St. Patrick’s Day*
The Irish Holocaust
By Gary Boyle
In The Secret History of the World, my Irish ancestors, the Celts, are described as:
…proud, imaginative, artistic, lovers of freedom and adventure, eloquence, poetry and the arts… and were VERY suspicious of any kind of centralized ‘authority’.
Most knowledgeable among them were the Druids, who placed great value in living harmoniously with nature, in developing memory-based records, and who adhered to the principles of the ‘Third Force’ – simply put, there is good, bad and the specific situation that determines which is which’.
When I was younger I never really saw the relevance of history. It had no meaning in my life – no place in my ‘history’. It was interesting to some extent, but I failed to appreciate its importance. What does the oft-quoted saying, ‘those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’, actually mean? If we reflect on our own personal histories, we see that we learn our most important life lessons from making mistakes that invariably produce suffering, for ourselves and others. Yet how many times do we, or did we, keep making the same mistakes?
Sometimes we suppress painful episodes, but they can ‘come back to haunt us’ and negatively affect our present health. Gabor Mate explores this mind-body connection in When the Body Says No, which provides transformative insights into how disease can be the body′s way of saying ‘No!’ to what the conscious mind cannot or will not acknowledge. Regardless of what country we hail from, access to our true national history may enable us to learn, and therefore heal, collective wounds on this larger scale.
In a wider context, knowledge of our national, planetary and perhaps even cosmic history is important for us to gain understanding of “ourselves and our wider environment,” as Lobaczewski put it. I recently listened to this SOTT Radio show: ‘Behind the headlines: Historical Revisionism in the 20th and 21st centuries‘, which reminded me of an episode of modern Irish history that I was never taught when attending school in Ireland, namely the 1845-1850 Irish Holocaust, or the ‘Great Famine’ (Irish potato famine), as it is still euphemistically termed.
Before I get into that, what is Historical Revisionism? According to Wikipedia it is:
…either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record.
The latter is also sometimes called negationism. There are various techniques used to enable this distortion of history, mostly that of deception and denial:
The specific techniques of historical revisionism vary from using forged documents as genuine sources (or inventing reasons to distrust genuine documents), to exploiting opinions by taking them out of their historical context. Other techniques include manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view, and deliberately mis-translating texts into other languages. Instead of submitting their work to peer review, revisionists rewrite history to support an agenda, and often use fallacies to obtain the desired results. Because historical revisionism can be used to deny, deceive, or influence explanations and perceptions, it can be regarded as a technique of propaganda. Finally, techniques of historical revisionism operate within the intellectual battle-space in order to advance an interpretation or perception of history.
The Great Famine myth – or Irish Holocaust
What I was taught, and what my nephews in Ireland are learning nowadays, is that the Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór) was fundamentally caused by dependency on the potato crop, which was decimated with blight – a natural phenomenon:
…a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. It is sometimes referred to, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine because about two-fifths of the population was solely reliant on this cheap crop for a number of historical reasons. During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the island’s population to fall by between 20% and 25%.
A prominent Irish author and journalist, Tim Pat Coogan, explores this shameful chapter in Ireland’s rich history in his book The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy. In the final chapter, he recalls the xenophobic images and words commonly used to caricature the Irish in Victorian England. Colonial Administrator (and obvious psychopath) Charles Trevelyan, and other architects of the ‘famine response’, had a direct hand in filling the newspapers with the “oft-repeated theme that the famine was the result of a flaw in the Irish character.” And Punch, an English ‘satirical’ magazine, regularly portrayed “‘Paddy’ as a simian in a tailcoat and a derby, engaged in plotting murder, battening on the labour of the English workingman, and generally living a life of indolent treason,” explains Mr Coogan. The result of such dehumanising propaganda was to make unreasonable policy seem reasonable and just – historical revisionism in action!
