This author remembers going to see The Pogues play in Belfast when this song first became public knowledge. It was banned by the British government in a blatant act of censorship. The British Surplass were determined to silence any mention of the injustice meted out to the various Irish people who were wrongly imprisoned in British jails.
Questions were being asked in the run up to the concert at the King’s Hall. Would MacGowan play the song and risk arrest? He sure as fuck did, and it got the biggest cheer of the night. Everyone went Apeshit in the Moshpit (if that’s not a great name for a song, then I’m a rabid Unionist).