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06th Nov 2014

Pic: There was a fairly patronising reference to Ireland in a major Australian newspaper this week

We’re sure they were joking but this is paddywhackery of the highest degree.


It hasn’t been a particularly good week in terms of how Ireland and Irish people are perceived by the world at large.

On Monday, baffled IDA CEO Martin Shanahan had to field questions from the host of a CNBC business show in the US who didn’t know that we use the Euro in Ireland.

Yesterday, meanwhile, a picture circulated of an Irish teacher’s application for a teaching job in Korea that was rejected “due to the alcoholism nature of your kind” and today, word has reached us of further Irish-bashing in the Herald Sun, one of the biggest newspapers in Australia.

In a report on the Melbourne Cup, which took place earlier this week, the introductory paragraphs describe the worldwide appeal of the race and how much it can be worth to those who taste success.

“It’s worth $6 million and they swarm from everywhere, from rich countries like Japan to countries offering up not much more than potatoes, like Ireland, to win it,” the report reads.


In fairness to the author it’s a fairly throwaway line and given the current state of our economy maybe he had a point, but by referencing potatoes, there’s a little bit of age-old stereotyping going on and we might have expected better from a major newspaper in a country that thousands upon thousands of Irish people have made their home in recent years.

Or are we just being a bit sensitive?

Hat-tip to Diarmaid Williams for sending this one our way.

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge