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Casual references to the 'drunken Irish' are overplayed and wrong - McDonald calls out SNL joke

McDonald says stereotypes are unhelpful and cause annoyance.

Christina Finn reports from New York: 

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald has called out a comedy sketch on the US show Saturday Night Live, stating that casual references to the “drunken Irish” are wrong. 

Impressions of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson portrayed the Irish accent as incomprehensible and played up Irish peoples’ reputation for drinking.

The latter was considered particularly distasteful by some critics as Colin Farrell has spoken publicly about his sobriety.

There were also a couple of Irish jokes built into the Oscars ceremony itself last night, referencing the Irish getting involved in fights. 

Speaking to The Journal in New York this evening, the Sinn Féin leader said:

“I think any kind of stereotyping that casts people in a negative way is unhelpful and unfortunate. I really don’t like the kind of casual references to the ‘drunken Irish’. I think it’s overplayed. I think it’s wrong.”

She said she would just ask anyone that is going to use that stereotype “just to consider that before saying it”.

Stereotyping “causes hurt, it causes annoyance as well”, she added.

“I’ve no doubt that lots of people threw their eyes to heaven when they saw that on SNL and said, ‘is that the best, really lads, that you can come up with’”, said McDonald. 

The Sinn Féin president went on to give her congratulations to the Oscar winners who took home two awards for Ireland. 

When asked if Americans have a hackneyed view of Ireland, McDonald said she didn’t think so. 

“I think there can be stereotypes of Irish-Americans and what Americans think of  Ireland,” she said. 

She said there’s huge bonds of friendship between America and Ireland, adding that she believes the relationship is strong, healthy and very productive. 

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