Orgies of Irish-bashing

IrishCentral editors respond to Krugman rant | Irish News | IrishCentral

He has jumped on the merry-go-round that every economist in the world has in an orgy of Irish-bashing that is without parallel.

But I think America would be privileged to turn Irish, Mr. Krugman.

Nowhere in his column has he talked about the Irish people other than as statistics.

That could be because he has never met them, or is ignorant of their history.

What he should know is this.

Yes, things are bad in 2009 in Ireland. But they’ve seen a lot worse.

Back in the 1840s millions of Irish starved to death in Europe’s worst 19th century genocide as the British stood idly by.

The country recovered and defeated the British.

Not only that, they have endured and overcome more than almost any other nation on earth.

In the 1950s the country had nothing and huge numbers emigrated.

In the 1980s the country was broke again and many more emigrated.

So the Irish, Mr. Krugman, are well used to adversity, the kind you could never possibly imagine from your Ivy League office at Princeton.

Confronted with this kind of voluntarist come-all-ye, the average person in Ireland may be inclined to perform serious self-harm with the nearest shillelagh. However, it is important to see this in its true context: as an minor American domestic dispute. The entire population here could be living in crack dens, human trafficking could account for 55% of GDP, and the warlord owners of the country could be launching ballistic missiles unprovoked at the population of Anglesey, and you’d still have lots of prominent voices in the US sticking up for Ireland. I’m not criticising it and I don’t think Irish-Americans should refrain from doing it: in fact I think it’s a quite entertaining feature of American culture.

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1 Response to “Orgies of Irish-bashing”


  1. 1 EWI April 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Yes, things are bad in 2009 in Ireland. But they’ve seen a lot worse.

    Back in the 1840s millions of Irish starved to death in Europe’s worst 19th century genocide as the British stood idly by.

    The country recovered and defeated the British.

    Not only that, they have endured and overcome more than almost any other nation on earth.

    In the 1950s the country had nothing and huge numbers emigrated.

    In the 1980s the country was broke again and many more emigrated.

    So the Irish, Mr. Krugman, are well used to adversity, the kind you could never possibly imagine from your Ivy League office at Princeton.

    Well, I for one am only glad that “IrishCentral” hasn’t yet had to resort to wheeling out the big guns to demonstrate that Fighting Irish spirit; the Irish soccer rugby team.


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