Newspaper criticised for publishing 'offensive Paddy joke'

Newspaper criticised for publishing 'offensive Paddy joke'

A NEWSPAPER editor has defended his decision to publish a ‘Paddy’ joke, claiming it is not about Irish people.

One Irishman was left open-mouthed with outrage when he read a joke about a stupid visitor to London named Paddy in a recent edition of Your Valley News.

But David Parker, the Southern England newspaper’s editor, claimed the joke is not a racist slur about Irish people.

“I know a woman called Paddy, I know a man called Paddy, so it is not an Irish joke,” he told The Irish Post. “It could be Freddie, Harry, Georgie. It is quite outrageous to suggest that it is an Irish joke.”

The article appeared in the May edition of Your Valley News in a section called “Humour Time: By Ted ‘Raise-A-Laugh’”.

It reads: “Paddy was visiting London and wanted to see ‘Big Ben’ so he asked a policeman for directions. “If you wait at this bus stop and get a number 54 bus, it will take you there” said the officer.

“Five hours later, the officer walked past the bus stop, and Paddy was still waiting. “Didn’t I tell you to get a number 54 bus?” asked the Officer. “It’s all right officer, it can’t be long now, the 47th bus has just passed.””

One reader, Dorset-based Offaly man Pat Conlon, took offence at the article and said it was “laughable” for Mr Parker to claim the joke was not aimed at Irish people.

“I just could not believe it when I read the so-called joke because it is outrageous,” the 58-year-old told The Irish Post.

“I was completely shocked because I have not read a joke like that in the 35 years I have been here in any publication in this country.”

Mr Conlon added: “It is offensive to me and to the Irish community as a whole. My initial reaction was, ‘What planet are they on?’ This is dinosaur stuff.”

Mr Parker said he was “sorry” that Mr Conlon was offended but re-iterated that he did not believe the joke expressed anti-Irish sentiments.

He added: “If the Irish were upset by that, then I feel sad; sad for humanity and sad for the world.”