Line of Duty star Martin Compston denies singing IRA lyrics in Celtic FC viral video row

Line of Duty stars Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston
Actor Martin Compston, centre, stars in the BBC's Line of Duty. Credit: Line of Duty/BBC

Line of Duty star Martin Compston has rejected suggestions he took part in a chant about the IRA at a Celtic fans' convention in the United States.

Viral footage captured the Scottish actor singing on stage alongside former Celtic FC players Alan Thompson and Bobby Petta in Las Vegas

In the video, chants of 'IRA' can be heard as the crowd sings the 1972 song 'Beautiful Sunday', a song synonymous with the Glasgow club.

Compston denies singing any lyrics related to the IRA himself, and added in a tweet said if others wanted to change the lyrics that it was 'up to them'.

The actor, who is from Greenock in Glasgow, has spent many years in Belfast filming hit BBC series Line of Duty, where he plays Steve Arnott, alongside Northern Ireland star Adrian Dunbar, who plays Ted Hastings.

Compston said his experience in Northern Ireland had given him insight into the 'damage done' by sectarianism.

He clarified his stance in a tweet later on Thursday (16 June).

"Not best pleased to wake up to a story eight hours ahead of me before I’ve had the right to reply.

"Let me be absolutely clear, I unequivocally did not sing ANY sectarian songs.

"I’ve worked in Belfast too long to see damage done to think this stuff is a laugh.

He continued: "If people want to change lyrics to a song that’s sung at Celtic Park, weddings, Still Game wherever that’s up to them I’m not the lyric police.

"If it was an IRA song and I was onstage bobbing along I would understand the story, but I’m pretty sure Daniel Boone had nothing more than Beautiful Sundays in mind when he wrote the song and that’s what I was singing."

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