The BBC has come under criticism for broadcasting a ‘racist’ song about the Irish Famine during its coverage of the 12th of July.
The Irish News reported that the British broadcaster stated it “would not seek to offend” its audience after it mistakenly aired the anti-Irish tune.
BBC say they did not seek to cause offence after airing Famine Song https://t.co/OzVdmvvzUv pic.twitter.com/3hE5XtOiKP— The Irish News (@irish_news) July 17, 2018
It was played by the Bellshill Protestant Boys, a Scottish flute band while taking part in the Orange Order’s parade in Belfast last Thursday, which ended up being shown on the BBC that evening.
A formal statement by the BBC said: “A melody line played on flutes can briefly be heard for a matter of seconds, amongst a cacophony of other band performances, street noise and commentary as the parade made its way down Bedford Street.”
They went on to claim that they sought not to offend their viewers since they were only offering “an accurate reflection of the event.”
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The Famine Song has caused controversy in the past for its anti-Irish lyrics, particularly when a band on the Shankill Road, the Young Conway Volunteers, were found to be playing it outside a Catholic church in 2012.
Similarly, a 2009 court case in Scotland had ensured the prosecution of a Rangers football club fan who sang the song, which was described as “racist” and displaying “malice and ill-will towards people of Irish descent living in Scotland.”
While in the most recent incident only the air to the song was played here's a taste of some of the lyrics that go with this tune. The first verse reads:
"I often wonder where they would have been
If we hadn't have taken them in
Fed them and washed them
Thousands in Glasgow alone
From Ireland they came
Brought us nothing but trouble and shame
Well the famine is over
Why don't they go home?"
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