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Irish racism in England

677 replies

angell84 · 13/12/2019 11:22

I am shocked. I am half English, half Irish. My Irish mum lived in England for a long time, gave birth to us children there with her English husband, and then moved back to Ireland.

The reason that she always gave me for returning to Ireland, was that, "she could not take the nastiness to her anymore". She described one incident of many to me: she went to my brother's primary teacher in England, and said that he had lost something, he must have been six at the time, and the teacher said to her , "sure what do you expect - he is half Irish".

I always thought of it in an abstract way, I never really understood what she meant. Until I spent quite a long time in the U.K this year.

I was absolutely shocked at the hatred and nastiness, and calling Irish people stupid.

How can it be possible? The U.K stole alot of Ireland's land, committed mass genocide during the famine, eradicated the Irish language,

And yet instead of apologising, many people are going around calling Irish people stupid.

Isn't it nearly unbelievable? It would be like a German going up to a Jew and calling them stupid. That it was their fault , thhat everything happened the way it did.

I am really shocked

OP posts:

IVFNewbie · 13/12/2019 11:26

Not racism though it is clearly unacceptable.


Wolfff · 13/12/2019 11:27

My husband is Irish. He encountered anti Irish sentiment when he first moved to Birmingham in the 90s but nothing these days. Are you talking about one incident years ago or something more recent. I work with a couple of young Irish people and they say they have experienced no racism.

I also have Irish ancestry and find your analysis of Irish/British history rather silly and insulting. Sounds like you came on here to start a fight and be deliberately goady.


GailCindy · 13/12/2019 11:28

I'm mixed black and Irish so I have always known about it. "No blacks,no dogs, no Irish".


GailCindy · 13/12/2019 11:30

Younger generations only get it if they assume you are a gypsy because of your accent. My cousins from Ireland always get that when they come here. People will call them gyppos and pikeys just because they are rowdy in the pub and have the accent.


Notmyrealname855 · 13/12/2019 11:32

Famine jokes (vile), then you realise those same people often don’t even know about the famine and Britain’s role in it. Never mind ignorance about the rest of the country’s history Angry


Convict225 · 13/12/2019 11:33

I am Irish and lived in both countries but mainly England growing up.
I encountered more racism in Ireland than I did in England.


WitchyPoos · 13/12/2019 11:58

I overheard two customers at work talking about someone, one said "she's Irish her"
Other responded "what she's not Irish she's from round here"
The reply was "no I mean Irish as in thick"

Being half Irish I was 😡😡😡, and I couldn't call them out as I was at work 🙄


Amara123 · 13/12/2019 12:03

I lived in England for 10 years and encountered nasty comments like you mentioned there, this was pretty recently.
Lots of potato jokes, thicko jokes, accent/class comments. I have four degrees and am a highly qualified professional and was getting this, it's probably worse for others.


sue51 · 13/12/2019 12:05

I'm Irish and have lived in the UK for decades. I haven't bee aware of anti Irish sentiment since the 80s. It seems to be a cool thing at this time to be Irish in England.


ludog · 13/12/2019 12:05

I encountered a lot of it in the 90s when I lived in the UK.


Logjam · 13/12/2019 12:06

I think a lot of English people have a view that they are superior to every other nationality on the planet.


sue51 · 13/12/2019 12:07

Thats shocking Amara123. What part of the UK do you live in?


marvellousnightforamooncup · 13/12/2019 12:07

I'm English and I live in Scotland now. I think England can fuck off quite frankly. YANBU.


Spudlet · 13/12/2019 12:09

I’m half Irish and have never encountered this. A lot of stick for being a redhead, but nothing specifically about being half Irish. 🤷‍♀️


Amara123 · 13/12/2019 12:09

I lived in the Midlands and the South.
Also when I was on a school tour driving through England as a teenager the English bus driver kept making comments about "Irish sluts and whores". He was complained by the teachers. I was 15.


ArnoldWhatshisknickers · 13/12/2019 12:10

Yes, there is a lot of anti-Irish racism in the UK. It did die down a bit in the late 90s/noughties, but is back with avengence of recent times sadly.


ChristaMSieland · 13/12/2019 12:12

OP, I think it varies a lot from area to area, group to group. There will always be a few bigots everywhere.

I think a lot of English people have a view that they are superior to every other nationality on the planet.

How is that any better than saying "A lot of Irish are thick"? Confused


ohprettybaby · 13/12/2019 12:18

"I think a lot of English people have a view that they are superior to every other nationality on the planet"
Do you know a lot of English people like this? I don't know any.


AryaStarkWolf · 13/12/2019 12:20

Experienced it a bit in the 90's. With regards to your question about their role in Ireland's troubled history though, you'd be surprised about how little they actually know about it/how much of it was down to them (not all British people obviously but generally speaking)


brassbrass · 13/12/2019 12:22

Weird and generalising thread. You're shocked by nastiness to a particular group. Are you tone deaf to people of colour or any other group on the receiving end and have you been living under a rock like forever?

What are you hoping to achieve with this thread? My SIL is married into a deeply racist Irish family. Are you just as shocked by that? I'm more shocked by your Irish/Jewish comparison.


Sushiroller · 13/12/2019 13:38

I'm Irish and have lived in the UK for decades. I haven't bee aware of anti Irish sentiment since the 80s. It seems to be a cool thing at this time to be Irish in England.

This/Me too.

I go back there for work a lot now and while I look very Irish, I have a v. British RP accent (its complicated)
When they hear me speak people visibly change and I get looks/comments/a hard time in EIRE over it at least once per trip


Mummyshark2018 · 13/12/2019 13:42

I've encountered it several times in England. Once I was told by a parent that I couldn't assess their child because they wouldn't be able to understand me. Another time I was told that the family had a thing about Irish people and could they see someone else. Several other times colleagues passed cases to me because the families were Irish travellers and thought I would be better at working with them 🤔


Piglet89 · 13/12/2019 13:52

People regularly use the phrase “having a paddy” to describe someone losing their temper. I’ve seen it used at least three times on this site.

This insidious xenophobia has always existed in England - and perpetrators always claim “oh, I didn’t know it was anti-Irish”. In some ways, that makes it worse.


OkPedro · 13/12/2019 13:52

sushiroller you get a hard time in EIRE Confused (It’s Ireland not EIRE) because of your British accent. You look Irish? What the fuck does that mean 😂 have you got red hair, freckles and an Irish dancing dress on Confused


Piglet89 · 13/12/2019 13:55

@Logjam I think a lot of English people have a view that they are superior to every other nationality on the planet.

Case in point. Jesus wept.

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