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'unacceptable' Irish ambassador to US blasts New York Times economist Paul Krugman’s leprechauns 'slur'

Daniel Mulhall said 'derogatory references in a leading newspaper are no laughing matter.'

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Daniel Mulhall

Daniel Mulhall

Daniel Mulhall

Ireland’s ambassador to the United States has criticised a New York Times columnist for using the word “leprechauns” when referring to Irish people.

In a letter published in the newspaper, Daniel Mulhall said using the word when talking about people from here is “an unacceptable slur”.

A column was written by Paul Krugman for the New York Times published on June 7, under the headline ‘Yellen’s New Alliance Against Leprechauns.’

He used the word in the piece, which looked at international corporate tax and Ireland’s relationship with tech company Apple.

"So let me tell you about Apple and the leprechauns,” Mr Krugman wrote.

He wrote that the company claims some of its profits for tax purposes in “countries with low tax rates” including Ireland.

In his letter, Mr Mulhall pointed out that it’s not the first time Mr Krugman has used the term in his writing. Mr Krugman previously coined the term “leprechaun economics” to describe Ireland’s GDP rise of 25pc in 2015.

"I see it as my duty to point out that this represents an unacceptable slur,” the Ireland ambassador wrote.

"I do not go along with Mr Krugman’s disingenuous excuse that ‘the Irish have a sense of humour’ about his attacks on us.”

He added that while he’s happy to engage “in serious debate about Ireland’s economic performance” the “derogatory references in a leading newspaper are no laughing matter.”

"Ireland has been fully engaged since 2013 in the international discussions about corporate tax reform, and we have proactively and diligently reformed our tax code in line with the new international norma agreed to thus far,” he said.

"Further agreement in this area cannot be arrived at through name-calling and national stereotyping.”

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