An Australian Minister has apologized after telling homeowners who open the door to someone with an Irish accent to “automatically ask them to leave”.
Marlene Kairouz, who serves as Minister for Consumer Affairs for the state of Victoria, made the comment after a spate of reports about dodgy tradesmen turning up unannounced at homes in Melbourne.
Elderly people complained that the conmen usually had Irish accents and swindled them out of thousands of dollars for nonexistent repairs on their homes, which led Kairouz to issue her unusual warning.
Yesterday, however, the contrite Labour politician took to Twitter to issue an apology.
Yesterday I made a comment at a scam awareness campaign launch that caused offence to people with Irish heritage 1/3— Marlene Kairouz MP (@MarleneKairouz) October 31, 2017
Recent scammers have been backpackers from the UK & Ireland & I was giving this info to the public. I admit I delivered this msg poorly 2/3— Marlene Kairouz MP (@MarleneKairouz) October 31, 2017
I sincerely apologise for causing offence and my poor choice of words 3/3— Marlene Kairouz MP (@MarleneKairouz) October 31, 2017
The apology was not good enough for a lot of Irish people living Down Under.
After the remark you made and the amount of Irish people living in Australia that you offend, an apology on twitter is NOT good enough.— Vanessa Lynch (@VanessaLynch_) October 31, 2017
Hi, I'm Irish and actually work to help protect Australians from being scammed & find your racist comments disturbing. I don't think Twitter is the appropriate place for the apology— Catháir (@CathairK) October 31, 2017
A poor choice of words is calling this "my poor choice of words" rather than "my deep-seated prejudice against Irish nationals".— Myles McK (@MylesMcKenna3) October 31, 2017
However, not everyone was bothered by her words.
Sorry but she was right. The Irish who pull these scams should be run from anyone’s door— Joe McCormac (@JoeMcCormac) October 31, 2017
Do you think she was right or racist? Tell us in the comments below.