Sunday 17 December 2017

Being 'notorious' for all the wrong reasons

By Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman
Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman

In a week that 'The Notorious' himself, Conor McGregor dominated world headlines both ahead of an after his Las Vegas UFC success, his fellow countrymen made sure they became notorious in their own special way.

The age old cliché of the 'drunken Irish' was kept alive and kicking when an Aer Lingus flight set for Vegas had to be grounded when a fight broke out between Irish passengers on board.

It is reported that less than half an hour into the flight there rowdiness started which ended a physical altercation and the plane being grounded.

While speculation that those involved were en route to attend the fight has not been confirmed, one only needed to do the quickest of searches online to see the jolly Irish stepping out in Vegas in all their drunken glory.

Why are so many sporting events marred by drunken fools waving Irish flags and making a show of the nation?

While I have no interest in MMA or the high profile fights, I can appreciate McGregor's success and dedication and it is good to see somebody representing Ireland in a positive way, sending the message that hard work pays off.

However, the so called fans just used the occasion as an excuse to go to Vegas on the lash before Christmas.

Simply because an Irish person was centre stage on that fight night, is not justification for Irish spectators to drink themselves into a stupor, to be beamed across the globe doing such.

The same thing happened a few years ago when Irish emigrants in Australia were criticised for constantly over indulging and causing trouble and we never learn from it.

We are known all over the world for so many positive things - our writers and artists, sporting heroes, culture and wonderful food produce among other things but the one recurring negative association is the drinking.

We can never shake it off and every so often the cliché is strengthened even more by occasions such as the McGregor success, which people use an excuse.

It is disappointing that international successes by Irish people are celebrated by others by drinking to excess and it couldn't be more timely that in the same minimum alcohol unit pricing plans were announce. Perhaps it will help us to stop being notorious for the wrong reasons.

Wexford People

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