Neil Lennon speaks out for the heart of Celtic


I spoke to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, a man who wears his Republican heritage on his sleeve, about the hostile reaction to his comments on modernising the Celtic songbook a few months back.  Phil found himself to be an easy target for conspiracy theorists who turned on him for issuing a request to an end of political chanting.  I’m sure Neil Lennon will not find anything like the same reaction to his comments in the Sun today, but it remains to be seen if anyone listens.

Neil said, “It’s important that we put a general message out that these chants have no place around our club. To be honest, we are better than that as a club and we always have been, we just don’t need it.

“We are and always have been a club open to all and we do not have issues around sectarianism. We have our own values and traditions but they do not include these chants. We don’t want them at matches and they must stop.”

This is not the first time Neil has given the same message this year.  After his earlier comments I actually heard, “Who is Neil Lennon to tell me what I can and can’t sing?  I’ve been going to Celtic Park a lot longer than he has.”

We are in a classic social paradox.  The reputational damage of political singing is not felt by those who sing, and the risk of personal consequences arising for any individual singer is probably around 1%.  And let’s be honest here, for all the supportive flags, banners and “I’m Neil Lennon” proclamations, is Neil respected enough to be listened to, or has he become a modern Che Guevara-poster boy?

Whatever you think of Neil, or his rights to say what you can or cannot sing, he has the best interests of our club in mind whenever he speaks on this subject.

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  1. Strong words from a Man who has had to come through the sternest of tests by scotland’s knuckledragging bigots…….




    “We are better than that”. We are better than Them……..




    We Move On.





  2. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    from what I’m reading on here, as far as their anal passages can stretch

  3. Neil Lennon as we all know is a brave man. Well said. Now, back to the football and 3 vital points.

  4. THE EXILED TIM says:


    17 November, 2011 at 13:09



    I will be giving that a miss.



    I know the content of the article cos he was banging on about it to speirs on twitter. Spiers to his credit said it was nonsense.

  5. Paul………………………………………………67



    it wizna that big……………… wiz it……………




  6. Well said Neil.



    Now let’s see how long it take for some of the less enlightened posters to call you a hun or claim you have blown your credibility by what you said.




  7. Paul67



    Do you not feel this is some size of Mountain that has grown from the mole hill of Ooh Aah…



    If that is what Cletic have been reported for? No-one, not even the club, seems to know… HH

  8. Paul67



    Do you not think we need clarity as to what is acceptable.


    Neil mentions chants not songs. Are we talking IRA chants and add ons? Clearly we are but what else Paddy McCourt song?


    Let’s draw the line , tell people will refrain from these chants even though.they are neither sectarian or at present illegal.


    Do thus before we meet Rankers and put the pressure on them. Get the light back on the real problem.

  9. Canamalar



    Aw but I enjoy your posts sooooo much as well…bawbag stop talking pish and try supporting Celtic for a change.

  10. Anyway, I find it hilarious the media are still on about this when, rangers will be lucky to see the New Year, hearts have NO FUNDS to pay their wages, The League will not have a sponsor and Dunfermline are closing a stand as no-one is showing up for their first season back in the top flight for years.



    Lets just all talk about ‘Illicit Chanting’ HH

  11. garygillespieshamstring on

    It sticks in my throat to say it but I thought Michael Kelly on STV the other night gave a more


    sensible position statement than anything that has come out from inside CP of late on this.




  12. The Battered Bunnet on

    If Salmond had any sense, he’d let current matters take their course and find an open goal.



    Rangers will go out of business in a short number of months. With the ‘brand’ being sufficiently valuable, a new Rangers will emerge from the ashes.



    Salmond has the wherewithal to ensure that any newco Rangers starts at teh bottom of the professional game, ensuring that Rangers are not competing with Celtic outside of the odd cup draw.



    With no Rangers in the SPL, the SPL and SFA will be able to properly implement UEFA’s rules on responsibility for behaviour at games, and sanctions can be applied without fear of ‘whataboutery’ or claims of bias. Moreover, point docking sanctions can be applied without compromising the competitive element of the SPL – Celtic will romp it anyway.



    Meantime, the Rangers support will be crying out of the depths of the SFL. Again, without fear of imbalanced/partial sanctions, the SFL and SFA can apply UEFA’s rules without compromising their competition, should the requirement be required.



    By the time new Rangers are promoted back to the SPL (assuming no interim restructuring) 3 full years minimum will have passed, with attitudes softened, behaviours changed, and a new football environment born in the intervening period.