Indeed, anti-Irish racism and anti-Catholic discrimination were an inherent part of British colonial rule in Ireland. Parallels can be drawn between Punch‘s so-called ‘satirical’ cartoons and today’s racist ‘Charlie Hebdo‘ publication. A distinct correlation can be seen between the treatment of the Irish under Victorian rule and the treatment of Muslims in modern-day France, or Britain (or just about everywhere, it seems, as Islamophobia is on the rise all over). Just to clarify, real satire is a humorous look at prevailing social injustices – highlighting, through ironic or sarcastic means – actions of the societal ‘establishment’ or elite; it is NOT a tool of racist or sexist propagandists and it is NOT the denigration of those marginialised by society. There will always be apologists though for these sadistic expressions, masked as ‘satire’ and defended with ‘freedom of expression at all costs’, as reported by Norman Finkelstein in ‘Charlie Hebdo is sadism not satire‘.
The official narrative of those dark days in 19th century Ireland could be summed up in these words from Punch and the Great Famine by Peter Gray:
Like Sir Charles Trevelyan, the assistant Secretary to the Treasury, Punch regarded the continuation of famine conditions in Ireland after this time as entirely due to indigenous moral and not biological failures. Ireland had been warned of the folly of potato dependence by a ‘natural’ disaster, but had perversely chosen to ignore the danger; no further responsibility could be undertaken by the ‘imperial’ government.
“The Pig and the Peer”. This cartoon shows a life-size pig with an Irish accent pleading with the English Prime Minister. During the Famine thousands of Irish peasants were evicted to make way for animals that could “pay rent”.
It was not blighted potatoes that caused the Irish genocide of 150 years ago. Yes, there was potato blight at the time. It struck harvests in the autumn of 1845, and had begun in North Carolina, then spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere for several years – yet it did not cause famine or mass death anywhere, except in Ireland. Why was that?
Nor were potatoes the only major produce of Irish agriculture at the time; they were just the only produce which the Irish – 75% of whom were feudal tenants of mostly tyrannical British landlords, fanatical preachers of ‘free trade’ – were allowed to eat or to feed to their livestock! As the historian Arthur Young wrote, the Irish tenant farmers were, like so many others, effectively slaves.
“A landlord in Ireland can scarcely invent an order which a labourer, servant, or cottier [tenant farmer] dares to refuse… He may punish with his cane or his horsewhip with the most perfect security. A poor man would have his bones broken if he offered to lift a hand in his own defense.”
‘Free trade’ decreed that no government surplus food – no ‘welfare’ – be given to the starving, in order to leave the market for food undisturbed. “We do not propose,” Prime Minister Lord John Russell told the House of Commons, “to interfere with the regular mode by which Indian corn and other kinds of grain may be brought into Ireland.”
Essentially, ‘free trade’ gave Irish farm families three choices when the potato crops failed:
- starve on their farms, while selling their grain crops to pay their rent
- report to the Public Works or the Poor Law workhouses to be worked/starved to death (as the Nazis did to the inmates of Auschwitz)
- emigrate and take the 50/50 chance of surviving the passage across the Atlantic.
According to the definitions of the Geneva Convention, what happened in Ireland between 1845-50 was Genocide. During those ‘potato famine years’ – food was systematically removed from the shores of Ireland, a policy conducted in full awareness that it was starving the population. The result was a million deaths, with two million more emigrating.
The Choctaw Indians donated to Irish famine sufferers in 1847.
Ireland starved because its food, from 40 to 70 shiploads per day, was removed at gunpoint by 12,000 British constables reinforced by the British militia, battleships, excise vessels, Coast Guard and by 200,000 British soldiers (100,000 at any given moment) The attached map shows the never-before-published names and locations in Ireland of the food removal regiments (Disposition of the Army; Public Record Office, London; et al, of which we possess photocopies). Thus, Britain seized from Ireland’s producers tens of millions of head of livestock; tens of millions of tons of flour, grains, meat, poultry and dairy products; enough to sustain 18 million persons.
At the time, the population of Ireland was about 8 million.
In other words, the history still being taught to Irish children is a gross distortion of the facts. In a letter he wrote to an Irish peer – the 1st Baron Monteagle of Brandon, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer – Charles Trevelyan described the famine as an “effective mechanism for reducing surplus population” as well as “the judgement of God“. In recent years, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright expressed similarly unconscionable sentiments regarding the economic siege of Iraq in the 1990s. Here’s another quote that embodies the psychopathic nature of Trevelyan, and the British Government he represented:
“British Coastguard Inspector-General, Sir James Dombrain, when he saw starving paupers, ordered his subordinates to give free food handouts. For his attempts to feed the starving, Dombrain was publicly rebuked by Trevelyan…”
The Trevelyan quote is: “The real evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the Famine but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.”
