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An insidious lie: the Irish were not a nation of slavers or colonialists

A curious new branch of Irish historical revisionism has emerged in the past number of years. It is centred on attempts to portray Ireland as a nation of colonialists and slave traders at a time in our history when we were an occupied colony and a dispossessed people. This is often a thinly-veiled attempt to reshape Ireland’s past as a means to shape Ireland’s present and future. 

The older revisionism, which was connected to the political project of discrediting the notion of Irish sovereignty in the context of Partition, is largely redundant now following the Good Friday Agreement. That was often crudely done, as in some mostly-forgotten academic attempts in the 1980s to create a fake history of a benign colonisation of Ireland. Events such as the Great Hunger were sometimes even attributed to the slack habits of the natives, or the influence of the Catholic Church. 

That was during the heyday of Poppyism when the “Great War”, long since deconstructed among much of world histography as having had little or nothing to do with ‘democracy’ and ‘small nations’’, became a surreal totem for the anti-national elements in polite Dublin bourgeois society. It had little or nothing to do with the proper remembrance of the many who died in that war. Rather, it was regarded as a means to remould the national consciousness. 

Or so they thought, because outside of RTÉ and the Irish Times, and the usual self-referential circles for which they function as inhouse journals, the majority of people never actually bought into it. Many Irish families had no problem at all in reconciling their own histories of grandfathers and others who had maybe even fought in both the 1914 – 1918 war, and later supported the national struggle. Sometimes they were participants of both, as in the case of quite a number of IRA men of that period. 

Now the same elements, sometimes the same ageing practitioners and institutions indeed, are seeking to cast a new narrative. They are still atavistically anti-national, sometimes in a Cluster B personality disorder manner, and have recruited significant sections of former nationalist parties into all of this, but the focus has shifted. 

With the ending of the conflict in the north, and the institutionalisation of Sinn Féin within the structures of Partition, and the further diminishing of Irish sovereignty within the European Union, there is no longer much need to fight battles already won. Now, the issue is how best to turn Ireland into a bland minor assembly point in the network of global corporatism – with a Woke fringe. 

Where once the mantra was how grateful we all ought to have been for England having raised us from “hellish slime”, now a new tack is being tried. The people who once deferred to Whitehall have new idols in Brussels and Washington and have adopted the ideology of European federalism and the United States Democratic Party. 

We are told that, in common with all the other white devils, we have a terrible history of colonialism and slavery to atone for. And the best way to do that is to meekly accept that if Irishness exists at all, it is some shabby thing that requires radical re-invention.

 

DO THE IRISH OWE A DEBT FOR SLAVERY?

Sometimes that is crudely expressed as in Black History Month when all sorts of silly claims are made, which appear to escape the attention of the much vaunted “fact checkers”. 

Racial entrepreneurs use this to boost their business, extend their hold on Irish academia, politics and media, and to promote the insidious lie that Irish people bear part of a collective guilt for all the terrible things that have happened to black people.

Specifically, there are persistent efforts being made to land us with an historical debt for African slavery. This, presumably, is to be repaid by allowing any person, on any grounds, to come here to live from Africa. This is ludicrous on several levels, but primarily for the reason that being directly of African descent means that neither the person in question, nor their antecedents, were the victims of the appalling trade in Africans to the Americas.

Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact, as a vital component of the slave trade was the capture and sale of Africans by other Africans. A person from Nigeria or Somalia, for example, is far more likely to be descended from a slaver than any Irish person, or indeed the vast majority of white North Americans. So immigration from Africa has absolutely nothing to do with slavery. 

The push to make an Irish slavery connection similarly ignores that the truth that those few who were living in Ireland and who did benefit from that vile trade were overwhelmingly members of what was known as the Ascendency class. 

In fact, they were themselves for the most part either recently arrived colonisers in Ireland, or the descendants of earlier colonists who had taken land that did not belong to them. 

They certainly did not, in the great majority of cases, consider themselves to be Irish beyond the sentimental attachment that any coloniser develops towards their country of adoption.

