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The return of the Irish Right The values of the diaspora are coming home

'Civic disturbances on a scale not seen for generations continue' (PETER MURPHY/AFP via Getty Images)

'Civic disturbances on a scale not seen for generations continue' (PETER MURPHY/AFP via Getty Images)


March 27, 2024   6 mins

“The transformation of Ireland over the last 60 years has sometimes felt as if a new world had landed from outer space on top of an old one,” wrote Fintan O’Toole, a commentator who is generally approving of this new status quo, in 2021. But the past weeks and months have proven that the “old” country has very different ideas about this extra-terrestrial political order. After Ireland rejected two liberal amendments to the constitution, tabled and sponsored by their government, civic disturbances on a scale not seen for generations continue. They even wear the aesthetic of an older Ireland, with youths on horseback leading a recent protest against a new asylum centre in Dublin.

Though the referendums in question were largely symbolic and had little substantial effect on everyday life, scepticism of immigration is now widespread. Recent polling suggests that three-quarters of Irish people think the country is taking too many refugees, a statistic that rises to 80% among Sinn FĂ©in supporters. The modern, secular and multicultural face that Ireland’s government showed to the world for decades has been revealed as a mere patina. And yet, this should not be considered just a spasm from within an otherwise innately progressive Irish character. In many ways, this is the kind of Irishness historically seen abroad; the Irish-American diaspora diverged well to the Right of its mother country long ago — and those values are now travelling back across the Atlantic.

In 1841, 60,000 Irish people signed a petition calling for their compatriots in America to throw their support behind the anti-slavery abolition movement. The petition was organised by Daniel “the Liberator” O’Connell, whose opposition was long-held and steadfast. When O’Connell was first elected to parliament 11 years earlier, a member with an interest in the Caribbean sugar plantations had approached him and offered the support of the 27 pro-slavery members on Irish issues in exchange for his neutrality on the question. O’Connell responded that though “God knows I speak for the saddest people the sun sees”, he was not willing to “forget the negro one single hour” in order to save Ireland. In his public speeches O’Connell attacked American hypocrisy on this issue: “America in the fullness of her pride
 wave[s] on high her banner of freedom and its blazing stars” while ignoring “the negro children screaming for their mother from whose bosom they have been torn”.

O’Connell pledged that he would never visit America while slavery continued in that country, and US abolitionists encouraged him to do more to persuade the Irish in America to adopt his stance. One argued that if O’Connell were able to change these opinions, it could be decisive, as “your countrymen among us hold the balance of power”, yet as it stood “three fourths of them at least are Democrats” and opposed slavery abolition. But the Irish in America did not respond as O’Connell hoped. Not only did the majority support the continuation of slavery, but in many cases they were the perpetrators of some of the worst incidences of mob violence against African Americans, such as when an Irish crowd attacked a black temperance parade in Philadelphia in August 1842. And in 1854, it was Irish militia companies who were called on to return runaway slave Anthony Burns from Boston to Virginia, after the native-born companies refused to do so.

Bishop John Hughes of New York, at that time probably the most influential Irish American leader, said it was “the duty of every naturalized Irishman to resist and repudiate” O’Connell’s implorations “with indignation”. And this vehemence was partially defensive, a product of Hughes’s concern with the successful integration of the Irish into the broader American population — no easy task given the hostility they faced. Leading Irish figures feared that any question of divided loyalties would fatally undermine this process. But another motive was that abolitionism was associated with the British, who had ended their trade in 1807 and emancipated the slaves in their colonies in 1834.

Given the intense opposition to anything associated with Britain, many Irish were opposed to abolition on those grounds alone. It also didn’t help that many abolitionists, drawn as they often were from New England Nonconformist backgrounds, hated Catholics intensely. But, as the historian Noel Ignatiev argued, Irish-American support for the continuation of slavery was necessary as it “eased their assimilation as whites, and more than any other institution, taught them the meaning of whiteness”. For Ignatiev, the Irish were deeply concerned with maintaining their favoured position over those whom they regarded as the principal threat — the free black people of the North — and abolition would have magnified that threat.

This compact between Irish Americans and the Democratic Party, formed in the antebellum United States over slavery, began to erode a few decades ago, through a combination of the former’s increasing affluence and the Democrats’ shift Leftwards on cultural issues. Irish Americans on average have remained firmly on the Right, and are now a key constituency for Donald Trump. And although a liberal evolution over the generations is standard for immigrant groups, the Catholic Church’s conservative position on many issues, particularly on abortion, had the effect of making Irish Americans particularly conservative.

But in Ireland itself, the opposite process took place, transforming the country from one of the most conservative in Europe, to one of the most progressive, within a single generation. As recently as 1983, Irish voters approved the Eighth Amendment to the constitution, outlawing abortion with 67% support. Just over three decades later, in 2015, 62% of Irish voters approved the legalisation of same-sex marriage, and three years later 66% voted to legalise abortion. This led to the strange situation observed by one bartender working in a New York Irish pub during the 2016 presidential election, whereby “half the patrons were Irish immigrants who considered Mr. Trump a real ‘eejit,’ but the other half, the Irish Americans, thought he was just grand”.

The events of recent months, however, suggest this dichotomy is changing. So far, there has been a void of support for such positions within the mainstream political parties, all of which supported the proposed constitutional changes, and all which have been vocally supportive of increased immigration for years. But politicians might be waking up to the changing reality: despite leading the same party as his predecessor, Leo Varadkar, the new prime minister, Simon Harris, has emphasised supporting farmers and preserving “law and order”. Perhaps he has a better grasp of the situation. But the present unrest is a product of longstanding issues, with rampant inequality, an acute housing crisis and rapid increases in immigration levels all playing their part. The conditions which created the Irish diaspora identity abroad are coming home.

The Irish in America developed this identity through the imperative of protecting their status — against challenges from above by Protestant, Anglo-Saxon Americans, and from below by black people (and then, more recently, by Latino immigrants). For the Irish in Ireland, their historic national identity developed primarily in opposition to Britishness, while in contemporary Ireland this has been considerably defined through opposition to the Catholic Church. One of the main reasons for the health of organised religion in the United States (until the last decade or so anyway), was the lack of an official state Church: with no suppression of dissenting faiths, and with free and healthy competition, American Christians of all stripes maintained religious enthusiasm long after it waned elsewhere. In contrast, while the Republic of Ireland never had an official state religion, its constitution and laws were intimately linked with Catholicism. And given the many wrongdoings of the Church — from the Magdalene laundries and sexual abuse to plain old-fashioned corruption — there was a ready-made enemy for people to fight against.

