America’s largest Irish organization, The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) has called on the Irish community to rally together to have Urban Outfitters remove their offensive St. Patrick’s Day line from stores and apologize to the Irish people.
Sean Boyle, the national president of the Irish fraternal organization said “We need to get this defamation stopped immediately. Please call, email or demonstrate in front of their stores.”
Boyle’s call to action came following the international media and public reaction to Urban Outfitters clothing and drinking paraphernalia released especially for St. Patrick’s Day. These include a trucker’s cap illustrated with a drunk vomiting shamrocks and a “Leprechaun P***” beer jug. The products were highlighted in an article on Tuesday, by Cahir O’Doherty, in the Irish Voice.
Boyle acknowledged that the Irish community has seen similar produce on the market over the past few years, such as the Old Navy t-shirts which were pulled off the market last year. However, he stated “We need to get this defamation stopped immediately.”
The Irish Anti-Defamation Federation was similarly annoyed by this merchandise. Tim Wilson and John J Ragen, Chairmen of the group, sent a letter to announcing their intent to have this merchandise removed from Urban Outfitter’s stores.
They said, “The Irish community is fed up nationwide, and the vast Irish organizations we partner with are working to stop these attacks. We will start email, phone, and letter writing campaigns until this merchandise is removed…No other nationality sees the flagrant racist comments, and derogatory shirts, TV, commercials, and sales gimmicks by restaurants or bars like the Irish do.”
IrishCentral readers have continued to show their disdain for the St. Patrick’s Day products. In our poll launched on Tuesday we asked, “Do you think Urban Outfitters should be forced to pull this St. Patrick's Day line and apologize to the Irish community?” From over 800 respondents 80 percent believe Urban Outfitters should respond to the community’s complaints and remove the products.
Our readers have also been calling out Urban Outfitters. “Manhattan” posted “I called the Urban Outfitters Philadelphia office. [The representative] seemed really shocked when I told her about the shirts her company is selling for St. Patrick's Day”.
Many have pledged to continue calling until action is taken.
Other readers were more concerned about whether the true message of the Irish celebration was being lost. “Kittyobitty” posted “Does anyone remember that it's Saint Patrick’s Day? A holy day?”
IrishCentral attempted to contact Urban Outfitters and have not received a response.
Their head office is in Philadelphia at (215) 454-5500 and their website is www.urbanoutfittersinc.com.