 

THE EVIDENCE

As part of ‘Juneteenth’ in 2021, the Irish Examiner once again attempted to load the rest of us with “our role in that abhorrent trade”.  The Examiner piece referred to 180 Irish people -“including clergymen”- who were compensated after the British abolished slavery in 1833. Of course, it does not tell us what type of clergymen they were, nor the background of the people it refers to.

Despite the claims that there were a lot of native Irish surnames among those who were compensated, an examination of the lists of names indicate that, apart from a small number of Catholics who had negotiated their way around the Penal restrictions to become people of wealth, the overwhelming number were of the same English-identifying, land-owning class which visited misery not only on Caribbean slaves, but on their own tenants whose land they had stolen over the course of centuries of expropriation and mass murder. 

In one list of 108 claimants for compensation, there are just 16 with recognisably native Irish surnames such as Daly, Kelly, and O’Connor. The Dalys of east Galway owned thousands of acres dating back to the late 1600s and had managed to survive along with some other native families largely due to their geographical isolation, but also their collaboration in the colonial administration and land owning system. “Racy of the soil”, they were not. 

In the inventories of slave holders in the Caribbean, which can be found on the Centre for the Studies of the Legacies of British Slavery website, there are likewise very few distinctly Irish surnames, and many of those which are Irish are of people either born in Britain or born into the colonial elite through land, administration, or profession. A John Macnamara for example was an MP for Leicester. 

An inventory of 5,234 people described as “British/Irish” contains less than 20 successful claimants who seem to have been born in Ireland. Yet, some of those anxious to promote the narrative of wide scale Irish involvement in slave owning have implied that Irish people or people of Irish descent, as indicated by their surnames, constituted a significant proportion of slave owners. That is simply not true. The records prove that it is not true and anyone who claims to the contrary is either ignorant of the records, or is making things up. 

Of 189 individuals identified by searching for people listed as having an address in Ireland, most of them are also found listed as British/Irish and further strengthens the key link between an elite, landed ascendency background. In other words, they were British colonisers, living in Ireland, already exploiting the native people of this island. It is not just absurd but deeply dishonest to try to categorise them now as Irish in order to create a fake, revisionist narrative recasting a dispossessed, abused people as ‘slavers’.  

Gript contacted the Centre for the Studies of the Legacies of British Slavery, and they pointed out that people with Irish connections do turn up under other criteria. However, having looked at these, there is a considerable cross indexation, and nothing to indicate that those with Irish connections were either a substantial part of those who owned slaves, or that they were representative of the Irish native population. 

One of the few of what might also be identified as an archetypal native Irish name in just 474 in a list of many thousands that a search for “Irish” reveals is a Dennis Kelly.  Sounds like the sort of chap who might have hurled for Galway. Well, he was from Galway. But he was part of a family from Lisduff which, whatever its origins, was part of the ruling class and closely connected to the Brownes of Westport – one of the latter of whom was known as Donncha an Rópa for his role in the terror of 1798 and the object of a searing poem by Raiftearaí.

The Kellys, as allies of the Brownes, had prospered from land deals with such as the Countess of Kildare and the Marquess of Sligo. Dennis Kelly became Chief Justice of Jamaica where he was a significant slave owner. This is one of the randomers some would have you passed on to the Irish people an historical debt for slavery.

Knock, Mayo, remembering Jordan and O’Malley who were hanged. Denis Browne Claremorris a brother of Lord Altamount, and known as Donnacha an Ropa, was paid £102 for information against Jordan. 

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The truth is that these were people who had happily brutalised and terrorised their own people in order to win favour and enrich themselves as part of the British Empire. Níos Gallaí ná na Gall iad fhéin, you might say. 

If the records of the small number of slaveowners with Irish surnames on Antigua are examined, they are most often found to be trades people who had one or a small number of slaves. This is, of course no excuse for anyone having another person in servitude but they were part of a slave society in which most of the Irish in the Caribbean had become part of through their own indenture. There was no free labour other than self-employed tradesmen who sometimes owned slaves.

The Island of Antego by Herman Moll (1736) Credit: Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Collection, Boston Public Library

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45,000 BRITISH PEOPLE COMPENSATED WHEN SLAVERY ENDED

The sheer scale of British slaveholding is indicated by the fact that over 80% of the population of the British controlled Caribbean islands were slaves between the 1770s and 1840s. Somewhere in the region of 45,000 British people were entitled to claim compensation of around £20,000,000 after 1838. This far exceeds even the proportion of ‘Irish’ elite families, but likewise does not constitute an historical moral debt to be repaid by every single white person born in England, Scotland and Wales. Most of the beneficiaries were complicit through legal and financial connections rather than as direct owners, but they nonetheless profited from a dreadful trade in the misery of other human beings. 

Irish claimants received somewhere above £400,000 of which the main beneficiaries were the McGarels of Larne who received over £150,000 as compensation for 3,225 slaves they had “owned” in British Guinea. Charles McGarel was central to the Ulster Protestant ruling elite, and after slavery ended concentrated on running his estate at Mageramorne, County Antrim during the Great Hunger. The land had been taken from its Irish occupants, several centuries earlier, of course. This same class likewise benefitted when the large estates were bought from them by the British state with the ending of landlordism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Charles McGarel

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Another notable beneficiary was the La Touche banking family of county Dublin who received over £6,800 in compensation for 396 slaves they owned in Jamaica. Their chief distinction from the majority of colonisers living in Ireland was their French Protestant Huguenot background. In today’s “narrative” that would assure them of protected status here as refugees fleeing oppression, like some members of the African elite including a former bagman for the dreadful Mobuto of Zaire who claimed asylum in Ireland. I am not sure that the La Touche family would have been satisfied with a free house after four months in the country. Earlier colonisers had more ambitious targets.

 

R.W.Bro. David LaTouche of the LaTouche family

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The overwhelming predictor then of whether an Irish domiciled or Irish born or descended  person was a slaveholder was that they were a member of the landed ascendancy class, a wealthy merchant, or the professional offspring of such families. And that they were almost invariably Protestant. So it was class and ethnicity and religion that was the major identifier, not their place of birth.

This is something that appears to have escaped the notice of class-obsessed Marxists who would have you believe that everything you do from what breakfast cereal you eat to your Leaving Cert results is built into your unalterable social origin DNA. Unless, of course, you happen to be a declassé sprog of a bourgeois family who becomes proletarian by Grace, a sort of Trotskyist version of the Calvinist Elect. 

The far-left and the post nationalist Shinners and media liberals and NGO racial grifters are in true Marcusean fashion prepared to overlook class when it comes to the paramount importance of attributing to every one of us an historical debt to the descendants of slaves. Race trumps class in the intersectionality business. Or, in the context of immigration to Ireland from Africa, to the descendants of people who were more likely slave traders than enslaved. 

A slightly more sophisticated approach than the crude attempt to associate the Ascendency landed elite with the Irish people as a whole under the rubric of slavery, is that of historian Niamh Gallagher who wrote in the Irish Times back in March 2021 of the need for Irish people to accept our part in British colonialism. Not of course as the victims of several attempts, by Cromwell and others, at what would now be recognised by many as genocide, but as supposed willing collaborators.

 

Cromwell shipped thousands of Irish by force to slave in the plantations of the West Indies

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At the risk of raking over old coals, but as an antidote to the politically motivated attempt to conflate Irishness with the sins of the colony, it is perhaps worth briefly reminding ourselves of the reality of what colonialism meant here.

 

THE HIDEOUS REALITY OF COLONIALISM

The Cromwellian plantation was not the first attempt at genocide but it was the first to be accurately recorded, by the English themselves. William Petty who was the surveyor for the Cromwellian expropriation estimated that of the population of 1,448,000 in 1641 that 616,000 had died by 1652; 504,000 of them native Irish “wasted by the sword, plague, famine, hardship and banishment.” His land survey is accurate so there is no reason to doubt his demographics. 

Absurdly, Cromwell’s soldiers in the New Model Army who carried out the murders and rapes and thefts and seizure of people to be transported are part of the leftie myth of the English “dispossessed.” This perseveres, and not just among English lefties. You are far more likely to hear an Irish leftie of a certain type sing some 1960s composed folk club dirge about the Diggers or Levellers than about the victims of the evildoers under the command of the “progressive” republican Lord Protector and enemy of Popery. 

