"Yet, there does appear to be some (perhaps understandable or perhaps not?) political sensitivity in the UK about such songs,"
That applies to Ireland as well, Crow Sister. Rebel songs went out of favour during the events in the North from 69 onwards. There appears to have been a bit of a revival since the peace process mostly amoung a younger age group who weren't about when the Provos were engaged in what they and their supporters euphemistically refer to as the "armed struggle".
A few rebel songs are often included in the repertoire of the one man ballad bands who put on entertainment for the tourists and visitors are thereby often misled as to the popularity of the particular genre of Irish songs.