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Brian O’Driscoll reveals blunt advice he got over his reluctance to sing Ireland’s call

Brian O'Driscoll

This article was first published in March 2022.

Brian O’Driscoll has revealed his mother’s blunt advice over his reluctance to sing Ireland’s Call before test matches.

Ireland’s rugby team are unique in the fact that they have two national anthems; Amhrán na bhFiann – the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland, and Ireland’s Call – an anthem written specially for the rugby team, which represents the people of both the north and south of the island.

Amhrán na bhFiann is only sung before Ireland’s home matches in Dublin, while Ireland’s Call is sung before every Irish test match, although O’Driscoll often only sang the former when he captained his country.

O’Driscoll was speaking about his country’s two national anthems in an interview with BT Sport and revealed that his mother scolded him for not singing Ireland’s Call.

Brian O’Driscoll on singing Ireland’s national anthems.

“I was Ireland captain and for a period of time I was singing Amhrán na bhFiann, our Irish anthem for the Republic, and then Ireland’s Call is our second anthem,” O’Driscoll explained.

“I went through a period where I didn’t sing Ireland’s Call, for no real purpose. I obviously found Amhrán na bhFiann a more passionate anthem but my mum took me to one side and goes, ‘FYI, you’re Ireland captain. You sing both anthems.’

“She was bloody right. It wasn’t even that I didn’t want to sing it [Ireland’s Call], it’s just it’s the anthem for everyone.”

National anthems have been a point of discussion in Irish sport.

Most supporters are happy for Ireland to have two national anthems in rugby, as players from nationalist and unionist backgrounds both feel represented.

There are two international teams in football however, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where the former sing Amhrán na bhFiann and the latter sing God Save the Queen.

Former Ireland rugby captain Rory Best recently spoke about the usage of God Save the Queen by the Northern Ireland football team and argued that it is not inclusive.

“For me, it’s potentially not the way an anthem should be. I understand that God Save The Queen is Northern Ireland’s anthem because we’re part of the United Kingdom,” Best said.

“It also always strikes a chord with me, that’s what you hear when you’re in Twickenham, and you’re getting ready to play England.

“You don’t want to say that you find it strange because it is the anthem of Northern Ireland, but in terms of everything that I’ve done in sport, it’s been about including people. It’s not very inclusive.”

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