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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Nightclub dressing up as a leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day triggers Fury

A nightclub’s decision to have a midget dressed up as a leprechaun during a St. Patrick’s Day-themed event has reportedly sparked a backlash.

The student club Cargo in Manchester, according to a report by the Manchester evening news.

The club promoted the event as Manchester’s “Biggest Paddy’s Day Event at Cargo”.

It added: “There’s a huge club dressing, lots of Irish hats and handbills and we have our own pygmy leprechaun who will be walking around the venue taking pictures all night.”

However, following the backlash, the party’s promoter, DNA Events Manchester, released a statement saying the leprechaun aspect of the event had been cancelled.

A Salford University student who is Irish and received the news spoke of his frustration at the event, which reinforced stereotypes about the Irish.

The student, who asked not to be named, said: “Obviously this is very offensive. I have suffered high levels of racism which does not seem to have the same meaning as other types of racism in the UK. And this stereotypical leprechaun business is just ridiculous.

“I was shocked but not surprised when I saw it. This kind of causal racism towards Irish people in the community is nothing new, especially this time of year.

“From my experience as an Irishman living in Manchester, I was regularly mocked about the accent and culture of my country of origin and that kind of attitude really influenced my experience of life in the UK.

“There seems to be an expectation as Irish people that we will laugh or tolerate treatment that would not be accepted by other ethnic groups, which is really worrying these days.”

Manchester City Councilor Pat Karney also spoke about the incident and argued against the event.

He said Manchester evening news: “I thought we left this Irish stereotype behind years ago. That is really pathetic and an insult to every Irishman. I hope they take back this insulting nonsense.”

Despite some objections, actor and performer Gregory Doherty, who had been booked to play the leprechaun for the event, denied the allegations of callousness and insult.

He said: “As you can imagine with a name like Doherty, I’m of Irish descent. My parents are both Irish and I have an Irish passport. I’m incredibly proud to have Irish heritage.

“I don’t see it as a mythical creature offensive/or a racial slur against the people of Ireland. I’m not sure if you’ve ever traveled to Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, but a leprechaun’s iconography is as iconic as a shillelagh or a shamrock.

“I am sure these Irish cultural icons would not be considered ‘offensive’ or an insult to the Irish people. Of course I can’t speak for all Irish people living in Manchester but I suspect you are listening to a vocal minority.

“The problem with cultural icons like George and the Dragon [or] with Viking helmets [or] Wearing a kilt on feast days and holidays isn’t really the iconography of the image, it’s the people who wear it. It is the association with drunken and disorderly behavior. That’s what offends people.”

When contacted by news week For comment, DNA Events Manchester said they stand by their original statement. said news week: “We believe that we do not have to comment further. We have seen the supportive comments from the public but still stand by our original statement.”

Update 3/17/23 8:46 am ET: This article has been updated with comment from DNA Events Manchester.

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