NDP MP Chris Charlton's St. Patrick's Day Tweet Prompts Apology

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St. Patrick's Day is supposed to be about honouring the man considered the patron saint of Ireland.

But, let's face it, for many, the celebration is a fine excuse to wear green and maybe get a little tipsy.

Still, NDP MP Chris Charlton learned Monday that making light of the connection between the Irish and booze, even on March 17, can offend.

Charlton quickly apologized — twice — after retweeting a cartoon titled "Irish Yoga," which showed people passed out with bottles all around them.

The joke didn't sit well with some on social media, including one commenter, apparently of Irish descent, who suggested Charlton would be in hot water for poking fun at other ethnic groups.

The commenter did, however, appreciate the MP's prompt apology.

But Charlton wasn't the only MP to take to Twitter with some commentary on booze.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May reminded her followers to be careful with their cold ones.

And Tory MP David Wilks made his love of green food colouring clear.

NDP MP Don Davies, meanwhile, shared what St. Patrick's Day means to him.

Other MPs went a safer route by wishing their followers the "luck of the Irish."

Others shared fun facts.

And Employment Minister Jason Kenney even dropped some Gaelic.

Back in June, there was some minor controversy after the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs tweeted a photo of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty visiting the Guinness brewery in advance of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

A member of the lower house of Irish Parliament wondered online if the photo was sending the wrong message to the world.

"Is this REALLY the image of Ireland we want to promote?? Young Irish women are dying from liver sclerosis for Gods sake - real shame," Regina Doherty wrote on Twitter.

Perhaps there's a lesson here that can apply today to MPs and party-goers: be careful what you put online.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate responsibly.

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