Video: Green Brigade Mark 40th Anniversary Of Hunger Strikes

The Green Brigade Ultras are a group of fans who always have their finger on the pulse when it comes to political matters. Today marks 40 years since a group of Irish Republican prisoners embarked upon a hunger strike to oppose Britain’s policy of criminalisation and to win back their status as political prisoners. Ten of the hunger strikers would ultimately pass away before their demands were met. However, the hunger strike transcended that issue as it ultimately paved the way for the Irish Republican movement to become involved in electoral politics, particularly when Bobby Sands was elected as an MP during the midst of the fast. Just under two decades later, the people of Ireland and Britain were relieved to hear that a peace agreement had been made and large scale violence has since been absent ever since.

Whether politics and Irish Republicanism should be expressed at Celtic Park or not is always the cause of great debate. The club publicly espoused the cause of Irish freedom in the early years and not only had a Patron (Michael Davitt) on the committee, but a founding father (Pat Welsh), who was involved in militant Irish Republicanism. As the years progressed, the boardroom distanced itself from such radical politics. Meanwhile, the fans remain divided on the subject.

The Green Brigade have firmly nailed their colours to the mast today as they unveiled a banner, depicting Bobby Sands and one of his famous quotes, above the Clyde and outside Celtic Park. The banner reads: “I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world.”

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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