A British politician who told an Irish joke has been forced to pay compensation to an Irish union official who overheard it.

The offending joke was "A man walked into a Dublin bar and saw a friend sitting with an empty glass. 'Paddy can I buy you another', he asked, to which Paddy replied - 'now what would I be wanting with another empty glass?'"

It was told in December 2007, when Councilor Ken Bamber on Medway Town Council near London told the  'Irish' joke during a break in a meeting.

Irish-born Union official Brian Kelly took offence and filed an official complaint.

Kelly said he believed 'Paddy' was an offensive word and racist as well.

 Bamber wrote a note apologizing but then refused to sign it.

 Kelly then formally complained and a committee investigated.