 

Cromwell leading assault on Drogheda, Oliver Cromwell, Theodore Roosevelt, Scribner, New York 1900, page 165

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The Cromwellian wars of ethnic cleansing and theft were the final blow to a Gaelic order already severely weakened by the wars and plantations of the 16th century and the catastrophic military defeats of the Nine Years War and of the 1640s. The Williamite expropriations of the 1690s were a coda. The literature of the time provides some insight into the humiliation that this entailed, and the hatred of the survivors for the English immigrants.

A poem called Aiste Dháibhí Cúndún written by a person of the same name of whom little or nothing is known, describes the condition of our people; murdered, raped, driven from their land into Connacht or sold as indentured servants to the Caribbean, or humiliatingly reduced to serving and working the land for the illiterate Cromwellian dregs:

 

is cuid dá ndíol is na criochaibh daora,

ag déanamh sochair do bhodaigh na Bhéarla,

Scum na Sagsan is na bailtibh fá thréine,

Ag mille na coda dár fosgadh ar éigin

 

and others sold and the land in bondage,

providing comfort for the English churls,

Saxon scum and homes abandoned,

Destroying our share and shelter

 

Those murdered were exclusive of the thousands transported to the Caribbean on what some would have you believe was a sort of voluntary work experience programme. Indenture was not chattel slavery in that those forced into it were not legally owned by the person they worked for, who contracted the forced plantation workers from the English state. But it is a matter of record that they were treated like slaves, and that they were worked as brutally as slaves. 

That indentured Irish Catholic servants were considered to be viable replacements for black slaves is illustrated by another Irish Protestant slave owner in Jamaica. He was Hamilton Brown who American Vice President Kamala Harris’s father, Donald, claimed the family were descended from. That was used by Joe Biden against Harris when she accused him of being a racist during the Democratic primaries. 

Hamilton Brown, Slave owner, founded the settlement of Hamilton Town in Saint Ann Parish, which was named after him.

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The Poynter Institute concluded that there was a link between Hamilton Brown and Kamala Harris’ family, and that “It seems possible that Kamala Harris is as likely a descendant of a slave-owner as she is an enslaved person.” Strangely, Harris has not bigged up her Ulster planter Irish ancestry, and their transition from exploiters of Irish peasants to black slaves, in the same way as the descendant of the Mayo workhouse road gang supervisor she not long ago accused of being a racist bigot has.

 

THE GENOCIDAL RULE ENDURED BY IRELAND

It is estimated that up to 100,000 Irish men, women and children were either taken as political and military prisoners or captured by the equivalent of contemporary people trafficking gangs as part of the Cromwellian settlement, and were “sold in perpetuity to plantation-owners to work in the fields, effectively as slaves” as historian Micheál Ó Siochrú has observed. 

Those transported during the Cromwellian period were not voluntary migrants. Nor was their condition any better materially than the black African slaves – other than it might eventually end – but they could never return home. In any event, the distortion of the Irish experience in this regard as though it somehow detracts from the similar atrocity visited upon black slaves is pretty infantile. Any reasonable person will view both experiences as morally indefensible and a historical cruelty against Irish and African people whose basic dignity was denied and who lived under brutalised conditions. 

Prior to the later genocidal projects, there are Irish and English sources which testify to similar devastation during the Bruce war of the 14th century and the Tudor Conquests that were unremitting for half a century beginning in the 1500s and which spawned Spenser’s openly genocidal A View of the Present State of Ireland

That period encompassed the Desmond Wars and forced famine in Munster when it was claimed that a horseman could travel for several days without meeting a living human. Lord Chichester claimed to have come across a family of children in Kerry who were eating their dead mother. This was considered good news and openly celebrated among those Elizabethan “reformers” who some Irish historians would have had you believe were interested in introducing “civility” to the aboriginals.

