Saturday 21 September 2019

'I'll never leave you - I'm the black Marty' - Josh Pray reassures Irish fans he will return

US comedian Josh Pray in Croke Park last weekend Photo: Sportsfile
US comedian Josh Pray in Croke Park last weekend Photo: Sportsfile
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

US comedian Josh Pray has reassured his Irish fans that he will return to Ireland despite backlash over his receipt of All Ireland football final tickets.

The social media star shot to fame here thanks to his hugely engaging videos reacting to GAA matches. He also posted a video promoting travel to Ireland which received over 700,000 views.

However, Pray came under fire from some fans when he was given a golden ticket to the recent final between Dublin and Kerry by Tourism Ireland and the GAA.

He took to Facebook last week to announce that, due to the negativity, he would not make videos based on Ireland for some time.

"Due to the negative nature of some messages that I’ve gotten from some Ireland based individuals whom think I should let Irish bred folks commentate Irish sports, I will refrain from posting about the Irish culture for a few weeks," he said.

He added: "There you go lads, have at it."

However, in the wake of the announcement he received an outpouring of support from thousands of Irish people who were horrified by the abuse he had encountered.

On Thursday he posted a video to social media stating that he would continue to engage with his Irish fans despite the "naysayers".

He said that some people told him that he did not deserve to receive the tickets as he was American.

However, he added, "The support I got from the rest of Ireland, like 99.8 per cent of Ireland was scary.

"Irish people, when they care about you they care about you.  When they let you come into their life, and hold you, they grab you by your throat, you can't go nowhere.

"Everybody that's telling me to be okay, listen, I'm not leaving Ireland, ever."

While he will not return to Ireland this weekend for the replay, the comedian said that he would return for a tour in January when he brings The Josh Pray Comedy Colour Blind Tour to Ireland including Kerry, Tipperary, Cork and Dublin.

"If you are married to an Irish person, if you not Irish, if you got any Irish friends, once they bring you into their circle there ain't no going, there ain't no leaving," he said.

"If you say you love anybody that's Irish and you think you're just going to walk out their life, they're not having it.  Once you say you love Ireland, you love Ireland, and Ireland loves you."

Pray said he received 1800 messages of support and understands why Conor McGregor comes home so much. 

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