Kevin Westley is an Irish American who takes St. Patrick's Day very seriously.
While most of us will just be down the pub (what's more Irish than that, really) he's getting prepared in advance by heading to his local brand name mega-super-hypermarket and buying up all the t-shirts that have offensive slogans about drinking and Ireland on them.
Westley is an Irish dance instructor who also hosts a show on local radio in New Jersey called That's How I Spell Ireland, and thinks that the link between Ireland and drinking portrays the country's heritage in a negative light.
His idea to start buying the shirts only came into play when he finally became frustrated with different company representatives shirking responsibility for the decision to carry the shirts in store, with slogans like "I'm so Irish I sweat alcohol" or "Irish car bombs make my clothes fall off". He spoke to the manager of his local store and explained why they were offensive, and was told that he would have to lodge a complaint with the corporate headquarters. They told him that it was the individual decision of each shop to carry the lines, and he was stuck in a circle where no one was helping him.
That's when he decided to start buying up all the t-shirts using his credit card, and then returning them after the holiday for a full refund, provided that was the policy of the shop in question. Despite taking over an hour to return them when he tried this last year, he said staff at the shop understood that he was offended and were supportive of his actions.
So far, the reaction has been positive online, but he told Irish Central that he hasn't heard of a lot of people following his call to action to do the same in their town, and that there has been some negative reaction with people telling him to get a life and stop taking offence so easily: "I've been entertaining in the Irish community for 30 years, but every once in a while you see how we abuse each other, and that's the disappointing thing. We should be standing together."