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Anti-Irish quotes throughout history

diy01

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Do you think it's quite the accomplishment that even part of Ireland has achieved independence from what was the most powerful empire on Earth? Have at least some of the goals of the British imperialists below come to fruition? (e.g. widespread poverty that existed until relatively recently, the almost total abandonment of the Irish language, the self-hatred and inferiority complex that exists within some Irish people, a national culture that, in many ways, is very similar to that of Great Britain etc.)
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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

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.
- Edmund Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, 1596

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.
- A View of the State of Ireland


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

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

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

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

In all countries, more or less, paupers may be discovered; but an entire nation of paupers is what was never seen until it was shown in Ireland. To explain the social condition of such a country, it would be only necessary to recount its miseries and its sufferings; the history of the poor is the history of Ireland.
- Gustave de Beaumont, French visitor, 1839

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 ladden 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
 


Ponzi

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The Irish are hearty, the Scotch plausible, the French polite, the Germans good-natured, the Italians courtly, the Spaniards reserved and decorous - the English alone seem to exist in taking and giving offense”
William Hazlitt 1778-1830

“The English are not happy unless they are miserable, the Irish are not at peace unless they are at war, and the Scots are not at home unless they are abroad”
George Orwell 1903-1950
 
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And you the hell do you think you are? Thats the most racists and offesive posting I have ever seen. If the english think they are so intelligent then how come they lost their empire.
 

farnaby

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May 15, 2006
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Just want to add my own favorite back-handed compliment from Adam Smith:

The chairmen, porters, and coal-heavers in London, and those unfortunate women who live by prostitution, the strongest men and most beautiful women perhaps in the British dominions, are said to be, the greater part of them, from the lowest rank of people in Ireland.
He used this to justify the poor living primarily on a diet of potatoes - basically saying 'sure it hasn't done the irish any harm'.....
 

Fionn_McCool

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You don't have to look back to the 19th century to find nasty racist british quotes about the Irish...

"Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey's ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves."

Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley, Omagh 1981.
 

Ponzi

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The British Empire in fact (almost uniquely in history) entailed the subjection of aboriginal peoples in the most far flung corners of the world. I say almost uniquely because the Portuguese and Spanish Empires were similarly founded on this basis. The most remarkable aspect of the British Empire, is that so much pleasure should derived from such an enterprise for so long.
 

joel

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May 3, 2007
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Fionn_McCool said:
You don't have to look back to the 19th century to find nasty racist british quotes about the Irish...

"Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey's ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves."

Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley, Omagh 1981.


Which shows the true reason for the situation in the North is racism and not Sectarianianism.

How comes that racist swine is running the North now? How can that be allowed? Why is he not tackled about it by the so-called "Reporters"?
 

madura

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"Ireland is a coarse place with a sad history where the natives are obsessed by money."

Comment attributed to the German ambassador to Dublin, Christian Pauls, by The Timesonline.
 

joel

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joel said:
Fionn_McCool said:
You don't have to look back to the 19th century to find nasty racist british quotes about the Irish...

"Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey's ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves."

Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley, Omagh 1981.


Which shows the true reason for the situation in the North is racism and not Sectarianianism.

How comes that racist swine is running the North now? How can that be allowed? Why is he not tackled about it by the so-called "Reporters"?


There is a Race Relations Act - why wasn't Paisley charged?

And he can stick his "christianity".....
 

john scott

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The Irish are "men whom God made mad; all their wars are merry and all their songs are sad." (Chesterton, I think)

The Irish are "always bringing down some great stag." Goethe. I think he said it in relation to Parnell.

"The Irish are a very fair people' they never speak well of one another." (I can't remember who said it.)
 

Pauli

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madura said:
"Ireland is a coarse place with a sad history where the natives are obsessed by money."

Comment attributed to the German ambassador to Dublin, Christian Pauls, by The Timesonline.
Have you got the actual quote? Even the "quote" you attribute to him is not particularly anti-Irish.
 

farnaby

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joel said:
Fionn_McCool said:
You don't have to look back to the 19th century to find nasty racist british quotes about the Irish...

"Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey's ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves."

Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley, Omagh 1981.


Which shows the true reason for the situation in the North is racism and not Sectarianianism.

How comes that racist swine is running the North now? How can that be allowed? Why is he not tackled about it by the so-called "Reporters"?
Because people change, and even if he really hasn't, in politics the appearance of changing is sometimes enough. The British have also changed - no doubt they thought these things in the past but does anyone believe those attitudes still exist?
 

Ciarán Mac Mathghamhna

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One might also point out the deep-seated racism inherent in the use of the English language as being anti-Irish, in particular the use of the phrase 'a bit Irish', still so prevalent to have been even used on our national broadcaster today.
In fairness, I don't think English people use it much these days, or at least only in a jocular sense with no real malice behind it. Even the Oxford English Dictionary, while showing a long history of this usage, tempers its description accordingly, viz. -

4. Irish in character or nature; having what are considered Irish characteristics. spec. Used of seemingly contradictory statements. (See also Irish hurricane s.v. sense A. 2c.)
In quot. 1589 with allusion to B. 3.

