independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Paddy badly needs to take a chill pill

If National Over-Sensitivity was an Olympic sport, we'd be a shoo-in for the gold.

We showed our credentials last week when some poor schmuck in the Daily Telegraph claimed that Katie Taylor is British. There was a time when the Telegraph could make this kind of gaffe and the only person in Ireland to read it would be some retired Major in Kildare who would probably mutter "damned shame we gave this place back to Paddy". That was then. Now an angry slice of Ireland is on Twitter, where people go when they want to go berserk. So they went berserk. The Telegraph issued an apology. Our Major in Kildare must have choked on his morning port. Placating Paddy -- what next?

Then the Aussies had a go. A newspaper in Melbourne reported Katie's progress under the headline "Punch Drunk: Ireland intoxicated as Taylor swings towards boxing gold." The only stereotype missing from the article was begorrah. It's good for a laugh if you can find the original online. Unfortunately, our ambassador to Australia thought otherwise and fired off a letter to the paper, pointing out that references to intoxication are inappropriate. He's right there -- it's a well-known fact that Irish people hate drink and never touch the stuff. Just ask any policeman in Perth or Sydney.

So listen up, Paddy. It used be that we'd always win gold when it came to Laughing at Ourselves. These days we're angry and self-righteous. It's not a good look on us. So how about we take a chill pill.

Or better still, a couple of pints.

Pat Fitzpatrick

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