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Love/Hate's Patrick: I got anti-Traveller hate mail for speaking out

The actor received Facebook messages calling him “pikey” after criticising an FM104 skit.

LOVE/HATE ACTOR John Connors (AKA Patrick the Pipe Bomber) says he received “hate mail” after speaking out about damaging Traveller stereotypes.

Last week, Connors said a skit on FM104′s Strawberry Alarm Clock that mentioned Travellers being “held back five years” in school was offensive to the Travelling community.

Host Jim Jim Nugent has apologised for the line, saying it was “not the intention” to offend anyone with the skit, which was “only meant to be humorous”.

Love/Hate - Series 5 Episode 5 John Connors as Patrick in Love/Hate Source: Bernard Walsh/RTÉ

This morning, Connors appeared on the Strawberry Alarm Clock to talk about the importance of highlighting harmful stereotypes when they appear:

The last line was definitely a Traveller stereotype, with the character being held back five years. A lot of Travellers usually say, “We don’t care what the rest of the world thinks.”
But there’s no way we’re going to get past these things unless we highlight them and inform people where they’re wrong and move past it.

Connors said that a high percentage of Travellers are still illiterate, but more and more are pursuing third level education.

He admitted receiving “hate mail” after he made his opinion of the skit known.

Some people were sending hate mail and coming out with “pikey”, “knacker”, this type of thing – but you get that anywhere. These are the type of the trolls that are on Facebook and Twitter and you just block them and move on.

Patrick the Pipe Bomber has been one of the most popular characters this season, and Connors says he is delighted with the reaction – in fact, he’s “mobbed” everywhere he goes.

There have been loads of people who I know don’t like me and they’re coming up telling me how great I am. I love them kissing ass because I know it hurts them.

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