Des Bishop has come under fire for his ‘attack’ on the Irish Travelling Community and Travellers’ groups call for an apology.
The Irish American comedian took part in a show on US radio station, Sirius XM, in 2018. Bishop’s remarks have recently begun circulating online once more.
The 44 year-old made offensive comments about the Irish Travelling Community, mocking the accents of its members.
Bishop claimed in the interview that they have “social problems,” adding that many members of the Travelling community drink a lot, “are sort of feudal” and “are all on social welfare”.
Bishop commented that ‘there is a lot of inbreeding’ among the Irish Travelling Community. He also made comments about the amount of money members of the community spend on celebrations like the Holy Communion.
On Wednesday, the Irish Traveller Movement condemned the comedian’s comments in a story with The Sun and called on Bishop to publicly apologise. They have describe Bishops remarks as “degrading comments about Travellers” and “describing the community as inbred and violent.”
Brendan Joyce of the Irish Traveller Movement explained that members of the community feel ‘let down’, as
Some Travellers based in Tuam, Co Galway, previously took part in a television programme with Bishop. This has led Brendan Joyce of the Irish Traveller Movement to say members of the community feel “totally let down” as a result.
Mr Joyce went on to brand Bishop’s comments ‘shocking, degrading and racist’.
“His commentary was shocking, degrading and racist and caused both then and now, hurt in the community which is unacceptable.”
The interview re-emerged after being posted by Traveller comedian Martin Beanz Warde, with the comment: “I’m asking him to apologise to my community publicly. No cancelling or blacklisting, just an opportunity to learn and grow.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Bishop posted an apology on Twitter.
“I am writing this to apologise to the Traveller community for comments I made on a radio show in the US a couple of years ago.”
Bishop wants to especially apologise to the community in Tuam, who were “so welcoming to me 15 years ago.”
Since Bishop posted his apology on the social media platform, Mr Warde said he has accepted it.