A History of Racism

Overviews
The Nineteenth Century
America
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Overviews

Famine Unit II: Racism
Nebraska Department of Education

Massacres, the slave trade, and the theft of vast tracts of other people's land, have all been justified by claims of religious, cultural and racial superiority. Such myths often hide the harsh reality of exploitation and colonization.

Anti-Irish prejudice is a very old theme in English culture. The written record begins with Gerald of Wales, whose family was deeply involved in the Norman invasion of Ireland.


Anti-Irish racism
Wikipedia

Negative English attitudes to Irish culture and habits date as far back as the reign of Henry II and the Norman conquest of Ireland. In 1155 the Papacy issued the papal bull Laudabiliter which granted Henry II’s request to subdue Ireland and the Irish Church.


Racism and Prejudice
Moving here

The Anthropological Review and Journal of 1866 claimed that "Gaelic man" was characterised by "his bulging jaw and lower part of the face, retreating chin and forehead, large mouth and thick lips, great distance between nose and mouth, upturned nose, prominent cheekbones, sunken eyes, projecting eyebrows, narrow elongated skull and protruding ears". This sort of "scientific" racism was not uncommon in the nineteenth century and was also directed against Jewish and African people. "Without intending offence", stated an article on the London Irish in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine of July 1901, "we would point to this common feature in the Hibernian and Negro idiosyncrasy, that a dull manhood follows upon a youth of the highest promise". This "no offence, but -" introductory remark always heralds a statement that will be offensive and is one commonly experienced by migrant groups.

Similar attitudes often lie behind anti-Irish jokes which stereotype Irish people as stupid or ridicule their accents, as in the Preston Lock-out [en dash, not em] cartoons. A survey carried out as part of Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain by Mary Hickman and Bronwen Walter found that 70% of those surveyed found such jokes offensive and only 30% accepted them as "harmless fun". Only in 1994-95 did the Commission for Racial Equality commission this study, a move ridiculed by the Sun newspaper as "a load of codswallop". It greeted the news with a page of Irish jokes "to give the researchers a flying start".

 


'Nothing but the Same Old Story'
(Book review)
Amazon: UK and US

[This book] was published with support by the Greater London Council as an educational effort in the early 1980's after more than a decade of virulent anti-Irish feeling in England. [It] looks at the form of that expression and at its historical roots. Those roots span seven hundred years. Particular instances of almost genocidal behavior in different centuries are looked at not just in terms of what was done but how it was justified. Not many people realize the signifance of the expression 'the Irish race'. The Irish were, and are to some extent, considered biologically distinct from the English 'race'.


Anti-Irish quotes throughout history
Politics.ie

They live on beasts only, and live like beasts. They have not progressed at all from the habits of pastoral living. ..This is a filthy people, wallowing in vice. Of all peoples it is the least instructed in the rudiments of the faith. They do not yet pay tithes or first fruits or contract marriages. They do not avoid incest.
- Giraldus Cambrensis/Gerald of Wales, The History and Topography of Ireland, 12th Century

How godly a deed it is to overthrow so wicked a race the world may judge: for my part I think there cannot be a greater sacrifice to God.
- Edward Barkley, describing how the forces of the Earl of Essex slaughtered the entire population of Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim, 1575

I have often said, and written, it is Famine which must consume [the Irish]; our swords and other endeavours work not that speedy effect which is expected for their overthrow.
- English Viceroy Arthur Chichester writing to Elizabeth I's chief advisor, Nov. 1601


The time hath been, when they lived like Barbarians, in woods, in bogs, and in desolate places, without politic law, or civil government, neither embracing religion, law or mutual love. That which is hateful to all the world besides is only beloved and embraced by the Irish, I mean civil wars and domestic dissensions .... the Cannibals, devourers of men's flesh, do learn to be fierce amongst themselves, but the Irish, without all respect, are even more cruel to their neighbours.
- Barnaby Rich, A New Description of Ireland, 1610


All wisdom advises us to keep this [Irish] kingdom as much subordinate and dependent on England as possible; and, holding them from manufacture of wool (which unless otherwise directed, I shall by all means discourage), and then enforcing them to fetch their cloth from England, how can they depart from us without nakedness and beggary?
- Lord Stafford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in a letter to King Charles I, 1634


So ended the fairest promise that Ireland had ever known of becoming a prosperous and a happy country.
- Sir William Temple, about 1673, (the export of wool from Ireland to England was forbidden in 1660)


Ireland is like a half-starved rat that crosses the path of an elephant. What must the elephant do? Squelch it - by heavens - squelch it.
- Thomas Carlyle, British essayist, 1840s


...being altogether beyond the power of man, the cure had been applied by the direct stroke of an all-wise Providence in a manner as unexpected and as unthought of as it is likely to be effectual.

The judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson, that calamity must not be too much mitigated. …The real evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the Famine, but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.
-Charles Trevelyan, head of administration for famine relief, 1840s


[existing policies] will not kill more than one million Irish in 1848 and that will scarcely be enough to do much good.
- Queen Victoria's economist, Nassau Senior


A Celt will soon be as rare on the banks of the Shannon as the red man on the banks of Manhattan.
- The Times, editorial, 1848


I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country...to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black one would not see it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours.
- Cambridge historian Charles Kingsley, letter to his wife from Ireland, 1860


A creature manifestly between the Gorilla and the Negro is to be met with in some of the lowest districts of London and Liverpool by adventurous explorers. It comes from Ireland, whence it has contrived to migrate; it belongs in fact to a tribe of Irish savages: the lowest species of Irish Yahoo. When conversing with its kind it talks a sort of gibberish. It is, moreover, a climbing animal, and may sometimes be seen ascending a ladder laden with a hod of bricks.
-Satire entitled "The Missing Link", from the British magazine Punch, 1862


This would be a grand land if only every Irishman would kill a Negro, and be hanged for it. I find this sentiment generally approved - sometimes with the qualification that they want Irish and Negroes for servants, not being able to get any other.
- British historian Edward Freeman, writing on his return from America, about 1881


...Furious fanaticism; a love of war and disorder; a hatred for order and patient industry; no accumulative habits; restless; treacherous and uncertain: look to Ireland...
As a Saxon, I abhor all dynasties, monarchies and bayonet governments, but this latter seems to be the only one suitable for the Celtic man.
-Robert Knox, anatomist, describing his views on the "Celtic character", 1850


The Celts are not among the progressive, initiative races, but among those which supply the materials rather than the impulse of history...The Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and the Teutons are the only makers of history, the only authors of advancement. ...Subjection to a people of a higher capacity for government is of itself no misfortune; and it is to most countries the condition of their political advancement.
- British historian Lord Acton, 1862


You would not confide free representative institutions to the Hottentots [savages], for instance.
- Lord Salisbury, who opposed Home Rule for Ireland, 1886


...more like squalid apes than human beings. ...unstable as water. ...only efficient military despotism [can succeed in Ireland] ...the wild Irish understand only force.
- James Anthony Froude, Professor of history, Oxford


A View of the State of Ireland
Edmund Spenser (Google Books)

Marry those be the most barbaric and loathy conditions of any people (I think) under heaven...They do use all the beastly behaviour that may be, they oppress all men, they spoil as well the subject, as the enemy; they steal, they are cruel and bloody, full of revenge, and delighting in deadly execution, licentious, swearers and blasphemers, common ravishers of women, and murderers of children.[...]

And first I have to find fault with the abuse of language; that is, for the speaking of Irish among the English, which as it is unnatural that any people should love another's language more than their own, so it is very inconvenient and the cause of many other evils. ...It seemeth strange to me that the English should take more delight to speak that language than their own, whereas they should, methinks, rather take scorn to acquaint their tongues thereto. For it hath ever been the use of the conqueror to despise the language of the conquered and to force him by all means to learn his.


Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations
Ernest Cashmore, Michael Banton (Google Books)

The Irish emigrant experience can only be understood by recognising the dramatic impact that centuries of British colonialism has had for the Irish people. As a result of its geographical position and internal political feuds Ireland became the first English colony.[…] The native Irish were depicted as savage heathens who were “more uncivill, more uncleanly, more barbarous and more brutish in their customs and demeanours, than in any other part of the world that is known.” Consequently, it was justified, through military conquest and legislation such as 1697 Penal Laws, to deprive the native population – “the uncivilised Other” – of their religious, civil, and land rights.


Out of Africa, out of Ireland
Rootsweb

In Black Folk Then and Now, Du Bois concurs: "Even young Irish peasants were hunted down as men hunt down game, and were forcibly put aboard ship, and sold to plantations in Barbados".

According to Peter Berresford Ellis in To Hell or Connaught, soldiers commanded by Henry Cromwell, Oliver's son, seized a thousand "Irish wenches" to sell to Barbados. Henry justified the action by saying, "Although we must use force in taking them up, it is so much for their own good and likely to be of so great an advantage to the public." He also suggested that 2,000 lrish boys of 12 to 14 years of age could be seized for the same purpose: "Who knows but it might be a means to make them Englishmen."


The Love of the Irish
Slate

Britain sometimes meant well in trying to govern Ireland, but the contempt felt by Englishmen towards the Irish kept surfacing. Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister, couldn't stand the Irish. He described the native Irish way of life as consisting of "clannish brawls and coarse idolatry". Lord Salisbury, the influential Conservative Prime Minister at the end of the 19th century, denied that the Irish could ever have self-government with this doubly racist sentiment that: "You would not confide free representative institutions to the Hottentots, for example." (Although, in a moment of sanity, he conceded that Ireland did need "lots and lots of money", which, at last, it has got.) James Anthony Froude, a discipline of Carlyle's and a professor of history at Oxford described the Irish as being "more like squalid apes than human beings" and Charles Kingsley, the author of The Water Babies, continued the primate analogy by writing from Ireland that he was "haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country". The humorous magazine Punch repeatedly, throughout the reign of Victoria, portrayed the Irish as Simian creatures, chimp-like, with long arms and the long upper lip of the monkey, and The Times' editorials excoriated the Irish at every turn for their "want of character", fecklessness, hopelessness, and so on.



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Racism in the Nineteenth Century

'A perverse and ill-fated people: English perceptions of the Irish 1845-52'
University of Virginia (Link no longer available)

The 150th anniversary of the Irish potato famine in autumn 1996 is already stirring a highly emotional reappraisal of the history of English treatment of Ireland. The belief that the racist English refused substantial famine relief to Ireland because of their hatred for the Celtic race is widespread both within and outside the scholarly community.[…] British perceptions of the Irish in the 1840s were more complex than they may at first appear. During the first months of the crisis, advocates of the tight-fisted government policy drew on what may be called a Liberal discourse of moral improvement which explicitly denied the racial inferiority of the Irish and saw the famine as a Providential opportunity to civilize and improve them. The Liberal understanding of human nature gave the great majority of the public confidence that Irish degradation was moral and not biological in nature, and thus subject to change. Forcing the Irish to fend for themselves in time of dearth thus appeared as a useful and necessary moral lesson for a people with such potential for improvement.


The Irish Famine: An Act of Providence?
BBC

Finally, we come to 'moralism'-the notion that the fundamental defects from which the Irish suffered were moral rather than financial. Educated Britons of this era saw serious defects in the Irish 'national character'-disorder or violence, filth, laziness, and worst of all, a lack of self-reliance. This amounted to a kind of racial or cultural stereotyping. The Irish had to be taught to stand on their own feet and to unlearn their dependence on government.



Racism and anti-Irish prejudice in Victorian England
Victorian Web

In much of the pseudo-scientific literature of the day the Irish were held to be inferior, an example of a lower evolutionary form, closer to the apes than their "superiors", the Anglo-Saxons. Cartoons in Punch portrayed the Irish as having bestial, ape-like or demonic features and the Irishman, (especially the political radical) was invariably given a long or prognathous jaw[…] Even seemingly complimentary generalizations about the Irish national character could, in the Victorian context, be damaging to the Celt. Thus, following the work of Ernest Renan's La Poésie des Races Celtiques (1854), it was broadly argued that the Celt was poetic, light-hearted and imaginative, highly emotional, playful, passionate, and sentimental. But these were characteristics the Victorians also associated with children.



Nineteenth century caricatures of the Irish
Haverford College

Note the attention given to racial "types" in the prognathous or "simian" jawline, and the constant identification of both the Irish and the African as similarly constucted and inferior.


The Politics of Irish Literature
The Astonisher

Discreetly, the famished dead seldom crossed [Thomas Carlyle's] line of vision, but beggars were everywhere, approaching him at every crossroads with clever simulations of hunger. He was not born yesterday, and divil a halfpenny their tricks ever got from him.[...] It was not Repeal of the Union that Ireland needed, "but repeal from the Devil" instead. England was not opposed to Repeal, and was in fact "heartily desirous" of it, would embrace it "with both hands" were it not that England saw that it "had been forbidden by the laws of Nature." Concerning the new Irishmen, the product of O'Connell's agitations and the Nation's songs, Carlyle expressed his opinion in the boldest image of the diary: "Kildare railway; big blockhead, sitting with his dirty feet on seat opposite, not stirring them for me, who wanted to sit there: `One thing we're all agreed on,' said he `we're very ill governed; Whig, Tory, Radical, Repealer, all admit we're very ill governed!' - I thought to myself `Yes indeed: you govern yourself. He that would govern you well, would probably surprise you much my friend, laying a hearty horsewhip over that back of yours. "


British Women Playwrights Around 1800
University of Montreal

The central plot of The Sons of Erin is fairly straightforward. Emily Rivers, whose extended family is virulently anti-Irish, eloped with Arthur Fitz Edward in the wake of her mother's death and her father's remarriage to a much younger woman. Having frittered away his inheritance and lost his job as a member of the Irish Parliament when it was abolished by the Act of Union (1800), Fitz Edward is in financial straits that only Emily's wealthy family can resolve--but they have disowned her for marrying an Irishman.[…] The play's handling of prejudice received much attention in the reviews. The Lady's Monthly Museum praises its "direct moral tendency" to eliminate anti-Irish prejudice and The Examiner cites "the laudable and seasonable intention of the fair writer to do away with the lingering prejudices with regard to the character of her countrymen”.

 


Anti-Irish racism and the Convict Era
Socialist Alternative

Irish convicts were singled out for especially harsh punishment. Ireland was England's first colony, and England's subjugation of the Irish people was maintained by extreme violence and justified by a vicious racist ideology. Both were imported to Australia.

Seventy per cent of Irish convicts were transported for their first offence, mainly petty theft. But when convicts from Ireland's mighty 1798 rebellion began arriving in Australia, the colonial elite's paranoia about Irish convicts became a full-fledged panic.


Popular Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Victorian England
Denis G. Paz (Google Books)

Ireland, the Irish, and Irish immigration, it is often argued, were at the heart of mid-Victorian anti-Catholicism. “[T]o the English Protestant,” Robert Klaus asserts, “the faith of the Irish was simply an extension of their nationality…” David Hempton argues that the traditional English anti-Catholic mythology of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was revived, reinforced, and raised to higher virulence by the combination of Irish immigration, Irish political nationalism, and the Evangelical revival.[…] L.P. Curtis, Jr., agrees that the mid-nineteenth century is important, for it was then, he argues, that the stereotype, based on scientific racism, of the Irish as an inferior race, was “finally assembled and reproduced for a ms reading public which was then ready to believe almost anything of a derogatory nature about the Irish people.”



Punch magazine anti-Irish cartoon: Young Ireland
Punch magazine anti-Irish cartoon: Fenians
Wikipedia



Punch
magazine cartoons: Daniel O'Connell, the Famine and the Easter Rising
Irish Historian



Rear Window: Punch Lines that Kept the Irish in their Place: Taking the Mick
Independent

FECKLESS, stupid, drunken, combative and relentlessly talkative, the Irishmen of Victorian Punch cartoons merge together into a stereotype that has proved enduring.

Former colleagues of Trevor McAuley at Auto Alloys Foundry in Blackwell, Derbyshire, had similar ideas about the Irish. 'Typical thick Paddy,' they said, and 'That's Irish logic' and 'What else can you expect from an Irishman?'.

Mr McAuley (who happens to come from the heart of Paisleyite Co Antrim and describes himself firmly as British) won pounds 5,900 damages last week after satisfying an industrial tribunal that such remarks, endlessly repeated in the workplace, amounted to racist abuse. He was the fourth Irish person to win a case of this kind in the past year.

Contempt for Irish people and their habits has a long history in Britain. Gerald of Wales, visiting Ireland in the 1180s, wrote of a barbarous, filthy and irresponsible people who 'think that the greatest pleasure is not to work'. In the 17th century, Fynes Moryson lamented the squalor and drunkenness of Irish life, even in the Anglicised towns of Dublin and Cork. His rooms, he noted, 'were scarce swept once in a week, and the dust then laid in a corner was perhaps cast out once in a month or two'.

But it was surely Punch and its satirical rivals in the 19th century that sculpted the foolish, idle figure of fun whose descendants stand behind the Auto Alloys insults and the Irish jokes of today.[...]

To English readers who knew the Irish only as rootless, troublesome navvies, small-time terrorists or the distant, lumpen victims of famine or rural hardship, it was doubtless reassuring to learn that these people were prodigal idiots. If they were poor or hungry, or if their homes and their countryside were overcrowded, it was because they refused to improve themselves. Money or sympathy, it was clear, would be wasted on them.



Defining the Victorian Nation
Catherine Hall, Keith McClelland, Jane Rendall (Google Books)

Simply being Irish meant being associated with Fenianism, whether there was any evidence of nationalist sentiment or not.[…] But there was also deep hostility to the movement, a hostility that became more widespread in the aftermath of the ‘outrages’ on the mainland.[…] Fenianism fostered the most inflammatory image of the Irish, the subversive within, the terrorist potentially rotting the vitals of the nation.


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The Irish in America

The Irish, the Blacks and the Struggle with Racism
(Book review)
The Boston Globe

Many immigrant groups in the United States were saddled with "racial" stereotypes. The Irish in particular were subjected to negative typing not very different from that used on Africans. The comic Irishman - happy, lazy, stupid, with a gift for music and dance - was a stock character of the English and American stage. In northern states, blacks and Irish were frequently forced to live in overlapping slum neighborhoods and compete for the same low-status jobs.


Anti-Irish Sentiment
Heidelberg University

On arrival in America, the Irish people encountered new struggles. The American people had kept old prejudices alive and these included prejudices against the Irish. These stemmed from pre-existing sentiments about Catholicism and the Irish people, especially among the English. Not considered good enough for proper housing, they were forced to cling together in shanty towns, unable to find work because of the phrase, “NO IRISH NEED APPLY” in employment advertisements and the sign “NO SALESMEN, NO IRISH” could be found on doors of private homes as well as shops and other establishments. Poverty was not the only factor forcing the Irish to stay in the slums, shanties and cellars – they were also considered bad for the neighborhood as they were unfamiliar with the conveniences of plumbing and running water. Their living conditions bred disease and ultimately death with an estimated 80% of infants born to Irish immigrants in New York City dying.


No Irish Need Apply: A Myth of Victimisation
Richard Jensen, University of Illinois

Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming "Help Wanted--No Irish Need Apply!" No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent.[…] The slogan was commonplace in upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, "No Irish Need Apply," purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song reached America and was modified to depict a man recently arrived in America who sees a NINA ad and confronts and beats up the culprit. The song was an immediate hit, and is the source of the myth. Evidence from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the Irish--on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out. Some Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of violence, and their threat to democratic elections.


Gone to America
History Place

There were only a limited number of unskilled jobs available. Intense rivalry quickly developed between the Irish and working class Bostonians over these jobs. In Ireland, a working man might earn eight cents a day. In America, he could earn up to a dollar a day, a tremendous improvement. Bostonians feared being undercut by hungry Irish willing to work for less than the going rate. Their resentment, combined with growing anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment among all classes in Boston led to 'No Irish Need Apply' signs being posted in shop windows, factory gates and workshop doors throughout the city.[...]

In New York, the Irish did not face the degree of prejudice found in Boston. Instead, they were confronted by shifty characters and con artists. Confused Irish, fresh off the farm and suffering from culture shock, were taken advantage of the moment they set foot on shore.


How the Irish Became White
University of Dayton

Ironically, Irish Catholics came to this country as an oppressed race yet quickly learned that to succeed they had to in turn oppress their closest social class competitors, free Northern blacks. Back home these "native Irish or papists" suffered something very similar to American slavery under English Penal Laws. Yet, despite their revolutionary roots as an oppressed group fighting for freedom and rights, and despite consistent pleas from the great Catholic emancipator, Daniel O'Connell, to support the abolitionists, the newly arrived Irish-Americans judged that the best way of gaining acceptance as good citizens and to counter the Nativist movement was to cooperate in the continued oppression of African Americans. […] Irish and Africans Americans had lots in common and lots of contact during this period; they lived side by side and shared work spaces. […] The Irish were often referred to as "Negroes turned inside out and Negroes as smoked Irish." A famous quip of the time attributed to a black man went something like this: "My master is a great tyrant, he treats me like a common Irishman."


Irish in America
YouTube (Luftwaffels)

In the mid 1800s, many Irishmen and women travelled to America in search of freedom and acceptance. They were greeted with racism and intolerance.


Introduction to Nativism
Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Nativist feelings toward the Irish in the early 19th century had their roots in anti-Irish stereotypes inherited from Britain but took on an American flavor in the form of concerns about the threat that the Irish and other Catholic immigrants (including some from Germany) were seen to pose to American democracy, attitudes that were held by prominent men such as Horace Bushnell and Samuel Morse. The popular belief was that the Catholic faith bound the Irish in loyalty to Pope and foreign monarchies.


New Evidence Suggests 57 Irish Railroad Workers were murdered
Irish Independent

US historians trying to uncover a mystery surrounding the mass death of 57 Irish immigrants nearly 180 years ago, have found evidence they may have been murdered.[...]  Four skulls unearthed from the mass grave suggest the men suffered blows to the head and at least one may have been shot in an outpouring of anti-Irish violence.[...]

Dr Watson [of Immaculata University] said the revelation that at least four of the men had died violent deaths proved "this was much more than a cholera epidemic".

Anti-Irish feelings ran high in 19th Century America.



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Recent Times

Written answers - anti-Irish racism
Dáil Éireann

The Irish Government has welcomed the report's highlighting of the extent of the particular difficulties, based on prejudice or discrimination, which Irish people frequently encounter in Britain. We have also expressed support for the recommendations of remedial action addressed to British Government agencies and other organisations whose activities impinge on the welfare and interests of the Irish community.


Nothing but the Same Old Story? Britain's wars on Irish and Islamic Terror
Left Curve

It seemed only yesterday that British newspapers were churning out an unrelenting diet of vicious anti-Irish cartoons at the height of another War on Terror, conducted by the British state from the 1970s to the 1990s, or for the duration of what is euphemistically known as “the Troubles.” Many of these were of a sexual or religious nature, depicting the Irish as having a highly developed taste for anarchy and violence, as well as a propensity for ‘thickness’ or stupidity. Word on the Irish street in Britain had it that, far from being a matter of harmless fun, these jokes were part of the British counter-terrorism propaganda arsenal. 


