Newstalk
Newstalk

15.38 31 Oct 2017


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An Australian politician has apologised after warning people to turn away 'anybody with an Irish accent' who calls to their door.

Victoria's consumer affairs minister Marlene Kairouz was speaking while issuing a warning against scammers.

A news report from Nine News Melbourne details cases of scammers claiming they will carry out various oddjobs or maintenance work for cash, but making off with the money instead.

The report suggests that 'men with Irish accents' is a 'common feature' of scam reports.

However, Ms Kairouz advised particular caution, stating: "If anybody knocks on your door that has an Irish accent, automatically ask them to leave."

Following criticism of the remarks, Ms Kairouz took to Twitter to apologise.

She added: "Recent scammers have been backpackers from the UK & Ireland & I was giving this info to the public. I admit I delivered this [message] poorly.

"I sincerely apologise for causing offence and my poor choice of words".

The apology drew further anger, however, as users described the initial remark as 'offensive', 'racist' and 'outrageous' - with some even demanding a televised apology.

Census data from last year shows that 7.6% of Australian people claim Irish ancestry.


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