Old Navy Cans Irish T-Shirts

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There’s outrage over t-shirts that some say unfairly stereotypes the Irish.

Two t-shirts are no longer being sold in Old Navy stores. One reads “Irish I was drunk,” and the other reads “Party like you’re Irish’ with Snoopy holding a mug that says root beer.

Reaction to the t-shirts was mixed.

“I could definitely see how some people could be offended. I’m not personally offended by it,” said Kristin O’Leary.

“Can’t you find another way to sell t-shirts than intimating they’re all drunks?” complained Keith Wilson of the Bronx.

When CBS 2 contacted Old Navy’s parent company Gap about the shirts, a spokeswoman said:  “We recognize these t-shirts went too far and we sincerely apologize to the Irish community for any offense caused. We are removing all units from the stores and online as soon as physically possible.”

Do you find the shirts offensive? Do you think Old Navy did the right thing pulling the product off their shelves? Let us know below!


One Comment

  1. Summer819 says:

    So tired of everyone becoming offended by every single thing anyone does anymore! It’s probably due in part that the legal system lets ridiculous law suits make it to court, so everyone wants to shout and scream when the slightest thing “offends” them. Some people are just overly sensitive or prudes. If you are that offended by something of this nature, how about you quit shopping at that particular store instead of raising a big stink over it.

    I’m of Irish descent and don’t find this offensive in the least. In fact, I bought my brother a shirt for his birthday at a kiosk at our mall that sells Irish merchandise that says, “Fight me, I’m Irish”. Is that offensive to anyone? My Irish family thought it was great!

  2. rachel says:


    1. Mary Lonergan says:

      First mistake doll, it “Paddy’s Day” when are Irish Americans going to figure that out?????

  3. Ann-Marie says:

    I used to joke that as an Irish American I found the mascot of the Boston Celtics offensive, the name of the team should be “Celts,” and they were mispronouncing it.
    Please tell me we are not really coming to this! My mother, daughter of an Irish alcoholic, and very much against making light of drinking, tells some of the best Irish drinking jokes I know.
    I always thought we were one ethnic group that was okay with our stereotypes. Guess not.

  4. AmberP says:

    Glad I bought my T-shirt last week. “Irish I was Drunk” was the one that I got. Can’t wait till St. Patrick’s Day.
    Bad move Old Navy!!!!

  5. Chris says:

    Irish people have a great sense of humor about our stereotypes, and we can take a joke. I only wish the same could be said for…pretty much everybody else.

    1. Summer819 says:

      Well said!

    2. MarkinFLA says:

      Well now you can say the Irish “Used to be able to take a joke”. Now you are in the same boat as everyone else. Grab an oar.

  6. OT says:

    Oh please! the target market is SOME Irish people who will think it is funny and purchase one. those who don’t think it is funny wont buy one. Isn’t that what “free enterprise” is all about. Almost anything you put on a T-Shirt will amuse some and annoy others – get over it, already!

  7. Lisa says:

    I used to work for Old Navy and this really doesn’t surprise me. I worked there for numerous years and we were always pulling shirts of the shelf for it being offensive and inappropriate.

  8. Law Abiding Analyst says:

    I wonder how the current generation of children will fare when they’re adults and they learn that people aren’t politically correct and that all food and clothing isn’t organic. I’m sure any one who gets drunk doesn’t do so because they saw a t-shirt promoting drunks when they were little.

  9. Kimmy says:

    Really? Really? You are removing the shirts? Well let’s remove chop sticks from Chinese restaurants. Let’s remove Pizza from the planet after all you know how touchy the Italians are and while you are at it, remove hunting rifles; after all it might be offensive to Bambi.

  10. Tom O'Brien, Dublin says:

    Send those shirts over here to ireland and we”ll sell them tio the tourists. It seems you live in the land of free speech but you’re not allowed to say anything. Time to lighten up guys.

