Hibernian reject lawyer Paul McBride's accusation over 'IRA chants'

Hibs fans
Hibs have reacted angrily to the suggestion that their fans sing IRA songs

Hibernian have dismissed suggestions from lawyer Paul McBride that their fans sing songs glorifying the IRA.

McBride said on BBC Scotland's Sportsound that offensive chanting was not isolated to the west of Scotland.

"I've heard them singing at Tynecastle, 'We're up to our knees in Fenian blood'," said McBride. "And I've heard songs sung at Hibs about the IRA."

But Hibs chairman Rod Petrie said: "Suggestions by Mr McBride on national radio are wide of the mark."

McBride was reacting to the news that Celtic will face Uefa disciplinary action over "illicit chanting" at their recent home tie in the Europa League against Rennes.

However, Petrie told his club website: "I am pleased to say that religion and politics are not part of the fabric of our club and they are not part of Hibernian supporter singing and celebrations at Easter Stadium."

Hibs stress that they are "not complacent" and that supporters groups and the club "work very effectively together with the police to eradicate offensive behaviour of any kind at Easter Road Stadium".

The Edinburgh club point out that any supporter indulging in offensive behaviour is immediately dealt with by the police and the club, exemplified by "swift action against 11 individuals following the Sunderland match earlier this season".

McBride, who has acted for Celtic manager Neil Lennon, had said: "It's not merely confined to Celtic and Rangers.

"We've got Hearts fans singing Rangers-like songs and Hibs fans singing it as well.

"It's not confined merely to the west of Scotland - we've found that out over the years.

"We keep on hearing the argument that it's about education and deprivation and poverty.

"But these people aren't interested in having a rational discussion - their position is what they are singing is entirely within their rights and they will continue to do so.

"What we need to do is change the way things are done."

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