WEST NYACK (The Journal News) --Less than a month before their biggest holiday, members of Rockland's Irish-American community are once again protesting a series of crude St. Patrick's Day-themed merchandise being sold at the Palisades Center mall.

The group is calling on the mall and retailers to stop selling T-shirts, hats and other items displaying a range of raunchy humor, sexual slogans and references to excessive inebriation.

In particular, the group is targeting Spencer's, a lifestyle and gag gifts retailer with more than 600 stores in the U.S. including White Plains and Yonkers, for profiting off items they believe mock Irish culture and feed into stereotypes.

Some of the items that have drawn ire this year are T-shirts with slogans reading "Irish Girl Wasted" and "Rub My Shamrock for Luck." Other slogans contain profanity.

"This has gone way beyond a St. Patrick's Day T-shirt with beer mugs," said Neil Cosgrove, 54, a New City resident and Anti-Defamation chairperson of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. "They are just pushing the bounds more and more."

"You don't see other ethnic groups targeted like this," he added.

A Spencer's spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Around this time last year, the Rockland County Legislature passed a resolution calling on mall management to pull the items from the shelves. Local lawmakers are once again getting involved.

A rally protesting the merchandise is planned for 11:15 a.m. Friday in the parking lot of the ShopRite at 243 Route 59 in West Nyack.

Attending are the Rockland County Ancient Order of Hibernians and Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City.

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