    1. 6eeyore9 says:

      Thanks for a small ray of sense from across the pond

    2. dan says:

      you know it takes a comment from somebody from another country to realize how ridiculous political correctness has become,tom i totally agree with you

    3. Free in TN? says:

      Too true. I’m proud of my Irish sense of humor and think it is sad that here in the land of the free we aren’t free to do or say anything that any other person might disagree with. We are trying to be over accommodating to so many different people that I think we’ve forgotten what the initial premise was to begin with. A land where everyone had free speech and freedom of religion, not just some people. It is insane how sensitive people claim to be now and how much we all have to make everything generic “for the people”. We are even trying to rewrite history in our textbooks now so our children don’t have to learn some of the horrifying truths about our history. It is scary where we are heading.

    4. blondie says:

      Spoken like a TRUE Irishman! LOL

  11. Mike says:

    Really? It’s just a t-shirt. Get over it and get a life.

  12. Tam says:

    I am a mutt! As my dad always says, “A little bit of everything that walked by” and what was missed my mom supplied. 100% American and proud of it. Here’s a beer on me Snoopy. Went to Ireland last year and had a blast. They know how to party..Love them Irishmen. HA! 🙂

  13. O'DannyBoy says:

    Hey Old Navy!! I have another Idea for a T-shirt…..
    A picture of a Six Pack of Beer and a Potato with a tag line that reads….
    An Irish Seven Course Meal
    No Licenseing issues, Let’s get it on the shelves befor St. Paddy’s Day hits!!!

    OHH lighten up Francis….

    1. 6eeyore9 says:

      BRAVO! Couldn’t agree more…

    2. blondie says:

      LMAO – Funniest thing I’ve seen yet. I’m Scots-Irish, and I’d wear one proudly. C’mon people – if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

  14. Mrs O'Learys Cow says:

    I’m so tired of the PC crowd.

    My family is Irish,we drink,we laugh we enjoy and no one is offended by Irish stereo types,we are so much stronger that that.

    The Irish were once a hated people in this country. They didn’t waste time dwelling on what someone thought. They continued moving forward.

    Any and every culture that does will earn their place for their generations to enjoy.
    Bring on March and let us again celebrate who we are in this thing called life.
    WE are Irish WE have Identity

    God I love being Irish!

    1. Irish and Unoffended says:

      I agree! Being Irish as well I find it really hard to believe that many people were honestly offended by these shirts. The Irish are one of the few people who aren’t afraid to laugh at ourselves and are perfectly comfortable with being laughed with or at. A sense of humor is what I always thought set us apart (amongst some other things)!

  15. Anonymous Employee says:

    I work at Old Navy. Irish stereotyping may be the reason the company cited for taking the shirts off of their shelves, but I assume the real reason was to keep the store “family-oriented”. In the past week, I personally had to deal with a number of complaints from parents who found the “Irish I was drunk” t-shirt offensive because it was a bad example to their children for promoting heavy drinking. This could also be said for our line of alcohol brand name/logo shirts, but there have never been any complaints about those that I am aware of. The Snoopy shirt may as well have been added to the shirts that were confiscated from stores to make the Irish stereotyping story more legitimate.

    1. NYPDBAGPIPER says:

      So where do these shirts end up? Should we raid the dumpster at the local mall or what?

  16. HUGO says:

    At least they used Snoopy and not a leprechaun.

  17. Charline B. says:

    He’s drinking ROOT BEER, for goodness sake! And BTW, a friend of mine with a very “O’Irish” sir name was at a pub in Ireland celebrating “being Irish.” The bar keep looked at him and said, “Your not Irish, your’e a bleedin’ Yank, and we resent you pretending otherwise.”

  18. All Irish says:

    you people crack me up that state you are 1/4 Irish, 3/4 Irish, 85% Irish. All wanna bees. You are no more Irish than the President and you have never even been to Ireland. Born and raised in Belfast along with my wife. Thats Irish. Grow up.

