Burchill reported to police for 'racist' attack on Irish

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The Independent Online

The columnist Julie Burchill is to be reported to the police over allegedly racist comments she made about Irish people in The Guardian.

She wrote on 20 September that the St Patrick's Day parade in London was "the celebration of a religion that condemns contraception, abortion, divorce and the right of a woman to be a priest".

Noel Lynch, a member of the London Assembly and the Metropolitan Police Authority, said yesterday that he was going to ask Scotland Yard's diversity unit to investigate. He said: "We have had too much discrimination for too long to just allow someone to just abuse us whenever she feels like it. It's racism and it gets me hot under the collar." After a similar article last year, police sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, which decided there was "insufficient evidence" to justify charges of incitement to racial hatred. Ms Burchill has said that her criticisms are of the Catholic Church and not the Irish as a people.

But Mr Lynch said: "The St Patrick's Day parade is about as much to do with promoting the Catholic religion as Christmas is about promoting the Church of England."

Ms Burchill was unavailable for comment yesterday.

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