Thursday, 12 January 2012

Frances Black and Martin McGuinness

The Weekend magazine in the Belfast Telegraph on Saturday night (7 January) carried an interview with Irish singer Mary Black and in it there was a reference to her sister Frances Black, who is also a folk singer.  It mentioned that Frances had endorsed Martin McGuinness in his presidential campaign in the Irish Republic in October 2011 and it reminded me that this was certainly not her first foray into the world of politics.

Exactly ten years before that, in October 2001, she supported the campaign for the three IRA men arrested in Colombia.  She also sang at the Hunger Strike 25th anniversary rally in Casement Park in Belfast in August 2006.

Of course she is not the only prominent figure in the field of Irish music to be associated with republican politics but it is interesting to consider the way in which a number of prominent public figures from entertainment and sport are quite relaxed and even enthusiastic about identifying with Irish republicanism.

They obviously feel that it will not damage their careers and there is no evidence that it does damage their careers, although their commitment to the republican cause may be such that they would do it it anyway.

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