Model Vogue Williams says she is amazed at the controversy surrounding her comments on a TV show in which she referred to the “smelly Irish”.
Williams, who is Irish herself, made the remark during a documentary about the Australian TV soap Home and Away. While filming at Summer Bay near Sydney, she said she liked the beach but then added: “It’s a pity about all the smelly Irish who are here.”
Most people took it as just a joke but many more were offended and argued that it presented the Irish in a negative way to the rest of the world.
Williams said she didn’t mean any offence. She said that at first she was going to let it all blow over without commenting further but the protests showed no signs of slowing down.
She explained her position in a series of tweets: “I wasn’t going to comment so as not to fuel further, however it appears a light-hearted comment I made in ‘Vogue Does Home & Away’ on RTE has offended a few ex-pat Irish in Oz.
I’m a very proud Irish person
“I can guarantee you that if you watch the show you will see it was meant solely as a joke, certainly not an insult.
“I’m a very proud Irish person, and also used to be an expat. We are a great nation, sound in fact!
“I’m trying to get the show on YouTube so everyone can see for themselves that it was simply a joke and also see my fondness for everything and everyone Irish.
“Apologies to those offended but that is not the way it was intended…g’wan the Irish!”
Williams, who is married to pop start Brian McFadden of Westlife, clearly hopes that will be the end of the matter, although she may also reflect on the old adage about there being no such thing as bad publicity.
Her comments about the “smelly Irish” have created publicity for her all across the world and helped to raise her profile considerably.