VIDEO: Moment Arlene Foster is ambushed by woman chanting ‘up the Ra’ at business awards

Moment Arlene Foster is ambushed by woman chanting ‘up the Ra’ while filming selfie at business awards… 43 years after her policeman father was shot and nearly killed by the IRA

  • Video of a woman singing pro-IRA songs to Arlene Foster in Belfast condemned 
  • Foster said she was ‘very disappointed’ by the incident and uncomfortable
  • Foster’s father, John Kelly, was shot in the head by IRA when Foster was young
  • Event organisers have promised to ban young woman and apologised to Foster 

A video of a young woman singing the Wolfe Tones’s Up The Ra standing next to Arlene Foster has caused controversy as former DUP leader says she is ‘very disappointed’. 

The former first minister of Northern Ireland is filmed posing with a young woman at a Local Women Business Awards in the upmarket Europa Hotel in Belfast

The DUP leader previously described her experiences with the IRA as ‘traumatic’ after her father was shot by the group in 1979.

In footage that was shared online over the weekend, the young woman begins chanting the pro-IRA song, causing the former DUP leader to express discomfort. 

Ms Foster can be heard saying: ‘Oh, please don’t start that.’ 

The young woman begins to chant the Wolfe Tones's 'Oh, ah, up the 'Ra' while standing next to former DUP leader Arlene Foster. Ms Foster said she had been left 'very disappointed' by the incident and invited the young woman to stand with her at her father's graveside

The young woman begins to chant the Wolfe Tones’s ‘Oh, ah, up the ‘Ra’ while standing next to former DUP leader Arlene Foster. Ms Foster said she had been left ‘very disappointed’ by the incident and invited the young woman to stand with her at her father’s graveside

Dame Arlene Foster said she had been left ‘very disappointed’ by the incident and suggested the young woman should join her at her father’s graveside to understand what the IRA had done, ‘before she was even born’. 

‘I’d like to bring her to Aghadrumsee graveyard where my father is buried. There she could hear what the ‘Ra’ was doing in Fermanagh before she was even born,’ she told the Belfast Telegraph.

‘It’s so sad that at an event to celebrate the success of local women that someone would try to celebrate the IRA while standing beside a victim of the IRA. It’s very disappointing,’ Ms Foster added.

Ms Foster’s father, John Kelly, a part-time police man in the Royal Ulster Constabulary, was shot in the head by the IRA when she was a teenager. 

She previously told the BBC that: ‘They shot him in the head as he was closing in the cattle. He came crawling into the house, blood streaming down his face. We couldn’t stay in Roslea. I’d to move house and school – it was traumatic.’ 

The former DUP leader was also on a school bus that was bombed by the IRA in 1988. A girl sat near her on the bus was severely injured in the attack. 

The unidentified young woman will be banned from future events, the organisers Local Women Magazine said, adding that they were 'appalled'

The unidentified young woman will be banned from future events, the organisers Local Women Magazine said, adding that they were ‘appalled’ 

The organisers of the event said they would ban the young woman and that they were ‘appalled’.   

‘Local Women wishes to make it clear that it is appalled at the conduct of the person who did this and does not condone it in any way.

‘There were 540 guests at the event from all sections of the community and we are horrified at any distress this incident has caused.’  

Senior politicians from Northern Ireland expressed their anger over the incident, with Naomi Long, leader of the Alliance Party, saying: 'We are better than this, surely?'

Senior politicians from Northern Ireland expressed their anger over the incident, with Naomi Long, leader of the Alliance Party, saying: ‘We are better than this, surely?’

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) assembly member Phillip Brett said on social media that ‘those who mock victims are morally bankrupt’.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long called on people to ‘grow up’ and said she was ‘utterly sick and tired of the constant drive to hurt and offend’.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said on Twitter that he was ‘sick of this nonsense’.

‘Why do this? Can we not disagree decently? It serves no cause or community.’

Ulster Unionist Party assembly member Robbie Butler said that younger people lacked understanding of the ‘destructive days’ the pro-IRA song references.  

‘What probably saddens and sickens me most is that the majority of those responsible for causing offence and deliberately causing hurt is that almost none of them grew up through the evil dark destructive days they glorify.’

This follows recent controversy after the Ireland women’s football team were forced to apologise after singing the pro-IRA song in the changing room after their World Cup qualification. 

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