Spenser set out, in a matter of fact way, how the Irish could be liquidated as a people, with the only remnants being those allowed to survive to tend the beasts and lands of the settlers. As an educated man he was aware of the long tradition of Irish learning which predated – and indeed invigorated – that of its neighbouring island during the “Dark Ages.” In fact he devoted a part of his dialogue to a poor attempt at explaining how the savage Irish had been literate at a time when the neighbouring island had reverted to illiterate barbarism with the collapse of Christianity which was only restored by Irish monks. 

And so like the Chinese Communists in Tibet and the NKVD and Nazi death squads in Poland in the 1930s and 40s there was a special focus on destroying the intellectual class, which in Ireland was the éigse or aos; the poets and writers and scribes and genealogists and priests and nuns who preserved our tradition and culture. 

That above all entailed the destruction of the language, for as Spenser wrote: “it hath bene ever the use of the Conqueror to destroy the language of the Conquered and force him by all meanes to learne his.” In 1537 the Act for the English Order, Habit and Language set out “that the said English tongue, habit and order, may from henceforth continually (and without ceasing or returning at any time to Irish habit, or language) be used by all men that will acknowledge themselves according to their duties of allegiance, to be his Highness’s true and faithful subjects.” 

In 1585, the Lord Deputy of Ireland Henry Sidney bluntly decreed that all brehons, bards, Jesuits, nuns, rhymers “and such like, to be executed by martial law,” and for “the English tongue to be extended.”  These people did not engage in dissimulation. 

 

DEVASTATION OF THE GREAT HUNGER

The century of “peace” that followed Cogadh an dá Rí between William and James was one of darkness only broken by quiet horrors such as Bliain an Áir, the year of the slaughter of 1740/1 when up to 20% of the population died during a famine. Tens of thousands more died in the late 1790s between the terror begun in 1795 and the failed rising uprising of 1798. 

The only verifiable statistics on the scale of population loss for An Gorta Mór are found in British census figures from the late 19th century. Between 1841 and 1891, encompassing the key decades of the mass deaths from starvation, and population loss from forced emigration, the population of Ireland fell by 42%. An estimated 5,000,000 people left Ireland in the 60 years after 1846, aside altogether from the between 1,100,000 and 1,500,000 who had died from hunger and disease. 

The only arguments regarding whether all of the catastrophic population losses over the centuries of colonialism amounted to attempted genocides are based on ideology rather than demographics.  An Gorta Mór is a perfect example of where the Irish – not the British let us be clear – historical establishment for decades conducted almost no meaningful research into what happened. 

When somebody did, they were often ridiculed. I knew a woman who wrote a thesis on the “famine” who was informed by one of the doyens of Irish 19th century history that she might consider sending it to An Phoblacht rather than submitting it to him for consideration as a doctoral thesis.

In the 1970s and 1980s you had historians whose only interest in the 1840s was to continually argue that maybe “only” less than a million had died – 500,000 was one suggestion – or that it was our own fault, or that anyone who even dared attribute any responsibility to the landlords and English might as well have been up on the Falls Road, “lying in the dark with a Provo company.”

All that was blown out of the water by the proper research of an American econometrician Joel Mokyr whose analysis of all the available data proved that between 1,100,000 and 1,500,000 people had died directly from hunger and disease during the years of An Górta Mor. In July, Professor Liam Kennedy dismissed any comparison between An Gorta Mór and the Ukrainian Holodomor by a snide contrast between chaps armed with guns who came from Moscow and a “deadly invader (phytophthora infestans)” who “arrived out of the biosphere.”

But of course, the potato blight had arrived out of the biosphere into almost every country in western Europe but only in Ireland did that lead to such devastating loss of life. Why? Well, what differentiated Ireland where the population fell for six successive years by up to 4%? Apart from the fact that the population only fell over the course of the blight in one other country, the Netherlands, and by just 0.2% between 1847 and 1848. The second worst loss of life was in Belgium where between 40 and 50,000 people died.

The difference, apart from the scale of the loss of life, was that in contrast to the other countries, Ireland was colonised and the land almost exclusively owned by settler landlords.

That is part of the legacy of colonialism in Ireland. It was a war against our people, our land, our language and other traditions, and the religion of the vast majority of our people. There are those who dismiss this as a mere happenstance, who deny that it ever took place, and indeed who wish perhaps to complete what it started in a more caring fashion. It is only worth retelling because it ought to serve as a counterweight to the current revisionism.

