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Poll: The Australian PM's Paddy's Day message seems a little patronising ... What do you think?

“Indeed, it’s been said of us that the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs.”
Mar 12th 2015, 10:08 PM 41,914 98

Updated at 10pm

Source: Liberal Party of Australia/YouTube

Can’t see the video? Click here

THE IRISH ENDED up in Australia for wealth of reasons, but the main thing we brought was… the songs.

No, seriously.

That’s according to the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in his 2015 St Patrick’s Day address to the nation.

The video has already been put on YouTube by his own Liberal Party, and he has some choice words for the Irish in it.

“It’s a great day for the Irish,” said Abbott, who appears in the video wearing a green tie.


He singled out our love of the craic as our great gift to Australia:

This is the love of life and good humour that the Irish have given Australia. Indeed, it’s been said of us that the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs.

He also mentioned the historian Paddy O’Farrell, who said that the Irish were the “galvanising force” in the Australian national character.


Dr Liam Burke is a Cork-born media studies lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.

He told that even though Abbott’s message was brief, he “still managed to reference many of the symbols that Ireland is associated with around the world, including ‘good humour’, ‘songs’, and ‘Guinness’. “

But Burke noted that while it “might prompt groans from Irish people living in Australia, it is hard to criticise any non-Irish person, whether they be an international leader or well-meaning tourist, for having an antiquated view of Ireland”.

From Temple Bar pubs that wouldn’t look out of place in The Quiet Man to Discover Ireland videos that depict the country as a pre-modern paradise, Irish people must recognise the role that we play in perpetuating these emerald-hued stereotypes. 

What do you think of Abbott’s comments?

Poll Results:

He's a bit patronising (3838)
I don't care, like (2538)
Top o' the mornin to ya (2074)
He's right (2063)

Read: We are ‘sick of being lectured’ by the UN on asylum seekers: Australian PM>

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Aoife Barry


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