Outrage as club hires dwarf for St Patrick's Day 'leprechaun meet and greet'

Outrage as club hires dwarf for St Patrick's Day 'leprechaun meet and greet'
Four Things You Didn’t Know About Leprechauns

A student club is under fire for plans to hire a dwarf to play a leprechaun for St Patrick's Day.

Those who signed up for the event at Manchester's Cargo were sent a WhatsApp message detailing the controversial move.

"This Friday we are hosting Manchester’s biggest Paddy’s Day event at Cargo," the text read. "There’s a huge club dressing, plenty of Irish hats and handouts and we’ve got our own dwarf leprechaun that will be going around the venue taking pictures all night."

One Irish person living in Manchester received the message and told MENit was understandably offensive and called the stereotype "ridiculous".

They said: "Obviously it’s been much discussed among university students who are Irish, and I know I’ve received several messages from people saying ‘oh my god, have you seen this? It’s horrible’. People saying ‘I cannot believe that’s real’.

"I was shocked but not surprised when I saw it," the student continued. "This kind of causal racism toward Irish people in the community is nothing new, particularly around this time of year."

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DNA Events, who were behind the night, has since decided to cancel this "element of the show".

In a statement, they said: "DNA have worked with Greg from the Minimen agency for over a decade, alongside hundreds of other entertainers from all backgrounds and disciplines to provide the highest calibre of entertainment and showmanship.

"We're proud to work with a wide diversity of performers and we have the utmost respect for Greg and his profession."

They continued: "That being said, we also understand the importance of listening to our customers and making sure that the entertainment we do provide is done with sensitivity towards the issues of race and culture, alongside those of inclusivity and diversity.

"As such, we have taken the decision to cancel this element of the show while we consult with all of our entertainers, agencies and performers to ensure that we are promoting these important values which form the backbone of our business."

Actor and performer Gregory Doherty, who was booked for the event, added: "As you can imagine with a name like Doherty I am of Irish descent. Both my parents are Irish and I carry an Irish passport. I am incredibly proud to be of Irish heritage.

"I do not consider dressing up as a mythical creature offensive/or a racial slur against the people of Ireland. Not sure if you’ve ever travelled to Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day, but the iconography of a leprechaun is as iconic as a shillelagh or a shamrock."

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