‘I’m British and Irish’ – BBC presenter sparks anger after standing for Ireland’s national anthem
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‘I’m British and Irish’ – BBC presenter sparks anger after standing for Ireland’s national anthem

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan has ignited a social media storm after revealing that he still considers himself British despite holding an Irish passport and standing for the Irish anthem.

The Northern Irish radio host was in Las Vegas attending the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather fight when social media users took exception to one of his tweets.

After Dublin singer Imelda May gave an impassioned rendition of the Irish national anthem Amhran na bhFiann (Soldier’s Song), Mr Nolan tweeted from ringside: "I'm currently standing for the Irish anthem in Vegas & I got an Irish passport this year.

"Still British. #swingbothways."

Nolan’s message instantly sparked a reaction on Twitter – with his followers trading insults over his comment.

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One tweeted: “Leave the Norn Iron cr*p at home. #GetsBoring it’s about the match.”

Another said: “You can’t have it both ways. Make up your mind what you are. I find that statement insulting.”

Little of the reaction to Nolan’s tweet was complimentary – but not everyone was up in arms over the presenter’s dual identity.

“It's always acceptable to swing when abroad - more unites than divides you'd like to think,” said one follower, while another wrote: “Welcome to the club. #IrishPride.”

There were more than 100 replies to the tweet by Nolan, who hosts current affairs ring-in shows on both BBC Radio Ulster and Five Live, ranging from the receptive to the outright furious.

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Thomas Simmons responded: "Yeah take our passport when it suits you. Have you no shame?"

Under the terms of 1998’s Good Friday Agreement, citizens in Northern Ireland can choose whether they want to identify as either British, Irish, or both.

Around six million people living in the UK have the right to an Irish passport, which is almost the same as the total population of the island of Ireland at 6.6 million.

The 2011 census revealed that 28.4 per cent of Northern Ireland’s population consider themselves Irish, with 48.4 per cent considering themselves British and 29.4 per cent identifying as Northern Irish.