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Comic depicting Irish nurses in Australia sparks anger online

It follows a hospital recruitment drive targeting specifically Irish nurses.

85047-image1407829836 Source: The West Australian via Sean Scannell

A COMIC DEPICTING Irish nurses in Australia has sparked outrage online.

It follows a row over a recruitment drive for 150 Irish nurses by a hospital in Western Australian.

The West Australian reports that there are fears of a future nurse shortage, and that the hospital is seeking to ensure it has “sufficient staff for what we need to do”.

However, they have come under fire for looking abroad for recruits first.

“It’s short-sighted if employers are constantly looking to poor economies when they can pick up graduates in Australia,” Mark Olson from the Australian Nursing Federation told the paper, adding that Australian nurses should be seen as a ‘first resort, not a last’.

The Irish nurses will be hired on permanent visas.

The paper followed the report with above cartoon.

It has been branded as a “pathetic attempt at humour” by commenters after it was posted on the Facebook community Irish People Living in Australia.

Another said that “the Irish jokes are becoming boring”.

“Honestly what editor lets that get to print?” one wrote, “There seems to be a story like this every month. Never learn.”

Some dismissed it as a joke, telling other commenters to “rise above it”.

The Honorary Consulate of Ireland in Western Australia posted the article on their website, but a spokesperson was unavailable.

‘Belittling stereotypes’

Earlier this year, the Irish Ambassador to Australia has strongly criticised the use of ‘belittling national stereotypes’ in the country’s media.

Writing in The Age, Noel White slammed the paper’s portrayal of Padraig Gaffney, an Irishman who pleaded guilty to causing €300,000 worth of damage to a Melbourne Hotel and was found dead just days later.

The paper headlined the piece with “Drunk Paddy in A$500k flood of tears”.

Read: Ambassador slams use of ‘belittling Irish stereotypes’ in Australian media >

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Nicky Ryan

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