Boxer Conlan criticised after pro-IRA chants

The 'Up the Ra' chart is part of the lyrics in the Wolfe Tones song Celtic Symphony which was played at Madison Square Garden as Michael Conlan made his entrance to the ring
Michael Conlan maintained the winning start to his career by outpointing Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez in New York

Belfast boxer Michael Conlan has been criticised after his ring entrance song in Sunday's bout in New York contained lyrics supporting the IRA.

Conlan, 27, entered the ring as the Wolfe Tones song Celtic Symphony played at Madison Square Garden.

The song's chorus includes the line "Up the Ra" and several unionist politicians have reacted angrily.

"Disgraceful that he has no regard for the victims of IRA terrorism," said DUP Belfast councillor Brian Kingston.

"Very disappointing that Michael Conlan does not follow the lead of many previous boxing and sporting heroes so that people can support him across the divide."

East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart was also strongly critical of the Belfast fighter who maintained his unbeaten record by defeating Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez.

"It's time someone told him that walking out to 'Oh Ahh Up the RA' is dragging him and the sport into the gutter. Sad," added the Ulster Unionist MLA.

The Wolfe Tones have written a number of songs which praise the IRA.

With Celtic Symphony playing at the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist made his way to the ring, a number of spectators sang the "Up the Ra" lyric when the song arrived at the chorus.

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