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Australian reporter sparks backlash with comments about Irish living in Sydney seaside town of Coogee

'Coogee demolished over the weekend and for a pleasant change the Irish aren’t to blame'

By Meadhbh McGrath

Published 07/06/2016

Australian reporter Josh Massoud is under fire for comments he made about Irish people living in Sydney.

Wild storms battered the New South Wales coastline over the weekend, with three motorists confirmed dead in the ensuing floods.

Coogee, a seaside town popular with Irish visitors, was particularly badly hit, as the storms tore apart the 110-year-old Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and caused severe erosion to the beach.

Massoud, a sports reporter for 7 News Sydney and journalism tutor, posted a photo of the damage on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, with the caption: “Coogee demolished over the weekend and for a pleasant change the Irish aren’t to blame.”

The comment, shared with his 15,600 Twitter followers, drew anger from Irish at home and abroad.

Social media users criticised the remarks as “completely unnecessary and inappropriate”, with one user asking, “And for a pleasant change, can you not generalise and disrespect a whole nation?”

“Proud to be Irish. Find these type of remarks disappointing #irelandinoz,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another added: “Casual racism at its best!! Shame on you. Completely unrelated!"

Mr Massoud’s comments also appeared in a retweet from 7 News Sydney, but the tweet was soon taken down.

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