Rugby: Leinster in trouble after playing pro-IRA song in victory celebrations

Caelan Doris celebrates Leinster's win over Connacht
Caelan Doris celebrates Leinster's win over Connacht. Photo credit: Getty Images

Leinster have had to apologise for playing a pro-IRA song as part of their celebrations, after beating Connacht 41-12 in the United Rugby Championship.

Riding a 10-game winning streak in the competition, the home side piled on 22 unanswered points in the second half, but went a little too far in their post-game posturing, when the ground announcer played Wolfe Tones song Celtic Symphony.

Among the lyrics is the line "Ooh ah, up the RA!", a reference to the Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary organisation that waged a violent rebellion against British rule in the late 20th century.

The song was reportedly faded out after a verse and chorus, and the club has issued a public apology.

"A song was played over the PA at the RDS Arena this evening that shouldn't have been played," said a spokesperson. "Leinster Rugby has taken measures to ensure it doesn't happen again and apologises sincerely for its use and for any offence caused."

The Leinster side are stacked with Irish internationals, as well as former All Black Charlie Ngatai and Manu Samoa captain Michael Ala'alatoa, while former Crusaders assistant Andrew Goodman is backs coach.

The Ireland women's football team incurred the wrath of European governing body UEFA in October, after they were videoed singing the same song, as they celebrated qualifying for the World Cup.

UEFA described the incident as "a violation of the basic rules of decent conduct" and fined the Ireland Football Association 20,000 euros (NZ$33,580).