April 16th – Celtic v Rangers. It is aired for the first time. Within days Show Racism the Red Card are innundated with complaints.
Week beginning April 21 – Complainants receive responses from SRTRC that the song is racist and they are in dialogue with the SPL, SFA and Rangers FC about the song. The request for an ethnic group to go home is a racist mantra and has been for many years.
It is NOT the Famine reference that makes the song racist.
April 27th – Celtic v Rangers – It is sang in greater numbers and on at least four occasions. The SPL delegate is Willie McDougall, ex-Rangers employee and associate of SRTRC. Later that evening a Celtic fan of Irish background is murdered. In the ensuing days there is no condemnation from any quarter. The song now starts to feature on more and more Bebo pages and there is a significant increase on it’s references in various search engines.
May 9th – Representatives from IDSA (Irish Diaspora in Scotland Association), Garngad Irish Association and the Celtic Trust meet SRTRC to discuss measures to stop the song being sung. Both SRTRC representatives opine that the song is racist.
May 10th – Rangers v Dundee United. The song is sang specifically at Noel Hunt,an Irish Dundee United player. There is no condemnation from any quarter,including PFA Scotland, the footballers union.
May 14th – Rangers v Zenit. The song is sung in the UEFA Cup Final.
In April and May the song is sang in games under the jurisdiction of the SPL and UEFA with the SPL in the full knowledge that thousands of supporters are being openly racist each week.
May 12th – Gordon Smith, Martin Bain, Lex Gold and others attend the Show Racism the Red Card awards ceremony in Downing Street. Their presence is seen as a commitment to challenge racism in Scottish
May 24th – Scottish Cup Final. Rangers entertain minnows Queen of the South in Scotland’s showpiece occasion. The song is aired in the presence of Gordon Smith and the SFA. They also have been told the
song is racist. There is no condemnation from Smith or the SFA.
June – Despite requests for further dialogue Show Racism the Red Card do not respond to contact from the Irish groups or the Celtic Trust.
June 9th – Show Racism the Red Card ackowledge privately they have had by this stage more than 100 complaints about the song. This is unprecedented for the organisation and perhaps for almost any
anti-racist body. Generally media coverage post-racism means the necessity is not there to complain to anti-racist bodies.
July – SRTRC inform complainants who followed up initial correspondence that dialogue is ongoing with the SPL,SFA,Rangers FC and the Rangers Supporters Trust.
August 9th – Falkirk v Rangers- The Famine Song reappears in stadia.
August 16th – Rangers v Hearts – The song emerges, but with a worrying development alluded to. T-shirts are now on sale with sentiments stemming from the message of the Famine Song urging consideration from the Irish community to repatriate.
August 23rd – Aberdeen v Rangers – The song is sang throughout the fixture at Pittodrie.
August 31st – Celtic v Rangers – Despite conjecture that the song could lead to arrest it is sang with gusto. Later that evening, Neil Lennon, the Irish coach of Celtic is beaten up in Glasgow. Craig Brown, SRTRC patron and former Rangers player is the SPL delegate. There is no subsequent condemnation.
September 15th – The BBC Scotland Reporting Scotland reports that the Irish Government, through it”s Consulate in Edinburgh has voiced it’s concerns over the song and sentiments.
September 16th – Rangers FC through Martin Bain release a statement asking for supporters to refrain from singing what has became known as the Famine Song.
September 21st – Rangers v Motherwell – Despite the request the song is aired by a significant section of the home support.
Septmember 28th – Hibernian v Rangers – Again the song is sang frequently throughout with many of the opinion that defiance is as much as a motivation as age old anti-Irish racism. Just prior to kick off Celtic FC release a statement with John Reid, the Celtic chairman deeming the song as racist. Again Willie McDougall is the SPL delegate for the fixture.
October 1st – An article in the Irish Post features contributions from anti-racist bodies Kick it Out and Searchlight. Both deem the song as racist,with the former intimating that the Irish Government were correct in involving themselves in this issue.
October 1st – Show Racism the Red Card release a statement on their website which to many regurgitates the September 16th statement of Rangers FC. They do not label the song as racist.
October 6th – Show Racism the Red Card amend the statement with an additional sentence which says “We are of the opinion this song is racist”. The general consensus is that SRTRC have been left with no
option but to follow the lead of other similarly motivated bodies. Prior to this the leading anti-racist body Kick it Out, the Equality and Human Rights Comission and the anti-racist and anti-fascist group Searchlight all label the song and sentiments as racist.
To date the SPL and SFA have not condemned the song, nor labelled it as racist despite being told almost six months ago the song is racist. As a result Rangers FC have not been sanctioned.