Cork Gathering event apologizes for referring to Michael Collins as a 'langer'

The offending brochure that referred to Ireland's hero Michael Collins as a "langer"

Organizers of the Cork Rebel Week, the county’s main contribution to the Gathering, have apologized after Fine Gael members noticed that national hero Michael Collin’s sex was listed as “langer,” in an event’s brochure.

The insult was printed in a promotional brochure for the Cork Rebel Passport. The Fine Gael members of the Cork City Council immediately called for the withdrawal of all 100,000 copies of the brochure.

Fine Gael Councilor Emmett O’Halloran who first spotted the mistake said, “The term langer in Cork is commonly associated with someone who is a bit of a halfwit or an unlikeable person may have nothing constructive to offer.

"Michael Collins is one of our greatest patriots and most certainly does not fit this description.”

Speaking to Cork’s 96FM radio station Fine Gael Councilor Des Cahill said he had spoken to members of Collins’s family. He said they were utterly appalled by the mistake but that senior staff at Cork City Council had assured them that all of the offending documents would be withdrawn.

O’Halloran told the Irish Times that it's “hugely hugely upsetting and hugely offensive to me, both as a Corkonian but also as a member of Fine Gael that one of our national leaders should be referred to in this way.”

Padraig O’Kane of, which is organizing Cork Rebel Week, apologised for the mistake. He added that would bear the €5,000 cost of withdrawing all 100,000 brochures.

O’Kane said, “On behalf of Cork Rebel Week, we take responsibility for the error on the printed literature detailing the schedule of events for Cork Rebel Week which was shared at a briefing session with Cork City Council last night.

“We want to take this opportunity to apologize unreservedly for any disrespect caused to the memory of General Michael Collins and his family due to this error. Absolutely none was intended.”

Cork Rebel Week is centered on Collins’s birthday on October 16. Running from October 12 to 20 the event aims to attract some 5,000 international visitors to Leeside and among the events are the Cork Folk Festival and an exhibition on Cork’s Rebel Lord Mayors, Tomas Mac Curtain and Terence Mac Swiney.

The term “langer” is a Cork term of abuse made famous by its frequent use by soccer player Roy Keane to describe Mick McCarthy during the Saipan incident in 2002. Following this, Cork songwriter Tom O’Riordan wrote “The Langer Song.” 

According to Urban Dictionary “langer” can mean a penis, a foolish person or to be intoxicated.