Notre Dame’s leprechaun mascot


Sir, – Unlike Eoghan Fay, who is outraged at criticism of Notre Dame’s leprechaun mascot (Letters, July 11th), I am outraged that such an offensive symbol is still being used.

I have lived in the United States long enough to know that, for many people, Irish culture has long been reduced to leprechauns, fighting, and drinking, and the Notre Dame leprechaun is the epitome of this as he stumbles, fists up, around the field during games.

According to Mr Fay, the cavorting and garishly attired leprechaun is performing athletic and acrobatic feats, but, in reality, it just looks like he is drunkenly falling all over the place. The whole thing is cringe inducing, and I can’t understand why an institution with Irish connections continues to allow it.

Several years ago, I wrote to the college to complain, and the reply stated that, historically, the leprechaun was a symbol of fear to the British!

Dave Hannigan (Sports Opinion, July 9th) wrote about how the Irish American community loves this kind of outdated image, and I agree.

It’s sad that some Irish people seem to think “it’s only a bit of lighthearted fun”. – Yours, etc,