Aletho News


Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson – Britain’s Record of Conducting State Sponsored Assassinations

Pat Finucane (right) leaving Court with Pat McGeown, the IRA volunteer who had charges related to the deaths of 2 British soldiers dropped.
By Gavin O’Reilly | American Herald Tribune | March 15, 2018

With the eyes of the world focused on the alleged nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal, the Russian who worked as a British double-agent before being exiled to the UK in 2010, since he and his daughter were found slumped on a Salisbury public bench last Sunday, one can’t help but notice the hypocritical reaction of the British political establishment to the attack.

Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May alleged Kremlin involvement in the incident due to ‘Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations’.

These words were spoken in a self-righteous sense, one that suggested the UK held the moral ground over Russia and would never go so far as to conduct assassinations of political opponents on foreign soil.

Anyone with even a basic knowledge of British foreign policy towards Ireland however, would know that this patently isn’t the case.

In 1989, the north of Ireland was at the height of a bloody conflict in which Irish Republican militants were waging a guerrilla campaign on Crown Forces in a bid to end British rule in the region.

In order to counter the threat posed by the IRA and other such groups, Westminster had long decided that anyone charged with Republican activity in the occupied six counties would be brought before a non-Jury ‘Diplock’ court; thus maximising the chances of conviction and imprisonment.

One human rights Lawyer from Belfast however, would quickly gain prominence for successfully defending Republicans charged before these courts.

Pat Finucane first came to public attention through his campaigning for Republican prisoners during the 1981 H-Block hunger strike.

He would quickly become a thorn in the side of the British establishment by representing Republicans in several high-profile cases throughout the 1980s, with the final straw coming in November 1988 when he successfully defended an IRA Volunteer in a case related to the deaths of two British soldiers.

On the 12th of February 1989, a pro-British death squad burst into Pat Finucane’s home and shot him 14 times as he had Sunday dinner with his wife and children.

The death squad in question, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was a then-legal organisation under the control of the Force Research Unit (FRU), a covert British military unit tasked with turning the UDA into a more ‘professional’ organisation.

British state involvement in the killing went even higher than the military, with then-Home Office Minister Douglas Hogg lamenting in the weeks before Finucane’s death that there were Lawyers in the north of Ireland who were ‘unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA’.

The murder of Pat Finucane was not an isolated incident however, and not even a tactic confined by the British to intense periods of conflict in Ireland, such as the 1980s were.

Ten years after Finucane’s killing, the level of conflict in Ireland had decreased significantly following the 1998 surrender agreement between the Provisional IRA and British government.

This ‘peace’ however, was and still is maintained by the threat of violence from the British state should anything upset the status quo.

This is what ultimately led to the murder of Rosemary Nelson.

A human rights lawyer, like Pat Finucane, Rosemary had also risen to prominence through her successful defence of Republicans in high-profile cases.

However, it was her representation of the family of Robert Hamill, a young Nationalist beaten to death by a Loyalist mob in 1997 whilst in full view of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) the north of Ireland’s pro-British police force, that drew the most ire from the British establishment.

On the 15th of March 1999, Rosemary Nelson was killed by a car bomb outside her home in Armagh, occupied Ireland. The attack was claimed by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a breakaway faction of the UDA.

In the days following her murder, it emerged that members of the RUC’s covert Special Branch had been involved in a surveillance operation close to Nelson’s home the night before her death, ostensibly to monitor suspected members of the IRA.

Despite the intense surveillance of the area surrounding Nelson’s home, no Special Branch members reported seeing the RHD team that carried out attack; like Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson had also become another victim of Britain’s bloody record of state sponsored assassinations.

March 15, 2018 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , ,



    Irishmen and Irishwomen!
    Read this site and weep. Weep for the agonies and deaths of your people at the hands of genocidists. The authorities who imposed the curriculum, the teachers and professors who funneled it into you, have carefully kept you uninformed as to which British regiment, or that any regiment, murdered your people. Until now, that information was kept from you. You had no access to it. You do now – you read it on your computer screen! Commit the regiment’s name to memory.

    Never, ever, forget it!
    Learn its British HQ town. As no Jewish person would ever refer to the “Jewish Oxygen Famine of 1939 – 1945”, so no Irish person ought ever refer to the Irish Holocaust as a famine.

    Is Britain’s cover-up of its 1845-1850 holocaust in Ireland the most successful Big Lie in all of history?

    The cover-up is accomplished by the same British terrorism and bribery that perpetrated the genocide. Consider: why does Irish President Mary Robinson call it “Ireland’s greatest natural 1 disaster” while she conceals the British army’s role? Potato blight, “phytophthora infestans”, did spread from America to Europe in 1844, to England and then Ireland in 1845 but it didn’t cause famine anywhere. Ireland did not starve for potatoes; it starved for food.

    Ireland starved because its food, from 40 to 70 shiploads per day, was removed at gunpoint by 12,000 British constables reinforced by the British militia, battleships, excise vessels, Coast Guard and by 200,000 British soldiers (100,000 at any given moment) The attached map shows the never-before-published names and locations in Ireland of the food removal regiments (Disposition of the Army; Public Record Office, London; et al, of which we possess photocopies). Thus, Britain seized from Ireland’s producers tens of millions of head of livestock; tens of millions of tons of flour, grains, meat, poultry & dairy products; enough to sustain 18 million persons.

    The Public Record Office recently informed us that their British regiments’ Daily Activity Reports of 1845-1850 have “gone missing.” Those records include each regiment’s cattle drives and grain-cart convoys it escorted at gun-point from the Irish districts assigned to it. Also “missing” are the receipts issued by the British army commissariat officers in every Irish port tallying the cattle and tonnage of foodstuff removed; likewise the export lading manifests. Other records provide all-revealing glimpses of the “missing” data; such as: …

    From Cork harbor on one day in 1847 2 the AJAX steamed for England with 1,514 firkins of butter, 102 casks of pork, 44 hogsheads of whiskey, 844 sacks of oats, 247 sacks of wheat, 106 bales of bacon, 13 casks of hams, 145 casks of porter, 12 sacks of fodder, 28 bales of feathers, 8 sacks of lard, 296 boxes of eggs, 30 head of cattle, 90 pigs, 220 lambs, 34 calves and 69 miscellaneous packages. On November 14, 1848 3, sailed, from Cork harbor alone: 147 bales of bacon, 120 casks and 135 barrels of pork, 5 casks of hams, 149 casks of miscellaneous provisions (foodstuff); 1,996 sacks & 950 barrels of
    oats; 300 bags of flour; 300 head of cattle; 239 sheep; 9,398 firkins of butter; 542 boxes of eggs. On July 28, 1848 4; a typical day’s food shipments from only the following four ports: from Limerick: the ANN, JOHN GUISE and MESSENGER for London; the PELTON CLINTON for Liverpool; and the CITY OF LIMERICK, BRITISH QUEEN, and CAMBRIAN MAID for Glasgow. This one-day removal of Limerick’s food was of 863 firkins of butter; 212 firkins, 1,198 casks and 200 kegs of lard, 87 casks of ham; 267 bales of bacon; 52 barrels of pork; 45 tons and 628 barrels of flour; 4,975 barrels of oats and 1,000 barrels of barley. From Kilrush: the ELLEN for Bristol; the CHARLES G. FRYER and MARY ELLIOTT for London. This one-day removal was of 550 tons of County Clare’s oats and 15 tons of its barley. From Tralee: the JOHN ST. BARBE, CLAUDIA and QUEEN for London; the SPOKESMAN for Liverpool. This one-day removal was of 711 tons of Kerry’s oats and 118 tons of its barley. From Galway: the MARY, VICTORIA, and DILIGENCE for London; the SWAN and UNION for Limerick (probably for transshipment to England). This one-day removal was of 60 sacks of Co. Galway’s flour; 30 sacks and 292 tons of its oatmeal; 294 tons of its oats; and 140 tons of its miscellaneous provisions (foodstuffs). British soldiers forcibly removed it from its starving Limerick, Clare, Kerry and Galway producers.