“Today, cosmopolitan Ireland itself has ceased to be ‘green’”

Today, a nationalist sentiment that was once anti-British has a new focus of antagonism now that Ireland has become, for the first time in its history, a net importer of people. Meanwhile, the conformism and repression than was once enforced by the Catholic Church has been replaced by a new type of conformism enforced by politicians, journalists, academia and NGOs. Ignatiev explained the divergence on slavery between the Irish in Ireland and the Irish in American by arguing that “in becoming white, the Irish ceased to be green”. Today, cosmopolitan Ireland itself has ceased to be “green” — in the stereotypical sense of smoky pubs, pints of Guiness and pederast priests. Instead, its urban centres have embraced the global digital monoculture, which can now be found in Tipperary as much as Toronto and Tel Aviv. The experience of the Irish overseas — economic competition and status anxiety, generating a defensive, oppositional politics — now applies to the Irish in Ireland.

There is not only heightened competition for housing and state services, but also for social prestige. Until recently, Irish culture had common enemies, but now working-class and non-graduate Irish people find they are facing a reduction in their cultural and social status. When the enemy were landlords and the British, it was easy enough to create a shared identity in opposition to those forces. Then, after the great estates were broken up and the British left, that vanished. Ireland’s subsequent transition from one of the most conservative countries in Europe to one of the most liberal could be shaped by collective opposition to the Catholic Church — but now too that opposition is gone, its enemy vanquished.

If the conditions that have traditionally faced the Irish in America are replicated in Ireland itself, then the politics of the Irish diaspora might be a good guide as to what happens next. The split between traditional Republicans and the Trump MAGA movement might be replicated by a split within one of the main Irish parties — and not necessarily one of the traditional Right. The ascent of Sinn FĂ©in, for example, may be halted due to tensions between the social conservatism of much of their voters and their activist vanguard’s liberal internationalism. It is unlikely that the former sentiments will continue to be unrepresented in the DĂĄil: either new leadership in one of the established parties will follow the voters and shift to the Right on culture, or potentially a new party will emerge, helped by the proportional system used for Irish parliamentary elections. Either way, the next few years will be tumultuous. The global populist insurgency that has changed politics in so many of Ireland’s neighbours has finally arrived.


David Swift is a historian and author. His next book, Scouse Republic, will be published in 2025.

davidswift87

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Kieran P
Kieran P
1 month ago

Just like to point out that Simon Harris won’t be the Prime Minister for another 10 days or so.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
1 month ago
Reply to  Kieran P

I’d like to point out that Simon Harris is like Matt Hancock, but without the brains.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 month ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Dropped out of a not very demanding college course to become a county councillor at 22, a member of parliament at 24, health minister at 29 and Taoiseach by acclamation at 37, failing upwards all the way. No professional experience at all outside the dysfunctional Irish public sector. As thick and as Woke as tofu, he makes Humza Yousaf look like Charles de Gaulle. It’s like being stuck on a plane with a suicide cult in the cockpit, the plane can only fly itself so long.

Matt M
Matt M
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

As thick and as Woke as tofu

Love it!

Geraldine Kelley
Geraldine Kelley
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

That applies to everyone of our MLAs here in N. Ireland!

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Saint Ursula de Bruxelles has a similarly chaotic and totally crap CV but look at her now.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

At least Mr Wolf ate her pony “Dolly”.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Ursula has some qualifications – she’s a medical doctor who can speak French and English (not that I would want to be a patient of hers; or Leo Varadkar’s for that matter). Simon Harris has nothing. As the editor of Gript.ie, John McGuirk, is fond of saying, if he sent his CV into his local Tesco at the time he was made Minister of Health, he would get a rejection slip back.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

If you’re relying on John McGuirk for intelligent comment you’re in trouble I’m afraid.. isn’t he a schtumfuher or something in the Intl. NazÂĄ League?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago

She certainly looks the perfect Waffen-SS Mutterkuh.

Kieran P
Kieran P
1 month ago

Her Wikipedia listing is interesting. One can almost hear ‘jackboots’ echoing through history.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Please don’t ever associate any Irish person with that genocidal creature in Brussels!

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I think wiser heads in the Fine Gael party know that they are going to take a hit in the next General Election and were ready to leave Slippery Simon holding the baby. But there is a strong possibility he’s going to take the whole ship with him when it sinks.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

We’ll have a party at the demise of that party!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I’m not a fan, infact I’m totally opposed to him.. but I’d say your comment is a tad OTT!

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I’ve been watching Simon Harris for some time; since his election to the DĂĄil in 2011 (I know a number of his relatives). I would say Stephen Walsh, if anything, is understated. We are talking about someone who has neither conviction nor principle nor, as far as I can see, ability. He’s a man Irish politics never needed.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Those qualifications sound perfect for the job! Look at Sunak, Macron, Shultz et al! ..and senile Biden and crazy Trump!

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Not remotely. I am terrified. This is an office previously held by Eamon de Valera, Sean Lemass and Garret FitzGerald. No previous holder had as little attainment, or anything close, before getting the role. This is unprecedented.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Charlie Haughey? Bertie Aherne? John Bruton? ..Eaton Devalera laid the groundwork for the RCC to keep the country really terrified, backward, anti Woman, anti Gay, anti learning …gimme a break! Academic achievement is no indicator of leadership, decency or progress! I cannot see SH being worse than average.. In any case it’ll be Marylou won’t it, very soon? How much damage can SH do in the meantime?

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Eamonn de Valera set up the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and brought Erwin Schrodinger and Jan Lukasiewicz to Dublin. He might have been a lot of things but he was not anti-learning.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Sounds like he maybe a descendant of one of our ‘squaddies’ we left behind after one obscure fracas or another.

Kieran P
Kieran P
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Based on that career trajectory dropping out of college was a very logical thing to do.
And ‘the c**k in a sock’ is followed by the ‘TikTok Taoiseach’.

David Jory
David Jory
1 month ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

He that thought Covid 19 meant there were 18 previous corona viruses!

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
1 month ago
Reply to  David Jory

Who’s to say there weren’t? That was a busy lab in Wuhan that was partially and secretly financed by the Obama-Biden administration.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

You think Matt Hancock has brains??

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Does it matter? The point relates to Simon Harris

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

I’m happy to accept neither has a useful brain if that settles the matter.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
1 month ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Or for forking down the cooked anuses of exotic animals.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago

I’d be interested to hear the opinions of those who always held Ireland up as an example to bash those who voted to leave the EU in Britain.
The Irish were supposedly everything those backward, bigoted knuckle dragging Brexiteers weren’t.
They were portrayed as enlightened, tolerant and outward looking, yet here they are violently protesting against immigrants and voting to keep the more conservative wording in their constitution. If the Brits had acted in this way the condemnation would have been deafening

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I used to go to Dublin a lot in the past and watched amazed at the breakneck transformation.

40 years ago it was totally white Irish and like a different planet to London where I was brought up. You couldn’t turn on the radio for 5 minutes without hearing the wheedling tones of some old priest putting the world to rights. They were even singing merry IRA songs in the pub on New Year’s Eve. Happy Days.

Of course they were on the surface basically friendly and good-natured or imagined themselves to be …until the first immigrants turned up ( to this nation whose own population had travelled all over the world – largely on the coattails of the ‘perfidious’ British Empire). And within weeks, they were out on the pavement jeering at Blacks and calling them ‘fecking monkeys ‘.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

A tiny, minoscule minority are rioting: a small minority are protesting peacefully: the majority believe we have too many immigrants but do nothing about it.. If the UK had as many newly arrived immigrants per head of population as Ireland has it would number one and a half million NEWLY arrived immigrants.. Be fair

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The point I was making was that every national group has a picture of itself that is equal parts truth, amnesia and wishful thinking.

For years the Irish were seen, due to their perennial victim status, as friendlier, easy-going and less unpleasant than the children of ‘perfidious Albion’ .

Irish people were vaguely deemed to be ‘nice’ unlike many shocking European ‘ex-colonialist ‘ cultures. The SNP and Plaid Cymru have built a whole political grift on similar grounds.

Basically, they got an endless free ride while their supposed credentials were never actually put to the test. But now as a ‘tiger economy ‘ and punching above their weight in the modern world the veil has been removed and surprise, surprise – they’re no better than anybody else.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

This is true.. but I wish you hadn’t let the cat out of the bag! We do well as victims, not too bright and generally harmless leprechauns.. let’s keep it that way shall we.. if only to keep Charlie Stanhope happy. Lol.

David Ryan
David Ryan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

“an endless free ride”?… it doesn’t feel like it pal. We didn’t get it abroad and we don’t get it from our governments, certainly not the pack of narcissists that are currently at the wheel

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It’s always a ‘tiny monority’whatever the issue is – until it’s not

Margie Murphy
Margie Murphy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Liar!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

A tiny, minoscule minority are rioting: a small minority are protesting peacefully: the majority believe we have too many immigrants but do nothing about it.. If the UK had as many newly arrived immigrants per head of population as Ireland has it would number one and a half million NEWLY arrived immigrants.. Be fair!

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Britain received 1.4 million in 2022. Haven’t yet seen the figures for 2023 but I doubt if they are much smaller.

Kieran P
Kieran P
1 month ago

I doubt they are all on social welfare and getting their accommodation costs covered (even if it is just buying a tent) unlike our 100k plus Ukrainians and 30k plus IPA’s.

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The constitutional vote is not as simple as saying the conservative wording was kept. There is nothing inherently wrong with the current wording, and the proposed alternative wording was mystifying – it was hard to see what was being fixed (except that the proposed wording was blatantly neoliberal), or what the practical effect of the proposed wording would be.
I’d say the rejection of the proposed wordings was a statement by the voters that they distrusted the government’s motives in bringing the changes, and were not willing to take a path into the unknown just for the sake of virtue signalling.
Varadkar duly got the message.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I didn’t know (most?) Brexiteers were knuckle dragging bigots.. but I suppose it makes sense?

Christopher Elletson
Christopher Elletson
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Why the question marks? Where are the questions?

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
1 month ago

“ Given the intense opposition to anything associated with Britain, many Irish were opposed to abolition on those grounds alone. ”

Possibly the most damning comment I’ve read about the Irish psyche.

Edit: on reflection that should be – the psyche of the Irish elite!

Matt M
Matt M
1 month ago
Reply to  Neiltoo .

What about?

‘Oh here’s to Adolph Hitler,

Who made the Britons squeal,

Sure before the fight is ended

They will dance an Irish reel.’

(War News – the IRA’s official publication, 21 November 1940 – less than a month after the end of the Battle of Britain: 23k civilians dead, 32k wounded.)

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

I prefer: –

“Armoured cars, tanks and guns,
come to take away our sons”.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Still sirrin’ up there Charlie I see! Yer a devil for it! ..a devil entirely!

Eamonn Toland
Eamonn Toland
1 month ago

As anti-internment ditties go it’s quite catchy.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Eamonn Toland

Wolfe Tones I believe, and still going strong.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

Those numbers are almost as bad as the civilian deaths in Gaza! And yet GB is happy to send bombs to kill the innocents there! So let’s have a little balance shall we…
Remember too the Irish famine was less than 100 years old in 1940.. it’s not nice to hate but when a million of your relatives were starved to death and a million and a half ethically cleansed it’s hard to forgive and forget such atrocities.. and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to forget the wanton genocide in Gaza aided and abetted by Britain because it is still going on for pity sake! So look in the mirror and see who’s innocent and who’s guilty!!

Matt M
Matt M
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Why are you Irish elites so interested in Palestine? I can’t believe the average man on the streets of Roscommon cares about the perennial conflict in the middle east. I can understand Muslims being sensitive about it but it seems to pre-occupy Ireland’s upper classes.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

The “Irish elite” have no intellectual background worth talking about and thus ape everything from England.
Recently it has become rather ‘smart’ to replicate the feebleness of Quislington.*

(For US readers:- A salubrious area of North London infamous for its WOKERY.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago

The Irish Times recycles the New York Times and the Manchester Guardian for local consumption. Maybe even Le Monde too with the help of Google translate.

Paul Johnston
Paul Johnston
1 month ago

You sweet old fashioned old thing. I haven’t seen it called the Manchester Guardian on 60 years!

Charles Farrar
Charles Farrar
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

Well the average Irishman is often interested in situations that a perceived oppressor reigns ruin on an entire nation who are not involved for the most part in terrorism
The Elite are usually more even handed if not downright cynical regarding what is arguably genocide in Gaza

David Brown
David Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles Farrar

surely it’s the complete opposite?

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

The attitude to the Middle East in Ireland is largely defined by the experience of Irish troops in south Lebanon since the late 1970s.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago

Didn’t the IDF rather ‘rough them up’ as the saying goes?

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago

Whatever else may be said about the Irish Army (and by extension Naval Service and Air Corps, who also go on UN missions), they are a disciplined and highly trained force. The IDF, on the other hand, are principally conscripts and reservists, and not crack troops (though their officers are good). There was initially a lot of confrontation between the two, but that has died down – the usual complaint that Irish soldiers have is about Israeli and Syrian proxy forces. But what I suspect is that they also pick a lot of information up from their Arab hosts which would not be favourable towards Israel.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

It’s necessary if they are to hold up their heads in Brussels and Davos.

David Brown
David Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

Irish elite is just as ‘progressive liberal/ left’ as UK elite, but obviously much smaller numerically, You’re right about the average man in Roscommon, or anywhere else come to that

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

I think they need to do more than just talk; Ireland should admit 2 million Gazan refugees without further delay.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“ a million and a half ethnicity cleansed”

Really? What are you banging on about Liam you incorrigible old rebel?

David Brown
David Brown
1 month ago

he said ethically cleansed – thought he was advocating for GB

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Why don’t you actually go there and do something about the situation in Gaza then, instead of just trying to point the finger.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You have no idea how many civilian deaths there have been in Gaza.

Margie Murphy
Margie Murphy
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Cant compare Gaza with the irish famine.The.so.called genocide could end tomorrow if Hamas released the hostages and came to the table. Hamas love this state of play. It has all the know nothing virtue signallers swivel eyed with righteous fury. So many of them. The.irish victims of the famine had no “out”. No vicious terrorists l in charge who had the power to change the state of play. At any tiime.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

At least the Luftwaffe did manage to bomb Dublin on at least one occasion.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago

And by sheer coincidence hit a Jewish district.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago

Thank you so much, that was something I really didn’t know.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

I think it was a joke Charlie?

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

No joke. See comment below.

Oliver Williamson
Oliver Williamson
1 month ago

You are correct, Peadar. In fact, the Luftwaffe damaged a Jewish Synagogue in Donore, on January 3, 1941. I just happened to read about that last night in the third book of “The Last Lion” trilogy.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 month ago

It was Donore Terrace off the South Circular Road. The bomb damaged the Donore Presbyterian church as well as the Synagogue. I know a lady whose first childhood memory is of the church with a big hole in its roof.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
1 month ago

It must have been a navigational error. In any event, It did not stop De Valera from paying a sympathy call on the German embassy when Hitler shot his brains out.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

My uncle by marriage, Conn Cremin was our ambassador in Berlin.. he conveyed the sympathy of the Irish people as was proper for neutral countries.. but note 3 things..
1. We were obliged by intl. law to intern both German and Allied servicemen captured in Ireland (airmen and seamen of course, no ground troops).. we illegally sent Allied internees home but not Germans.
2. Churchill begged Ireland to stay neutral.. if we sided with the Allies (we did, secretly) we couldn’t beat off a German invasion and that would’ve meant the UK being attacked from the West as well.. fatal for the UK.
So… we walked a tightrope. Sorry about Lord Hawhaw, a nutjob from Galway.. Wm Joyce.
3. We had huge numbers of Irish who fought on the Allied side in British uniforms not to mention Irish Britons, Irish Americans, Irish Canadians etc.
The truth is not simple as you’ll learn when you get to be as old as I am!

Paul Johnston
Paul Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Agreed on your point 3. I knew some of them myself who stayed in England after the War. I also remember the King, as Prince of Wales, going to Ireland to open a,memorial to the Irish dead around about 2009. It had taken all that time to get approval to build it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

For once Liam old chap you are correct.

After all it was an Irish weather station that provided the vital forecast for D-Day. Also RAF bombers unfortunate enough to crash in Eire we routinely returned (in pieces) to the North*.

I’m not so sure about a German military invasion of Eire, in fact a military impossibility, as was the case with England.

Unfortunately none of this fitted Churchill’s end of war narrative.

(*For example the Halifax Bomber that crashed outside Tuam, Co Galway in December 1943.)

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Also, the Donegal Corridor which permitted flying boats to take off from Lough Erne in County Fermanagh and take the shortest route to the Atlantic for anti-submarine warfare. Access to the corridor was a key factor in the Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. One observation from a flying boat that took off from Lough Erne even led to the sinking of the Bismarck.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago

They needed an MTB*to ‘rough up’ the Lough in order to get a Sunderland (flying boat ) airborne.

(*Motor Torpedo Boat.)

David Ryan
David Ryan
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I’m sure you know of Brendan “Paddy” Finucane, who joined the RAF and had a shamrock painted on his Spitfire. Finucane shot down around 32 enemy planes before he himself was downed (and killed) near Pointe de Touquet, France in 1942.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Diplomatic protocol apparently, and exactly as nearly every other neutral nation did.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

Diplomatic protocol would have been well worth departing from in that instance. Failure to do so remains a stain on Irish history.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

And Campile Co Wexford.. my friends in Campile will be upset if you forget them!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Neiltoo .

If it were true.. it isn’t. Just because some nutjobs tried to invoke it for their own selfish reasons doesn’t make it generally applicable, now does it?
Also, it is not untypical for SOME abused people to turn on similarly abused people especially when manipulated to do so..
No Black’s, No dogs, No Irish tended to set stupid, ignorant Irish people against their co victims.. ‘probably attacked the poor dogs as well! Like all nationalities we have our scumbags – it’d be amazing if we didn’t, wouldn’t it? And we also have those who set one group of downtrodden victims against another.. You British are past masters at Divide and Rule, after all aren’t you?
So please, don’t slander an entire nation by focusing on the one or two percent!

Eamonn Toland
Eamonn Toland
1 month ago
Reply to  Neiltoo .

If it were true. I missed the citation on that point.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

This is a reasonably good article. It should be noted that Ireland has absorbed huge numbers of immigrants for over twenty years and there has been no issue. The problem now is that the government is taking over local hotels and incentivising building specific refugee accomodation while the average worker cannot buy a house by him/herself. A lot of new housing supply is also being bought by government agencies for council housing and do calked “affordable rent ( although not really that low at about 1200 euro per month). Basically government intervention in housing is off the charts. And this is under the right of center party !!. Literally every media and political party just wants more social housing. There is zero discussion about allowing the market to figurr it out.
This politicisation of housing supply will politicise people massively and drive a wedge between various groups.
One last point to illustrate the futility of things in Ireland. One of our our few “populist”politicians , the Healy Raes are also taking government contracts to house refugees in guest house accomodation.

