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.”
On 1st March 1981, Bobby Sands began his hunger strike for justice for republican prisoners. He died 66 days later, followed by 9 of his comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice. They were the bravest of the brave and are remembered with pride by the Green Brigade. pic.twitter.com/AIZK14Kh9A
— North Curve Celtic (@NCCeltic) March 1, 2021