Australian conservative commentator Grahame Morris has been forced to backtrack on his anti-Irish comments which were broadcast on Sky News last week.
The long-time Liberal advisor controversially dismissed the Irish as "people who can't grow potatoes" during a televised discussion on marriage equality.
It had been implied that Australia could take the lead from Ireland's landmark referendum decision on same-sex marriage.
He said: "They have a mutant lawn weed as their national symbol and they can't verbalise the difference between tree and the number three."
The former chief of staff to the prime minister has now apologised for his "tasteless" attempt at "morose humour".
Speaking again on Sky News he said: "I got myself into a hell of a pickle on this. To all those with Irish backgrounds, which includes me, incidentally, I'm actually very sorry.
"What I said was tasteless and I copped the whack I probably deserved."
Political reporter Laura Jayes referred to the flood of emails which Sky News had received in relation to the remarks.
Morris added that "kick Grahame" had now become the national sport of Ireland, "instead of Gaelic football and soccer".
A former advisor to the Australian government has referred to the Irish as “a people who can’t grow potatoes” when asked if Australia should follow Ireland’s historic vote for same-sex marriage.