Daily Mail leans on Irish stereotype

The Daily Mail ran an article yesterday about the findings made by Irish researchers from University College Dublin that discovered - on average - students in Ireland drink more than their international counterparts.

Not much more, but the Mail managed to extrapolate from that to make the claim 'that those from the Emerald Isle do drink more than their international counterparts.'

That's not at all what the research found, but history shows that no one needs a Paddy quite like a British tabloid.

The Irish reputation for enjoying a drink or two is 'partly due to TV characters such as Father Ted's Jack and the pub regulars in Mrs Browns' Boys,' the Mail claimed.

Someone should tell them, Father Ted was a sit-com not a documentary.

No mention of the centuries of brutal dehumanizing caricatures drawn, written and distributed by the English. Apparently Ireland's reputation on that score was due to the truths contained in Irish comedy shows.

To make their point the Mail ran a page full of images of drunken Paddy stereotypes to underline their claims. If some Irish students can't let a day pass without one pint, apparently some British journalists can't print an Irish story about alcohol without a drink sodden Irish caricature.

UCD researchers consulted 3,500 students - with an average age of 21 - about their alcohol consumption. Boys who attended same-sex schools or boarding schools reportedly drank more in college than boys who attended mixed-sex establishments, the Mail wrote.

Geographically, the researchers reportedly found that towns with a higher population of Catholics drank less, on average, than towns with either a dominant Protestant community or towns with no strong religious following. Towns where more masses took place per week raised students who drank less.

And counties in which the legalization of divorce was supported during the 1996 referendum had higher drinking levels, the Mail reported.

The research also found that people who lived in towns that had a cricket club drank more than other Irish towns.