    In Belmullet, Co. Mayo the mission of 151 soldiers 5 of the 49th Regiment, in addition to escorting livestock and crops to the port for export, was to guard a few tons of stored meal from the hands of the starving; its population falling from 237 to 105 between 1841 and 1851. Belmullet also lost its source of fish in January, 1849, when Britain’s Coast Guard arrested its fleet of enterprising fishermen ten miles at sea in the act of off-loading flour from a passing ship. They were sentenced to prison and their currachs were confiscated.

    The Waterford Harbor British army commissariat officer wrote to British Treasury Chief Charles Trevelyan on April 24, 1846; “The barges leave Clonmel once a week for this place, with the export supplies under convoy which, last Tuesday, consisted of 2 guns, 50 cavalry, and 80 infantry escorting them on the banks of the Suir as far as Carrick.” While its people starved, the Clonmel district exported annually, along with its other farm produce, approximately 60,000 pigs in the form of cured pork.

    There were many “Voices in the Wilderness” risking all to stop the genocide. For example; Wexford-born Jane Wilde, mother of Oscar and poetess, wrote under the nom de plume “Speranza,” in the United Irishman newspaper the following (verses 1 and 6 printed here) during the depths of 1847 re the British genocidists and the innocents they were exterminating:

    Weary men, what reap ye? “Golden corn for the Stranger.”
    What sow ye? “Human corpses that await for the Avenger.”
    Fainting forms, all hunger-stricken, what see you in the offing?
    “Stately ships to bear our food away amid the stranger’s scoffing.”
    There’s a proud array of soldiers what do they round your door?
    “They guard our masters’ granaries from the thin hands of the poor.”
    Pale mothers, wherefore weeping? “Would to God that we were dead”
    Our children swoon before us, and we cannot give them bread!”

    “We are wretches, famished, scorned, human tools to build your pride,
    But God will yet take vengeance for the souls for whom Christ died.
    Now is your hour of pleasure, bask ye in the world’s caress;
    But our whitening bones against ye will arise as witnesses,
    From the cabins and the ditches, in their charred, uncoffined masses,
    For the Angel of the Trumpet will know them as he passes.
    A ghastly, spectral army before God we’ll stand
    And arraign ye as our murderers, O spoilers of our land!”

    Mrs. Wilde evidently knew that British arms controlled every field of Ireland. Small detachments resided as far away as 40 miles from their garrisons shown on the map. The absence of army garrisons in Co. Derry, etc., indicates that its royalist militia adequately reinforced its constabulary. Bayonets, cannons, rifles, the lash, eviction and the gallows were freely used to seize Irish food (on the pretext that it was “the property” of some English “owner”-by-robbery; nearly all of whom were absentees). But Wilde couldn’t have known each regiment’s identity. We discovered them in the Public Record Office, Kew Gardens, London in 1983 while researching material for my paternal grandfather’s biography. It was just as available to Irish government-subsidized authors and academicians. Their Big Lie campaign is shocking. Perhaps this brochure will encourage them to finally tell the truth; that Britain perpetrated a Holocaust in Ireland. …

    Official British intent at the time is revealed by its actions and enactments. When the European potato crop failed in 1844 and food prices rose, Britain ordered regiments to Ireland. When blight hit the 1845 English potato crop its food removal regiments were already in Ireland; ready to start. The Times editorial of September 30, 1845, warned; “In England the two main meals of a working man’s day now consists of potatoes.” England’s potato-dependence was excessive; reckless. Grossly over-populated relative to its food supply, England faced famine unless it could import vast amounts of alternative food. But it didn’t grab merely Ireland’s surplus food; or enough Irish food to save England. It took more; for profit and to exterminate the people of Ireland. Queen Victoria’s economist, Nassau Senior, expressed his fear that existing policies “will not kill more than one million Irish in 1848 and that will scarcely be enough to do much good.”6 When an eye-witness urged a stop to the genocide-in-progress, Trevelyan replied: “We must not complain of what we really want to obtain.”7 Trevelyan insisted that all reports of starvation were exaggerated, until 1847. He then declared it ended and refused entry to the American food relief ship Sorciére. Thomas Carlyle; influential British essayist, wrote; “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.” “Total Annihilation;” suggested The Times leader of September 2, 1846; and in 1848 its editorialists crowed “A Celt will soon be as rare on the banks of the Shannon as the red man on the banks of Manhattan.” The immortal Society of Friends, the “Quakers,” did all in their power to save lives. But in 1847 they despaired and quit, upon learning that the Crown planned to perpetuate the genocide’s pretext; the British claim of “ownership” of Irish land. Quakers refused to facilitate the genocide by pretending (as Concern does re African genocides) it was an act of nature. In the 1870s; too late; British laws were enacted allowing the Irish to buy back the land of which Britain had robbed them. Twice-yearly payments were extracted from Ireland’s farmers until that “debt” was paid off in the 1970s. Ireland’s diet, since pre-history, has been meat, dairy products, grains, fruit and vegetables; latterly supplemented by potatoes. Central to its ancient legends are its livestock, reaping hooks, flails,8 querns, and grain-kilns and -mills. The many Connacht grain-kilns and -mills shown on the Irish Ordnance Survey Map of 1837-1841 operated continually prior to, during the Starvation, and subsequent to it until the 1940s when I observed them still working. Local farmers dried and milled their grain – not potatoes – in them, and this oatmeal and flour were seized and exported by British forces. The “potato famine” Big Lie was underway and already denounced by John Mitchel in his United Irishman in 1847 (he was soon sent in chains to a Tasmanian death camp; but escaped). Fifty years later G.B. Shaw wrote in Man and Superman:

    “Malone: ‘My father died of starvation in Ireland in the Black ’47. Maybe you’ve heard of it?’

    Violet: ‘The Famine?’

    Malone: (with smoldering passion) ‘No, the Starvation. When a country is full of food and exporting it, there can be no Famine.”‘

    But he kept mum on the British army’s role; Ireland’s whole-truth-tellers don’t receive Nobels. To date, the Big Lie prevails. It started in 1846 when, while the British government genocidally stripped Ireland of its abundant foodstuffs, internationally it was begging help for the “starving Irish.” John Mitchel remonstrated;

    “Many will, perhaps, be surprised to learn neither Ireland, nor anybody in Ireland ever asked alms or favors of any kind, either from England or from any other nation or people. On the contrary, it was England herself that begged for us, asking a penny, for the love of God, to relieve the poor Irish. And further, constituting herself the almoner and agent of all that charity, she, England, took all the profit of it.” Mitchel again; ‘Thus any man who had a house, no matter how wretched, was to pay the new tax; and every man was bound to have a house; for if found out of doors after sunset; and convicted of that offence, he was to be transported for fifteen years, or imprisoned for three – the court to have the discretion of adding hard labor or solitary confinement. This law would drive the survivors of ejected people (those who did not die of hunger) into the poorhouses or to America; because, being bound to be at home after sunset, and having neither house nor home, they would be all in the absolute power of the police, and in continual peril of transportation to the colonies (Australian slave labor camps). By another act of parliament the police force was increased, and taken more immediately into the service of the Crown; the Irish counties were in part relieved from their pay; and they became, in all senses, a portion of the regular army. They amounted to twelve thousand chosen men, well-armed and drilled. The police were always at the command of sheriffs for executing ejectments; and if they were not in sufficient force, troops of the line could be had from the nearest garrison. No wonder that the London Times, within less than three years after, was enabled to say; ‘Law has ridden roughshod through Ireland, it has been taught with bayonet, and interpreted with ruin. Townships levelled with the ground, straggling columns of exiles, workhouses multiplied, and still crowded, express the determination of the legislature to remove Ireland from its slovenly old barbarism, and to plant the institutions of this more civilized land’ (meaning England!)” Mitchel also wrote; “Steadily, but surely, the ‘Government’ was working out its calculation; and the produce anticipated by ‘political circles’ was likely to come out about September (of 1847), in round numbers – two millions of Irish corpses.” 9 …

    The 1841 census of Ireland revealed a population of 10,897,449. This figure includes the correction factor established by that year’s official partial recount.

    When, between 1779 and 1841, the U.S. population increased by 640 percent, and England’s is estimated to have increased, despite massive emigration to its colonies, by 100 percent, it is generally accepted that Ireland’s population increase was 172% 10. The average annual component of this 172% increase is x in the formula (1+ x)62 = 1 + 172%; thus 0.0163, or 1.63%. Accepting that this 1.63% rate of annual population increase continued until mid-1846 (one human gestation after the late-1845 beginning of removal of Ireland’s food), the 1846 population was 11,815,011.

    Assuming that rate continued, the population in 1851, absent the starvation, would have been approximately 12,809,841. However; the 1851 census recorded a population of 6,552,385; thus there was a “disappearance” of 6,257,456. This population-loss figure of 6,257,456 is scarcely susceptible to significant challenge, being derived directly from the British government’s own censuses for Ireland. It is reasonable to assume that the rigor established in the recount of 1841 became the standard for the 1851 census; so that any residual undercount would be systemic, affecting 1841 and 1851 proportionately (and, if known, would increase the murder total). These 6,257,456 include roughly 1,000,000 who successfully fled into exile and another 100,000 unborn between 1846 and 1851 due to malnutrition-induced infertility.

    Of the 100,000 who fled to Canada in 1847, only 60,000 were still alive one month after landing.11 Among the 40,000 dead was Henry Ford’s father’s mother who died en route from Cork or in quarantine on Quebec’s Grosse Ile.

    Thus; though from 1845 through 1850, 6,257,456 “disappeared,” the number murdered is approximately 1.1 million fewer; i.e., 5.16 millions. Consequently; if Britain’s census figures for Ireland are correct the British government murdered approximately 5.16 million Irish men, women and children; making it the Irish Holocaust. This number, 5.16 million, exceeds the high end of the range (4.2 to 5.1 million) of serious estimates of the number of Jews murdered by Nazis.

    The least reliable component of the foregoing arithmetic is the number assumed to have successfully fled. If the fleers who survived prove to number, say, 900,000 instead of 1,000,000, the murder count will have to be corrected from 5.16 to 5.26 millions. This amount of adjustment, up or down, of the 5.16 millions murdered is determinable by sensitive review of the immigration records of the U.S., Canada, Argentina, and Australia; and of government records on the Irish who fled to Britain at the time.

    We invite bona fide documentation of the foregoing; whether in confirmation or rebuttal. Economists and historians are disqualified if their published work on the events of 1845-1850 covers up the British army’s central role therein. Such individuals lack the standing to participate in this truth-quest.

    To our knowledge nobody else has ever published the above arithmetic or named the food removal regiments and battleships.

    Evidence that other truth-telling accounts exist would be greatly appreciated. Irish academia shuns and slurs Tom Gallagher’s Paddy’s Lament and Englishwoman Cecil Woodham-Smith’s The Great Hunger for mentioning the Food Removal. Woodham-Smith fudged, but not enough to satisfy the cover-up cabal. For example; she reported that the 1841 partial recount established a correction factor of one-third for the 1841 census figure; but she used the uncorrected figure to calculate! By this and other fudges she arrived at a population-loss of only 2.5 million. She allocated only half a page to the core facts of the Genocide; the food removal data, while using some two hundred pages to describe British government “relief measures” as if they were something other than cosmetic exercises; a cover-up. But just as Telefis Eireann out-Britished Yorkshire TV by refusing to co-premiere the latter’s 1993 exposé of the 5/17/74 British bombings of Dublin/Monaghan streets that murdered 33 and maimed 253; and as the Irish police menace the survivors of that bombing instead of arresting the known British perpetrators; so do Irish historians out-British Woodham-Smith by ostracizing her for exposing the Food Removal. They out-do themselves in describing the “benefit” of the Irish Holocaust; how Britain reduced poverty in Ireland ( by murdering those it had impoverished!

    They promote the notion that only the blighted potato crop belonged to the Irish while Ireland’s abundant livestock, grains, etc., all “belonged” to mostly absentee English landlords. By that insane standard all of the property and production of Europe and Asia, excepting starvation rations for workers, would belong to W.W.II GIs and their heirs (or to the Axis had it won).

    Irish are not guilty. Though many Holocaust Irish, like many, say, Auschwitz Jews, took deadly advantage of their own weakest, neither the Irish nor Jewish communities had hand or part in the conceiving and planning of the genocides from London and Berlin; respectively. But, the German government repented and paid $100 billion (dollars) reparations to Jews while the British government and its Dublin surrogates still use terror and slander against those who commemorate the Irish Holocaust. It is still dangerous – after 150 years – to reveal the truth of it. …

    Complicity of the Catholic Hierarchy with London’s planned genocide is, sad to say, well recorded. London, prior to removing Ireland’s food, appointed a few Irish Catholic Bishops to a Dublin Castle commission and awarded a £30,000 lump sum to Maynooth while increasing its annual grant from £9,000 to £26,000!12 Before British troops began starving Ireland the London parliament enacted a law to return some of the seized foods in the form of rations to all of Ireland’s Catholic hierarchy down to the level of, but not including, curates. Faced with residual hierarchical disquiet, M.P.s amended the law to include curates. This ended episcopal objections to the Irish Holocaust; it proceeded efficiently thenceforth.

    An Irish poet subsequently wrote; “…for the spire of the chapel of Maynooth is the dagger at Ireland’s heart.” A Munster bishop thanked God that he “lives in a country where a farmer would starve his own children to pay his landlord’s rent”! For two centuries until 1795, priests in Ireland were felons a priori. The government paid a 5 shilling bounty for each severed head. In 1795, British ministers decided that to completely subjugate Ireland the collaboration of the Catholic Church was indispensable. Britain thus stopped murdering priests and founded and funded Ireland’s national seminary; Maynooth. The tactic worked; the Irish Catholic Church became London’s tool. 13 It facilitated the Irish Holocaust; it sided with Britain in the Risings of 1798, 1848, 1867 and 1916, destroyed Parnellite democracy in 1890 (traumatizing James Joyce) 14 and it has facilitated Britain’s vestigial genocide in the Six Counties since 1922. Cardinal Daly recently went so far as to “beg England’s forgiveness for the centuries of suffering inflicted upon it by the Irish!” Yet; isn’t Catholicism as gloriously redeemed by its persecuted Fr. Wilsons and Sr. Sarah Clarkes of today as by its earlier millions of saints martyred by Elizabeth I, Cromwell, Anne, George III, Victoria, et al?

    Irish Starvation Martyrs. Honorable Irish people everywhere are commemorating Ireland’s Holocaust of 1845-1850 by learning the truth of it. Thus, only dupes of British propaganda still refer to “The Irish Famine,” as nobody died of lack of potatoes; but over five million Irish Catholics died of starvation or of malnutrition-induced disease when British troops removed their meats, grains, dairy products, etc. Britain could have removed food enough to sustain 13 million (but not 18 million) without starving Ireland. No Protestant starved in Ireland 15 Britain didn’t target them.

    The Truth Outs as we, the descendants of the survivors of that starvation will no longer be silenced. We denounce Ireland’s Strokestown “Famine Museum,” for its shameless “bait and switch” scam. Visitors seeking details of one of history’s worst genocides are subtly invited to admire the genocidal landlord’s grandiose taste in architecture and furnishings; all looted from the unpaid labor and land of the Irish families he murdered. It is highly unlikely that a Jew exists so depraved as to establish a Jewish Holocaust museum that similarly invites the visitor to slur the victims and admire, say, Goering’s taste in looted Jewish property. How dare President Robinson say “the famine shames the Irish”? It is her cover-up that shames the Irish! As Holocaust guilt is Nazis’, not the victims’, so the guilt for 1845-1850 is the British perpetrators’ and the above cover-up artists’; not ours and not their murdered victims’. Irish-America must tell the truth of it because in Ireland it is still too dangerous. The Irish government has announced that in June, 1997 it will end the “Irish Famine commemoration” in a “wake cum musical celebration to bury the ghost of the famine.” Thus; the Irish government advertises its quisling status by ending the commemoration prior to the anniversaries of the murders of more than half of the 5.2 millions.

