Line of Duty star Martin Compston is filmed on stage with Celtic fans as they sing IRA song in Vegas


Line of Duty star Martin Compston is filmed on stage alongside Celtic fans as they chant IRA song that ‘glorifies murdering terrorists’ in Las Vegas

  • Martin Compston was seen singing along with fans to 1972 hit Beautiful Sunday
  • However the lyrics had been changed to say ‘Irish Republican Army’ and ‘IRA’ 
  • The video was recorded while Compston was on stage during Celtic fans event
  • Event was North American Celtic Supporters Federation (NACSF) in Las Vegas 
  • Compston, a former footballer turned actor, is Scottish and a life-long Celtic fan
  • However he today denied singing ‘IRA’ lyrics, insisting he was signing original 
  • Social media users have accused Compston of ‘glorifying murdering terrorists’ 

Line of Duty star Martin Compston has been filmed on stage singing with Celtic fans as they chant about the IRA.

The Scottish actor, famed for playing nice-guy anti-corruption detective Steve Arnott, was seen on video singing along with supporters as they chanted ‘I-R-A’ at the event in Las Vegas

The incident took place while the 38-year-old was at the North American Celtic Supporters Federation (NACSF) in the US city – where he lives wife Tianna and their young son.

Compston, who is a life-long Celtic fan and who was a youth football star at Aberdeen, was filmed on stage with actor Gianni Capaldi as well as ex-Hoops midfielders Alan Thompson and Bobby Petta as fans chanted the song.

The video shows the men signing and dancing as audience members sing along to the tune of Daniel Boone’s 1972 hit Beautiful Sunday.

Compston, who in the video is wearing last season’s Celtic away top, can be seen pointing in the air shouting as fans sign ‘Irish Republican Army. It’s the I-I-I-IRA.’

However Compston today denied he was singing about the IRA, insisting he kept to the original lyrics. 

Line of Duty star Martin Compston (pictured right) has been filmed on stage singing with Celtic fans as they chant about the IRA

Line of Duty star Martin Compston (pictured right) has been filmed on stage singing with Celtic fans as they chant about the IRA

The Scottish actor (pictured right), famed for playing nice-guy anti-corruption detective Steve Arnott, was seen on video singing along with supporters as they chanted 'I-R-A' at the event in Las Vegas

The Scottish actor (pictured right), famed for playing nice-guy anti-corruption detective Steve Arnott, was seen on video singing along with supporters as they chanted ‘I-R-A’ at the event in Las Vegas

Compston today denied he was singing about the IRA, insisting he kept to the original lyrics. Pictured: The actor shared a statement on Twitter

Compston today denied he was singing about the IRA, insisting he kept to the original lyrics. Pictured: The actor shared a statement on Twitter

The video has been slammed by social media users for ‘glorifying murdering terrorists’.

It was estimated that, between 1969 and 1994, the IRA killed as many as 1,800 people – including approximately 600 civilians.

One Twitter user wrote: ”Imagine this was Rangers, the media/government would be all over it like a f***** rash.

Media commentator Jim Gamble, commenting on the video on Twitter wrote: ‘What an awful example.’

Another Twitter user wrote: ‘How long before Martin Compston releases a statement saying that he would never condone behaviour like that, was caught up in the moment, doesn’t know those songs and apologises to anyone and everyone that might have been offended? I’m going for 24 hours.’

However Compston today issued a statement via social media in which he denied signing the IRA lyrics.

He wrote: ‘Not best pleased to wake up to a story eight hours ahead of me before I’ve had a right to reply.

The Scottish actor, famed for playing nice-guy anti-corruption detective Steve Arnott (pictured), was seen on video singing along with supporters as they chanted 'I-R-A' at the event in Las Vegas

The Scottish actor, famed for playing nice-guy anti-corruption detective Steve Arnott (pictured), was seen on video singing along with supporters as they chanted ‘I-R-A’ at the event in Las Vegas

Compston, who is a life-long Celtic fan and who was a youth football star at Aberdeen, was filmed on stage with actor Gianni Capaldi as well as ex-Hoops midfielders Alan Thompson and Bobby Petta as fans chanted the song. Pictured: Compston recently played in Soccer Aid

Compston, who is a life-long Celtic fan and who was a youth football star at Aberdeen, was filmed on stage with actor Gianni Capaldi as well as ex-Hoops midfielders Alan Thompson and Bobby Petta as fans chanted the song. Pictured: Compston recently played in Soccer Aid

‘Let me be absolutely clear, I unequivocally did not sing ANY sectarian, songs. I’ve worked in Belfast too long to see the damage done to think this stuff is a laugh.

‘If people want to change the lyrics to a song that is 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 bobbing 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 that song and that’s what I was singing.’ 

In a later statement, released to the Scottish Sun, Compston said:  ‘To be absolutely clear, I 100 per cent did not sing any IRA lyrics. 

‘You will see from the footage, I actually pulled up and told others to stop when the words were being changed.

‘I’ve spent the last 5years or my life working in Belfast and I’ve seen how people’s lives have been affected by sectarianism. I don’t take that lightly.

‘If people want to change lyrics to a famous song I cannot police them, despite my best efforts.

‘I was simply singing along to Daniel Boones’ Beautiful Sunday which is played at Celtic Park after every Sunday game.’

Compston, grew in Greenock, west Scotland and played youth football for Aberdeen.

After leaving school pursued a short-lived football career with his local side, before moving into acting.

Despite having no acting experience, Compston, described as a life-long Celtic fan, landed a role in Ken Roach’s film Sweet Sixteen, which became a cult classic.

He also starred in BBC’s Monarch of the Glen, before landing the part of DI Steve Arnott in smash hit Line of Duty.

Alongside football, Compston has been vocal about his politics, and is a support of the Scottish National Party – and supported Scottish Independence.

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