UK student bar criticised over 'meet and greet with leprechaun' for St Patrick's Day

A popular UK student bar is receiving backlash after offering a meet and greet with a dwarf actor dressed as a leprechaun.

On Thursday (local time) Rumour Fridays at Cargo posted on its Facebook "Fancy meeting a leprechaun this Paddy's Day" with a photo promoting the bar's 'Paddy's Day Special' which included a "meet and greet with our leprechaun".

Manchester Evening News reported several university students also received a WhatsApp message about the event.

"Obviously this is highly offensive. I've suffered high levels of racism, which doesn't seem to be held in the same regard as other kinds of racism in the UK. And this stereotypical leprechaun business is just ridiculous," one student told Manchester Evening News.

DNA Events which was the organisers behind the event said in a statement said it was aware of the backlash it was receiving and said it worked with the leprechaun actor for over a decade, but it understood why people were upset so cancelled the meet and greet part of the event.

"As such, we have taken the decision to cancel this element of the show while we consult with all of our entertainers, agencies and performers to ensure that we are promoting these important values which form the backbone of our business," DNA Events said in a statement.

Gregory Doherty who was supposed to be dressed up as the leprechaun told Manchester Evening News: "As you can imagine with a name like Doherty I am of Irish descent. Both my parents are Irish and I carry an Irish passport. I am incredibly proud to be of Irish heritage."

He said he didn't consider dressing up as a leprechaun offensive.

"I do not consider dressing up as a mythical creature offensive/or a racial slur against the people of Ireland. Not sure if you've ever travelled to Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day, but the iconography of a leprechaun is as iconic as a shillelagh or a shamrock," Doherty told Manchester Evening News.