    1. Joe says:

      IF YOU ARE FROM BELFAST THEN YOU ARE BRITISH : ) ….here in this country we speak of heritage and use the countries name, its understood it does not mean you are from that country…..learn our customs then go back to THE UNITED KINGDOM WHERE YOU ARE FROM

    2. Me says:

      Who cares.

    3. Pat says:

      It’s called a heritage. So you are acting all self righteous like those of us whose parents immigrated from Ireland have no heritage? Oh please. You are the one who needs to grow up. My parents are Irish and even though I don’t live there my bloodlines are every bit of Irish as yours are. I am proud of my heritage and people like you are petty and sad. I have just as much a right to celebrate where I came from as those who still live there. Get over yourself.

    4. blondie says:

      That’s just plain snooty of you. Really, you’re British. As a resident of the UNITED KINGDOM. And let’s face it – if you want get technical Mr. O’Snot – the English, Irish, Scots and Welsh are so inter-mixed, that no one in the UK is pure anything. So go stuff that in your bagpipe.

  19. Charles Lingard says:

    At least the shirt has the proper spelling, “you’re”, instead of “your”.

  20. bob says:

    I am deeply offended that Snoopy is being portrayed as a drunk…..jeez

  21. thatsjarrod says:

    Oh my god everybody put on your big boy pants and QUIT WHINING ABOUT EVERYTHING!!

  22. Nope says:

    To Wilson of Bronx,
    Get over it Like St Patty’s day hasn’t been an historic let loose party day. I’m Irish And don’t drink and I’m not offended.

  23. John White says:

    It’s easy and risk free to attack a t-shirt maligning an ethnic group who really doesn’t seem to be offended. How about some real hard-nosed journalism on something important! I would also note most of the comments here use better grammer and spelling than the so called journalists have the ability to use. It is also apparent to me that when you put “OR” between name and E-mail to submit a comment that means one or the other, except at this web site! Looks like I’ll be getting some new spam at the cost of my opinion!

    1. Bill says:

      It’s spelled GRAMMAR John. GRAMMAR.

      1. kcv says:

        lol….did I spell it correctly?

  24. Caitlin says:

    It is an extremely offensive racist stereotype. If it targeted ANY other racial/religious group as nastily, the ACLU would be up in arms.

    1. KV says:

      I agree, not Irish, but if I was….I would not be happy. It’s just not funny or cute to me, but that’s just me!

    2. Air n Gobra says:

      Wrong, Irish is not a race. It’s an ethnicity or in the case of race care driver Dario Francitti, a nationality.

  25. Doug says:

    O’ you hurt my feelings!!!!!!

    Americans have become of bunch of crybaby pus.ies!!!

    1. dico j. says:

      I agree….Americans have become soft…pansies!!

    2. Marc says:

      Not all of us have become soft. I’m Irish American and think that most Irish and Irish American’s think this is a complete rubbish. Its a particular group of cry babbies that mess up the fun

  26. COLLEEN says:

    I am also Irish-American, approx 1/4 Irish (mother’s maiden name Doyle), & I also think it’s ridiculous that they have to take such an innocent shirt(s) out of their inventory line. I visited Ireland a couple years ago, and I am pretty confident that most Irish would not be offended!

    1. All Irish says:

      1/4 irish? Are you trying to tell us you have 3 fathers?

    2. Niamh says:

      You are not Irish.

  27. SparkyP says:

    Unless you’re a straight white christian male, there’s always going to be someone who wants to make fun of parts of a culture they dont understand or are traditionaly stereotyped within that culture, lifestyle or religion. real or not..

    When people keep passing off bigotry as humor, eventually people start to believe it.. thats when it becomes offensive

    1. Paddy O'Chair says:

      I know lots of hilarious humor about WASP males, particularly in a church setting. People really have to lighten up, honestly. Of course bigotry is no good, but we ought to be able to laugh at ourselves a little, not take things quite o deeply or seriously.

