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"Brassy Irish Scrubbers" - The Australian Newspaper Article That Is Infuriating Irish Abroad

By Darragh Berry

March 15, 2018 at 10:36am


An article which has appeared in the Brisbane Times has disappointed a lot of Irish in Australia for its use of words. 

The article which described a "foreign crime wave" in the city carried out by "brassy Irish scrubbers", was said to be "in poor taste" and has caused "disappointment" among exiles leaving there. 

Speaking to The Irish Times, Paddy Farrelly who is the co-ordinator of the Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland, said that there has been a "less than happy reaction to it". 

The article which is penned by columnist John Birmingham, outlines the insurance fraud carried out by “Shifty McGintys and Slippery O’Tooles with their sneaky afternoon cold calls ‘about that car accident you were but recently involved to be sure, to be sure’".

The article comes after it was reported worldwide that a number of Irish tourists were working in groups and accused of carrying out scams, fraud and theft on the Australian east coast. 

“People are quite shocked and there is a lot of disbelief and huge disappointment that in this day and age people, are still having to put up with this kind of stuff," said Farrelly.

The columnist went on to add that these Irish “scheming boyos...clog up innocent Australian toilets with large tonnages of potatoes. To what end I could not tell you, since the Irish do not wash their potatoes before boiling them, preferring the natural gravy that a thick layer of soil adds to the cooking pot."

Farrelly stated that although the satirical article might not have meant harm, it shouldn't have made it passed the editing room.

“Even if it was intended as satire, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, it still went too far, it crossed a line. My feeling is that it was in poor taste and it should have been reviewed by a few sets of eyes before it was published.”

An email which Farrelly received - which can be read in the publication - was said to sum up the feeling of many who read the article, describing it was 

Farrelly received an email on Tuesday that he believes sums up the feeling of many who read the article. describing it as "racist, slanderous" while also having "an element of colonial bigotry."

READ NEXT:Irish Scammers Living On Australia's Gold Coast 'Blocked Toilet With Potatoes' In Rent Row


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