All in all, the average worker whether Irish or immigrant is just being taken as an idiot

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

As an exercise in consciousness-raising if nothing else, Ireland should move quickly to admit up to 2 million Gazan refugees and fast-track them to citizenship.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 month ago

If there was ever an example of “cutting off your nose to spite your face”, it is the Irish becoming an EU colony just to p**s off the British.
Ireland (like many other EU regions) will almost certainly drift to the right in order to fight the policies of their new colonial masters.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

So you think our Right-wing politicians are anti EU and our Leftwing politicians are pro EU do you? ..back to school for you I think!

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

A spurious assumption on your part. Differing levels of support for elitist EU immigration policy is the motivator.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Methinks you squirm too much!

Liam F
Liam F
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Hmm, I disagree. To my mind it makes total sense for Ireland (or any other small country) to wish to stay in the EU. There are few downsides for them.
PROS: somebody else gives you money while also making out like bandits as an on-shore tax haven while your identity remains untouched. CONS: Maybe some big geo-political issues, that frankly never register on the radar of small countries. eg Who cares about Irelands foreign/trade policy or views on Ukraine, Palestine, China et al? Or for than matter Denmark, Latvia, Czechia, Belgium, Slovenia, Portugal or the 20 or so small countries? I don’t mean this in a patronising way, but small countries never had global companies or commercial interests to begin with. So their world view is different. To them the EU is all gravy. And I’m a Brexiteer.

Kieran P
Kieran P
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

To be fair the UK pretty much left Ireland no option but to join the EEC with it way back in 1973 (ish). The UK then having ‘buyers remorse’ after 50 years and leaving was (and is) pretty much a disaster for Ireland.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 month ago

The Elite can drag the Overton Window, acceptable political discourse, in the progressive direction for a long time. But, a little known fact, the metaphorical Overton Window is made of elastic and will snap back if the progressive tension slips.
Arguably the global progressive stretch is becoming harder and harder to achieve any ‘progress’, to the point where it is becoming self-defeating. It would be great if the ‘populist’ snap back was gradual, but I fear it will be swift and overshoot.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago
Reply to  AC Harper

When a pendulum reverses course, it does not move slowly. Nor does it immediately stop at the center point.

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
1 month ago

Indeed, the end of the new hegemony in Ireland looms.
It was always somewhat artificial when the ‘progressive’ Irish in America offered themselves as ‘White. Not Quite’.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

Even if it’s a bit snti Irish I cannot say I totally disagree..

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

Very informative article, but no mention of the seismic effects of the trouncing of the Irish governing classes in the two recent referendums. Surely this is a cultural signal that is highly relevant to the subject?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 month ago

A fascinating piece, with much I didn’t know about the Irish in America.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago

There is one piece he has left out in this, that’s the Irish caucus in the Democratic Party which I would regard as a very significant factor in Irish history since the foundation of the state (and at the same time, a very significant player in regard to Northern Ireland). I am fond of pointing out that we can talk about which Irish party is affiliated to what group in Strasbourg, but what’s more telling is who they are affiliated to on Capitol Hill and it’s the same answer in every case, despite the fact that there is a drift among Irish Americans to MAGA style Republicans. Now, if you look at the Culture Wars referenda in Ireland – Same Sex Marriage in 2015 and Abortion in 2018, also children’s rights in 2012, Blasphemy in 2018 and extending divorce in 2019 – a lot this was the fighting of US cultural battles on Irish soil. So were the two just defeated so roundly in last few weeks. In addition to the Irish US Democrats, there’s the cartel of big Tech and big Pharma firms in Ireland which is a double pin on the state’s autonomy: they are there at a price on social policy on one hand and on the other, under the assumption that they give access to the EU. I have said in these pages, I believe Ireland is less European now than it ever has been in it’s history. We are much less a colony of the EU than an effort to construct a model blue state outside the union, but that’s breaking down now.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Surprise, surprise.. the Irish have both left and right-wing people; who knew? And even lean more to conservatism! OMG who knew? Hello! Ireland has ALWAYS been conservative! Here’s how you can tell: since it’s inception Ireland has NEVER had a left-wing government! ..the only reason the Left (Sinn FĂ©in et al) is in the ascendancy is that the Right is bitterly divided (admitted less so than of old) since our civil war.
Fianna Fail claims to be Centrist (actually it’s all things to all men) but is, in reality conservative and (slightly) Right leaning.. Fine Gael is very Right with dubious, albeit historical, fascist leanings; and between themand Right-wing independents they command well over 55% of the vote!
Final point: The fact that 80% ofpeople believe we have too many immigrants does NOT make them rioters or racist – the thugs you propose as representative of Irish sentiment are a tiny proportion of the Irish population and represent no one but themselves.. Every country has them.
To say that thuggery is growing may be true, due to inequalities and government economic failure (true) but it’s growing from perhaps 1% to 2%..
UnHerd needs a bit more balance and going back to the 1840s is hardly valid to make a point in 2024 now is it! Surely you can do better?

Ciaran Rooney
Ciaran Rooney
1 month ago

A gloating Englishman’s back-of-an-envelope view of Irish history and the ensuing Brexiteer comments.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Ciaran Rooney

Perhaps he is a descendant of that great Irishman Jonathan Swift Esq?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Here’s a few more “Irish” for ye to play with Charlie.. the hint is in the ainm Gaeilge!
Oliver Goldsmith, Theobald Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy McCracken, Eamon DeValera, Countess Markiavich, Sir Roger Casement, Lord Edward Fitzgerald.. All Irish by CHOICE Charlie – but we’re not ‘avin’ you though.. y”auld cynic! ..we’re ‘avin’ Paul Kingsnorth though!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You forgot one of the best, Erskine Childers Esq.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 month ago

Shocking. Some of the Irish don’t look forward to becoming strangers in their own country.

Eric Mader
Eric Mader
1 month ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

Support for sane immigration laws, well that’s basically the same thing as 19th c. support for slavery. Didn’t you know?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

You obviously have no clue about our ability to assimilate immigrants! Most of our freedom fighters throughout history were former Norman’s and former English..
Once we get ’em into the Irish pubs we get ’em hooked. They become Paddies.. check out Spike Milligan’s sketch Irish Paki.. my good friend takes a sneaky pint even though he’s Muslim!
We have thousands of Irish pubs all over the world.. it’s our sneaky plan to take over.. forget the CCP.. they’re amateurs!

