DUNDALK senator Jim Darcy says he has been astounded by the response to comments he made last week surrounding a changing of the national anthem.
The senator says he has been inundated with calls from the media and the public after he suggested that a new national anthem should be penned that better reflects the new Ireland in which we live.
“The comments I made came after Seantor Fergal Quinn suggested that words of the national anthem were too militaristic. I wasn’t coming at it from that angle.
“The comments themselves were a bit tongue in cheek, but the response to them has been breath taking.”
The senator says he wants to kick start a debate about the type of country we want to live in and represent.
“In light of the speech that Enda Kenny made about the Cloyne Report, I wanted to create a debate about the anthem and indeed the bigger picture about where we want to go as a country. I believe we need to forge a more open and tolerant state, and one which looks to the future.”
Senator D’Arcy would like to see a new anthem rolled out to coincide with the one hundreth annivesary of 1916.
“The anthem as it stands represents one tradition, a tradition of armed rebellion. Maybe we should look at a anthem that better reflects a new republic.
“To quote TS Elliot ‘What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?’”
“In many ways we are a broken country and should look to how we can rebuild, and it is in that context that we should look at the national anthem. If we don’t change there is a danger we couild return to the morass of the last few years.”
Senator Darcy was annoyed by a Sunday Independent poll which gave people the option of voting for the Fields of Athenry or Ireland’s Call, but noted that the poll also suggested that 30 per cent of people would like the anthem changed.
“That’s a huge proportion of people that would like to see it changed.”
In the Seannad last week Senator Darcy said “I agree with what one of the Senators stated on changing the words of our national anthem.
“Will the Leader suggest the lines changed from “laochra fáil” to “fianna fáil” be changed back to the original wording?”
Senator Rónán Mullen quipped that it should be changed to “sinner fianna fáil”.
The copyright on the anthem is set to expire in 2012. Many see the anthem as too anachronistic and war-like.