Martin Compston: did actor sing IRA lyrics in Twitter video? What happened at Celtic convention explained
The Line of Duty star appeared at the Celtic convention in Las Vegas alongside fellow Scottish actor Gianni Capaldi and former Celtic midfielders Bobby Petta and Alan Thompson
This is everything you need to know.
Compston was a guest at the North American Celtic Supporters Federation (NACSF) event and could be seen in a clip on stage alongside fellow Scottish actor Gianni Capaldi (Paper Empire, Feel the Dead) and former Celtic midfielders Bobby Petta and Alan Thompson.
In the video, Compston and the others can be heard singing along to Daniel Boone’s 1972 hit Beautiful Sunday, a song often played at Celtic Park.
The actor points into the air as a rowdy audience chants pro-IRA lyrics: “Irish Republican Army. It’s the I-I-I-IRA.”
What has Martin Compston said?
Compston has denied singing “sectarian songs” whilst at the Celtic fan convention.
On Twitter, he wrote: “Not best pleased to wake up to a story 8 hours ahead of me before I’ve had the right to reply. Let me be absolutely clear, I unequivocally did not sing ANY sectarian songs.
“I’ve worked in Belfast too long to see damage done to think this stuff is a laugh. If people want to change lyrics to a song that’s sung at Celtic Park, weddings, Still game whatever that’s up to them I’m not the lyric police.
“If it was an IRA song and I was onstage bobbing along I would understand the story but I’m pretty sure Daniel Boone had nothing more than Beautiful Sundays in mind when he wrote the song and that’s what I was singing.”
In a statement, he also told the Scottish Sun: “To be absolutely clear, I 100% did not sing any IRA lyrics. You will see from the footage, I actually pulled up and told others to stop when the words were being changed.
“I’ve spent the last five years of my life working in Belfast and I’ve seen how people’s lives have been affected by sectarianism. I don’t take that lightly.
“If people want to change lyrics to a famous song I cannot police them, despite my best efforts.
“I was simply singing along to Daniel Boones’ Beautiful Sunday which is played at Celtic Park after every Sunday game.”
What has the reaction been like online?
Despite Compston denying singing the IRA lyrics, he has faced criticism online over the video, with many claiming that the clip clearly shows him singing along to the changed words.
One person tweeted: “Martin Compston can deny it all he likes… we can all see the video.”
Another wrote: “Martin. See when the only words heard here in this shortened clip are IRA related, not the original song… See when you turn back to the crowd and point your finger in the air with the lyrics and tune… What exactly were you doing?”
“I find it amazing that all the people in the crowd spontaneously sang the same words about the IRA for the first time together while he was up there playing choirboy. Dreadful luck. Poor Martin,” tweeted another.