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Shamrock shame

• Once again we arrive at what should be the proudest week in our calender, but instead we demean our national holiday and the feast day of our patron saint by using the horrible expression 'Paddy's Day'.

'Paddy' is defined in the dictionary as a derogatory term for an Irish person. Everyone in Ireland has heard the horror stories of a time when signs were put in shop, cafe, boarding house and pub windows saying "NO BLACKS OR IRISH". The term 'Paddy' or 'Paddies' is derived from that time -- the thick Paddies.

I couldn't believe it when I saw the headline on Aertel sports section: "O'Brien returns for Paddy's Day tie". Our national broadcaster should be above this.

Obviously there are many people in Ireland called Paddy -- a version of the name Patrick -- which is a totally different matter. To use it in a general term to describe a nation was and is done in a racist manner. The term was used to categorise people in a manner that would not be allowed in any civilised society today.

Patrick G Thompson
Address with editor

Irish Independent