My apologies this response is a bit late but better to destroy non-factual and ridiculous arguments later than never!
So in a response to Ruth Dudley Edwards absurd blog there arrived this supporting beauty posted on January 28th. I honestly didn’t think anything could beat Richard Humphries article in the Irish Independent but Mr. Hopper’s does.
To defeat his argument entirely and to save you from absolute boredom, I (and you dear reader) need not go past the title. [I did venture past the title and decided nothing in it was worth responding to as it did not make Ireland any more or less unique than any other country in the world. I let the facts speak for themselves in a few lines time] For Mr. Hopper to begin as he did with such an inaccurate statement in the title - “ancient hatreds” – was ridiculous. What ancient hatreds sir? There was a so-called ‘pogrom’ in Limerick in 1904 and from the research I conducted I found nothing of serious note. A boycott against Jewish business organised by a young Redemptionist Catholic priest [crazy warning number 1] by the name of John Creagh which unfortunately forced the Jewish population from their homes in Limerick where many fled to Cork and they were welcomed into peoples own homes. That in itself was a blessing. Have you been to Limerick?* It was a embarrassing and disgusting period in Catholic Limerick history, not Irish history. Irish Protestants in Limerick supported the Jewish people in Limerick, Corkonians welcomed them into their homes when the Jewish people decided they (understandably) had to leave Limerick.
To quote from a letter sent to the Jerusalem Post by a retired History teacher, Leonard Hurley, I give you a small timeline of Irish Jewish relations:
“Daniel O’Connell, the “Liberator,” was responsible for the Catholic emancipation in 1829, but Honig failed to mention that he rejected anti-Semitism and in 1846, in the House of Commons, helped repeal the law, De Judaismo, which discriminated against Jews. O’Connell stated: “Ireland has claims on your ancient race, it is the only country that I know of unsullied by any one act of persecution against the Jews.”
Our [Mr. Hurley’s] church is called the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church, and buried on the grounds is Msgr. Hugh O’Flaherty. O’Flaherty was given the title Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government for the work he did in saving many Jews in Rome during the war.
Many other Irish historical figures, including Michael Davitt and John Redmond, rejected anti-Semitism. Redmond stated: “Race hatred is at best an unreasoning passion.”
Both Dublin and Cork have had Jewish lord mayors, and all political parties, including the present government, have Jews in senior positions.
Of course, you will find anti- Semitism in Ireland, but you will also find anti-Irish sentiment if you look for it in other countries.
But the claim that Ireland has a history of anti-Semitism is based on one disgraceful episode and therefore is factually incorrect.
I suggest that Honig visit the subject again and this time focus on the positive.”
Lastly I will add one more point: You’ll notice Mr Hurley said definitively that what happened in Limerick was a pogrom. I personally said ‘so-called’ pogrom in my paragraph above because in 2010 “the new Israeli ambassador, Boaz Modai, speaking at the Jewish cemetery in Castletroy said: "I think it [the ‘pogrom’] is a bit over-portrayed, meaning that, usually if you look up the word pogrom it is used in relation to slaughter and being killed. This is what happened in many other places in Europe, but this is not what happened here. There was a kind of a boycott against Jewish merchandise for a while, but that's not a pogrom. That's something that is, unfortunately, a bad mark for the history of this city, but I don't think it is something anyone should pay more attention to than it deserves."
So Mr. Hopper, Ms. Dudley Edwards, Mr. Humphries and anyone thinking they made any argument of sense, desist from your attempts to stir shit due to some silly, silly peoples unfounded garbling and ill informed writing. I am all for reasoned debate about proper issues in regard to Israel and Ireland and actual anti-Semitism but your articles about my country and its people were totally inaccurate and your smears laughable.
*Limerick people reading this – I jest! Don’t do anything mad now