The text of Amhrán na bhFiann, consisting of three stanzas and a chorus, was written in 1907. It was first published in the newspaper, Irish Freedom in 1912. The chorus solely was quietly adopted as the National Anthem in 1926, amid much discussion about the national anthem. The anthem was originally written in English, the later Irish translation by Liam Ó Rinn is much more commonly sung in the country. A section of the National Anthem (consisting of the first four bars followed by the last five) is also the Presidential Salute.

There has been some criticism about the anthem due to its militant nature and anti-British tone. The words “Fianna Fáil” (Warriors of Ireland) appear in Ó Rinn’s translation, later adopted as the name of an Irish political party, some advocate this be changed to “laochra fáil” (heroes of Ireland) instead. Also, some have argued that the melody is difficult to play, whereas others have pointed out that the whole song has been performed, instead of the chorus (which is the official anthem), or has been played at the wrong speed, both of which have happened at recent Olympic Games.

An anthem composed by Phillip Coulter called “Irelands Call” is used as a non-sectarian anthem, which is used by athletes from both Ireland and Northern Ireland when competing together as a unified team.

Special thanks to: Karen C and Timothy Green for some of this information.