Paddy’s Day t-shirts: Offensive, or just a bit of fun?
J Crew apologises for selling t-shirt with six counties missing from map of Ireland
What are the worst - or best, depending on your view - Paddy’s Day t-shirts you’ve ever seen? Photograph: @FXKennedy/Twitter
A St Patrick’s Day t-shirt featuring a map of Ireland with the six northern counties missing has been withdrawn from sale by J Crew, after the American retailer faced a barrage of complaints on social media for its “offensive” design.
A photo of the t-shirt, which also features the words “beer”, “whiskey” and “more beer”, as well as images of pints, whiskey bottles, Dublin Castle and - quite bizarrely - a windmill, was posted on Twitter by Francis X Kennedy @FXKennedy: “Hey, @jcrew, it’s great that you’re doing an Irish t-shirt for St Patrick’s Day, but this is offensive, bordering on obnoxious, for a couple of reasons. I’ll let you figure it out for yourselves, but showing the design to any Irish person would have helped,” he wrote. Since Sunday, the tweet has attracted almost 2,000 likes and more than 300 comments.
J Crew has since issued a statement confirming the item had been removed from sale. “We regret any unintended offense,” a spokesman said.
What are the worst (or best) Paddy's Day t-shirts you've ever seen?
It’s not the first time a retailer has been landed in hot water over “offensive” St Patrick’s Day t-shirts linking Irishness with heavy drinking: the Ancient Order of Hibernians called for a boycott of Amazon last year when it sold a t-shirt with “Drunk Lives Matter” emblazoned on an Irish flag around St Patrick’s Day. Walmart also removed St Patrick’s Day t-shirts from its website after a similar complaint from the AOH in 2018.
What do you think of such Paddy’s Day merchandise? Do they perpetuate offensive stereotypes, or are they just a bit of fun? What’s the worst (or best, depending on your view) slogan or image you’ve seen on a St Patrick’s Day t-shirt? We want to hear your views, and see your photographs.
You can share your thoughts and snaps using the form above.
A selection may be published on irishtimes.com in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day.