Article describing Limerick as ‘stab city’ did not meet standards, Forbes says

Billionaire Stripe co-founders called article detailing their ‘escape’ to Silicon Valley ‘daft’

Patrick and John Collison, co-founders of Stripe. File photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Patrick and John Collison, co-founders of Stripe. File photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Forbes has said an article that described Limerick as “stab city” did not meet their editorial standards.

The article, which was published on Friday and removed shortly afterwards, detailed the “escape” of billionaire brothers Patrick and John Collison from Limerick to Silicon Valley, with the success of their online payments company, Stripe.

“Some call it ‘stab city’,” began the article by contributing writer Stephen McBride.

“Many folks think Ireland is all rolling green hills and five-star golf courses. But in the middle of the Irish countryside is a city called Limerick – known as the ‘murder capital’ of Europe.”

The article continued: “Limerick is the last place you want your kids growing up. But two brothers who went to high school there recently beat the odds. Not only did they escape ‘stab city’, they moved to Silicon Valley.”

Patrick Collision (32) said on Twitter on Friday: “Not only mistaken about Limerick but the idea of ‘overcoming’ anything is crazy. We are who we are because we grew up where we did.” His brother John (30) described the article as “daft”.

The brothers, who have an estimated personal fortune of $9.5 billion (€10.9 billion) each, grew up in the small Tipperary village of Dromineer, 30 miles outside Limerick.

A spokesman for Forbes said: “The article by a contributor failed to meet our editorial standards and was removed from our site shortly after it was published.”

‘Shocking journalism’

The Mayor of Limerick Michael Collins described the article as “shocking journalism”, “casting such a slur on our beautiful vibrant, successful and positive city”.

Limerick TD Patrick O’Donovan said taking down the article was “simply not good enough” and has called on Forbes to issue an apology.

“Limerick deserves an apology, plain and simple, and we need it to come from Forbes,” the Fine Gael TD said on Twitter.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said he was glad Forbes had removed the “offensive, ill informed and misleading article”.

“Its characterisation of Limerick could not be more wrong and is blind to the damage such a depiction can do,” he said. “Limerick is a city on the march. A fabulous city with great people.”