Victor James
Victor James
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

They become Paddies
What percentage? You are so deluded you think Ireland will be different from Sweden, or every other Western country that has imported the third world?

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Africans aren’t Irish. Rather obvious
Nor are Indo Aryan Punjabis and Gujaratis

Not hard. Common sense. All welcome as tourists and visiting scholars.

Margie Murphy
Margie Murphy
1 month ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

Yeqh…weird.

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
1 month ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

The Euro philes stabbed the hard earned Celtic independence in back.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

I chuckled at this article, clearly an attempt to justify a pre-held view, that view being that Ireland is reverting to type and that the peaceful social revolution of the past generation will disappear for the chimera it is. So, the net is cast wide to show how the Irish diaspora, especially in America, was pernicious in securing its foothold, especially on race and slavery. When in fact it was the most impoverished and despised immigrant group. No mention of its transformation of the Democratic Party in the cities of the industrial north-east to take but one example. How exactly does the Kennedy dynasty, with JFK’s magnificent television broadcast of August 1963 on civil rights, fit into this risibly one-sided view?

Or how does the writer explain that in the recent EU-wide barometer of public opinion on immigration (source, ESRI), fully 73% of Irish respondents expressed a positive view of immigration into Ireland, putting it fourth in terms of positivity behind Sweden, Luxembourg and Denmark. This when the country already has among the highest cohorts of immigrants in Western Europe – of the country’s population of 5.3 million, some 20% comprise foreign-born migrants while 12% of citizens are similar.

The writer has allowed himself to become besotted with the protests at the accommodation of refugees who, as elsewhere, comprise less than 10% of the country’s annual immigrant intake. The Government’s inept handling of this issue is what irks locals, and at last the penny has dropped in that regard as a new accommodation strategy is unveiled today.

The recent referendums were on inconsequential issues and allowed voters to signal loudly to the Government it needs to pause on the social reform agenda. The big battles have been won, there will be no going back but it’s time for the country to take stock after a generation of tumultuous soceo-economic change. And as for the “elites” being out of touch, the Government will almost certainly be returned to power in the upcoming general election, due early next year at the latest.

The writer fails to grasp that the Irish public knows that its FDI model, on which its prosperity rests, relies on continued EU membership and high flows of inward and outward migration, many Irish being parts of both those flows. There will be no change of course, but there may be a pause for breath. Sorry to disappoint the writer.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Hello, conventional educated Irish middle class person who is doing ok. I think you have no idea what is coming down the track for you.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

I may be those things but I am also informed. The historic safety valve of emigration is still at work, only now it has a new twist of complementary inward migration. Ireland sits mid-range in the Western European league table in terms of quality-of-life indices across the population. It has, more by luck than design because of being late to the game, avoided immigrant ghettos. Prosperity is relatively evenly spread. The problems it faces are ones largely of success, something the country historically is not used to, and accentuated by a rapidly growing population. Yes, there are big issues around housing and left-behind cohorts, but these are no longer confined to Ireland as many who emigrate are discovering. All these factors will be weighing on the minds of voters who will give the Government a drubbing in second-order elections but will in the key general election return same – no mean feat in a propetional voting system which facilitates broad consensus governance.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Huh? Now you got me scared! ..not more 9′ dim blue shirts is it?

William Amos
William Amos
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Thank you for this, an interesting corrective and counterpoint, although I must say it immediately called to mind the complacent tone of the opening stanza of Yeats poem 1916 –
“I have met them at close of day   
Coming with vivid faces… Etc”
The transnational Babel may have all the hideous strength but Ireland may yet possess a remnant of that terrible beauty which time and again has so shocked and electrified the world.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  William Amos

Thank you for that poetic response and I am aware that what I have to say smacks of that unbearable kind of middle-class complacency which Yeats captured well at the start of his iconic poem. There is little I can do to counter that and remain true to my own personal perspective on what I see around me here in Ireland.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  William Amos

Shur ye don’t know de half of it!

Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Liam, were you drinking last night?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

 Recent polling suggests that three-quarters of Irish people think the country is taking too many refugees, a statistic that rises to 80% among Sinn FĂ©in supporters
The difference between 75% and 80% is supposed to mean something about the right? By vast majorities, people think the mass importation of people has gone too far. Period. Full stop.
It’s not crazy thinking. If anything, it’s becoming mainstream across much of the West, which is watching itself be, dare I say, colonized. There is huge leap between that and changing sentiment among the locals over abortion or gay marriage.

Mister Smith
Mister Smith
1 month ago

Regardless of today’s arguments, demographics may eventually prevail. In 50-60 years, the Emerald Isle will be a majority Muslim / African territory, including intermarriage with the local population. Whatever culture and quaint “Irish” tradition the current population values, alas, will be far in the past.

William Amos
William Amos
1 month ago
Reply to  Mister Smith

Demography as a Sibyl can be rather Delphic in its utterances.
Social scientists made the same predictions of Irish Catholics in Britain in the late 19th Century. And Catholicism is a markedly more culturally pro-natal creed than Islam. If you had told my grandparents that the London Irish would be having 1.2 children per family in my day they would have called you mad.
Bear in mind It took almost 200 years of focused, state supported, ‘family planning’ efforts for the British birthrate to fall below ‘replacement’ levels. The Muslim fertility rate has effectively collapsed, across the world, after only a generation of contact with western ideas.
The 22 Muslim-majority countries and territories were estimated to have undergone fertility declines of 50 percent or more in the last three decades — ten of them by 60 percent or more. For both Iran and the Maldives, the declines in total fertility rates over those 30 years were estimated to exceed 70 percent

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  William Amos

See? There you go! More inconvenient truths! ..can’t you get with the program? Try a little bigotry, racism and xenophobia.. you’ll blend in better to this platform.. and don’t forget the Empire and all that stuff.. you’ll be very popular!

Victor James
Victor James
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You sound like a bigot.

Chipoko
Chipoko
1 month ago
Reply to  Victor James

Quite so!

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 month ago
Reply to  William Amos

That is true of some countries, but not of Pakistan, whose fertility rate far exceeds that of Bangladesh, for example, despite their superficially similar histories.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  William Amos

Most interesting, so ‘we’ won’t need to use Zyclon B after all? How very refreshing.

Kieran P
Kieran P
1 month ago

Zyclon ? I always thought it was spelled with a K.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Kieran P

You are correct Sir!
My slovenly mistake
..mea culpa!
Thank you.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  William Amos

Even if the fertility rate of UK based Muslims dropped immediately to 2.1 it would be too high. They are already subverting our culture and replacing it with their much less desirable one.

