This is a statement from the Glasgow Irish Heritage Group in response to the news that Mr David Edgar, who publicly defended the “Famine Song” in 2008 and 2009 as a spokesman for the Rangers Supporters Trust, is now working in the communications and marketing department of Glasgow Caledonian University.
RE: DAVID EDGAR
We were shocked to learn that Glasgow Caledonian University would employ someone who had been so public in his defence of the racist and anti-Irish “Famine song.”
GCU has a large number of Irish people, both first and second generation, within the student body.
In October we note that ex-President of Ireland Mary Robinson was invited to speak at an event at GCU.
If someone had been defending football supporters singing “slavery is over. Why don’t you go home?” to black people would a defender of that “banter” be considered suitable for a marketing and communications post inside an organisation with an inclusivity mission statement?
Quite simply Mr Edgar was the public face of an organisation (Rangers Supporters Trust) in 2008 and 2009 that defended the “Famine song” from accusations that it was racist and anti-Irish.
Mr Edgar used the humour defence so often deployed by defenders of racism.
The “Famine song” was found to be racist in Scots law by Lord Justice Carloway at the High Court of Justiciary in June 2009.
The old way for the Irish community in Glasgow was to “keep the head down” and take every insult and slight thrown at us.
Those days are gone.
We would be interested to hear from Pamela Gillies, the Vice Principal and Provost of GCU, if she believes that the sentiments contained in the “Famine song” sit well with her?
We would also like to know if there is an equality policy that employees of GCU have to sign?
We in the Glasgow Irish Heritage Group are not aware of Mr Edgar ever having retracted his defence of the “Famine song.”
Is he aware of the hurt and offence that the “Famine song” caused?
Was the HR department of GCU aware of this aspect of Mr Edgar’s background when they hired him?
The Glasgow Irish Heritage Group.
If We lose our Heritage and Culture, We lose our Identity !