IRISH PEOPLE LIVING in New Zealand have reacted angrily to an article on a local news website that reported increases of STDs and STIs among Irish people involved in post-earthquake rebuilding.
The article on the Stuff.co.nz website entitled ‘Luck of the Irish has sex-disease downside’, claims that Irish workers “sharing the love” by rebuilding “may also be helping to spread sexual diseases”.
The article claims that chlamydia has been on the increase across the Canterbury region since 2011 and reports that Irish people attending a sexual health clinic in Christchurch has increased from 75 last year to 162 this year.
The article quoted a local doctor who says that Kiwi women have higher STI rates than other countries and that many of the local women “found the Irish accent alluring”.
The article points out that the clinic has been recording the nationalities of those attending the sexual health clinic in the past number of years but that only details for Irish people are available.
This point has angered local Irish people who feel that they are being portrayed unfairly by the news website which they say has previously published articles enforcing stereotypes about Irish people.
One poster on the ‘Irish people living in New Zealand’ Facebook page described the article as ‘racist’.
The author of the story also posted on the page saying that she was merely reporting the facts as told to her by the local hospital and will publish the stats for the other nationalities when they are available.
It did not placate some however who took to Twitter to vent their anger:
The journalist, Georgina Stylianou also tweeted in defence of her research: