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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 11:56 GMT
Critic's island invite after jibe
Fairy Bridge on the Castletown Road - picture courtesy of manxscenes.com
AA Gill mocked the tradition of saying hello to fairies
Journalist AA Gill will be invited back to the Isle of Man despite saying it "smelled of boiled washing".

The Sunday Times critic also claimed islanders had "only recently been forced to give up public flogging and hunting homosexuals with dogs".

His comments appeared in a review of a Douglas restaurant on Sunday.

Department of Tourism member Pamela Crowe MLC said she hoped his comments would not put off tourists and would be writing to him inviting him to return.

Mr Gill's piece accused the island of possessing "1950s weather" and islanders of thinking the movie, The Witches of Eastwick, was based on a true story.

'Beautiful island'

He also mocked the tradition of saying hello to fairies on certain sections of road, saying the island was "the most pixilated place outside the 16th Century".

Mrs Crowe said: "I will indeed be writing to Mr Gill and inviting him to come to the Isle of Man and see some of the beautiful aspects of the Isle of Man and I will hope that the little people will really welcome him on this occasion.

"But I think it is sad, I do hope it doesn't affect tourism. I think the majority of people who read AA Gill know that he writes in this manner."

A government spokesman said: "Homosexual sex was illegal until 1992 and birching, which was never in public, was last carried out more than 30 years ago.

"Some people know the piece is obviously tongue in cheek and that's AA Gill's style of writing but some people have been quite seriously offended."

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