Fancy a few rousing rebel tunes? Then look no further than the British National Party shop for a CD to set republican toes tapping all over Ireland.
For along with more traditional merchandise such as BNP ties, golliwogs, and books lambasting the 'immigration invasion', the party is selling a CD of which any militant republican would be proud.
Over an hour of Irish Folk by the group Cu Chulainn features 'Only our Rivers run Free', 'The Fields of Athenry', 'The Foggy Dew' – which celebrates the Easter Rising – and 'Grace' about the marriage of 1916 leader Joseph Plunkett before his execution. But, most surprisingly of all, the CD also includes 'Back Home in Derry' – written by IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands.
The BNP's embracing of republican songs has caused much mirth on the website of radical anti-fascist group Antifa – which noted the BNP seemed less keen on loyalist music. "There's not a rendition of 'The Sash' or 'The Famine Song' to be bought," an Antifa spokesperson said, adding that it wasn't clear what the BNP's 'No Surrender' supporters made of that.
BNP deputy leader Simon Darby told the Sunday
Tribune that the CD had sold so well last week it was now out of stock. "We aren't anti-Irish in any way. We've many members of Irish descent in Britain. We have both Catholic and Protestant members in Northern Ireland and we've supporters in southern Ireland," he said.
"The sectarian thing isn't an issue for us, it belongs in the past. The biggest challenge now is keeping Ireland full of Irish people, not full of Africans, Asians and Eastern Europeans.
"We're delighted to promote Irish culture and music. Ireland doesn't need a multi-cultural mish-mash. We'd be overjoyed if an Irish National Party was set up and we would do all we could to help it."
When the CD initially went on sale on the party's online shop, the BNP wasn't aware that 'Back Home In Derry' was written by IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands. Darby said that he now had problems with that track.
However, he said he had no difficulty with songs celebrating more historical events like 1916 but he thought the BNP wouldn't restock the Cu Chulainn CD. However, Alive and Drinkin' in Ireland, recorded live in a Dublin pub by Cruiskeen, can still be bought in the BNP store.