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We make most 'Paddy' jokes

To see the largest daily newspaper writing an editorial and the Department of Foreign Affairs issuing a statement about a website that carries jokes poking fun at the Irish indicates an amazing degree of immaturity and even neurosis.

While it is amazing, it is certainly not surprising when one considers that a few years ago a similar knee-jerk reaction gripped half the country when an English racehorse trainer described Ireland as a "backward country".

Yet if the remark had been made by an Irish person most people would have nodded in agreement.

What makes the latest bout of hysteria all the more remarkable is the fact that nobody tells more jokes about "Paddy the Irishman" than the Irish themselves. It's time to drop the hypocrisy and stop presenting ourselves as "untouchables".

As for racism, well nowhere is that more plentiful than inside an Irish pub while England are playing a rugby or football match.

Peter O'Connor
Blarney, Co Cork

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