1589 Pappe w. Hatchet Biij, We would show them an Irish tricke, that when they thinke to winne the game with one man [etc.]. 1725 SWIFT Wood the Ironmonger Wks. 1755 IV. I. 66 They laugh'd at such an irish blunder, To take the noise of brass for thunder. 1820 H. BROUGHAM Let. 5 Feb. in H. Maxwell Creevey Papers (1903) I. 297 Your advice has been followed by anticipation (to speak Irish). 1838 GEO. ELIOT Let. 18 Aug. (1954) I. 6 Isaac and I went alone (that seems rather Irish), and staid only a week. 1843 F. A. KEMBLE Let. 25 Aug. in Rec. Later Life (1882) III. 36 We are going out of town,..to-morrow at half-past six in the morning, and it is now past midnight, and I have every mortal and immortal thing to pack, with my own single pair of hands, which is Irish, Lord bless us! 1857 MRS. GASKELL Let. 7 Dec. (1966) 491 The lecture was not (to me) so very interesting, being a sort of recapitulation of what he was going to say (if that's not Irish). 1891 Spectator 3 Jan. 5/1 If we fail in anything, people say, How Irish! 1892 C. H. FRETWELL Anc. Mariner 94, I had what sailors call ‘an Irish rise’, becoming second officer after being for a time commanding officer. 1897 M. KINGSLEY W. Africa 171 There is also no doubt that the Fan mile is a bit Irish, a matter of nine or so of those of ordinary mortals. 1903 H. C. ROWLAND Sea Scamps 4, I was promptly addressed as ‘lieutenant’, which struck me as being rather an Irish promotion, having once previously served as major. 1926 J. S. HUXLEY Essays Pop. Sci. 121 To be Irish, the longer it lives, the sooner it ought to die. 1937 A. UPFIELD Mr. Jelly's Business (1938) iii. 28 He doesn't seem to mind me courting his daughter, but he doesn't give me a chance to do any courting. That's Irish, but it's a fact. 1970 R. HILL Clubbable Woman vi. 192 ‘Marcus wouldn't dare to tell a lie like that unless it was true!’ ‘Irish,’ said Pascoe.
 

Greenandred

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"The Irish are all furious fools, they have no history of their own worth any notice... Can't someone blow that horrible island up and carry it, a long way off?"
Alfred (Lord) Tennyson
 

madura

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Pauli said:
madura said:
"Ireland is a coarse place with a sad history where the natives are obsessed by money."

Comment attributed to the German ambassador to Dublin, Christian Pauls, by The Timesonline.
Have you got the actual quote? Even the "quote" you attribute to him is not particularly anti-Irish.
No transcript of the original speech was made available, remember. And it meets my definition of anti-Irish sentiment, viz. the projection of a negative trait onto an entire people.
 

joel

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803
farnaby said:
joel said:
Fionn_McCool said:
You don't have to look back to the 19th century to find nasty racist british quotes about the Irish...

"Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey's ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves."

Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley, Omagh 1981.


Which shows the true reason for the situation in the North is racism and not Sectarianianism.

How comes that racist swine is running the North now? How can that be allowed? Why is he not tackled about it by the so-called "Reporters"?
Because people change, and even if he really hasn't, in politics the appearance of changing is sometimes enough. The British have also changed - no doubt they thought these things in the past but does anyone believe those attitudes still exist?


It was only 10 years ago that the BBC had to apologise for an Eastenders episode, after furious complaints. They also called in their managers and (I think) told them that the lazy, anti-Irish racism had to stop.

The thing is that, such as the BBC, had always used the Irish as whipping boys, because it seemed not to be regarded as racism.
 

civic_critic

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What Irish people generally don't think of is the great fear the British have of the Irish. England's overwhelming and brutal use of force, repeated again so recently as our own generation, is founded upon a profound fear of the Irish within British politics and culture. The quotes above derive from that and this fear and hatred ultimately derive from the fact that, as Casement said, Britain's empire was founded upon the conquest of Ireland. An Ireland free of British influence will make Britain resume its natural proportions - this is what they are frightened of.
 

Greenandred

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joel said:
farnaby said:
joel said:
Fionn_McCool said:
You don't have to look back to the 19th century to find nasty racist british quotes about the Irish...

"Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey's ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves."

Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley, Omagh 1981.


Which shows the true reason for the situation in the North is racism and not Sectarianianism.

How comes that racist swine is running the North now? How can that be allowed? Why is he not tackled about it by the so-called "Reporters"?
Because people change, and even if he really hasn't, in politics the appearance of changing is sometimes enough. The British have also changed - no doubt they thought these things in the past but does anyone believe those attitudes still exist?


It was only 10 years ago that the BBC had to apologise for an Eastenders episode, after furious complaints. They also called in their managers and (I think) told them that the lazy, anti-Irish racism had to stop.

The thing is that, such as the BBC, had always used the Irish as whipping boys, because it seemed not to be regarded as racism.
Channel 4 was equally guilty of lazy, anti-Irish stereotyping. Their flagship soap Brookside featured Irish characters as child molesters, wasters, illiterates and rapists. There was ONE positive, or even neutral, Irish character!
 

joel

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May 3, 2007
Messages
803
Greenandred said:
joel said:
farnaby said:
joel said:
Fionn_McCool said:
You don't have to look back to the 19th century to find nasty racist british quotes about the Irish...

"Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey's ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves."

Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley, Omagh 1981.


Which shows the true reason for the situation in the North is racism and not Sectarianianism.

How comes that racist swine is running the North now? How can that be allowed? Why is he not tackled about it by the so-called "Reporters"?
Because people change, and even if he really hasn't, in politics the appearance of changing is sometimes enough. The British have also changed - no doubt they thought these things in the past but does anyone believe those attitudes still exist?


It was only 10 years ago that the BBC had to apologise for an Eastenders episode, after furious complaints. They also called in their managers and (I think) told them that the lazy, anti-Irish racism had to stop.

The thing is that, such as the BBC, had always used the Irish as whipping boys, because it seemed not to be regarded as racism.
Channel 4 was equally guilty of lazy, anti-Irish stereotyping. Their flagship soap Brookside featured Irish characters as child molesters, wasters, illiterates and rapists. There was ONE positive, or even neutral, Irish character!


Yes - and it was that swine Redmond. My regard for Liverpool is now about zero.
 


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