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Bloomberg apologises over 'inebriated' Irish comments

The New York mayor has said that he “did not mean to offend anyone” with a joke about drunk Irish people.

Michael Bloomberg... Thinking before he speaks?
Michael Bloomberg... Thinking before he speaks?
Image: LANDOV/Press Association Images

THE MAYOR OF New York Michael Bloomberg has caused outcry among the Irish-American community after making comments about “inebriated” Irish people during an official function.

Speaking at the American Irish Historical Society last Friday, Bloomberg said that when he walks by the society’s building “normally, there are a bunch of people that are totally inebriated hanging out the window, waving”, the BBC reports.

A crowd of about 100 people who were at the event reacted with a mixture of laughs and boos, to which Bloomberg continued: “I know, that’s a stereotype of the Irish. But nevertheless we Jews from around the corner think this.”

IrishCentral.com reported that the comments had come as a surprise to many, considering the close ties that Bloomberg had cultivated with the Irish-American community. John Dunleavy, the chairman of the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York, told the New York Times: “In this day and age for the mayor of the city of New York to make comments like that is outrageous and totally uncalled for.  He wouldn’t make a joke about any other ethnic group.”

After an outraged reaction by Irish-Americans , Bloomberg apologised for his comments, saying that they meant to refer to the annual party held by the society on St Patrick’s Day. He later added: “I apologise. I certainly did not mean to offend anybody.”

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