Following the outcry in the United States, prompted by our sister publication, the Irish Voice, SDLP MLA Karen McKevitt has publicly announced her anger over the Urban Outfitters’ St. Patrick’s Day line.
The BBC has reported the politician’s anger at how the Irish are portrayed on the “Irish yoga – downward facing upchuck” trucker caps.
McKevitt “has called on the chief executive of the international clothing firm to remove the hat from his stores and online shop.”
She said, “I think it was reckless for Urban Outfitters to use this offensive image…A lot of businesses rely on St Patrick's Day to generate some revenue but when we see big companies trying to make money like this we should not be standing for it.
"The chief executive of Urban Outfitters must apologize for this and remove this insulting product from the company's stores and online shop."
The politician also encouraged the company to make a donation to the Down, and Newry and Mourne Councils to help them organize St Patrick's Day events.
The BBC and IrishCentral have both tried to contact Urban Outfitters but neither have had a response.
In the US, the Ancient Order of the Hibernians and the Irish Anti-Defamation Federation have both pledged to “get this defamation stopped immediately.”
On Tuesday, Cahir O’Doherty’s article on the St. Patrick’s Day products sparked anger among the Irish community in the US. Urban Outfitters’ St. Patrick’s Day line includes a trucker’s cap illustrated with a drunk vomiting shamrocks and a “Leprechaun P***” beer jug.
In a letter to Urban Outfitters, the Irish Anti-Defamation Federation stated, “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.”
Urban Outfitters’ head office is in Philadelphia at (215) 454-5500 and their website is www.urbanoutfittersinc.com.