by Michael Patrick O'Leary



Sauntering in to The Old Thatch,

My brown-faced friend is full

Of the Bailey’s Cream of human kindness.

Back in his savage homeland,

Kindly Irish priests brought culture

To his benighted youth without

Pedagogical pederasty,

The usual bonus

Of beatings and buggerings.

On this account,

He thinks well of Ireland.


Back home, in darky land,

Vishnu and Kali and Ganesh

Quailed at the onslaught of Foster and Allen

And Daniel O’Donnell from his battered Dansette.

His love of such high Gaelic culture

Is so strong his brown-faced

Chums call him ‘Paddy’

And his garden, ‘the paddy field’.


He has been to Ireland before-

Land of saints and scholars

And Bridie Gallagher.

Hibernia, winterland of warm hearts and hearths-

Within a controlled tourist cordon sanitaire,

Protected by the full force-field of cead mile failte.


As we stroll to the bar, the Bord

Na Mona fire in the grate sputters and dies.

A susurration, like a fart at a funeral.

The air is sucked from the room,

The craic is drowned in the vacuum.

All eyes turn to us.


A Citizen, leaning on a pint of stout.

Big, hairy ginger tweed jacket;

Brown corduroy trousers;

Highly buffed brown brogues;

Checked waistcoat stretched across

Belly full of crubeens and cabbage.

Atop the ensemble, a red face,

Foxy bristles, complementing the tweed jacket,

Sprout alarmingly from the ears.

The Citizen’s voice booms

Into the vacuum. ‘Jasus Maloney!

Are they letting the little fuckers in here now?!

Will we live to see this land of Cuchulain

And Padraic Pearse swamped

With picaninnies and cannibals?’

I guided my brown friend out of the door.

Failte to the real Ireland my brown friend,

The Ireland of Jackie Healy-Rae.


If you’re Irish, come into the parlour.

There’s a welcome there for you.

If your name is Timothy or Pat,

As long as you’re not

A nigger, wog, spick, tinker, yid, dago, chinky, gook

There’s a welcome on the mat.


Ah, the toxicity of taxonomy.