Conor McGregor has responded to Liam Neeson calling him a “little leprechaun” and saying that he gives Ireland “a bad name”.
Neeson called out McGregor during an interview with Men’s Health, where he was talking about how he “can’t stand” UFC. “That to me is like a bar fight. I know the practitioners are like, ‘No, you’re wrong – the months of training we do…’ Why don’t you just grab a beer bottle and hit the other guy over the head? That’s the next stage of the UFC.”
He added: “I hate it…. That little leprechaun Conor McGregor, he gives Ireland a bad name. I know he’s fit, and I admire him for that. But I can’t take it.”
Now, McGregor has appeared to have responded to Neeson’s jibe. Rather than firing back, he sinply tweeted: “Irish proud – always,” alongside an emoji of the Irish flag.
Irish proud – always. 🇮🇪
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 3, 2023
Neeson has faced scrutiny in the past following comments in interviews. In 2019, the actor recounted a story where he admitted he once roamed the streets looking for a “Black bastard” to kill after learning a close friend had been raped by a Black man.
Recalling the incident to the Independent, Neeson said: “I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘Black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
The actor later apologised during an appearance on Good Morning America. “I’m not racist, this was 40 years ago,” Neeson said. “I was brought up in the north of Ireland. The Troubles. The ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. There was a war going on in the north of Ireland. I had acquaintances who were involved in the trouble. The bigotry. One Catholic would be killed, the next day a protestant would be killed. I grew up surrounded by that, but I was never surrounded by it.”
He added: “We all pretend we’re all politically correct. But sometimes you just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry, and it’s there.”