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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 19 February, 2018

Australian minister tells homeowners to 'automatically' tell Irish people to get away from their door

In a series of tweets, Kairouz apologised for causing offence.

Posted by on Monday, 19 February 2018

AN AUSTRALIAN MINISTER has told homeowners to “automatically ask anyone with an Irish accent” to leave.

Speaking at the launch of a campaign raising awareness of conmen who prey on the elderly, Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz warned homeowners to avoid answering the door to Irish-accented callers.

Kairouz said:

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

The campaign is fronted by a woman who claims she was conned out of money by Irish-accented workers and the 9News report says the accent is a “common theme”. However, the remarks caused a backlash online.

One comment says:

“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 reads:

She is an absolute disgrace. I’m an Irish backpacker in Australia the last 2 years, of which I spent 6 months working as a locksmith in Melbourne.

“Daily, I had to knock on elderly peoples doors to assist them with their issues. Can you begin to imagine the impact that an uneducated comment like this on national TV would have?”

In a series of tweets, Kairouz apologised for causing offence.

“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 & 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.”

Around 70,000 Irish-born people call Australia home, while a further two million Aussies can trace their heritage to the island.

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