Ireland has recently been subjected to growing anger and criticism from Brexit supporters frustrated by their inability to get the kind of deal they want as Britain leaves the European Union.
The onslaught has led to a caustic response from the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which is also one of the major gambling outlets in the UK.
The issue arose because of disagreement over the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, a border created by the British government in 1922.
The reason it’s become so controversial is that after Brexit, it will also become the border between the UK and the EU.
All sides agree that there should be no hard border between the two blocks, but that leaves the problem of how to provide customs checks.
Last year, British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to the Northern Ireland backstop, which meant that the UK would maintain customs arrangement with the EU if no better solution could be found over the next few years.
The deal was rejected by the British parliament who fear it could leave the UK tied to the EU indefinitely.
Mrs May was sent back to renegotiate but both Ireland and the EU refused to reopen talks on the issue.
This has led to some frustration and anti-Irish feeling among Brexiters.
The Brexit supporting newspapers have also been critical with the populist daily The Sun, labelling Irish Taoiseach Varadkar as Liability Leo.
All this became too much for Paddy Power to bear. Although the UK is one of its major markets, it took out an ad in the Sun and other popular papers, pointing out that although Ireland had caused problems for Britain in the two years since the Brexit vote, that was nothing compared to the problems Britain had created for Ireland over the last 800 years.
Paddy Power’s ad says: It reads: “Dear England, sorry for the last two years of pain, suffering and humiliation.
“Another 798 and we’ll be even.”
Paddy Power are well known for courting controversy and for the main part it seems to have worked for them as they have grown rapidly over the last 10 years. How this goes down with their customers remains to be seen but it seems a high-risk strategy.
On the other hand, if it makes some of the more extreme Brexiters realise that there is another point of view, it may turn out to be worthwhile.