A Belfast Hip-Hop trio who made headlines across Northern Ireland last week for chanting “Brits Out” on stage were pulled off stage during a gig in UCD last week.
The act, known as Kneecap, were performing at the UCD student bar, The Clubhouse, on campus last Thursday as part of a Seachtain Na Gaeilge event.
Prior to the gig, a concerned student of UCD wrote to Dublin Gazette, saying that they had emailed several UCD student union accounts calling for the cancellation of the gig, but had received no response.
The trio, comprising Gaeilgeoir rappers ‘Moglai Bap’, ‘Mo Chara’ and ‘DJ Provai’, recently made headlines for encouraging a crowd in Belfast’s Empire Music Hall to chant “Brits out”.
The incident occurred the day after the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge – Kate Middleton and Prince William – appeared at the same venue.
The email said it was “inappropriate, disrespectful and intimidating” for the trio to be performing at the student bar, days after they had attracted national media attention for their behaviour in Belfast.
According to reports from gig goers on social media, the band were pulled off stage by UCD bouncers during their show, which those in attendance called “pathetic behaviour” from the security.
Donal Fallon wrote on Twitter, saying: “Bouncers in UCD pulled [Kneecap] off during their set. Pathetic behaviour from the high-vis hardmen, literally manhandling an act who packed the student bar.”
Videos on Instagram from the sold-out gig show bouncers and the band engaging in a confrontation, following the group and the crowd shouting “Tiocfaidh Ar La” and “Up the RA” as the trio were removed from the student bar by security personnel.
The group were advised prior to their performance not to engage in such chants, and to abide by UCD’s equality and respect policies.
The band were subsequently removed from the venue, prompting a backlash on Twitter from those who were in attendance.
One fan wrote: “Unreal [that Kneecap were removed], what happened to freedom of speech?” Another, Tommy, said that Kneecap’s removal from the venue was a “disgrace”.
He wrote: “Absolutely disgrace [sic] the ignorance surrounding Kneecap is unbelievable, when a ‘venue’ in a university can’t understand what an artist is.”
Kneecap recently wrapped up a sold-out tour of Ireland, including a number of dates in the capital.
In a statement to Dublin Gazette about the gig, Barry Murphy, president, UCD Students’ Union, said: “UCD’s Dignity and Respect policies, and the Clubhouse health and safety requirements, were discussed with Kneecap in advance of going on stage.
“During the performance, they made several attempts to jump into the crowd, resulting in the crowd surging forward.
“They were warned about this after their second attempt by management, but they ignored it. “They attempted to jump into the crowd for a third time and the performance was stopped in the interest of health and safety.”