A classic case of an English Historian
Manchester Irish
(Article referred to: The Evil Legacy of the Easter Rising, Guardian)

Geoffrey Wheatcroft had a scurrilous piece in the Observer newspaper last week entitled 'The evil legacy of the Easter Rising'. Great to see some superb replies in this week's copy of the paper including thisthisone from Kevin Daly, "...Wheatcroft needs to read a copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and take a closer look at the beliefs and objectives of Irish republicanism from 1798 onwards before making cheap allegations against a group of determined and committed men and women who sought to free their nation from a foreign oppressor. This is a classic case of an English 'historian' patronising the people of a former colony".



Writer's anti-Irish column branded racist
Irish Independent
Unruly Julie: Julie Burchill
Business Post

POLICE in Britain are investigating a complaint that an article in the Guardian newspaper by columnist Julie Burchill expressed anti-Irish sentiment to such an extent it contravened the Race Relations Act.

The outspoken columnist, whose reputation rests on voicing views designed to provoke, aired her opinion of Irish society with special reference to the Catholic Church - prompting John Twomey, a social worker at the London Irish centre, to complain to police that the article had contravened the Race Relations Act.

Referring to the St Patrick's Day parade, Burchill questioned the money being spent by London mayor Ken Livingstone, suggesting it was to "celebrate almost compulsory child molestation by the national church, total discrimination against women who wish to be priests, aiding and abetting Hitler in his hour of need and outlawing abortion and divorce."


Many Scots 'still face sectarian abuse'
BBC

Sectarian abuse remains a widespread problem in Scotland with 13% of people claiming to have suffered some form of it, according to a BBC poll. The survey suggests that Catholics are nearly four times as likely to have been victims of sectarianism as Protestants.

"In Scotland, because of its peculiar history, the whole issue of sectarianism is rooted back in the history of the Irish immigrant community."


Irish fire worker claims racism
Irish fire worker wins race claim
BBC

An Irish woman who was told her race was "a sin" by a fire service colleague has won £3,000 in compensation.

At the hearing in March she said that in January 2003, watch commander Liz Mitchell told her to leave if she didn't "start speaking the Queen's English". […] Ms Neylan also claimed she was victimised on 7 and 8 May 2003 as a result of complaining about the Queen's English remark, including being told she was not "paid to think".


It wasn't sectarianism, your honour: the Taigs provoked me
BBC

Take the loyal citizens who tore down a Tyrone GAA flag from a house in Coleraine last week, wrapped it round a brick and fired it through the living room window, then returned two nights later and fired shots into the house.

Sectarian? "Oh no," they might say, "that flag was hung out there to alienate and intimidate us. We are the victims here."


Anti-Irish Racism in Britain
Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin's resolute opposition to racism is in the context of the experience by many Irish people of anti-Irish racism. Sinn Féin will campaign vigorously to encourage the Irish Government, and other governments - especially the British Government - to assume their responsibilities for addressing continuing anti-Irish racism in Britain.


Phoebe Prince case
New York Times

Ms. Prince’s family had recently moved to the United States from a small town in Ireland, and she entered South Hadley last fall. The taunting started when she had a brief relationship with a popular senior boy; some students reportedly called her an “Irish slut,” knocked books out of her hands and sent her threatening text messages, day after day.



BBC's Newsnight Accused of Racism
Irish Independent

The BBC's Newsnight programme has been accused of "racist" stereotyping over a bulletin about Britain's role in the international bail-out for Ireland.

Viewers complained that scenes depicting a cut-out of British Chancellor George Osborne dancing across sepia images of the Irish countryside were offensive.

Comments by Mr Osborne about supporting the country through its financial crisis also flashed on the screen in a Celtic font to the sound of traditional Irish music.[...]

Message boards and social networking sites were awash with angry comments condemning the coverage as 'bad taste' and 'condescending'.

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