Tony Abbott’s already infamous 2015 St Patrick’s Day video message has not gone down well in Ireland.
Ireland’s prime minister has taken issue with Mr Abbott’s characterisation of Irish culture being synonymous with the consumption of alcohol.
“I’ve heard the prime minister’s comments. He made them. I don’t agree with that,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny said after watching the video, according to the Irish Independent.
“I think that it is perfectly in order for so many Irish people in Australia to have an enjoyable celebration of St Patrick’s Day and St Patrick’s week, and to do so in a thoroughly responsible fashion,” Mr Kenny said.
“There has been a long-term view of a stage Irish perception. I reject that. I think it’s really important that we understand that we have a national day that can be celebrated worldwide, St Patrick’s Day.”
In the video, which was produced to be shown at various St Patrick’s Day gatherings of Irish business leaders in Australia, the Mr Abbott opens with: “It’s great to be a part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations. And it’s safe to say that this is the one day of the year when it’s good to be green.”
Then, while framing the contribution Irish immigrants have made to the building of Australia as “the love of life and good humour”, the PM goes on to muse that Australians of all backgrounds will be partaking in St Patrick’s Day parties across the country and apologises for not being able to join in by drinking a Guinness or three himself.
The Australian prime minister even manages to throw in a classic generalisation about migrants from the British Isles.
“Indeed it’s been said of us, that the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs,” he says.
Two St Patrick’s Day events that the message was destined for reportedly declined to screen the video after a business leader described it as “patronising”.