Who received IRA death threats

Rock legends The Who have revealed they received threats from the IRA when they first played in Ireland.

The band are guaranteed a rapturous welcome when they perform their first Irish gigs in six years when they kick off a European tour later this summer.

However, guitarist Pete Townshend admitted the English group’s first gigs here, in Dublin, Cork, and Belfast shortly after they formed in 1964 were “disastrous”.

He said their concert in Belfast was ruined when republicans took exception to the distinctive union flag-emblazoned jackets that he and fellow original members Roger Daltrey, John Entwhistle, and Keith Moon wore at the time.

He recalled: “Our first shows in Ireland were in the very, very early days and they were kind of disastrous.

“One of them in Belfast was marred by a threat from the IRA because we were wearing union jack jackets.”

But Townshend, whose grandfather hailed from Cork, said the intimidating experience didn’t put him off the country.

And he promised Irish fans would be “cheered up” when the band opens their ‘Quadrophenia and More’ European tour with dates in Dublin and Belfast in June.

The 67-year-old, one of two surviving founding members along with singer Roger Daltrey, said: “The main thing I want to say about playing in Ireland is that this is one of the most important countries in the world for me and my past and the various bits of Irish blood we all claim to have — which is true for me.

The Who play Dublin’s O2 Arena on Jun 8 and Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on Jun 10.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Kerry barrister selected to work with US Innocence Project

Video: Eastenders stars soak up the sun at Schull film festival

Former and current Garda commissioners car park meeting ‘must be explained’

96% of logistics and shipping firms do not use Eircode


You might also like

Breaking Stories

Gardaí appeal for information on missing teenage boy

Woman to appear in court in relation to Gareth Hutch murder investigation

Garda Commissioner denies she was aware of car park meeting between Callinan and McGuiness

Labour Court issues recommendations in Luas drivers’ dispute

Lifestyle

Louise McSharry tackles her weight issues and troubled upbringing in new book

Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon Runner of the week: Sarah Peters

You are not alone with Dyspraxia

Labels to watch out for: Five Irish designers you need to know about

More From The Irish Examiner