Scams and an Irish accent


Sir, – I was stung by the comments of Australian minister for consumer affairs Marlene Kairouz (“If anybody knocks on your door that has an Irish accent, automatically ask them to leave”, Home News, November 1st).

However, I feel that if there is a problem with certain sections of our antipodean diaspora carrying out home improvement scams on elderly householders down under, they should be deported back to this country upon conviction.

Her comments, while clumsy, were apt. – Yours, etc,


Co Westmeath.

Sir, So an Australian minister,Marlene Kairouz, has said sorry for making offensive comments about people with Irish accents regarding the targeting of elderly people in Melbourne by conmen who scam them out of their money by charging high prices for substandard works carried out on their properties (Home News, November 1st).

She urged homeowners not to open their doors to people with Irish accents and if they did,automatically ask them to leave.

I wonder if an apology would suffice had she made the same comments about Jewish or African people? I doubt it. I would imagine that there would be uproar and calls for her resignation. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.