The December 30 cartoon by Paul Szep showed two men drinking beer in a pub and discussing the Irish peace process. One man says, "The peace process could destroy our way of life." He then says, "It would kill our ability to hate. And we'd have to go to work!" The other man responds, "Well, we do hate work!" The cardinal said the cartoon was offensive and crude and called for "an apology for the deep insult given to the Irish people and their many descendants here in the greater Boston community." He said the cartoon recalled 19th century depictions of Irishmen as "subhuman, drunk, and indolent."
The newspaper's editorial page editor, H.D.S. Greenway, apologized for the offense caused by the cartoon. "The Globe meant no insult to Irish people by publishing Paul Szep's cartoon of December 30," Greenway said in a prepared statement. "We thought the cartoon intended to mock only the men of violence on both sides of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland, but we apologize for the offense it has so obviously given."