    What else can one expect from the government whose Consuls spoke in Illinois’ State Legislature in opposition to the McBride Principles for Fair Employment in Northern Ireland? They pose as anti-terrorists while collaborating with the British terrorists who, since 1969, have murdered over six times16 as many noncombatants as have the IRA. An Irish bureaucrat recently joined our campaign to get the Irish Holocaust graves monumented, fenced and consecrated. He tells us that he will be fired or worse if his superiors learn of his involvement. He echoes another Irishman who, two centuries ago, observed; “Having a natural reverence for the dignity and antiquity of my native country, strengthened by education, and confirmed by an intimate knowledge of its history, I could not, without the greatest pain and indignation, behold … the extreme passiveness and insensibility of the present race of Irish, at such reiterated insults offered to truth and their country: instances of inattention to their own honor, unexampled in any other civilized nation.” 17

    The discovery of mass graves resulting from genocide always causes international outcry. But the mass graves of the Irish genocide are unmarked and unmourned by the world at large. Why? Because the Truth was interred in those pits along with the martyrs. The bones of the murdered 5.2 million are scattered across Ireland, the Atlantic sea-floor and North American littorals; but they are concentrated in mass graves the permanently-abandoned state of which eloquently reveals the genocidists’ power. It was also mass martyrdom; as the victims could have saved their lives by renouncing their Faith. Food crops that civil law had forced them to tithe (before soldiers took the rest) to the local English State Church parson was on offer to whoever would renounce Catholicism and become Anglican. But they died for Faith and Freedom, and their mass graves are Ireland’s holiest places (excepting, perhaps, the graves of those who died resisting). Yet, the souls of these murdered millions still cry to us for justice. After 150 years their murders remain misattributed and the mass graves containing their sacred remains are still unfenced, unmarked and even unconsecrated. It is not the Irish people who are such brutes. The condition of the mass graves reveals the brutal extent of English control of Ireland today; how unfree Ireland actually is. But America is free; Britain’s MI6 can slur us but cannot murder us with the impunity they do in Dublin, Monaghan, the Occupied Six Counties,

    and as did British guards who entered the Maghaberry prison cell of Irishman Jim McDonnell on 3/30/96 and kicked him to death for asking to go to his father’s funeral. British terrorists, however, are operating in the U.S. In Valhalla’s Wake, authors McIntyre & Loftus report that, according to CIA sources, an MI6/SAS team of assassins murdered an American, John McIntyre, in Boston a decade ago. Five US citizens have been murdered by British terrorists in Ireland; none by the Irish. A law-abiding FBI agent alerted us a few years ago that some of his fellow agents; British-bribed; were planning MI6-type “dirty-tricks” crimes against us and that he was powerless to arrest them. Soon thereafter, FBI gangs, led by agent Edward P. Buckley, conducted five armed raids upon us, incarcerated me and my wife and two others, and fabricated evidentiary tape and committed perjury in an attempt to imprison us. 18 The FBI also framed me for the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Langert in Winnetka; but the actual murderer, David Biro, saved my life by confiding his crimes to school friends who informed the police. Biro, a 16-year-old, got life without parole. I would have gotten lethal injection. I knew nobody involved; had never heard of them in my entire life until the reports of the murders. Our attorneys photocopied the signed, FBI-fabricated police report that framed me. FBI/IRS crimes against us started shortly after we began exposing Britain’s Big Lie re Ireland. American democracy is, we sense, less violated by these FBI/IRS crimes than by the fact that law enforcement, pols and the news media have all, British-style, knowingly covered them up and that the legal profession is cowed. The FBI criminals’ British handlers tried to “take us out” to stop our support for basic rights in Ireland. The FBI later fabricated a malicious “immunity certificate” for me and my wife (making us appear to be FBI collaborators) and leaked it to an FBI asset for publication. 19 …

    E-mail or write to: Irish Holocaust Graves – USA; 900 No. Lake Shore Dr., #1507; Chicago, IL 60611 Tel. 312/664-7651; Fax 312/664-3401 2/1/95. Reaugmented 7May97.

    © 1995 Fogarty

    The following postscript added in 1997:
    Truth Arises.

    The Brit/Irish government is intensifying its cover-up efforts. The British Consulate’s p.r. specialist Gaynor demanded that we cease distribution outside Chicago’s Old St. Patrick church, saying;

    “How dare you? Your pamphlets are contradicting my Irish Potato Famine display inside!”

    Her Irish Holocaust Cover-up tour of the US was fronted in Chicago by the Irish Consul, the AOH, Catholic priests, et al. To co-opt our bill to mandate Irish Holocaust awareness in Illinois schools Irish Consul General Sheridan is promoting a parallel “Potato Famine” one. Irish Teachta Dala (M.P.) Avril Doyle recently promoted that “famine” lie across the U.S., including at Notre Dame U. The Brit/Irish government got massive space for her on National Public Radio, Irish-American radio, and mainstream and Irish-American newspapers. All news outlets who disseminated her untruths ban this pamphlet’s truths. Shades of 1847 of which Mitchel wrote in p. 229 of his History of Ireland;

    “But there was a secret and underground machinery. The editor of the World (newspaper) was now on full pay; and on terms of close intimacy at the Castle and Viceregal Lodge.” However; other truth-tellers exist. See attached copy of letter in Saoirse that reveals what awaited the Holocaust Irish in Liverpool.

    The Workhouses operated as diabolical factories. The sign out front might as well have read “Queen Victoria’s Title Guarantee Co.” They produced clear titles to Irish land for English landlords, as follows; the starving Irish (raw material) entered the workhouse as claimants to the lands of their ancestors and to land they improved. As a condition of entry they had to sign away their claim to all of it but a quarter-acre. Once this was done the starvelings became the “factory’s” waste product; and were moved nearer to the Dying Room as they weakened. In the Castlerea workhouse, and presumably in many or most others, the Dying Rooms were located at the back end of the workhouse on the upper floor adjacent to a wall opening where, when the deed was done, the corpse was pushed through the opening and slid down a chute into a mass grave outside the building. Thus, landlords’ titles were guaranteed and the waste product was disposed of efficiently. Most of the mass graves located on the map are those dumps; unchanged from 150 years ago except for the overgrowth of grass and weeds. Not one of the 170 of them has a marker that identifies the regiment that removed its district’s foodstuffs. FIN

    1. President Robinson’s preface in the Strokestown “‘Famine’ Museum” book.
    2. Paddy’s Lament; by Thomas Gallagher; p. 149.
    3. Ireland; A History; by Robert Kee; p. 100.
    4. Limerick Intelligencer; July 29, 1848.
    5. Where the Sun Sets; by Fr. Seán Noone; ps. 14, 76, 103.
    6. The Great Hunger; by Cecil Woodham-Smith; p. 373 (cap. xvii; sect. 3; pp. 1; penult. sentence).
    7. Ibid.; p. 369.
    8. Atlas of Ireland; by The Irish Academy; p. 91 (Folk Tradition; distribution of flail types).
    9. History of Ireland; by John Mitchel; p. 204
    10. The Great Hunger; by Cecil Woodham-Smith; ps. 24 and 409; also “Information Please” Almanac; p. 796
    11. Ibid; p. 234. (final pp. of cap. XI). Other works show the mortality rate far exceeded 40%.
    12. The Making of Modern Ireland; by J.C. Beckett; p. 329.
    13. A Wounded Church; by Fr. Joseph McVeigh.
    14. James Joyce; by R. Ellman; ps. 16, 19, 24, 31-4, 40-1, 55-6, 153-4, 161, 266, 303, 331, 347, 349, 547, 761, 784.
    15. Chicago Sun-Times Magazine; 2/23/86 (a British government press release).
    16. An Index of Deaths from the Conflict In Ireland; 1969-1993 by Malcolm Sutton. Confirmed by other works.
    17. An introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland; Sylv. O’Halloran; Dublin; 1772.
    18. Final Motion of US Case No. 91 CR 911; Chicago. The case records prove FBI crimes. We possess copies.
    19. Lumpen Times magazine ; June ’93, August ’93, July ’96, and August, 1996. The Irish Echo refused to run it.

    Chris Fogarty, Chicago email to

    A chara
    Where does the Irish Free State government get off taking it upon itself to thank Liverpool for its benevolent role towards the Irish refugees that arrived in the port of Liverpool during the ‘famine’ years.

    “It is keen to acknowledge the city’s special role in accepting and caring for Irish immigrants” – Avril Doyle TD, Irish minister for state.

    Their praise conjures up pictures of these starving and dying refugees being rushed to Emergency Ward Ten on arrival, awash with Live Aid concerts. As is known the truth was far from that! These starving people were left mainly to fend for themselves, countless thousands died in appalling conditions; 40 or 50 deep in Liverpool’s pestilent cellars. These ‘dungeons’ had already been condemned in 1842 after another Irish influx from hunger, and bricked up thanks to the work of the famous Dr Duncan of Liverpool. Our people had to smash their way into these cellars because them was no other place for them.

    The living were left to lie with the dead in these hell-holes. Disease was rampant. At the same time, British merchant ships stuffed tight with quality foodstuffs arrived at Liverpool from Ireland throughout the ‘famine’ years while this dispossessed Irish mass perished a couple of yards from where these ships berthed with food destined for the belly of the British bourgeoisie. In fact both food and starving refugees were shipped out together from Ireland bound for Liverpool.
    Dr Duncan became the fist Medical Officer of Health ever to be appointed in Britain from 1847-1863. His appointment was as a direct result of the horrors of British rule in Ireland exploding onto the streets of Liverpool, horrors that were seeping into the wealthier districts of this city.

    England ‘was’ a socially backward country compared to other European nations of that time. The English working class of Liverpool lived and worked in the most horrendous conditions, the worst in Britain. The British army complained after rejecting 75% of the city’s working-class men on health grounds that they ‘were unfit to be shot at’. It is hard to believe that people could live in worse conditions, but they did. “It is they [the Irish] who inhabit the filthiest and worst of these unventilated courts and cellars.” (Dr Duncan of Liverpool speaking in 1842.) Much worse was to come with the advent of the Great Famine looming in Ireland.

    The only reason the ‘kindly’ city fathers didn’t close off the Port of Liverpool to the Irish as did the Isle of Man authorities was Liverpool was the ex-African slave capital of the world; it was well used to shipping millions of humans in stinking fever-ridden holds of its ships across the Atlantic. There was much money to be made for the powerful ship owners etc.

    To say people chose to stay on in Liverpool, rather than cross the Atlantic, is laughable. Liverpool was the most hostile place the Irish could possibly find themselves in. Media outlets ran intense anti-Irish feeling to prevent any solidarity there may have been with the Irish from the English working class. Vicious Orange Lodge attacks were common on the vulnerable, murders and suicides wore near daily occurrences. Corpses were fished out of the Mersey daily. Then the final insult: the bodies would be put on display naked to the public from behind bars that opened on to the street known as the ‘Drowned, House’. No, this was the flight of the very poor, many having been given the small amount for the crossing by landowners’ agents to clear them off the land once and for all. Others were carried as live ship’s ballast; they wanted only to be fed. Decades after the ‘famine’ the Liverpool Irish ghettos were a death trap; 64% of its children never reached the age of nine compared to 39% in London. For the rest of working-class in Liverpool it was 49%.

    During the ‘famine’ years Liverpool’s answer wasn’t medical help or sufficient food. In fact, Martial Law was called for from certain quarters. Many arrests and deportations took place. Two thousand fully armed soldiers were sent north from London, 800 Cheshire Yeomanry, 700 Auxiliary men arrived and three war ships sailed for Liverpool and anchored in the Mersey.

    Twenty thousand, mainly from the lower middle-class, many of them Orange Lodge members were made special constables to bolster the already 800-strong Liverpool police force, for the sole duty of keeping these destitute Irish contained.

    They may have also been used to dig the secret mass graves that have been unearthed in the city and recently came to light, the latest in 1973 containing 3,561 bodies stacked in order of presumed age that were secretly incinerated before tests could be carried out. This was on British Home Office orders which it now denies knowledge of. It is now known as the ‘Mystery’ Mass Grave, It took eight years before this mass grave was reported in the press and then only in the Catholic Pictorial (September 6,1981).
    Those Irish who escaped the typhus infection in Ireland and paid passage to the Americas too had reason to ‘thank’ Liverpool for its benevolence. Three quarters of the human traffic to cross the Atlantic sailed from Liverpool; 95% of which were Irish. Dr Douglas, the Medical Officer at Grosse Isle, Canada stated in his report that in his opinion “the filthy Liverpool slums, where poor emigrants were forced to lodge before embarking, were one of the main causes of the ship fever disaster.” (The Great Hunger p 278.)

    It has been estimated, though not widely known, that 100,000 Irish souls were swept away in Liverpool during the genocidal years of the Gael (Pardon and Peace by Rev Friel). This is a city that up until today has no memorial to those who perished in its guts nor has much consciousness of this trauma, much to our shame. The schools of the city teach the descendants of the banished Gael who survived this Holocaust only the ‘glorious’ ride of the British Empire, not the fact that it tried to wipe them out.
    The truth about this British manufactured ‘famine’ tragedy has never really been told. And if this revisionist tampering carries on, it never Will.

    Just for the record, Ms Avril Doyle, the first relief ever organized in Liverpool for Irish ‘famine’ victims was by Irish navies who were building a railway from Liverpool to Bury, Lancashire. They donated a day’s pay each. This is in stark contrast to the ‘Honourable’ James Lawrence, the Tory Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 1845 and local booze baron, who refused to hold any conference on relief for the Irish.

    A book that is a must to be read on this Holocaust is The End of Hidden Ireland by RJ Scally
    S Ryan
    James Larkin Association
    *SAOIRSE – Eanair / January 1997

    Jean Marie of Haringuey, London, informed us of the two mass graves on Achill Island and of a religious service conducted at a recently-discovered Irish Holocaust mass grave in Islington, London. She also writes:

    “The Coast Guard also prevented fishermen from fishing. Confiscated their currachs and nets! The landlord of the Falcarragh area of Donegal used to send his agent out to the islands, even during storms, at the risk of the agents life, to ensure that the islanders were not eating any of the rabbits that abounded there. This is recorded in writing by a Tory Islander and has appeared in the book; Toraigh na dTonn.”

    “An t-Athair Peadar 0 Laoire (Fr. Peter O’Leary) recorded in his autobiography that the landlord used to come into the 0 Laoire house to examine the cooking pots on the fire. Once he took Peadar himself, the baby of the family, to question him whether he had ever eaten meat. Peadar said he remembered having eaten a piece of meat ‘a long time ago;’ just once. The family resumed breathing – they were saved. This is related in P. 0 Laoire’s book; “Mo Sceal Fein.” (22April 1997)

    The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine and Emigration, Robert J. Scally (Oxford University Press, £21.50)
    Published in 18th-19th Century Social Perspectives, 18th–19th – Century History, Book Reviews, Issue 4 (Winter 1995), Reviews, The Famine, Volume 3

    Ralahine, Prosperous, Kingwilliamstown, Dolly’s Brae, Ceim an Fhia, Carrickshock: small, insignificant places, yet places with strong resonances in Irish history. Is Ballykilcline, an obscure Roscommon townland containing fewer than five hundred souls on the eve of the Famine, now about to join them? Probably not, for a few reasons. Part of the problem is that too much about the ‘rebellion’ of Ballykilcline, the main focus of Bob Scally’s thoughtful and important book, has been lost.

    Scally has dug deep and long and done a fine job of teasing a narrative out of rather slender evidence. But his account of the long drawn-out battle between the tenants of a tiny Crown estate and its owners has to rely mainly on patchy material from the Quit Rent Office. Little concrete is known about the rebel leaders—’the most lawless and violent set of people in the County Roscommon’ according to the Crown’s agent—beyond their names and the sizes of their holdings. Folk memory offers little help; in 1954 an eighty-six-year-old woman living in one of the three remaining houses in Ballykilcline stated, accurately enough, that before the Famine ‘there were eighty families and most of them were evicted’, but she left it at that. Again, although much of his book is about Ballykilcline, Scally presents its story as a parable for what might have happened in many other small places.

    This explains the book’s title, dustjacket, and illustrations. The illustrations describe places ranging from Kerry to Antrim, and a group photograph of people living in Gaoth Dobhair in the 1870s graces the cover. So for Scally Ballykilcline is not just Ballykilcline: it is also a kind of pre-Famine ‘Ballybeg’ or ‘Inishkillane’.