    2. Charline B. says:

      I think we know what the “P” stands for, Sparky….

    3. kcv says:

      Intelligence will always be met with severe ignorance…well said Sparky!
      This is a country of excuse makers and we love to say “well they did it too”….that does not make it right. I am 37 and have NEVER heard a WASP or “white christian male” joke from someone who was NOT “white, christian and male”. But, I’ve definitely heard many white, christian males make blonde women jokes, women jokes,minority jokes, cultural jokes, etc. The first comment is “Oh you’re too soft, too PC”…no we’re just human and care for those surrounding us, not just those that look like us. I’m sure someone said “Oh, you’re too soft” when someone protested lynchings and the holocaust!

  28. offendedandsuing says:

    lawsuit in 3,2,1…..

  29. NYPDBAGPIPER says:

    Seems to me there is a thin veneer of people out there who merely “talk” of some people who MIGHT be offended. Then out of a burst of ridiculous paranoia and political correctism, a corporation reacts. The end result? Clothing and money being wasted in these times of woe and want, and damage to the bottom line when we desperately need our businesses to thrive. We as Americans need to be a little more thick-skinned, those of us of all races.

    1. Tommy O says:

      I’d like to think that much like the Jets AFC Champions gear, these tshirts end up in some poor third world country going to the needy.

      Somewhere out there, some poor child in Hati will soon be running around with a “IRISH I Was Drink” tshirt.

  30. Tom Levier says:

    If every other ethnic group can whine every time they feel they’ve been maligned, why should we ask Irish folk to “lighten up” when they have a complaint about how they’re stereotyped in our culture?

    1. doug says:

      The Irish wouldn’t complain!!!
      They would do some bare Knuckle boxing first!!!

  31. Alex says:

    how stupid. im part irish but i think they’re funny. the snoopy one is soo cute, i would so love to have one. but i guess that’ll never happen….stupid tighta@#$!

  32. Maureen says:

    This is ridiculous. I’m Irish, I love Snoopy, & I like celebrating St Patrick’s Day, just like everyone else. What a bunch of bull.

    Get a sense of humor people.

    Oh, I’m also short & blond… guess I HAVE to have a sense of humor.

  33. Paul says:

    Well, I like the Snoopy shirt. If you don’t like them, I suggest you don’t buy them. Most manufacturers understand the lack of sales as an indicator of disapproval.

  34. UplandMeerkat says:

    Foolishness. I’m Irish-Canadian and an HR person AND… I actually bought one of those shirts with the intent of wearing it to work on St. Patty’s day. lol

    People are way too uptight!

    1. abroadabroad says:

      I.m a Canadian woman, love St. Patty’s Day (though I’m in living in Mexico, will be wearing the green… Too right! Folks are far too uptight!

    2. Caitlin says:

      Well, anyone who speaks of “St. PATTY’S Day” is probably so far from his roots that he drinks green beer and wears sparkly antennae. “Patty” is an American female nickname. You’re changing the saint’s gender. His birth name is Patricius, the Irish is Padriag, and the anti-Irish Nativists called every Irishman “Paddy” even if his name was Jeremiah. Go ahead – preseve a racist stereotype.

  35. socalgal says:

    Sad we have to whitewash everything now in case some media humping snowflake will look to make an issue about it; Oh, wait – I’m WHITE – that was offensive. I guess we had better take the word whitewash out of the dictionary.

  36. jtorres says:

    If the t-shirts offended you, you shouldn’t buy them. People take polical correctness way too far. You’re not follically-challenged — you’re bald. I’m not vertically-challenged or un-tall – I’m short. Grow up and stop being so sensitive. It’s a JOKE. Get it?

