Group slams 'casual racism' of cartoon depiction of Irish nurses

The West Australian newspaper is being asked to apologise over a cartoon depicting Irish nurses as dancing leprechauns.

The cartoon appeared after a local hospital ran a recruitment drive for Irish nurses.

It has provoked anger amongst the Irish community there with an apology being sought by The Irish People Living in Australia Facebook page which has more than 30,000 members.

They contacted the newspaper's cartoonist, Dean Alston, asking him for an apology for the "ill-mannered and offensive cartoon".

The group got a reply from him soon after which read: "When I was in my teens, there was a joke. 'What is an Aussie?' Answer. 'An Irish man with half of his brain removed.'"

He then went on to say that he was Irish and that "most Irish people I know have a sense of humour".

(That sounds familiar).

He signed off by saying "I hope you feel better soon".

Eoin Hahessy of the University of Melbourne says a new generation of Irish will not tolerate what he calls casual racism.

He said: "A newer, younger generation are tired of it, they are tired of these old Irish stereotypes.

"A lot of us here are carving out new lives in senior positions in different industries and there's a generation that just won’t stand for it.

"They are calling it for what it is now, which is casual racism."

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