolatry.”