This tragedy is beautifully captured in the Irish folk ballad, The Fields of Athenry, with its painful, haunting lyrics eloquently expressing those terrible times:
Emigration – the ‘coffin ships’
Emigration was thus a desperate necessity. On some of the ‘coffin ships’ the death rate was 30% or more. Besides overcrowding, starvation and disease, the dangers included, for those attempting to use the Liverpool route, unscrupulous middlemen and landlords, thieves, con men, and the extortionate tactics of ships’ agents and owners. Exactly the same despicable tactics being used by ‘people traffickers’ of desperate people these days. Still, with the only other alternative being a slow death at home, hundreds of thousands faced, and largely overcame, these horrifying obstacles.
These days in our morally bankrupt Europe Union, people continue to flee from oppression and starvation. According to refugee organizations’ estimates, since 1990 something in the region of 25,000 people have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Since the Lampedusa migrant deaths of 2013, when hundreds drowned, thousands more desperate people have been rescued from these latter day versions of the ‘coffin ships’, then often detained in conditions amounting to a ‘living hell‘. Britain’s Home Office estimates that some 30,000 migrants and asylum seekers are detained indefinitely in the country while their immigration status is ‘resolved’, with many being held for months or even years. The immigration removal centers in the UK have been described as ‘proper prisons’, with lack of medical care, routine physical abuse, and illegal indefinite detentions. Ireland today, still suffering the demise of its economy as the ‘Celtic Tiger’ was fattened then slaughtered by the same imperialist mindset that caused the famine, is undergoing another mass emigration, with as many as 400,000 people having left Irish shores since 2008… from a population of just over 4.5 million.
The theme of emigration is well represented in this song by The Pogues – Thousands Are Sailing – with lyrics here.
Learning from history
Is it really any wonder that the same human rights abuses continue today when such horrific acts of genocide have been excised from the history books and the knowledge of them denied even to the descendants of those who suffered so terribly? It’s an appalling travesty. Until we research objectively, uncover these horrific lies, and demand their inclusion in mainstream history books and the school curriculum – learn the lessons of history, in other words – absolutely nothing will change. We will continue to see the same agendas play out, just on a slightly different stage.
Perhaps this St Patrick’s Day we can make a concerted effort to pass on knowledge of this despicable period in Irish history, sign the petition ‘WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME ‘FAMINE’: IRELAND, 1845 – 1850‘, and celebrate those ‘Celtic qualities’ we may have forgotten or lost, but which we have in common with other ‘tribes‘ worldwide. Perhaps this St Patrick’s Day we can remember our shared suffering with all humanity – whatever their nationality, creed or colour – under the Global Pathocracy‘s relentless war against the weak.
“Our modern civilization suffers from amnesia. The psychopathic elites have stolen our heritage: the wisdom of our ancestors who knew about the cyclical nature of cosmic events and the role played by corruption in those catastrophes.”
Only Our Rivers Run Free is a song written by Mickey MacConnell about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. I feel the lyrics are relevant everywhere in this world though, as the “cold chains of bondage” take many different forms, perhaps the strongest being those that remain unseen because people do not know their true history.
Only our rivers run free
When apples still grow in November
When Blossoms still bloom from each tree
When leaves are still green in December
It’s then that our land will be free
I wander her hills and her valleys
And still through my sorrow I see
A land that has never known freedom
And only her rivers run free
I drink to the death of her manhood
Those men who’d rather have died
Than to live in the cold chains of bondage
To bring back their rights were denied
Oh where are you now when we need you
What burns where the flame used to be
Are ye gone like the snows of last winter
And will only our rivers run free?
How sweet is life but we’re crying
How mellow the wine but it’s dry
How fragrant the rose but it’s dying
How gentle the breeze but it sighs
What good is in youth when it’s aging
What joy is in eyes that can’t see
When there’s sorrow in sunshine and flowers
And still only our rivers run free
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