Comedian Tara Flynn and her African American husband were visiting her hometown Kinsale, Co. Cork recently, during which her husband suffered racial abuse.
Ms Flynn has made a new sketch The Racist B&B because of the incident.
“On a recent trip home, I got a reminder that Ireland Of The Welcomes can be conditional. By now very familiar with Kinsale, my (African-American) husband offered to take the dog out for his last walk of the night. I sat chatting with my mum. 20 minutes later, my husband returned. He looked angry. “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been called those names in a while.” A group of young people standing outside a bar in the centre of town had shouted racist epithets at him. Some of those epithets have made it into my clip but we’ve decided to cover them with sound effects. They’re just too vile. They are shocking in the abstract and absolutely horrifying when applied to someone I love. In my hometown. In 2013.
“My husband is a tolerant person. He just stared the namecallers down and they – like most cowards – shut up when faced with this silent challenge. He tried to laugh it off in the re-telling, saying it wasn’t his first time and that he’d heard worse. But that’s not the point. I was mortified. Stunned. Fuming.”
This is the sketch, in which Tara plays a racist B&B owner Máire Uí Bean an Tí.
“We try and turn people away before they get here, if possible. We don’t want to disappoint anyone. So we ask them a few questions on the phone, like ‘Do you take the sun well?’ or ‘Could you clap along to this Michael Jackson track?’ And if they have fantastic rhythm or if they sound a bit tanned, we tell them that there’s a festival on. That we’re full.”