Father of IRA victim concerned by Ireland players singing 'Zombie'
The father of a victim of the IRA terror bombing in Warrington in 1993 said it "bothers" him that the Ireland rugby players sing the Cranberries song "Zombie" at the end of their Rugby World Cup matches.
The song was written by the late Dolores O'Riordan following the bombing that claimed the lives of three-year-old Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, who was aged 12, in the Cheshire town of Warrington.
More than 3,500 people were killed in the decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland known as "the Troubles" that began in the 1960s over the issue of British rule.
O'Riordan herself said at the time of the release of the album containing the song that it had no political or sectarian connotations, adding: "I care about the fact that innocent people are being harmed."
The song has been embraced by the Limerick hurling team and Irish province Munster, a rugby powerhouse, but as a tribute to O'Riordan, who was born in Limerick City and died in January 2018 aged 46.
The song has also been played at Ireland Test matches for the same reason.
But it has only become an issue since it has been played at the World Cup. Ireland players joined tens of thousands of the team's supporters to sing the song after the epic 13-8 pool win against South Africa at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Colin Parry, father of Tim, told The Irish Mirror he listened more to the news than music and had not been aware it was being played.
"I didn't know the Irish rugby fans were singing it and I think probably a great many of them would have no idea what its origins were or what it was about," he said.
"I would like to think that is the case, rather than singing it as some kind of anthem in support of a conflict we all hope has ended.
"I think it bothers me more slightly if the team sing it rather than if the guys on the terraces do.
"Maybe the players and the team should step back and think how it might be interpreted by the victims of the Troubles from whichever side they came from."
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) declined to comment but a source within the organisation told the Mirror that the singing of "Zombie" was solely a tribute to O'Riordan and the Cranberries.
"Every nation has the opportunity to pick an entrance song and a celebratory song in the event of winning," the source said.
"After Dolores O'Riordan passed, a lot of sports grounds wanted to honour the Cranberries in some way, so it is an anthemic kind of song but it's one of a number of songs.
"It's an iconic song globally and a very Irish song."
Parry, though, said he had nothing against the song itself and said he wished he could have met O'Riordan.
"I didn't know the song was written in the wake of the Warrington bombing," said Parry.
"I only found that out when Dolores died. We would've applauded her for it.
"We would've loved to have met her to talk about it, but it never happened."
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