THE head of a Celtic supporters' trust has provoked outrage by defending the singing of pro-IRA songs by the club's fans during matches.
Dr Jeanette Findlay [actually Ms Findlay - she doesn't have a PhD], who chairs the Celtic Trust, which represents supporters and small shareholders, claimed chants about the IRA were "songs from a war of independence".
She was speaking during an interview on BBC Radio Five Live's breakfast programme. Her comments prompted a furious response from listeners.
Dr Findlay, who is a research fellow and economics lecturer at Glasgow University, had been replying to questions by presenter Nicky Campbell about the trust's opposition to the appointment as club chairman of the former home secretary, John Reid, who was a cabinet minister at the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Dr Findlay said the trust's opposition was to do with Mr Reid's "leading role in relation to what many believe is an illegal and immoral war".
Mr Campbell then asked her if she was more uncomfortable with the singing of pro-terrorist songs or the appointment of Mr Reid.
Dr Findlay responded: "I have tried to explain about the nature of Celtic as a club. It was founded to help the poor Irish immigrants to Scotland.
"They may take a particular view of the history, of what happened in Ireland, which is different from many other people, so I don't call those pro-terrorist songs. What history tells us is that it is facile to say that politics and sport will ever be separated."
Mr Campbell said he was not referring to songs such as The Fields of Athenry, but to "actually chanting: 'The IRA'."
She replied: "Many of those songs are songs from what was essentially a war of independence going back over a hundred years."
What a vile woman. Still, I can't say that I'm surprised to hear this kind of thing coming from within the groves of academe. After all, academics have repeatedly sided with the various terrorist organisations seeking to destroy Israel - supporting the IRA, or at least acting as an apologist for those who do, is simply in character for most of them.