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The governing body of football in Wales has been officially alerted about the “aggressive political agenda” of a supporters’ band which was banned from Twitter for using ‘abusive’ language, called a political leader a “cunt” and has been backed by prominent political figures, it has emerged.
The Barry Horns have been described as “a foul mouthed bullying group of yobs” in a comment to The Eye and denied using the “‘C’ bomb”, although our journalists have found the evidence on social media.
Their ban from Twitter has now been lifted and the band have said they are “beautiful” but serious questions have been raised about the policy.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) have now been asked by one fan: “I would like to know what the FAW position is on the Barry Horns who having affiliated themselves to South Wales football now appear to have adopted an aggressive political agenda.
“Some of their language on Twitter is worse than I have ever endured on football terraces.
“Is this the sort of agenda the FAW condone?”.
Another fan attached some of the comments on Twitter by The Barry Horns in his complaint to the FAW following our earlier piece on The Eye, saying: “As you can see, the abusive language they use is absolutely disgusting. It has attracted negative media attention on a widely-read Welsh news website. Their behaviour, and the behaviour of other groups in the Welsh nationalist movement who are ‘tagging on’ to the FAW and the Wales team’s success are already damaging the reputation of Welsh football…”.
Leanne Wood, the ex-leader of Plaid Cymru (PC) and Jonathan Edwards have said The Barry Horns should be ‘freed’ when they were banned by Twitter, despite the fact they called politician Nigel Farage a “lying cunt” said “fuck you” to Brexiteers, and declared about UK cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt “Go fuck yourself you Tory bastard“.
In defiance of remarks like these, Ms Wood spoke out against the restriction by Twitter saying: “… you ban the Barry Horns? For defending the NHS?”, this was then re-tweeted by Mr Edwards.
A reader’s comment to The Eye was: “Imagine if this was Boris Johnson praising an English supporters group which had used the sort of language publicly the Barry Horns have? There would be hell to pay in the news!”.
The Barry Horns clearly support Ms Wood and Mr Edwards’s party because before the Twitter ban, they exhorted followers to “Join @Plaid Cymru”.
But the disturbing news has still gone unreported by the mainstream media, regardless of the PC politicians featuring strongly in the General Election campaign.
On social media The Barry Horns have thanked Ms Wood as well as PC MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (before the General Election was called) Mr Edwards, for launching a campaign to support them.
They also criticised the fact that they were ‘unfairly’ banned from Twitter soon after their song had been used in a PC election promotion.
They said on Facebook: “We have also written yet another appeal to Twitter to try and un-suspend the account and generally try and understand what on earth is going on! (Ps. no, we didn’t use the ‘C’ bomb!!!) (!).
The Barry Horns are an eleven-piece brass band, made up of fans of the Welsh national football team, created in 2011 by BBC Wales promos director ‘Fez’ Watkins.
Their first public appearance was outside the Wales v England World Cup qualifying match in Cardiff on 26 March 2011.
They also appeared at the Welsh Cup Final in the same year, which was broadcast on television.
In March 2017, the band were controversially barred from the Republic of Ireland v Wales World Cup 2018 qualifying match in Dublin.
In September of the same year, they gave a headline performance at the first Welsh Independence music festival in association with Yes Cymru, held at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff.
That month The Barry Horns also gave football fans from North Wales a surprise welcome to Cardiff with a performance at Cardiff Central Station ahead of Wales’ match against Austria at the Cardiff City Stadium.
At the time they said: “The Horns couldn’t wait to greet the train upon its arrival to Caerdydd. Next stop – 3 points!”.
Arriva Trains Wales proclaimed: “The atmosphere on board was amazing with everyone in great spirits all the way down and for The Barry Horns to be welcoming the train and fans into Cardiff was the icing on the cake”.
The Welsh TV company said: “The Barry Horns know how to get a party started, even on a station platform”.
But this is not the first time the two politicians have hit the headlines with Twitter central to the controversy.
In August 2014 Mr Edwards was forced to defend his claim on Twitter that unionists “loathe their own country”.
He came under fire for his controversial remarks, which were made in response to the televised debate between the then Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling ahead of Scotland’s independence referendum.
Meanwhile earlier this year Ms Wood was censured by the Standards Commissioner for the Welsh Assembly Sir Roderick Evans (who has since resigned), after she called a blogger “an arsehole”.
She posted on Twitter: “This is the third complaint gone in to the standards commissioner about me this year. Unprecedented. The Standards Commissioner has decided not to take any further action (on the others). I believe this is vexatious“.
She said she had refused the chance to issue an apology and “won’t accept the censure”.
It seems The Barry Horns have not been censured either, despite saying “fuck you” on Twitter.
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Please can you tell me what has been going on with the Barry Horns’ twitter (?) account, why the trouble? I would be interested as I am related to their founder, James Watkins