Its first meeting, chaired by Joe Fox, president of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians County Board, discussed the discrimination problems facing the Irish as well as developing the group’s mission statement, name, logo and structure.
According to the group’s website their mission statement is as follows:
“Irish Center battles against defamatory and derogatory assaults against the Irish, to organize a United Front with all Irish organizations and supporters of the Irish heritage, and culture.
“To identify and address by use of peaceful and professional means all Irish defamation and discrimination in all its forms.”
The group wants to stamp out derogatory products, events and verbal assaults, against the Irish, their culture and their history. They focused especially on the kind of attacks seen being imposed on the general public around St. Patrick’s day, for example offensive t-shirts or stereotypical views of the Irish as drunk.
Their list of main targets in their battle against defamation are:
“Various Retailers/ Vendors- selling derogatory T-shirts and other merchandise.
“Radio/Newspaper/T.V. advertisements- Use of grossly inaccurate depictions, or bad taste in humor.
“Bars/Pubs & Restaurants- Use St. Patrick's Day as a drinking holiday.”
The group calls on members of the Irish Community “to be offended and speak up”. They ask that the community get involved by taking part in email campaigns, letter writing campaigns and public demonstrations. They also ask that the Irish community keep their eyes peeled for anything that could be seen as offensive to the Irish.
The website also contains details of the next meeting to which all are welcome. The next meeting is on Thursday, June 9, at 7.30 in the Irish Center.