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The Flag Issue At Parkhead In The Fifties

In Scotland in the fifties,
In football terms,
Protest was a blaze
From the grumpy old chairmen,
They took to a cause
That never since has died;
The flying of Ireland’s flag
Over Parkhead’s sky.

So bold Robert Kelly,
Born to Celtic’s dynasty,
Acted upon his heart
And wrote himself into history,
He sat at his desk
With pen in hand,
And wrote a letter, for a favour,
From the Irish PM.

“Dear Mr.DeValera,
How have you been?
Have you been reading the results
Of the bhoys in green?
Our attendance at Parkhead
Improves with every game,
I just wish our football
Would improve the same.”

“I have a small plea,
In this letter I ask,
As Celtic’s being condemned
For flying Ireland’s flag,
We’re proud of the fathers
Who built this club,
Proud of our heritage
As Ireland’s sons.”

“Ireland’s flag,
We’ll never take down,
But protest galore
May be reaching the crown,
So the teams in Scotland
Have gathered as a unit,
And turned the flag issue
Into a game of politics.”

“I took a walk around Parkhead,
It was a sunny day,
And noticed our flag of old,
Is starting to fray,
To the establishment of football,
I would just love to brag,
Can Ireland, our brother,
Deliver Celtic a new flag? ”

The letter was stamped
And mailed to Dublin,
By special delivery
Not carrier pigeon,
And DeValera, in the penmanship
Of Yeats’ ghost,
Wrote, “No problem, son,
It’s in the post.”

Oct'25th 2003

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