Irish supermodel Vogue Williams, has angered many of her compatriots by reportedly describing them as the “smelly Irish” during a TV show.
The model, who’s married to pop star Brian McFadden of Westlife, made the comment in an RTE documentary about the Australian soap, Home and Away.
It came as she was visiting Sydney’s Palm Beach where the successful Aussie soap is recorded. She said she liked the beach but was surprised at how many “smelly Irish” were there.
Williams’ comments are reported in the leading Irish Australian newspaper, the Irish Echo. She said: “It’s pretty mental being on this beach finally after watching it for almost 20 years. It’s just a pity about all the smelly Irish who are here.”
The Echo quotes a showbiz source as saying: “She was obviously expecting the cast of Home and Away or bronzed lookalikes to be there sunning themselves when she arrived.
“Instead she had to do with her fellow countrymen and women who she described as smelly.
“If she had said it was full of Paddies it wouldn’t have been so bad, that’s alright coming from one of our own.
“But to imply they were smelly isn’t too far off labelling them the dirty Irish.
“She’s lived in Australia for a good while herself so she should know that kind of stuff just feeds prejudices that are already there.”
The comments didn’t go down well with Irish people on Twitter, especially those living in Australia.
Dave O’Leary tweeted: “Good to see us Irish expats can’t visit Palm Beach without being branded smelly by Vogue Williams.”
Sarah-Jane Hurley tweeted: “This isn’t going down too well with the ex pats.”
Louise Gannon tweeted: “Very annoying and vacant. Comments like smelly Irish.”
Williams’ comments may well have been tongue in check but she will still have some explaining to do when she returns home to Ireland. She and her husband appear regularly on Irish TV shows and it remains to be seen whether her comments have any lasting effect on her popularity.