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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Clothing firm drop ‘offensive’ St Patrick’s Day t-shirt

A US clothing firm has apologised and removed a St Patrick’s Day themed t-shirt from its collection after a social media backlash criticised the company for the ‘offensive’ design.

J. Crew’s decision to withdraw the garment, which was originally available on their website for the price of $11.50 (£9/€10), came after a social media uproar in which people pointed out that the design – a stylised map of the Republic of Ireland – omitted the six counties of Northern Ireland, including many of the areas connected to St Patrick.

One person tweeted: ‘You cut out the piece of Ireland where Patrick was brought to as a slave (Antrim), lived most of his life (Armagh) and is buried (Down).’

Armagh is also the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland – the seat of the Archbishops of Armagh, the Primates of All-Ireland for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland.

Other angry social media users also criticised the design for its representation of Ireland, pointing out that the words ‘beer’, ‘whiskey’ and ‘more beer’ were emblazoned across the map of the South, along with images of shamrocks, a harp, Dublin Castle and a confusing Dutch-style windmill.

‘So the North of Ireland no longer exists & the South of Ireland is inhabited by alcoholics,’ one person tweeted in response to the design.

As well as removing the t-shirt, J. Crew also apologised for “any unintended offence” the garment may have caused.

“This product has been removed from sale and we regret any unintended offence it may have caused,” a J. Crew spokesman told The Irish Post.

Picture: The J. Crew t-shirt. (J. Crew).