 

TRINITY COLLEGE AND A REWRITE OF HISTORY

As part of that –  and all of this has been massively boosted and funded on the back of the racial violence instigated by the far left in the United States in 2020 –  Trinity College initiated a post-doctoral programme entitled Colonial Legacies to “interrogate and reflect on its own complex colonial legacies.”  And lest one be confused about what the possessive adjective “own” refers to in this context, it specifically cites “material and financial connections to British and Irish colonialism.” 

But the latter does not exist. Ireland has never sent armies and settlers in the name of any Irish entity to colonise and expropriate other peoples. 

Any attempt to manufacture a narrative that claims otherwise is not history. That would explain why when the project was launched it was couched in the historically illiterate narrative of the now discredited and corrupt Black Lives Matter movement. The supposed guilt that attaches itself to Trinity College – and by ludicrous extension to every one of us in perpetuity – is based on the fact that the idealist philosopher and mathematician George Berkeley who had an association with the University owned slaves.

George Berkeley

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But hold on now. Apart from the fact that Berkeley was one individual, not even representative of his own class in many ways, he clearly considered himself to be an Englishman born in Ireland, and in The Querist referred to the Irish peasantry, who along with his slaves in Rhode Island kept him in claret and mutton, as basically lazy ingrates who might have improved themselves if they were not so spoiled or “content in dirt”. He also referred approvingly to children in Dutch workhouses who had to work from the age of four to earn their meals. He thought this might be a good model for those starving during the Irish famine of 1740/1. On what remotely plausible basis, dare one ask, are we expected to don sackcloth and ashes for him? 

Trinity of course does have a colonial legacy but it is not one that interests the contemporary racial industry. The College was founded as part of the Tudor project to extirpate the Gaelic culture and the Catholic faith, and was barred to Catholics under the penal laws. The ban on students ended in 1793, but Catholics were only allowed to become fellows in the 1870s. The Catholic Church’s own ban on Catholics attending there was a reaction to that. Most liberals seem to have amnesia regarding the first, but have greatly enjoyed over the decades citing the latter as evidence of their own dreadful persecution for having read D.H Lawrence or voted Labour when it was dangerous. 

Trinity College

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The composition of the advisory board, (chaired by Mary McAlesse the well-known opponent of colonialism and slavery in Tibet) for the Trinity programme made it clear where the focus would be. That is, on the slave trade which, of course, ties in with the attempt to land us all with that legacy. The far more pertinent role of Trinity in English Protestant colonialism here is added almost as an afterthought. 

Where are the great Irish historians of the early modern period in this project? I would have thought that someone like Trinity’s own Ciaran Brady rather than two racial theorists would surely be key to any interrogation of the period in which Trinity was established. Not as some unintended consequence of the Tudor Plantation, but as an intrinsic part of the material and intellectual and spiritual dispossession of the Irish people. And what of an historian such as Vincent Morley who is familiar with the Irish language sources?

Instead, an institution that has been the alma mater and location of generations of outstanding historians needs to recruit “social scientists” burdened with spurious ideological theories to “reimagine” Irish history. Imagine being indeed the apposite word. And I say that as someone who would be critical of some of Trinity’s own historians of the past who were themselves dismissive and sometimes even ignorant of the Hidden Ireland that lay beneath the grand facades of settler Dublin. 

 

THE REVISIONISM OF THE IRISH TIMES

Obviously considering all of that to be of minor importance as compared to individuals who were part of the English colonial project, Dr. Niamh Gallagher wrote the piece referred to above for the Irish Times in March 2021 in which she instanced some random examples of “Irish” people who did terrible things in India. One is General Reginald Dyer who was the military officer responsible for the Amritsar massacre in 1919. Dyer was not even born here and his Encyclopaedia Britannica entry does not mention Ireland.

General Reginald Dyer Photo: Illustrated London News [London, England], 17 July 1920

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His only Irish connection is that he attended for a few years the Church of Ireland school at Midleton. The standard bearers of the British Empire in Ireland who founded that school for the settler land grabbers in the early 18th century most likely did not distinguish between the status and worth of the Irish peasantry and the Indians who some of their alumni similarly abused. At least Berkeley was born in the country. 

