Anti Irish sentiment still rife in the UK, suggests poll

FHM's sexiest women in the world poll has placed The Saturdays' most attractive member, Una Healy, in what might be her lowest position to date. It is certainly her worst ranking on the poll since her introduction.

She was ranked number 19 and number 41 in FHM's Sexiest Women poll in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but the fall has been even starker in more recent polls. In FHM's 2012 poll, she had dropped down to 66th place. She is never likely to feature in the top 20 ever again. Why? Because Una has been fighting prejudice for all of her life. First, of course, as a ginger, albeit a stunning one, she would have encountered bullying at home in Ireland. Then, when she moved to the UK, she encountered further ignorance from the British - because she is an Irish.

She was accused on several occasions of planting bombs when she had excused herself for toilet breaks during video shoots and press junkets. There had been no bombs and - indeed - no political pressure of any kind - from Una.

Sure, she could have ranted at Mollie King or Rochelle Humes about the importance of an acknowledgement from the British government about collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries by the British Armed Forces at the height of the Troubles. But Una set aside her differences with the other girls. There was no pressure from her at all.

In fact, Una had been pregant at the time, and the only pressure had been on her bladder, which is why she had had to have moments to excuse herself, so that she could do a urination break during video shoots, rather than plant incendiary devices.

And this wasn't some ill conceived baby she was having. Una is the oldest of the Saturdays, and something of the Mammy of the group. She's now happily married with a young family - and to show there's no ill will over her Irish heritage and the English domain in which she works, she forced herself into a relationship - and then a marriage - to an English rugby player. And you have to remember that Una hails from Munster, where rugby isn't that posh. So it's not like she was being uppity!

A similar publicity stunt was forced on Cheryl Cole by her publicists, when the depths of her racism hit the newspaper headlines. Except Una's nicer than Cheryl. A vote for Una is a vote for solidarity.