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Criticism after Aussie TV host draws ‘Irish’ link to Boston bombings

David Koch of Channel Seven says Boston’s Irish population may link the Marathon bombings to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

AN AUSTRALIAN TV presenter has drawn criticism from the country’s Irish community after suggesting an Irish link between the bombings at the Boston Marathon and the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

David Koch of Channel Seven made the remarks on Tuesday morning’s ‘Sunrise’ show, as the programme covered news of the bombings which had taken place just before the live broadcast.

As the first news of the bombings were coming in, Koch noted that Boston had a longstanding Irish Catholic population and asked whether it was a “long bow” to speculate about a possible link between that population and the bombings.

“Some people – is this a long bow? – of course it’s a very big Irish Catholic setting… Margaret Thatcher’s funeral coming up tomorrow, in London – is it a really long stretch to think they could be related?” he asked.

Watch the exchange in the video below (the remarks are at 3:08):

(YouTube: SunriseOn7)

Another host, Kevin Suter, did not comment specifically on Koch’s link.

“Anything is on the table – it could be a variety of things,” he said, pointing out: “The big threat we were worried about yesterday is Korea. That also is giving scope for speculation.”

The exchange later refers to illegal immigrants as “boat people”.

One Irish person living in Australia told TheJournal.ie that they felt offended by the remarks.

“Apparently it is acceptable to blame a race of people for the atrocity that occured in Boston during the week, within hours of [it] happening,” they said, describing Kosh as a “moron”.

“He loves to court controversy given the time he profusely stated that breastfeeding is ‘not classy’,” they added.

“Don’t get me wrong, I have been working in Australia for over a year now and love it, but the total lack of true journalism here is laughable. Sensationalism may have started here.”

Expatriate commenters on the Irish Echo website described Koch as a “complete and utter g******e”, while another said: “Maybe it’s time you had a sleep in in the mornings.”

The Irish Echo points out that Sunrise’s coverage of the bombings has also drawn fire, when another host suggested Australia should stop allowing foreign students into the country after attributing the Boston blasts to “left-wing radical students”.

Read: FBI release video and photos in Boston Marathon investigation

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Gavan Reilly

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