Have we totally lost our sense of humour?

By Justine O'Mahony

Published 02/04/2016 | 00:00

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

Political correctness drives me insane.

It's one thing being respectful of people, but it's got to the point now where you can't open your mouth now and make a joke without somebody from the PC police accusing you of being inappropriate or downright bigoted.

Poor Martin O'Neill is the latest victim. The Republic of Ireland manager was lambasted last week after he quipped at a press conference that ugly Wags would be banned from Euro 2016 and only the better looking ones would be welcome at the team's hotel in France.

He made the joke after Wales manager Chris Coleman revealed that players' partners would be banned from his squad's base in France during the tournament in an attempt to remove all possible distractions.

O'Neill's exact words were: 'Well it depends on how good looking the girls are. If they are really attractive they are very very welcome. The uglier ones, I'm afraid not.'

How can anyone not realise this was a joke? Have we totally lost our sense of humour somewhere down the line? Can we not just have a little bit of light hearted banter now without fear of offending people? Because, let's face it, someone is always going to be offended.

Sky Sports presenter Jane Dougall was one of those seriously offended by O'Neill's comments and tweeted: 'For those saying Martin O'Neill was making a joke - yes he was - a sexist joke. If it had been racist he would have lost his job.'

I would love to ask the blonde, glamorous presenter if she seriously thinks she got the job in Sky because of her sports knowledge. But I can't, obviously, because that would be politically incorrect - and sexist and an honest question! I doubt I'd get an honest reply though.

Now the National Women's Council of Ireland has jumped on the bandwagon and said there was no place for sexist comments of this nature in Irish football. Sorry now, but have they not got anything better to be doing?

People need to cop themselves on and lighten up. As a race, we Irish have always been renowned for our sometimes bawdy sense of humour. The way things are heading, it will soon be impossible to make a joke about anything without being accused of being politically incorrect, or sexist, or racist, or all of the above.

If we are that easily offended, does that not say more about our fragile, insecure psyche than it does the person who's just trying to crack a harmless joke?

Did you hear the one about the blonde and brunette who walked into a bar? OK, maybe another time!

Wexford People

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