Gallagher also refers to Sir Michael O’Dwyer who was governor of Punjab at the time of the mass murder in Amritsar. He was assassinated for his defence of Dyer’s part in that atrocity by an Indian nationalist Udham Singh in 1940. Irish nationalists across the political spectrum from Fine Gael to the IRA made their sympathy for Singh clear at the time, and most Irish people were strong supporters of the Indian nationalist movement, as was acknowledged by Gandhi, Nehru and others. 

Sir Michael O’Dwyer

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The O’Dwyers were large landowners in South Tipperary and although bearing the name of one of the defeated Gaelic families, had managed to ingratiate themselves with the Protestant ruling elite, to the extent that they benefited from the land dispossessions of the Great Hunger and earlier. That made their estate at Barronstown a target of the Land League, and O’Dwyer’s father died shortly after shots were fired there by some of his own impoverished tenants whom he had evicted in 1882. 

To associate this person with the Irish people generally is akin to depicting the collaborationist governor of the Warsaw ghetto Adam Czerniakow as representative of the Jews he selected for murder by the Nazis. Or indeed to taint Indians in their entirety for what happened in India for the actions of a whole layer of collaborationist native administrators, landowners and military. 

Gallagher also refers to the British army as having been a major employer of Irish people. Again, as though this places the Irish person who through force or desperation took the King’s Shilling, in the same moral universe as General Dyer of Jallianwala Bagh and Governor O’Dwyer. Most of the Irish people who “served” in the English navy in its great wars of the late 18th century, for example, were kidnapped and forced into “service.” Do Nubian galley slaves get the blame for the Romans sacking north African cities? 

Were Irish people who wore English uniforms collaborators? Technically, they all were I suppose. Just as were the huge number of Indians and Africans without whose help the English would not have been able to run their colonies, and suppress any resistance right up until the time they left.  The vast majority of the Yeomanry and Militia which murdered thousands of Irish Catholics in 1797 and 1798 were born in Ireland.  Are they part of the “multiplicity of narratives” coined by President Michael D. Higgins and referred to by Gallagher? 

And lest anyone miss the point of Gallagher’s thesis, she concluded by implying that for “single mothers, separated families, and people of other sexualities” the limited independence attained in 1921 was a worse scenario than which had pertained previously, or indeed that which was the case in Britain and its remaining colonies. It is yet another example of how Irish liberal exceptionalism which shows little understanding of how other societies actually operated at the same time. The claim that Ireland after 1921 was a worse place for a woman than maybe a mud cabin in Sligo in 1846 should be treated with the ridicule it deserves. Seriously. The Beano school of history. 

There is also the infantile overall dismissal of the value of the independence of the southern part of Ireland, which is an abiding anglophone leftie trait that was astutely recognised by British Marxist historian C. Desmond Greaves against the anti-national liberal left of the 1960s who claimed that the independence of the 26 counties was “worthless”. 

Gallagher’s  adoration of pre-1920s England puts her at odds with probably most leftist social historians in Britain who do not share her rosy conception of the “progressive” Mother Ship. For deracinated Irish left liberals, including many of the largest “nationalist” party, it was all about the NHS and abortion and Sky Super Sunday.  Up the Dyspublic. 

 

LEARNING FROM HISTORY

Perhaps some of those who have tasked themselves with remoulding our history to shape our deracinated diverse future, might also extend the scope of their multiplicity to interrogate their own hypocrisies and dissimulation. 

The reason the same people are fanatical advocates of censorship and banning of alternative views is that their tendentious narrative does not stand up to even cursory examination – including and especially their claim that the Irish people carry an unpaid historical debt for black slavery. 

If there is any lesson to be learned from Irish history with regards to the arrival of large numbers of people with no connection to the country other than believing they have some claim on our resources, then it ought to be one of caution. 

We ought also to remain largely sceptical about how easily they will all be assimilated. A visit to Belfast ought to be sufficient antidote to such naivety.

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