Thursday 19 September 2019

"Immigrants not welcome" - Well-known Irish business in USA vandalised with anti-immigrant graffiti

Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

One of the oldest Irish businesses in the USA was hit by an anti-immigrant graffiti attack over the weekend.

Staff at Browne's Irish Marketplace in Kansas City, Missouri discovered the vandalism on Monday morning, with the words "immigrants not welcome" written in black spray paint on the side of the building.

The business claims to be the oldest Irish business in North America, founded by immigrants Ed and Mary Flavin from Listowel, Co. Kerry in 1887. The market has run in the family for four generations since then.

Current owner John McClain told Kansas City TV station KSHB that he became aware of the vandalism when a customer came in and pointed it out.

The words
The words "immigrants not welcome" were painted on the side of Browne's Irish Marketplace in black spray paint

McClain added that the family are "not about hate" and have filed a report with local police.

"We are not about hate. We are about kindness and love. It's a shame that somebody was ignorant enough to put that on the outside of our building," McClain told KSHB.

"Our political environment right now seems to be nurturing a lot of this type of activity. I feel like in many ways we've stepped back about 50 years."

The market is well-known in the area for selling a variety of Irish goods, ranging from clothes to a deli selling Irish food. 

Locals took to Twitter to express their reaction to the vandalism attack, saying Browne's is a "hidden gem" in Kansas City.

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