IF watching Father Ted has taught us anything it’s that the Chinese are a great bunch of lads.

It also taught us that doing a comedy Chinese accent is not necessarily the greatest idea in the world, and that bit of advice is especially true if your name’s Michael Martin and you lead Fianna Fail.

Discussing the positive impression of Irish IT and technology firms at a breakfast meeting, he said of ministers and officials in China: “They kept on saying to me ‘You Irish very good at software’.”

Fortunately, he stopped short of “doing the eyes” and ordering some “flied lice”.

“I made a comment this morning in a manner which I shouldn’t have,” he groveled the next day.

“I was making a serious point about how Ireland is seen in the world as a leader in software. If anyone was in any way offended, I of course apologise.”

To be fair, it was a pretty harmless comment that was intended to be accurate than funny but that hasn’t stopped Father Ted fans taking the piss.

“I see Michael Martin is out there being racist about the Chinese. The big racist,” said John McGuirk, an Independent candidate.

Hilariously, people seem more offended by the fact his accent sounded more French than Chinese.