    1. snoopylover says:

      I absolutely agree. If they were to ban any clothes that offend somebody, we might all have to be naked….how offensive would that be…lol. Snoopy is so cute and drinking Rootbeer…..who doesn’t like Snoopy and Rootbeer…Just saying

  37. Kevin says:

    We all are drunks. Let’s just admit it… I had a tear run down my cheek at the thought of those 3 bottles of Jamesons fallling off the bar in Timmy O’Mally’s tale. Ruined my whole day…

  38. Micha says:

    Man, I wanted to get this shirt for my uncle- he would have loved it(but then, he also has a sense of humor)

  39. Joshua says:

    It’s ok as long as they don’t get behind the wheel…

  40. Trish says:

    I suspect only the Irish buy those shirts. If Old Navy discontinues them, the Irish will certainly find their “Irish pride” tee shirts elsewhere. The Irish won’t lose but Old Navy will.

    1. AmberP says:

      I”m not Irish and I bought one. All for the love of partying on St. Patrick’s Day!!! Go Irish!

  41. Timmy O'Mally says:

    As an irishmen, I take great offense to these stereotypes portrayed upon us. Why, just the other morning at O’hallan’s Pub, I was telling Paddy the Cop and O’Leary the fireman over a few pints of guiness the story about how a few hours prior a guy from london came in and wouldn’t shut up about the royal wedding, leaving me no choice but to get into a fight with him.

    O’Leary replied, “well, I wouldn’t expect any less of you, being from County Cork, and all”

    In our ensuing melee, 3 bottles of Jamesons were knocked off the bar, proving that it is the prods which are at fault for our trouble, and it is they, whom surely staff the boardrooms and silkscreen facilities of Old Navy.

    1. jtorres says:


    2. Chris G says:

      Well said Timmy!!! Céad Míle Fáilte!

    3. Murphy says:

      I’ll drink to that

  42. The Good Samaritan says:

    My husband is Irish, and he is drunk a good amount of the day. Who cares?

    The Good Samaritan has Spoken.

  43. banana says:

    I often wonder if people that claim to be offended by this stuff are really offended. It seems silly to me, but I guess when you wear a shirt you are subjecting everyone who can read it to its message.

  44. Chale Brannan says:

    I’m Irish American too, Offensive does not mean untrue, stereotypes are generally based on a common perception. The Irish are commonly perceived as party people, what’s wrong with that?

    1. Tommy says:

      Read the shirt. Snoopy clearly has Root Beer in his mug. Its misreprentative of the people. It would be like having a shirt with a picture of an italian woman on it, and airbrushing her moustache out.

      1. Caitlin says:

        Stupid remarks about ANY race/ethnicity/religion are offensive to everyone. This is the kind of garbage spoted by 14 year olds on the subway. Grow up.

  45. Ed says:

    Next you wont be able to say the Pope is Catholic!

  46. JEANNE says:


  47. Pinz says:

    Deal with it. I’m German and people always think I hate Jewish people.

  48. Fred W.Moriarty says:

    I am Irish American and I am not offended by drunken Irish jokes.I was a drunk myself till 20 years ago as 99% of Irish decent are,starting with Kennedys.

  49. Vic says:

    Wassamater? The truth hurts?! Let’s see how sad the offended are on St. Pat’s Day or any happy hour in a bar on any day of any week. Puhleeze.

    1. tom mc says:

      Guinea all smell like garlic

      1. Vic says:

        Better garlic then puking all over yourself and someone’s front yard on St. Pat’s Day or any given day. Deal with it, McDrunk.

  50. DanTe says:

    I have yet to see a sober Irish. Have you?

    1. todd o says:

      when the last time you saw your mother sober

      1. Paddy O'Chair says:

        Well, I’m about 85% Irish – grandma was born in Dublin – and I rarely drink, and at that only a glass or two. But golly, some of my best jokes are Irish drinking jokes. People are so thin-skinned these days it makes me wonder how they get through the day without melting into a puddle of outraged tears. I’d love to have the Snoopy shirt, I wonder if it was properly licensed?

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