‘Enquiries ongoing’ as police probe anti-Irish racism chants in Glasgow

Humza Yousaf has urged Police Scotland to “hold those responsible to account” following a video clip showing racist chanting in Glasgow city centre. 

The health secretary tweeted after footage emerged on Sunday showing crowds gathered on Argyle Street chanting an anti-Irish song. 

Footage filmed prior to the Rangers v Celtic clash at Ibrox shows fans gathering singing what is known as the ‘Famine Song’ which refers to the 19th-century catastrophe which left more than one million people dead.

The song tells Irish people to “go home” and claims they have brought “trouble and shame” to Scotland.

Yousaf said he stood in solidarity with the Irish community, adding that “Scotland is their home”.

He took to social media stating: “​​For those hurling racist abuse at our Irish community telling them to “go home” – Scotland is their home. 

“Disgusted to once again see anti-Irish racism rear its ugly head. Solidarity with our Irish community. 

“I am sure Police Scot will hold those responsible to account.”

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford alco condemned the scenes tweeting: “This is not acceptable period. We cannot allow sectarianism or racism in our communities. When you see this it is clear there is a way to go to become a tolerant and respectful society. We all must stand against this behaviour and support our police in doing their duty.”

Patrick Harvie, a Glasgow MSP, also hit out at the footage, writing: “The images of a mob singing anti-Irish racist songs, as they marched through Glasgow escorted by police, ought to be shocking but are shamefully all too familiar.

“At the very least, we need an assurance that every identifiable person in that crowd will face charges.” 

Lawyer Aamer Anwar also condemned the scenes tweeting: “Why is @policescotland facilitating (again) a racist anti-Irish march, no kettling or arrests? If they replaced Irish with Pakistani/Muslim police would act, so why not now? Irish famine killed 1 million (Protestants too!) ended in 1852 it’s now 2021.”

The fans were also rebuked by anti-sectarianism charity Nil by Mouth.

Charity director David Scott told the Scottish Sun: “There is no celebration of football or identity here just ugly, bigoted hatred.

“This sort of garbage should be no more welcome in the 21st century as another prayer racially abusing Glen Kamara or morons on a supporters bus doing the same to Kyogo Furuhashi.

“It’s the language of the sewer.”

The footage emerged before the first Rangers Celtic match of the season, with Rangers winning 1-0 at Ibrox. 

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of sectarian singing by a group of people in the Jamaica Street area of Glasgow on Sunday, 29 August, 2021. Enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992