Irish immigrant’s suicide exposes all that’s wrong with online media


“Drunk Paddy’s $500k flood of tears.”

“Have you heard the one about the drunk Irishman who urinated in a hotel hallway and flooded the building causing $500,000 worth of damage? A court in Melbourne has.”

“Obviously in no time to stop and look for a bathroom he decided to go for a pee right there on the ninth floor.”

“What started as a romantic getaway ended as the worst and most expensive hangover ever for Longford man Padraig Gaffney.”

“It must have been the hangover from hell.”

One section heading by the Herald simply read “UNDERPANTS.”

We have no way of knowing, for now at least, how Gaffney spent the last few hours of his life. Suicide (still not officially confirmed but widely inferred) might have been on his mind for some time. Or the court proceedings may have been the final straw for the guilt and shame he was evidently wracked with, believing he had “blackened his own reputation and tarnished his family’s name.”

The judge who handled Gaffney’s case said he did not see “any malicious intent” behind his offense and described it as “a stupid act that he would never have contemplated had he been sober.” But that did not seem to make much of a difference to Gaffney himself.