    The outlines of what happened in Ballykilcline are clear enough. The townland was Crown property, but had been leased for several decades to the Mahons of nearby Strokestown House. In 1834, the incumbent of Strokestown, Lord Hartland, went mad. Almost simultaneously—and the timing was crucial—the Mahon lease on the property expired. As various Mahons disputed the ownership of Strokestown in the courts, the Crown’s officers waited, presumably intent on re-leasing the land to the new owner. In the meantime the Ballykilcline tenants stopped paying rent. By October 1841 their arrears had mounted to a whopping £3,000. Some of the ringleaders were evicted in 1844, but they soon re-possessed their cabins and lands. Charged with forcible entry, they were acquitted by what the agent dubbed ‘a set of the lowest and most ignorant men that could be impanelled’. The dispute continued. An exasperated lord lieutenant declared the property ‘for years past the most mismanaged in Ireland’. After further negotiations and threats and petitions, the Crown finally decided on a radical plan in late 1846. Ballykilcline would be cleared and converted into viable holdings, and its recalcitrant tenants emigrated to America at public expense. The first batch of Ballykilcline tenants headed for Dublin by cart in September 1847. Others followed, more reluctantly, in the following months. The estate, valued at nearly £10,000, was sold for only £5,500 in 1849. Scally’s gentle and sympathetic account thus revolves around two of the most important features of Irish nineteenth-century rural life, land and emigration.
    Ballykilcline contains less than a square mile of relatively poor land, not much for nearly five hundred people. Yet though its tenants were poor, they were by no means equally poor. The more prosperous among them led the rent-strike. When the Crown sought to assert its property rights, those same tenants used toughness, legal wiles, and dubious petitions to confound and mollify them. On Scally’s telling, the ‘rebellion’ both evokes and anticipates the kind of collective action that would capture the headlines throughout Ireland in the 1880s. That the tenants’ world did not fall in when they found themselves without a landlord reflects the essentially parasitic character of landlords like the Mahons.

    However, the episode also shows the Crown as landlord in a humane light. Instead of leaving the evicted tenants to fend for themselves, the Crown chose instead to carry the heavy cost of emigrating about four hundred people, ‘rebels’ included, from Roscommon to Manhattan. Of course, as Stephen de Vere noted, the public sector could afford what was ‘far beyond the means of mere individuals’.

    Bob Scally is an acknowledged expert on the tough conditions faced by Famine emigrants in Liverpool and on the Atlantic passage and his depiction of them makes harrowing reading. However, the final sections of his book might also be read as an unwitting reminder of how much more might have been achieved during the Famine by the expeditious emigration of more of the poor, particularly the landless poor. Because the Ballykilcline tenantry and their families were shipped out in good ships bound for the United States most of them survived the Famine. Only the healthy travelled, however; several tenants unwilling to desert elderly parents or handicapped siblings stayed on. So did the landless poor who had been living in the townland on the goodwill of their neighbours. They were dispossessed, leaving no trace.

    Though there is no evidence that the rebels of Ballykilcline were parties to the famous conspiracy to murder Major Denis Mahon, the new owner of the Strokestown estate, there is an important connection between events in both places. The smallholders and farmers of Strokestown had quickly learned the trick of holding onto their rent money from their Ballykilcline neighbours, and by the time Strokestown House finally fell into the hands of Denis Mahon, he was owed £13,000 in rent.

    The Ballykilcline emigrants disappear without trace once they disembark from the Roscius, the Channing, the Metoka, and the Progress in New York. It would be nice to know whether the communality which was damaged by the Famine was restored in the New World. That is a topic for further study, but it should not be so difficult to find an answer. Thanks to the industry of the Church of Latter Day Saints, in recent times the names of everybody enumerated in the United States censuses of 1850 and 1860 have been entered into massive computers in Salt Lake City. Some careful digging in the Mormon files should resurrect some of Bob Scally’s Padians, Reynolds, and Narys, who had shown such pluck and guile in faraway Ballykilcline.

    Cormac Ó Gráda
    Tommy Graham, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, Dublin Programme. Contact:
    Consulting Editor
    Seán Duffy, Dept. of Medieval History, Trinity College, Dublin

    Editorial Board
    Tony Canavan, Elma Collins, Peter Collins, Patrick Fitzgerald, Peter Gray, Brian Hanley, Angus Mitchell, Éamonn Ó Ciardha, Eamon O’Flaherty, Thomas O’Loughlin

    Publishing Manager; Nick Maxwell. Contact:
    Advertsing Manager: Una MacConville. Contact:
    Administration and Subscriptions: Helen Dunne. Contact:

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Buddy Silver | March 16, 2018 | Reply

    • Hi Buddy – Certainly an unexpected comment as regards its intensity and passionate call for remembrance and awareness.

      It reminds me there is so much of my families homeland I know so little about and equally true for the city of my birth.
      When there were crisis in Ireland the poorest Irish immigrants were condemned to remain in Liverpool whereas the better off moved inland or continued on to the States.

      I rejoice in one aspect of this today that the heart of the city of Liverpool was forged in a Celtic melting pot of Irish, Welsh and Scottish traditions that IMHO makes it culturally unique today in England; nearly everyone in the city has got some link to Ireland and the relationships between people in public are not typically English.

      We cannot change the past but we can make damn sure the truth is known, understood and never forgotten which you have made an excellent job of above.

      (Might be worth if you wish to upload more stuff to have them submitted to Aletho as actual articles – there certainly would be a readership for them.)


      Comment by redracam | November 19, 2020 | Reply



    The Irish were referred to in the 19th century as “niggers turned inside out” and blacks were labeled “smoked Irish.”
    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.

    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.

    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, largemouth 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.


    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 overthrower.
    – 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 crueler 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 the 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

    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.
    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.


    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.”

    Britain sometimes meant well in trying to govern Ireland, but the contempt felt by Englishmen towards the Irish kept surfacing. The Jew, 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.

    The 150th anniversary of the Irish potato famine in autumn 1996 stirred 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 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

    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

    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.

    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.

    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)

    YOU TUBE: 14 Year Old Irish Girl-History Lesson For Americans
    Wolf Éirinn
    Published on Aug 23, 2015
    Lawrence O’Donnell gives a history lesson to Americans about a 14 year old Irish Girl, Julia Lynch. Lawrence delivers a special ‘Rewrite’ for Donald Trump and anyone else who doesn’t understand the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship.

    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 flavour 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.


    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 this one 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’

    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

    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

    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’.

    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.

    By Peter Gray
    Published in 18th–19th – Century History, Features, Issue 2 (Summer 1993), The Famine, Volume 1

    The widespread use of Punch cartoons in books and teaching materials on nineteenth century history is hardly surprising: these often striking images are a convenient visual aid for understanding a period in which photography was in its infancy. Yet the use of this graphic record in an unreflective manner is fraught with difficulties and may detract from the material’s historical usefulness. Several illustrated texts, and at least one academic account of the Great Famine of 1845-50, have been guilty of this unimaginative use of sources, and consequently can be accused of having missed the point of the illustrations. The historical significance of Punch in the later 1840s lay as much in its aspiration and ability to mould public perceptions of events, as in its satiric commentaries on those events. The paper provided no direct record of the mass sufferings of the Irish peasantry (in contrast to the Illustrated London News’ graphic depictions), but Irish affairs occupied many of its pages in the famine years. Perhaps its greatest importance to the historian is as a simultaneous shaper and expression of British public opinion – a phenomenon vital to our understanding of the Famine as a whole.

    Considerable political weight
    Founded in 1841, Punch sought to establish a new style of humorous journalism, more tasteful and restrained than the savage caricatures of Gillray and Cruikshank, but also more serious and campaigning than its comic rivals. From the start, it had a moralistic cutting edge, derived from its radical founders, Henry Mayhew and Douglas Jerrold. Even its more conservative contributors believed that humour should be about more than mere laughter. The novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, a regular writer from 1843 to 1854, expressed the view that humour ought:
    ‘to awaken and direct your love, your pity, your kindness; your scorn of untruth, pretension, imposture; your tenderness for the weak, the poor, the oppressed, the unhappy’. This was indeed the mission of the early Punch which led philanthropic assaults on sweated labour, poor law abuses, and terrible urban conditions. The paper’s radicalism was, however, distinctly middle- class in tone; while critical of Chartism, it threw itself whole-heartedly behind the free trade and financial reform movements. Already by the late 1840s, it was beginning a transition to the more complacent conservative stance it would adopt as a patriotic national institution in the mid-Victorian ‘age of equipoise’.

