When Christopher Hitchens debated Bill Donohue on Hardball the discussion got heated and for lack of moderation they often talked over each other. Donohue (presumably Irish-American) said first that
An Englishman has to be quiet when an Irishman talks
and then a bit later when the same situation arose he said similarly that
as an Englishman, again, you have to be quiet when an Irishman... I'm an Irishman.
But what is the story behind this expression?
When I went looking for an explanation I noticed that even native English speakers who'd blogged about this debate seemed perplexed.