BOOKMAKER Paddy Power was last night slated over a bet on which it will pay out should president-elect Barack Obama be assassinated during his first term in office, write Patrick Griffin and Allison Bray.
A spokesman for the American Embassy described the bet as very offensive and in extremely bad taste.
The bookmaker is currently offering odds of 12-1, down from 16-1 yesterday morning, that Mr Obama will not finish his first term in office and confirmed it would pay out if he was killed by a sniper's bullet.
The bookmaker rejected calls to withdraw the controversial offer, claiming it was a nonsense to suggest that their stance could actually encourage anyone to go out and try to kill Mr Obama.
In Dublin, Shelia Paskman, a spokesman for the American Embassy in Ireland, said last night : "This is completely inappropriate."
But the bookmaker was unrepentant last night, claiming that a number of customers from Ireland and the UK had specifically requested odds on Mr Obama being assassinated and said their current bet would appeal to those people.