    Punch’s political weight was considerable. Its circulation, at around 30,000, was below that of many other journals and was largely concentrated in London, but it reached many metropolitan opinion-formers who set the tone of British middle-class attitudes as expressed nationally. It was read by politicians, and several cabinet ministers commented on its pronouncements in their private diaries. Most importantly, Punch existed as part of a network of similarly- oriented journals. Its authors were keen to take their line on public affairs largely from The Times, by far the most influential newspaper of the day. Indeed one contributor, Gilbert a Beckett, was simultaneously a leader writer for both The Times and The Illustrated London News. The power of these three papers taken together was considerable – each complemented the other by focusing on a different aspect of middle-class taste. This was all the more true in a period of party flux, weak governments, and a national radical middle-class mobilisation. Punch had a history of broad sympathy for the plight of Ireland, mixed with a mocking hostility towards Daniel O’Connell and the Repeal movement. In the early stages of the famine catastrophe, O’Connell was attacked for his alleged greed in collecting the ‘Repeal rent’ from the starving poor and for misleading his ignorant followers as to their real interests.

    [The Real Potato Blight of Ireland, 13 December 1845]
    Attention was thus directed away from the realities of the socio-economic crisis, to what were regarded in Britain as the ludicrous and seditious political antics of the Irish. Political and moral factors were to be relentlessly harped upon in the subsequent years as the true causes of Irish distress. While ‘Hibernia’ could be treated sympathetically as a feminised abstract, and her ‘Haughty Sisters, Britannia and Caledonia’ upbraided for their self-satisfied aloofness [The Irish Cinderella, 25 April 1846], Punch regarded the Famine more as an opportunity to ‘conquer’ Ireland ‘by food and education’, than as a case for simple charity. The excessive luxuries of the rich in Britain were a target more conducive to radical (and indeed evangelical) criticism than an inadequate relief policy.

    Providence and the potato
    The paper mocked the antiCatholic interpretations of famine causation proposed by ultra-Protestants, but it did not rule out the hand of God. Indeed it implicitly gave credence to those providentialist views which saw the potato blight as a means of replacing ‘backward’ potatoes (and the social system their cultivation supported) with more ‘civilised’ foodstuffs. It agreed with The Times that ‘Providence, which made us and the land we till, evidently intended another subsistence’ than the potato, that ‘most precarious of crops and meanest of foods’.

    Ministers agreed that the introduction of cheap imported grain would transform the Irish character. Edward Cardwell argued:
    If while they diffused among [the Irish] a taste for a higher kind of food, they could also introduce amongst them habits of industry and improvement calculated to furnish them with the means of procuring that higher food, they would be effecting one of the greatest practical improvements which this country was capable of accomplishing. This policy necessitated a strict adherence to free trade in food and bound up Ireland’s fate with the repeal of the corn laws.

    From autumn 1846. British governments adopted a bi-partisan policy of minimal interference in the food trade. The collapse in the price of imported Indian meal the following summer appeared to vindicate this free trade dogma but this was of little consolation to the hundreds of thousands who perished in the winter of 1846-7. The social costs of that year blunted but did not change the moralistic British critique of potato subsistence; Punch prematurely welcomed the apparent restoration of the potato to health in autumn 1847 (it failed again in 1848 and 1849) but only as a subsidiary to cheap bread. [Consolation for the Million: The Loaf and the Potato, 11September 1847]

    Like Sir Charles Trevelyan, the assistant Secretary to the Treasury, Punch regarded the continuation of famine conditions in Ireland after this time as entirely due to indigenous moral and not biological failures. Ireland had been warned of the folly of potato dependence by a ‘natural’ disaster, but had perversely chosen to ignore the danger; no further responsibility could be undertaken by the ‘imperial’ government.

    Irish property, Irish poverty
    The relief of famine distress was bound up with ideological considerations. In the cartoon Union is Strength (17 October 1846), John Bull, the epitome of Englishness, presents his Irish ‘brother’ not only with food, but with a spade – to put him ‘in a way to earn your own living’. In the light of modern conceptions of the importance of development aid, the offer appears sensible but it must be understood in the light of the popularised versions of political economy current at the time. Thomas Campbell Foster’s analysis of the ‘Condition of the People of Ireland’, serialised by The Times in 1845-6, had stressed the essential fertility of Ireland and placed the blame for its backwardness on ignorance and a lack of enterprise. The idea that wealth could be created by industrious exertion alone (capital being merely ‘accumulated labour’) acquired considerable popularity. There was also a widespread belief, shared by some ministers, that Ireland possessed sufficient surplus in its ‘wages-fund’ to support its current population, if only this was diverted from landlord extravagance to productive use.

    While Punch acknowledged that the scale of the 1846-7 crisis necessitated some assistance, and rejected the crude Malthusianism of Lord Radnor, this feeling continued to lie at the root of its perceptions. With The Times, it advocated the early introduction of a permanent extended Irish poor law, which would make Irish property support Irish poverty. This ‘very bitter pill’, strictly administered as a moral spur to self-reliance on the part of all Irish classes, proved popular in Britain.

    By May 1847 Punch, was advocating total reliance on the government’s new poor law and leaving Ireland to ‘shift for herself for a year’. Two developments were cited for hardening Punch’s (and by extension, British public opinion’s) heart against Ireland. Both centred on the theme of Irish ‘ingratitude’. Within two months of ‘Union is Strength’, Punch had decided that the Irish were rejecting the proffered spade and relapsing into atavistic violence. In Height of Impudence (12 December 1846), John Bull is accosted by an Irishman begging alms to buy a ‘blunderbuss’. In contrast to the earlier cartoon, the Irishman is no longer ‘brother’, but bears the simianised features that were to become so familiar to Punch’s readers in later years. To some extent this shift reflected the views of the individual cartoonists; ‘Union is Strength’ was drawn by Richard Doyle, a Catholic and of Irish descent (although as strongly anti-Repeal as his father, John Doyle of Political Sketches fame). ‘Height of Impudence’ was by John Leech, Punch’s regular cartoonist in these years, and a man whose betes noires featured ‘Italian organ-grinders, Frenchmen and Hebrews’ as well as the Irish. The anthropological theories of ‘Celtic’ degeneracy which informed such stereotypes of ‘Paddy’ were by no means universally accepted in 1840s Britain, but were mobilised forcefully for specific purposes in Punch and The Times. This transition period between the dominance of environmentalism and racialism as the leading discourse regarding Ireland was particularly disadvantageous to the country: while brute enough to require coercion, the Irish were seen as sufficiently ‘normal’ to be expected to exhibit self-reliance, and were denied the paternalistic relief later doled out by Dublin Castle in the subsistence crises of the 1880s and 1890s. Punch came to support strict coercion of Ireland, the suppression of agrarian agitation, and the imprisonment of troublesome priests. Yet in line with its radical leanings, it expressed little sympathy for Irish landlords, who were depicted as ready to rob John Bull to line their own pockets and subsidise a lifestyle of cowardly absenteeism. The paper showed no sympathy for the developing campaign for tenant right, but – in the wake of The Times – moved towards advocating more drastic treatment of the Irish of all classes.

