SPORT/POLITICS: Alba to target Celtic fans with republican billboard before Cup final

SPORT/POLITICS

Alex Salmond’s party is hoping to take advantage of SNP chaos with a message for the anti-monarchy Celtic faithful

Celtic fans hoping to see Callum McGregor lift the trophy will be met with this billboard at Hampden
Celtic fans hoping to see Callum McGregor lift the trophy will be met with this billboard at Hampden. Scottish Daily Express picture

By Democrat reporter

They say you should never mix politics and religion., but the Alba Party will target thousands of Celtic fans with a republican message before today’s  Cup final at Hampden.

Celtic take on Old Firm rivals Rangers in the showpiece match in Glasgow with the first silverware of the season on offer.

And Alex Salmond’s party is looking to take advantage of that with two electronic billboards outside the stadium calling for an end to the monarchy in an independent Scotland. They will be placed on Aitkenhead Road at the Celtic end of the stadium.

The Parkhead faithful are known for their opposition to the monarchy and UK. In September, the travelling Celtic support chanted anti-royal songs through a minute silence to the late Queen Elizabeth II when they played at St Mirren.

Despite Mr Salmond’s own fondness for the Queen and King Charles III, his party takes an anti-monarchy stance, differentiating it from the SNP.

Alba claims a poll conducted by the party at the start of the year showed 45 per cent of Scots wanted to keep King Charles as Scotland’s Head of State.

They said the remainder “wanted to see an independent Scotland become a republic with an elected Head of State”. Instead, Alba says it wants to see a presidential system similar to the Republic of Ireland’s created.

The Prince of Wales meets Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond as he arrives for The William Hill Supporting Dumfries House Race Day (Ladies Day) at Ayr Racecourse in Ayrshire
Alex Salmond meets King Charles when he was the Prince of Wales – but his party wants to ditch the monarchy.

An ALBA Party spokesperson said: “In keeping with Scottish constitutional tradition, Alba Party adheres to the principle that it is the people that are sovereign.

“Our position is that Scotland should now move to an elected head of state with similar powers to the Uachtarán na hÉireann.

“Alba firmly stands for Scotland and our priority is to ensure the people of Scotland have the freedom to make this choice soon, as an independent country.

“At a time that we are faced with the absurdity of millions of our people in Scotland facing fuel poverty, when we are an energy-rich land, the institution of monarchy could not be further from detached from reality. It’s time for change.”

Alba will likely have avoided the Rangers’ end of the stadium on purpose. In January, it was reported the Ibrox club’s Union Bears fan group had vandalised one of the party’s billboard on the side of a motorway.

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