All illegal immigrants, most legal ones, and new citizens who commit crime need to be returned to their country of origin.

At the same time the native British need to give themselves a kick up the bum and renounce socialism.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Mister Smith

You misunderstand.. we assimilate all of our immigrants.. what do think Irish pubs are for? Ever hear of Edward Fitzgerald? (Norman) or Theobald Wolfe Tone (‘sound Irish to you?); Sir Roger Casement? DeValera (Spanish-American) – we suckers ’em in and din we concerts ’em, see? We have many proud Black citizens who are FULLY Irish.. maybe you need to be non bigot and non racist to get it??

Victor James
Victor James
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What an idiot you are. Your country is being colonised.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Wasn’t Ireland deemed to be one of the worst EU countries to be black? The UK was the second best country to be black I believe

Will Longfield
Will Longfield
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Your comment reminds me of someone who gets beaten up and then (to cover his embarrassment at not fighting back) says “Actually, I enjoy being beaten up”.
It’s a complete disaster for your country, you are just too cowardly to admit it.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

the idea of keffiya-wearing Hamas supporters raising a pint of Guinness while singing it’s a Dirty Old Town warms my heart.

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
1 month ago

The main objection to immigration is that all services are already overstretched – not only housing, but GPs, hospitals, schools, public transport (such as it is, outside Dublin), and so on. Irish taxpayers can be forgiven for being upset at seeing immigrants come in and be escorted to the front of the queue while being lavished with goodies, as is happening.
The government is sitting on billions of windfall euros from the tech firms and Brexit refugees based around Dublin, but is refusing to spend any of it on fixing the infrastructure. The jobs are in Dublin, but housing in Dublin is plain unaffordable, if it is available at all.
At the same time, businesses in the provinces are suffering, hit first by Ireland’s “Covid” nonsense, and now by spiralling costs of electricity and insurance, prompting government hand-wringing but no action.
There is evidence that much of the violence that is surfacing is driven by Ireland’s gangs, against whom the Irish police have been trying to crack down and which may be exploiting opportunities to cause mayhem. To raise the spectre of “far right”, whatever that means, is counterproductive. Right now, all that does is tell people that it is “far right” to expect the government to spend the citizens’ taxes wisely, and to invest gushing corporate tax revenue in infrastructure and social programmes rather than “free-market” regulatory boondoggles.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Don’t you know you silly person.. your services are RUN by the people you think are overstretching them!

Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

No they’re not, they’re run by white women with clipboards.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
1 month ago

The cosmopolitans of the left are going to suffer one loss after another once populism — a dirty word in the news media but not elsewhere — fully gains its feet in Ireland. The end of craven toadying to Brussels will be seen as a blessing.

Matt M
Matt M
1 month ago

What the hell is going on with this commenting system? Mine keep disappearing. Not a great loss to others, I’m sure, but I find it annoying.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

Same here!

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
1 month ago

“Given the intense opposition to anything associated with Britain, many Irish were opposed to abolition on those grounds alone.” The author must be popular with his students at UK universities. A reminder though: over 200,000 men born in Ireland served in the British army in the first world war. Plus of course the British of Irish descent who served in the war. Eighty thousand joined in the second world war, plus British of Irish descent.
The nationalists won their independence. They did so with US support. But their history of Ireland is warped, as is this author’s.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 month ago

I believe that sometime in the future the global populist movement will be widely regarded as a logical consequence of increasing globalism. Humans are tribal creatures. They have a need to separate into different groups and compete against one another. Witness the competitiveness and rivalry between supporters of rival sports teams, even in the same city. In Chicago, one is either a Cubs or a White Sox fan. Never both. It doesn’t rise to the level of violence but people make assumptions about it. Cubs are on the north side and the Sox are on the south, and the fandoms have long been associated with the rivalries between north and south Chicago, which themselves are based on race and class.
Nation states have only existed for the past couple of centuries. Before that tribalism was still based on family, descent, race, religion, etc. Napoleonic France though through uniform laws and customs, a uniform currency, a national language, and the skillful use of propaganda, successfully channeled tribalism into a new outlet, nationalism. It worked so well he nearly conquered all of Europe. Everyone else embraced the concepts quite quickly afterwards. Nearly every war since was a result of nationalistic conflicts over groups who didn’t have a nation of their own or ended up on the wrong side of a border. This culminated with the World Wars that conclusively resolved the issues through extreme violence.
Unfortunately those same World Wars propelled the USA into a dominant position, and globalist philosophy based on American ideas about the success of multiculturalism doesn’t make any allowance for tribalism, and absent any channeled, organized, outlet for tribalism, people will make their own. This is normal for the US, and always has been. The current level of regional political division and harsh conflict have prevailed for most of the nation’s history. The half century following the civil rights movement is the outlier. Levels of violent crime and incarceration rates dwarf that of every other nation in the world, not just western Europe. Nobody, not even China, Russia, North Korea, or any of the fundamentalist regimes in the Middle East, comes remotely close. America has always been an economic and military juggernaut with a barely functional political system, a barely identifiable national culture, and a barely civil population. The only relatively peaceful areas are the smaller, mostly homogeneous small towns outside the major cities. Even the smaller towns cease to be peaceful when they cease to be mostly homogeneous.
So what do we see happening now in Europe since they’ve adopted these uniquely American views? Increasing levels of crime and violence, civil strife, rioting, protests, and other symptoms of political dysfunction, hallmarks of the American system. This should not be something anybody in Europe should want to emulate. It’s incredibly depressing that after solving most of its own ethnic/racial issues through a century of conflict and a couple of world wars, the ruling class is just importing people and recreating the same conflicts again because of either sentimental notions of the poor immigrants fleeing their troubled homelands, the unchecked greed of corporations and the very rich with their never ending quest for cheaper labor, or a combination of both. If you want someone to blame, blame America or blame the international ruling class they share in common with Europe.

Victor James
Victor James
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

The ruling/oppressor class hate the poor whites it seems.

Chipoko
Chipoko
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

“…crime and violence, civil strife, rioting, protests, and other symptoms of political dysfunction, hallmarks of the American system.”
So true!

Victor James
Victor James
1 month ago

What an incredibly racist article. Both anti-Irish and anti-white
the anti-Irish racism no doubt rooted in anti-white racism.