    All Salmond has to do is let events take their course in the courts, and apply a little incentive here, pressure there, to ensure that the two clubs are separated sufficiently long to effect the desired changes.



    How utterly bonkers that he should forfeit the pedestal of democratic, liberal leadership so unnecessarily.

  13. Independent.ie headline now changed but still wrong (‘racist’ out; ‘sectarian’ in) and most of the comments which previously made it past moderation have been deleted …

  14. THE EXILED TIM says:


    17 November, 2011 at 13:23



    Behind enemy lines and all that.



    Don´t think I have the stomach for it

  15. Paul67



    Of course you posted a new one, as I posted a comment!!!




    thomthethim says:


    17 November, 2011 at 13:27



    Mort says:


    17 November, 2011 at 12:59



    thomthethim at 12:55



    Maybe they took that as a compliment.



    Was once overheard talking about a girl saying that she “seemed as smart as she was good looking”. She took it as a compliment. It wasn’t meant to be. :-)












    “She has a voice that has to be heard to be believed”.



  16. Quick scroll through. …..



    See some of us are still in victim mode



    Honestly I really despair at us , it’s not hard to figure out what’s not appropriate at the football.



    Oh well thats me off can be bothered reading the same old excuses and arguments.

  17. The absurdity of the situation is underlined further by Neil’s comments. “These chants” is as specific as he gets. Neil, polis, board, Salmond et al: what chants??

  18. enmac75 stands shoulder to shoulder with Neil Lennon on

    weeminger says:


    17 November, 2011 at 13:10


    I think (and I’m sure others have mentioned it too) there’s two distinct arguments here:



    1) Whether a song is appropriate to be sung in and around Celtic Park; and


    2) Whether a song is illegal and fans should be censured for singing it.



    It’s important to remember that a song can be inappropriate without being illegal and while it might be desirable for fans not to sing it, they should not be getting arrested or ejected for doing so.






    great post.

  19. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    I support Celtic, I refuse to suport celtic PLC, I refuse to condone censorship of the Celtic support, I refuse to be brow beating by clown who legitimise sectarian rascits bigoted opinion, I refuse to accept that the celtic PLC have any other aimthan sanitise and dumb down the Celtic support.


    I refuse to bend over and take everything they want to shove up it.


    Unlike of the appeasers on here my spine is strong and straight.


    I have never in any argument advocetd singing any song, the big difference is I have never legitimised the notion that any of the songs are wrong, as soon as you censor song you admit it is wrong there are no grey areas in this, the Celtic soul is sold and I am ashamed of the clamour by so called Celtic supporters to jump on the hun agenda.


    Unlike most on here when I bend over the sun shine out

  20. Circle the wagons Bhoys. Let in only thems that knows the password. Now whers ma Winchester and ma bottle of J D??

  21. .



    Mort says:


    17 November, 2011 at 13:32


    Irish Independent now changed headline to illicit.


    I think I can live with that. My work there is done.




    Good work Mort mee son………………….



    Just quick 1.……………………….



    What does ………….illicit mean………………………




  22. Imatim and so is Neil Lennon on

    2010 Never Again



    Does anyone know how much it costs the Scottish tax payer annually to police orange walks?

  23. The changing of two lying headlines in the Irish Independent in the space of about ten minutes at least shows the power of cyber protest; or the fear of litigation.

  24. Paul67



    Firstly. I took issue with Phil MacGiollabhaine’s view back then. I did not disagree much with what he had to say but more how he put that message across as though he was the only Irish Republican Celtic authority within a 500 mile radius of Celtic Park. It was as self righteous tone an article as i have ever read.



    Anyway. I still agree that add on’s or direct reference to the IRA should stop. Voluntarily rather than through force.



    At this time the biggest issue is not the actuall songs or add on’s. It is the disproportionate attacks that the club should be dealing with. At a minimum we should be hearing words with regards these disproportionate attacks from officials, no matter their position, as well as comments on the, in some people’s view, inappropriate chants.



    Until then I will take Celtic officials public proclamations with a pinch of salt until the day they front up and publically demonstrate their agitation at the bigoted and sectarian driven attacks on our club. Surely if Michael Kelly can say it like it is someone with authority at our club can too.



    Instead, all we hear is that the club are working behind the scenes.



    Well it’s bloody time to stop working behind the scene and grow a pair rather than pander to the bigot infested media, police and football authorities.




  25. Thank you Paul 67 and thank you Neil Lennon.



    It doesn’t get any simpler than what you’ve both said today.



    Happier Celt today than I have been so far this week…

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