An Irish Republican rap band have been denied taxpayer funding after the Mail revealed they were accused of glorifying the IRA and stoking sectarian hatred.
Belfast group Kneecap, named after the brutal paramilitary form of punishment, are notorious for dressing in balaclavas, promoting themselves using pictures of petrol bombs, unveiling murals depicting violent attacks on police and welcoming growing support among the young for the IRA.
But despite band members repeated calls for ‘Brits out of Ireland’, the band had been happy to pocket ‘significant’ funding from the UK government’s £1.6 million Music Export Growth Scheme which is meant to boost British music exports.
The move was blocked at the eleventh hour by Kemi Badenoch who said it was ‘hardly surprising that we don’t want to hand out UK taxpayers’ money to people that oppose the United Kingdom itself.’
Today the band moaned on X: ‘We’ve been blocked from receiving significant music funding because a Tory Minister doesn’t like our art. F*ck the Tories.’
Belfast group Kneecap have been denied taxpayer funding after the Mail revealed they were accused of glorifying the IRA and stoking sectarian hatred
The move was blocked at the eleventh hour by Kemi Badenoch who said it was ‘hardly surprising that we don’t want to hand out UK taxpayers’ money to people that oppose the United Kingdom itself
Today the band moaned on X: ‘We’ve been blocked from receiving significant music funding because a Tory Minister doesn’t like our art. F*ck the Tories ‘
In a statement they added: ‘We’ve just been informed that our application to the ‘Music Export Growth Scheme’ (Megs) was independently approved and singed off by a selection board.
‘It was then blocked directly by the British Government who overruled the independent selection board.’
The band claimed this was because the British government didn’t like the group’s poster for their ‘Farewell to the Union’ tour which featured an image of then Prime Minister Boris Johnson and DUP leader Arlene Foster strapped to a rocket on top of a burning bonfire, as two band members crouched at the bottom holding a petrol bomb.
The poster was highlighted by the Mail last month as we exposed how a separate £1.6million of taxpayers’ and National Lottery cash was spent on semi-autobiographical film starring the band that Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
Victims of Republican and Loyalist terror attacks had branded the group of being ‘sectarian bigots’ and glamourising terrorism and said the huge handout was especially galling when many of those bereaved or disabled in terror attacks during the Troubles had been denied payouts from a government compensation scheme.
The band, who Jeremy Corbyn has hailed as ‘inspiring’, have repeatedly courted controversy, including mocking the Queen’s death, shouting Republican slogans used by the IRA and wearing balaclavas and making shooting gestures at cheering audiences during gigs.
Poster for the 2020 ‘Farewell to the Union’ Kneecap tour that showed Boris Johnson and Alene Foster strapped to a rocket on top of a burning bonfire
Kneecap met with former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn last month, who described the controversial group as ‘inspiring’
Kneecap, named after the paramilitary punishment of shooting someone in the knee, often dress in balaclavas
In 2022 the group were accused of ‘fostering hatred’ among a new generation in Northern Ireland after they shouted ‘Brits out of Ireland’ as they unveiled a mural of a burning police Land Rover above the Irish language slogan: ‘No welcome for the RUC.’
They previously retweeted a news report warning that growing numbers of teenagers were expressing support for the IRA on social media, with the comment ‘Finally some gd news.’
A week after the October 7th Hamas terror attacks in which 1,200 people were killed and women and girls were raped and sexually assaulted, the group posted a picture of the Palestinian flag emblazoned with the slogan: ‘Resistance is Not Terrorism’ and a fist emoji.
The band, who have declined to speak to the Mail, claimed the poster was ‘just art’ and they are just fun, saying their critics just don’t get the joke.