Friday 9 December 2016

'Casual racism at its best' - News reporter sparks backlash with comments about Irish living in popular Sydney seaside town

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 07/06/2016 | 10:53

Josh Massoud posted the picture with the caption:
Josh Massoud posted the picture with the caption: "Coogee demolished over the weekend and for a pleasant change the Irish aren’t to blame." Photo: Instagram.
A swimming pool is dislodged and lays on a beach after storms undermined the pilings at Collaroy in Sydney (AP)

An Australian news reporter came under fire this weekend for comments he made about Irish people living in Sydney.

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Wild storms battered the New South Wales coastline over the weekend, with three motorists confirmed dead in the ensuing floods.

Coogee, a seaside town popular with Irish visitors, was particularly badly hit, as the storms tore apart the 110-year-old Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and caused severe erosion to the beach.

Read More: Three die in flood waters as strong storm lashes Australia

Coogee demolished over the weekend and for a pleasant change the Irish aren't to blame.

A photo posted by Josh Massoud (@joshm1977) on

Josh Massoud, a sports reporter for 7 News Sydney and journalism tutor, posted a photo of the damage on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, with the caption: “Coogee demolished over the weekend and for a pleasant change the Irish aren’t to blame.”

The comment, shared with his 15,600 Twitter followers, drew anger from Irish at home and abroad.

Social media users criticised the remarks as “completely unnecessary and inappropriate”, with one user asking, “And for a pleasant change, can you not generalise and disrespect a whole nation?”

“Proud to be Irish. Find these type of remarks disappointing #irelandinoz,” one Twitter user wrote.

A swimming pool is dislodged and lays on a beach after storms undermined the pilings at Collaroy in Sydney (AP)
A swimming pool is dislodged and lays on a beach after storms undermined the pilings at Collaroy in Sydney (AP)

Another added: “Casual racism at its best!! Shame on you. Completely unrelated!"

Mr Massoud’s comments also appeared in a retweet from 7 News Sydney, but the tweet was soon taken down.

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