The quoting of the insane racist, Noel Ignatiev, proves it behind doubt.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago

Where is NIALL CUSAK when you really need him?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago

Staggering really, 800 years to throw out the dreaded ‘Saxons’ only to be overrun by ‘Sooty and Sweep’ in the blink of an eye.
The curse of the Irish one might say.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

Excellent comment.

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
1 month ago

King James unleashed four centuries of bitter conflict in Northern Ireland with his “Plantation” in the 1600’s, an immigration of lowland Scots forced upon the Irish without their consent. So how does a nation with such a stark historical familiarity with the downside of mass immigration of alien culture voluntarily throw open its borders to stunning numbers of people with no intention of becoming culturally “Irish”? If the Balkan States are any example, Ireland is in for even centuries more of bitter conflict.

Kieran P
Kieran P
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

Greater Serbia Forever!!!

Dick Barrett
Dick Barrett
1 month ago

Interestingly, during France’s Dreyfus affair the late 19th century, Irish Catholic opinion (in Ireland) had a significant anti-Dreyfusard streak, motivated in part by British sympathy for the Dreyfusard cause, which itself may have had an anti-French and anti-Catholic component. Popular divisions on public controversies can be many-layered things.

Kevin Kilcoyne
Kevin Kilcoyne
1 month ago

“Meanwhile, the conformism and repression than was once enforced by the Catholic Church has been replaced by a new type of conformism enforced by politicians, journalists, academia and NGOs.”
This is something that became apparent to me during our response to the pandemic. Strangely, gives me a sense hope for Ireland. We are a collectivist kind of a country – we run on consensus and a ‘what would the neighbors think’ assessment of issues. Because of this enforced liberalism, and the absence of any dissenting/conservative voices in media/politics, things were allowed to get to the point that we have collectively woken up and are rejecting the liberal orthodoxy. We went from not a peep about immigration/anti-immigration sentiment to it being the top issue for voters in the space of a year (which is saying a lot when we are in the midst of a debilitating housing crisis and have a healthcare system that is crumbling). That can’t be ignored by all the parties, and indeed the three main parties have already started tacking to the right (even the far-left Sinn Fein). I see a very interesting European & Local elections in May that will serve to drive this disconnect home to our political elite, who will then have a few months to start talking sense and listening to the voters ahead of the next General Election in Spring 2025. We can skip the divisive stage of extremist/xenophobic parties seen popping up across Europe if our political leaders wake up to the very obvious headwinds.

Victor James
Victor James
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin Kilcoyne

Please never call the fascistic far-left ‘liberal’.
Example, they always, always, seek to impose a vast ‘hate-speech’ tyranny whenever they gain power. The fascists currently ruling Ireland are desperately seeking to do just that.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  Victor James

Exactly! This chap summarises well: https://youtu.be/gm4ITjSRE8M?si=1Uepa1e8rI-u_Obc

Kevin Kilcoyne
Kevin Kilcoyne
1 month ago
Reply to  Victor James

Yes, you are correct. I meant the ‘modern liberal orthodoxy’, which is a mix between the worst parts of authoritarianism, globalism, and cultural fascism.

Robert Pruger
Robert Pruger
1 month ago

Good for Daniel O’Connell and the 60,000 who signed the anti-slavery petition. Less so for the Irish Americans who post Civil War mostly supported the northern Democratic Party which largely opposed the 13th amendment (abolishing slavery), unanimously opposed the 14th amendment (granting all American Blacks citizenship and equal protection under the law) and also unanimously opposed the 15th amendment (granting American Black males the right to vote).
The despicable treatment of Black Americans by the white southern Democrats post Civil War came with the full knowledge and significant political support of the northern Democrats. Eric Former (Columbia University professor of history) has noted that the KKK was the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party.
Good thing many Irish have switched political allegiance in recent times.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 month ago

As long as the Irish stupidly continue to abort Irish babies while importing hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have eight kids per woman, I don’t really care ….

Harry Child
Harry Child
1 month ago

Its a bit rich for the Irish to be upset about immigration, since they have for years exported their surplus population to other countries including America and England.

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 month ago

Really interesting article, thanks for this.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 month ago

“The Irish in America developed this identity through the imperative of protecting their status — against challenges from above by Protestant, Anglo-Saxon Americans, and from below by black people (and then, more recently, by Latino immigrants).”

Of course, the situation of Black Americans was that they were kidnapped & enslaved after being sold by their fellow Africans & treated over generations like breeding stock, exploited, beaten, whipped, even killed in some areas though usually south of the original 13 colonies. Illegal Latino immigrants–NOT legal–are not entitled to the same civil rights & benefits as American citizens, particularly those descended from slaves & survivors of Jim Crow, and in the long wrong violent femicidal cartel-run countries are worse off if the more law-abiding countries in their hemisphere fall to the worst of human criminal instincts too.

I don’t know any self-identified Irish Americans, though no doubt some are in my long Southern ancestry, who are actively threatened by legal Latino immigrants. In fact, their numbers swell the Catholic churches here. Those most vocal are Black Americans, as it should be, since public resources for economically distressed communities are being redistributed by the bicoastal funders’ cocktail party crowd to 15 million illegal immigrants managed by cartel gangs who rape most females & then indenture the ones who don’t end up in free hotels in NYC and Chicago.

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
1 month ago

The EU curse of mono digital culture paid for by cheap immigrant serfs is contrary to the native culture of every ethnicity with a rich cultural heritage. It’s not nationalism stupid. It’s tribalism.

Thank God it’s back. The traitors in every region will be extirpated.

Nell L
Nell L
1 month ago

Can’t comment about Ireland today, but anyone who knew Boston MA in the 1970s and 1980s like I did will remember the vicious racism of the city’s working-class Irish-Americans whose neighborhoods were no-go areas for Black Bostonians. It was inexplicable to me, youthful part-Irish idealist that I was, how so many of them could bewail their persecution by the English while being so bigoted themselves. And, to be fair, the Italian-Americans were not much better. Google “Boston desegregation flag photo” and see what crops up.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago

It’s such a travesty that for decades we were being told how unjust and unfair it was for landladies to put cards saying ‘No Irish’ in.their windows. That was the height of monstrous cruelty,prejudice and injustice. But it’s quite reasonable and.understandable,and OK for the Irish to riot,set fires,throw things,shout abuse and be violently threatening. One law for one and one law for another. The ones on horses will be ‘travellers’,dirty thieving tinkers,no one wants them around. If that happened in England – there’d be Civil.War.