Posters that read ‘Go Home Irish’ in Toronto have been the cause of consternation among Irish people living in the city, even though they were only put there as a joke. In what turned out to be an ill-advised move, Dublin marketing agency The Social House arranged for posters reading ‘Go Home Irish’ to be placed in various parts of Toronto. They were put there in an effort to create a bit of mischief and to raise awareness of their campaign to get Irish workers with international experience to return home.
“We are looking to hire Irish people who have worked in other parts of the world. We’re not anti-emigration, but we’d love to lure some of these internationally seasoned brains back home by pretending to be Anti-Irish-Canadians.” The Social House say that they believe that it’s time for all those who’ve emigrated to come home as there are new job opportunities springing up in Dublin (what about the rest of the country?).
— TheJournal.ie (@thejournal_ie) July 9, 2015
“We’ve been abroad ourselves. We know the pull of home but the fear that you may have to compromise on your career to come back. It can seem from the outside that Dublin doesn’t offer as good an opportunity as somewhere like New York, London, Sydney, or Toronto. But Dublin’s finding its feet again as a creative city, and we’re working hard to mess with the system and get make advertising more fun.”
Typing in ‘pleaseleavecanada.com’ brings you to the Social House website where you will see the following recruitment ad.
Shockingly (or not), the ads have been getting a mixed response, with a number of people complaining that they will create tension between the Irish and Canadians, as many will think they’re real. The early Irish immigrants to Toronto found it a somewhat dour Presbyterian town where in common with their experience elsewhere they were discriminated against. Indeed the Irish district was known as “Cabbagetown” as were so poor they grew vegetables in the front garden to feed their families. Canadian writer Hugh Garner’s novel, Cabbagetown, depicted life in the neighbourhood during the Great Depression. Today this gentrified area of Downtown Toronto is out of reach of all immigrants not just the Irish!
As for the Irish in Toronto they must have mixed feelings about this campaign with its unfortunate echoes of the NINA (No Irish need Apply) campaigns of the past. Today the Irish in Toronto are doing well and are self assured and confident and the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland is Kevin Vickers, a National Hero for stopping the attach on Parliament House in Ottawa in October 2014. Why there is even a St. Patrick’s subway station!
See; Ottawa shooting Hero proud Irish-Canadian