    Mitchel as a monkey
    The second development increasing British antagonism was the growing political instability of Ireland. ‘Union is Strength’ had suggested an optimistic outlook on Anglo-Irish relations, and Punch had gloated at Daniel O’Connell’s apparent renunciation of Repeal and request for greater British aid shortly before his death in 1847. In this context, the increasingly vociferous militancy of the Young Irelanders provoked outrage and a further denunciation of the Irish as a whole. Leech went the full way with the simian stereotype by portraying the movement’s most extreme leader, John Mitchel, as a monkey – at once comic and dangerously incendiary – threatening a magisterial and contemptuous British lion. [The British Lion and the Irish Monkey, 8 April 1848] In the wake of the abortive 1848 rising, Punch returned repeatedly to the theme of inveterate Irish barbarity and ingratitude. Agrarian unrest and political rebellion were rolled together (in a manner which Fintan Lalor and Mitchel would have envied had they been so in reality), and images of famine-related suffering were ignored. British policy appeared incapable of ameliorating the situation through conciliation. In Alfred the Small (16 September 1848), the Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, is pictured visiting Ireland, only to find the primitive natives immersed in violence and idolatrously worshipping the totems of Repeal.

    Thackeray: Hibernis Hibernior
    If Punch ‘s main political thrust lay in its chief cartoon – the subject of which was decided weekly by the principal contributors – the paper was always more than its ‘big cut’. It carried numerous one-liners, squibs and articles on Irish subjects, as well as pieces of more sustained satire in verse and prose.

    W.M. Thackeray was the source of the bulk of its Irish pieces in these years. His Irish Sketch Book (1843), an impressionistic but largely critical account of an Irish visit, had proved a great success in England (not least for its strident anti-Catholicism). It was on the strength of this that he emerged as Punch’s Irish expert, often under the pseudonym ‘Hibernis Hibernior’, In ‘Mr Punch for Repeal’ (26 February 1848) Thackeray declared that he had made a personal contribution of £5 to the British Association relief fund in early 1847, but as reasons for giving no more, went on to cite the support of certain Catholic clerics for the tenant movement (which Thackeray interpreted as a murderous conspiracy), and John O’Connell’s criticism of the British state and press for failing to come to terms with the continuation of the famine. This clearly echoed the mood of British public opinion, for a second charitable appeal in October 1847 had proved an unpopular flop and no further substantial sums were raised. Thackeray also took up the cry for ‘Repeal’ in an ironic sense, as a means of protecting England from further Irish mendicancy. These themes were reiterated in the ‘Letters to a nobleman visiting Ireland’ (2 and 9 September 1848), in which Lord John Russell was upbraided for his previous political connections with the O’Connells, and Irish poverty was attributed to Irish wrong-headedness.

    Manipulating British public opinion
    Punch regularly criticised Russell for having no Irish policy, but also staunchly opposed government expenditure in Ireland. In the wake of the financial crisis of autumn 1847, British industry and commerce underwent a period of depression: middle-class radicals responded by crusading against taxation and landlord privileges. The general election of 1847 gave a group of about 85 radicals, led by Cobden, Bright and Hume, the parliamentary balance of power. Both Russell and Lord Lieutenant Clarendon were aware of the vital need for increased relief, development and emigration assistance spending in Ireland but they failed to make headway, faced with ideological hostility from the advocates of ‘natural causes’ within the government and strenuous resistance from the commons. Punch expressed glee when Russell was forced to withdraw a proposed increase in the British income tax in his 1848 budget, and then outrage at every concession extracted to meet the extensive distress of the west of Ireland in 1848-9. Every loan to the ungrateful Irish, however small, was denounced as an additional burden on England’s respectable poor. [The English Labourer’s Burden, 24 February 1849] It was indicative of just how deeply divided the Whig-liberal cabinet was that such irresponsible press statements were welcomed and encouraged by some ministers. From late 1846 Charles Wood, Chancellor of the Exchequer, sought to undermine relief expenditure by stimulating a British backlash against the ‘monstrous machine’ of public works. He, Trevelyan and Colonial Secretary Lord Grey had close connections with Delane of The Times and exploited these for political ends.

    By autumn 1848, a broad swathe of British opinion was convinced that mass starvation was inevitable in Ireland, and should not be prevented. The diarist Charles Greville noted that the prevailing sense in London was ‘disgust … at the state of Ireland and the incurable madness of the people’. The press had done much to create this perception. The Prime Minister was obliged to admit that it was less the ‘crude Trevelyanism’ of his subordinates than feelings lying ‘deep in the breasts of the British people’ that had made substantive intervention impossible.

    [‘Biped livestock’]
    As if exhausted or secretly embarrassed by its sustained hostility during a period of acute suffering and mass mortality, Punch sought for signs of hope in 1849. Two events were highlighted. The ‘new plantation’ scheme proposed by elder statesman Sir Robert Peel was warmly welcomed. Peel suggested a commission with sweeping powers over the west of
    Ireland that would pave the way for ‘new proprietors who shall take possession of the land of Ireland, freed from its present encumbrances, and enter into its cultivation with adequate capital, with new feelings, and inspired by new hopes’. Richard Doyle pictured Peel as ‘The New St Patrick’, driving the reptiles of ‘destitution’, ‘mortgages’ (depicted by a Jewish stereotype) and ‘famine’ out of Ireland. Leech welcomed Peel’s ‘panacea’ of ‘the sale of encumbered estates’ as the cure to Russell’s ‘dreadful Irish toothache’. The idea of a British economic ‘colonisation’, reclaiming the bogs of Connacht for civilisation, appealed strongly to the paper, and a mass removal of the ‘biped livestock’ by clearance and emigration was welcomed.

    [A Parallel between Peel and Caesar, 28 April 1849]
    Yet, like The Times, its support was primarily for ‘free trade in land’ rather than full-scale government intervention. Peel had advocated relaxation of the poor law and increased state investment, but moralist opinion remained adamantly opposed. The second event was the Queen’s visit to Ireland in August 1849. The unifying mystique of the monarchy was sufficient for Punch to restore the image of a poor but welcoming ‘Hibernia’, and to transform the threatening ‘Paddy’ into the comically harmless ‘Sir Patrick Raleigh’.

    [Landing of Queen Victoria in Ireland, August 1849]
    Punch put its faith in the royal visit as the most efficacious mode of anglicising the country and its people, imagining an Ireland of the future built on the suppression of its past: Let Erin look forward with faith sublime, Forgetting the days that are over; And allow the stream of a brighter time In oblivion the past to cover. [Ireland – a Dream of the Future, Sept. 1849]

    This was wishful thinking, and the flood of private and corporate investment expected in the wake of the Queen’s visit failed to materialise. Plans by the City of London corporation to purchase large tracts of Connacht also fell through.

    Punch’s vision of Irish prosperity arising simply from self-exertion – ‘new’ proprietors were primarily to provide entrepreneurial values rather than cash – proved illusory. Yet such was the depth of early Victorian liberal optimism that it refused to abandon the image of creating plenty through the application of industry to peat. [The New Irish Still, August 1849J The idea would be ludicrous, were it not for the fact that this illusion, and the moralistic outrage directed against the Irish when it was not realised, underlay the response not only of Punch, but of the dominant strand of British public opinion, to the Great Famine. The specific political circumstances of the later 1840s entailed that this opinion played a considerable part in limiting the options available to a weak and deeply divided government. The present debate amongst historians over whether and where moral responsibility for the famine can be attributed would be illuminated if such aspects were sufficiently taken into account. Too detailed an analysis can perhaps detract from the wit and humour of nineteenth-century cartoons and comic writing. Yet these were not merely intended as amusing frivolities. They had real political significance and should be treated as historical documents. We should beware of too hastily passing judgement on the people of the past but surely the performance of Punch can be evaluated in the light of its own critique of O’Connell in 1845: A joke is a joke, and nothing can be more pleasing … in its proper place – but not always. You wouldn’t cut capers over a dead body, or be particularly boisterous and facetious in a chapel or a sick-room; and I think, of late … you have been allowing your humour to get the better of you on occasions almost as solemn. For, isn’t Hunger sacred? Isn’t Starvation solemn? When applied to Ireland, the answer appeared to be that it was not.

    Peter Gray tutors in Irish history at Queen’s University, Belfast.

    Further reading:

    L. Perry Curtis, Apes and Angels: the Irishman in Victorian Caricature
    (London 1971).

    S. and A. Briggs (eds.), Cap and Bell: Punch’s Chronicle of English History in the Making 1841-1861 (London 1972).

    M.H. Spielmann, The History of Punch (London 1895).

    c. Woodham-Smith, The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9 (London 1962).


    Comment by goldfinger999666 | November 20, 2020 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.