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From Long Kesh to Celtic Park Return – A Celtic Fans Story Part 2

celtic am
18 August 2020

Episode 21 of the Celtic Soul Podcast features the second part of Andrew Milne in conversation with Belfast born, Paddy McMenamin. Paddy a Celtic fan, schoolteacher and former Republican prisoner continues to tell his story to the listeners.

Celtic Soul / Soul Bhoys Scarf

In the first part of the interview Paddy spoke about the current goings on at Celtic before chatting about growing up before the troubles kicked off in the North and watching Glentoran before he started a lifelong relationship with Celtic which started in Dublin when Celtic played Shamrock Rovers before making the trip to Glasgow for the first time to see the bhoys playing Benfica.

In the first part Paddy also spoke about joining the Republic movement and told us about the early days of the struggle, internment and being sentenced to six years in prison.

Part 2 of the Podcast kicks off with Paddy in Long Kesh prison when Paddy’s only connection with Celtic was newspaper reports and smuggled in small transistor radios, he says his education really started in prison. It’s fascinating to listen to his time in the cages and the burning of the prison and the riots and beatings that followed.

Celtic Soul Polo-Top | Black

He speaks about coming out of prison and marrying another former Republican prisoner after she was released from Armagh women’s prison. Settling into home life in Donegal, coaching a local football team and his continued relationship with the Republican movement. After eleven years he returned to Glasgow to see Celtic and get a break from politics and war. Paddy would continue to travel to Celtic regularly from then with a backdrop of his house being raided by Special branch.

Over the years Paddy has watched Celtic many times and I asked him to pick one game that stands out, he picked the Centenary season cup final and paints a picture of that day for the listeners when the fans gave Maggie Thatcher the red card. Big Roy, Anton Rogan, Joe Miller, Billy Stark and Macca all get name checked.

Paddy also talks about sectarianism, rebel songs and ballads at football, Celtic songs and one which should not be sung and the ignorance of calling someone an Orange bastard. The Good Friday Agreement, Peace and Unity are all discussed and how loyalists must be part of a new Ireland.

Glasgow Celtic Hoodie / Green


The interview wraps up with a look ahead to Celtic’s push for 10IAR and he reflects back on the day when we stopped the 10 in 1998 and the party in the Garngad and his trip to Seville with his nephew Oisin who sadly is no longer with us.

Paddy keeps busy writing since he started the Cage zine while in prison and he has a new book coming out about his life. I am looking forward to reading more about his life and his passion for Celtic. The book is set for release before Christmas.

Paddy is a regular contributor to this website and the fanzine click link below to read one of his articles.


Andrew Milne started More than 90 Minutes in 2001. He has written for numerous publications and online about Celtic.  He is a former newspaper columnist with the Daily Ireland and the man behind celticfanzine.com. He is host of the Celtic Soul Podcast & Celtic AM pre-match events at Malone’s in Glasgow on match days and follows Celtic Home & Away. He is a season ticket holder for Celtic FC and the Republic of Ireland. He is also P.R.O. of St. Margaret’s CSC, a member of the Celtic Trust and the Celtic Graves Association

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