Saturday 17 March 2018

Top o' the mornin' to us

Apparently, 'leprechaun' is a racial slur. Sure, we get a laugh ourselves out of leprechaun hats with ginger hair attached, but should anyone dare describe one of us as the little folk, we get awful offended. Well, begob and begorrah, we really need to get over ourselves.

Last week on Fox News, a reporter, Lisa Montgomery, referred to Rory McIlroy, right, as a leprechaun. Montgomery thought she was speaking off camera, when a colleague mentioned McIlroy's unlucky ankle injury, and she replied, "He's a leprechaun. I can't stand him."

Well, we Irish went wild. This was racially charged language, apparently, and a terrible offence to the Irish. Really? Can't we just take this as a daft throwaway comment and get over it? Given that we happily market ourselves around the world as the crack as a nation, full of good humour and devoted to the slagging, shouldn't we just laugh this off?

As Montgomery said on Fox the next day, when she drove people mad by justifiying instead of apologising for her remarks, she could have done worse than compare McIlroy to a cross little gnome-like character. She dislikes him, she explained, because of his shoddy treatment of his ex-fiancee Caroline Wozniacki, and leprechaun was the kindest insult she could think of. No doubt Caroline could have contributed a few choice Irish insults had she been asked. Just to be sure, to be sure.

Sarah Caden

Sunday Independent

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