The IABN Fights the Good Fight……Again.

The features and benefits of being part of the IABN are well chronicled.. Obtaining jobs, meeting new friends, business leads etc.. But there is a rather unheralded part of what this group has been able to do in recent years, namely fight ignorance about the Irish culture and peoples.

For example in 2011, the marketing geniuses for the Denny’s restaurant chain thought it clever to use the Irish famine as a theme for promoting specials on hash browns and other potato products.


The was the first mobilization of the IABN’s collective strength in fighting ignorance of the Irish history and culture. Some 50 IABN’ers manned their keyboards or picked up the phone to “enlighten” the good folks at Denny’s. 1 week later a public apology and cancellation of the campaign occurred. Now I cannot say with certainty that it was purely through the IABN’s efforts that brought about the change, but I do know there was some pretty influential members in high places that were part of our efforts, and I personally received a corporate communications release from Denny’s unprompted.

In 2012.. Just last year.. Some of you members will recall a National T-Shirt company distributing a line of clothing depicting  among other things Irish people vomiting and over indulging on alcohol on St. Paddy’s.  Now that’s not to say this doesn’t occur on occasion (please see me), but to go on a national distribution campaign, with that kind of graphic depiction, was over the line…

The IABN again mobilized and again we temporarily stopped production (unfortunately after St Paddy’s Day), and I again received a written apology, which was really more of a justification of their position, but the point is we got their attention and haven’t seen similar products since from this company.

This week.. Culhane’s Irish Pub (run by our newest IABN member Aine Culhane McClung) was ordered by the Atlantic Beach Florida city officials that they will be cited for flying the Irish Republic Flag.

Once again the IABN heeded the call. No less that 30 IABN members (and that’s the ones I know of) took to e-mailing and calling the Atlantic Beach commissioners and the Mayor’s offices to enlighten them on what an archaic and ignorant law they had on their books.

In less than 24 hours the ban was suspended, again demonstrating the collective strength of our group to do right. Now Culhane’s is back to the business of preparing for St. Paddy’s.

So when you are asked what the IABN is.. Please feel free to add to the list, protectors of the Irish/Irish American Culture.


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