Justin Bieber, Stormzy and Lewis Capaldi beaten to iTunes top spot by 'Come Out Ye Black & Tans' by the Wolfe Tones

Artists such as Lewis Capaldi, Stormzy and Dua Lipa were left scratching their heads this week when a song by Irish rebel band, the Wolf Tones, denied them the coveted No.1 spot in the iTunes top 100 chart in the UK and Ireland.

'Come Out Ye Black & Tans' featured on the band's 1972 album, 'Let the People Sing'.

The track was sent to No.1 in both the British and Irish charts this week after the Irish government signalled its intent to commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) of which the Black and Tans were associated.

In 1919 the British government strengthened the RIC with the introduction of the RIC Special Reserve (aka the Black and Tans) - a group comprising of former British soldiers.

The RIC commemoration was scheduled to take place in Dublin Castle on January 17 however, Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, was forced to defer the event because of public and political pressure.

The Black and Tans were notorious for targeting Irish civilians and sacked many towns and villages, including the burning of Cork in December 1920.

The damage in Cork was estimated as costing £3 million at the time - this was equivalent to £155 million in 2019.

Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said he believes the recent backlash to the RIC commemoration has rendered the reunification of Ireland less likely.

“It is my deep regret that this week, embracing that shared history; moving towards a united Ireland seems to me to be a little bit further away than it was before,” he said.

“I regret that this is a setback for unity and a setback for reconciliation," added the Taoiseach.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and a screenshot [taken Thursday afternoon] showing 'Come Out Ye Black & Tans' top of the iTunes charts.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and a screenshot [taken Thursday afternoon] showing 'Come Out Ye Black & Tans' top of the iTunes charts.