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Singer secured for Amhrán na bhFiann following last-minute scramble

It initially looked as though there would be no Irish anthem sung tonight at the Mayweather vs McGregor fight in Las Vegas – but a performing artist for Amhrán na bhFiann has finally been confirmed.

Earlier in the week former Disney star Demi Lovato was announced to be singing The Star Spangled Banner, but no Irish singer was announced.

Late last night it was finally confirmed that Dubliner Imelda May will perform the Irish national anthem in the T-Mobile Arena.

The Liberties rockabilly singer-songwriter has released five albums, and jetted out to Sin City last night after cancelling a gig in Warwickshire.

U2 frontman Bono had wanted to sing the anthem, but was forced to turn down an offer from UFC President Dana White due to a wedding this weekend.

While May was still to be announced, White revealed that there was issues with Showtime over the Irish anthem, with the U.S. network leaving the decision up to the UFC. White explained on Thursday that “Showtime basically popped it on us two days ago and said ‘you guys have to.'”

“We were like: ‘What do you mean we have to? This is your show! OK, you want to play it like that? Alright.'”

National anthems are not generally sung before UFC bouts, however McGregor did previously have Sinéád O’Connor sing ‘The Foggy Dew’ while he walked out for his fight against Chad Mendes in 2015.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie