Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.45 22 Oct 2020


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A member of the Travelling Community says nothing positive would have come from 'boycotting or cancelling' comedian Des Bishop over remarks he made two years ago.

Bishop has apologised to members of the community for negative remarks he made about them during a US radio interview in 2018.

Speaking on Sirius XM radio, he spoke about Travellers getting violent when drunk and domestic abuse in the community.

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He since posted an apology on Twitter.

The comments were recently re-posted online by Martin Beanz Warde, a comedian and podcast presenter who is a member of the Travelling Community.

He told The Hard Shoulder: "Nobody, and I mean nobody, went out looking to get dirt on Des - especially around that.

"But when I saw it then and I watched it, I just couldn't stand over it without addressing it.

"And then of course behind the scenes I had a lot of my own Traveller fans that were asking me to address it because I worked with him and I'm a comedian - I'm the only Traveller comedian - so they were kind of asking me to have some say in it.

"And of course it deserved an apology."

"But I made it clear from the very beginning that this apologise [sic], learn from it, grow from it, we'll all move on - which ironically is what my community do".

"When I saw the apology I was like 'OK, as an individual Traveller I'll accept this' - and how other Travellers take it it's entirely down to them.

"But by and large I think people are accepting that it's an apology and that he may learn from this".

Martin said he never wanted to see Des Bishop hurt by so-called 'cancel culture'.

"How can I stand over the cancelling of a man who got me involved in comedy for something he said two years ago?

"We also need to remember as well we don't know why he said it - it could have been him trying to be edgy, trying to do some comedy... maybe he was just having a bad day - we don't know.

"But I didn't want to have everyone boycott him or cancel him because of his comments, because there's nothing positive to come from that".

Martin agreed with host Kieran Cuddihy, who suggested the outcry was not as loud as it would have been if the comments were made about other groups of people.

"You're dead right, the silence was deafening - but not just from the Twitter lovies, as you mentioned - but also from Irish media in general.

"That just tends to be the thing you know - if there was negative to say about Travellers there is a high likelihood that it would end up in Irish media lot quicker than if it was somebody saying something negative about Travellers."

Referencing remarks made by former presidential candidate Peter Casey, Martin said: "At the time there was  huge uproar, but it still didn't affect him and he still got  a huge amount of votes.

"What it might be evidence of is, I suppose, is what's indicative in Ireland is that it is acceptable to have a certain prejudice and to say publicly about Travellers".

Main image: Des Bishop is seen at the 2011 Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards in Dublin's RDS. Picture by: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

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Apology Des Bishop Martin Beanz Warde Sirius XM The Hard Shoulder Travellers

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