Australian MP sparks backlash for her 'anti-Irish' comments

Minister apologised for her 'offensive' comments.

An Australian MP has been slammed for her "ignorant, anti-Irish" statement while attempting to warn people about travelling conmen.

Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz spoke as a nationwide campaign was launched in Australia to make people aware about scam artists who offer to carry out work or repairs to their homes - writes independent.ie.

The minister's comments sparked massive backlash, with many calling on her to apologise.

Her comments were aired on news channel 9News, where journalists reported that an Irish accent is a "common theme" in the scam.

They described the minister's statement as a "very, very broad warning."

"They know where to go, who to target, as soon as they get cash in their hands, they're gone," Minister Kairouz said at a press conference.

"If anybody knocks on your door that has an Irish accent, automatically ask them to leave."

However, people from both Ireland and elsewhere living in Australia have voiced their disgust at the statement.

"Absolutely no need to slam all Irish people and make racist comments like that," one person wrote.

"The Minister needs to apologise to the hard working Irish people in this country. I am Irish but people say oh are you Scottish all the time. How can they prove that they are Irish??"

Another wrote; "Well Minister, I am an Irish Community Nurse who knocks on many doors every day to provide care for people of all nationalities in this beautiful country. Shame on you for your ignorance and sweeping statement."

Another added; "This network should apologise to the Irish community and anyone with irish friends and family for entertaining this type of blare faced racism. How is this different then saying don't open your door to any person of colour or ethnicity ? Imagine in this day and age people can be so blind."

Another described the statement as "anti-Irish".

"Feel sorry for the woman who had been conned but cannot believe the Ministers blatant anti Irish statement! Shame on you!"

While another wrote that Irish people have respected work ethics in the country.

"Aussies have told us themselves that irish are often hired because of their work ethics. What a shameful, disgustingly racist comment."

The minister later apologised for her comments.

"Yesterday I made a comment at a scam awareness campaign launch that caused offence to people with Irish heritage.

"Recent scammers have been backpackers from the UK and Ireland and I was giving this info to the public. I admit I delivered this message poorly.

"I sincerely apologise for causing offence and my poor choice of words."

In a statement released today, the Australian Embassy in Ireland said it's aware of the comments and remarked on the "hugely positive contribution" Irish people have made to Australia.

"Over more than two centuries, people of Irish birth and heritage have made a hugely positive contribution to Australia, and continue to do so. This was publicly acknowledged recently by the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, who told President Higgins in Canberra: “The warmth of the history and the family ties between Australia and Ireland couldn’t be greater. Australia is the most Irish country in the world, (apart from Ireland, of course)…”

"The best way to sum up the attitudes of the Australian people towards the Irish is again to quote the Prime Minister: “You’re so warmly welcomed. You’re among friends and among family."

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

independent.ie
AustralianMP apologises
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in january
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has called the failure to prosecute 3,000 youth offenders a "humiliating professional failure" for the force. He also apologised to all those who were victims of crimes committed by those who were never prosecuted. An internal report into the force's youth referral scheme found that 7,894 cases where youths were deemed not to be suitable for the diversion programme were not appropriately dealt with over a seven-year period. A...
Crime
Victor Marin Del Sol's children spent a year in Irish schools. A Dublin-based Spanish waiter killed his partner and two Irish-born children in a murder-suicide in Poland just days before Christmas. Two Dublin schools have expressed their shock at the news. Victor Marin Del Sol's three children spent a year in schools in Rathfarnham, before they moved to Poland with their mother. The Irish Independent reports that Marin Del Sol flew to Poland to spend time...
Politics
New laws on hold in Dáil to focus on emergency legislation. Ministers will today agree to essentially freeze work on all new laws as they bid to get ahead of a chaotic no-deal Brexit. Just six pieces of non-Brexit related legislation have made it to the Government's priority list for the new term, the Irish Independent understands. This is an acknowledgement that British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a crushing defeat when the Withdrawal Agreement is pu...
Crime
The incident happened on Ballinteer Avenue in south Dublin at around 6pm on Sunday evening. Four people were arrested after a vehicle crashed into a wall after failing to stop for gardai.The incident happened on Ballinteer Avenue in south Dublin at around 6pm on Sunday evening. Three of the arrested men are in their 20s and were held in Dunrdrum garda station while a fourth (juvenile) was held in Dun Laoghaire.Three of the men are set to appear in court th...
Society
Too early to say when hotel on Leitrim-Roscommon border can open, says Minister. The Minister for Justice has said he is “deeply concerned” following a fire at a former hotel on the Leitrim/Roscommon border that was to open as a centre for asylum seekers. The Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey on the Leitrim/Roscommon border had been due to open shortly as a direct-provision accommodation centre for 80 people. However, on Thursday night, the emergency servi...
Society
Life lessons from a man who’s lived a lot of life – without ever dipping into psychobabble. We enter in masses beneath a mighty arch and encounter a stage emblazoned with the words “Leading you to Greatness”. This can mean one of only two things. A man in a uniform is about to shout about his plans for achieving Lebensraum or we’re at one of those motivational events aimed at making miserable people believe they can swim the Atlantic. The presence of Boris...
Society
REPRO FREE NO REPRO FEE Monday, 29th October 2018 Nina Kiernan (12) pictured at the display at Wild Lights in Dublin Zoo. Ireland’s award-winning night-time spectacular will open to the public this Thursday, 1st November and run until Sunday 6th, January from 5pm – 9pm. The event, which sold out in 2017, returns with a brand-new theme, “Ocean of Light” and entirely new cast of silk lanterns. Tickets are available exclusively at Dublinzoo.ie. -ENDS- For mor...
Society
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation claims 2018 was the worst year on record for hospital overcrowding. New analysis from the organisation said 108,227 patients went without hospital beds last year - a record high. The figures are a 9% increase on 2017, which was itself a record high. This is nearly double the number in 2006 (55,720), when INMO records began. The months with the highest figures last year were January (12,201), February (10,772) and...
Society
Iarnród Éireann is launching its first external recruitment process for train drivers.   The company is looking for 100 drivers over four years and says it is very keen to recruit women drivers.   There are only four female train drivers out of a current total of 500 in Iarnród Éireann. Drivers' salaries start at €45,000, going up to €57,000 on a ten-year scale.   It says candidates must meet European Train Driver Licensing requirements, with a minimum of...