"It is rarely disputed that the Irish enjoy a drop or two of Guinness on St Patrick's Day.
The country, known for its jovial pubs and fondness for celebration, is used to being associated with merriment - but when it comes to being labelled as 'drunken', some see it as a derogatory step too far.
Urban Outfitters have offended a swathe of Irish-Americans who have not taken a range of St Patrick's Day T-shirts, mostly featuring jokes about drunkenness, lightly.
The bright green statement tees have a range of loud slogans and images printed in their fronts. 'Kiss Me, I'm drunk, or Irish, or whatever', reads one, costing $24. A $20 cap depicts a man vomiting and is accompanied by the statement 'Irish Yoga: Downward facing upchuck.'
A second tee, $24, is glaringly unsubtle: 'I'm a F****** Leprechaun' it says, the obscenity's 'U' replaced by a four-leaf clover.
The largest Irish-American organisation in the U.S., the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, is far from pleased with the garments, reports My Fox NY.
Seamus Boyle wrote: 'There are those few who use this day as an excuse to over celebrate but that does not give you or anyone else the right to defame and debase a whole race of people by selling the garbage that you display in your stores.'
I have got plenty of Irish blood in me so you will never hear an ill word about the Irish from me and nor do I tell Irish jokes. But for a long time the Irish were tolerant of jokes at their expense -- which is in my view a credit to them. Amid the increasing "sensitivity" which characterizes our age, however, it seems that even the Irish have now joined the ranks of the "offended".