Ireland of the Begrudgers

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | March 1, 2017 0

A blogger from Kerry has created a cartoon image to reflect the abuse and racism that she experiences on a daily basis. And that led to some strange reactions from people who have developed an insular and unwarranted sense of superiority.

Úna-Minh Caomhánach (Una Kavanagh) was born in Vietnam and was adopted by a woman in Kerry. She speaks fluent Irish, as she was taught Gaelic from the age of three by her adoptive grandfather. Ms Caomhánach (25) has previously said that she is “more Irish than I will ever be Vietnamese”. But she said she is insulted with a range of racial slurs regularly.

Over the weekend, the freelance writer posted an image online of a sample of the kind of horrific insults that are hurled at her. The disgusting remarks included “Asian slut”, “slit eye weirdo” and “send this chow mein back to China”. She said: “I drew this because it has happened to me again and again. These are real comments and racial slurs from very real people.” The social media post garnered support from followers who commended her bravery. Father Ted writer Graham Linehan shared his thoughts on the post and said it reminded him of an incident that inspired him to write the episode ‘Are You Right There Father?’ The episode sees Fr Ted offending the Chinese population of the fictional Craggy Island with his ‘Chinaman’ impression and he is branded a racist.

But Ms Caomhánach’s post also provoked further racist insults. She responded to the trolls by publicly retweeting their comments and responding to them. “Incidentally, the racial attack directed at me at the very top of that drawing? This is the full version sent to me by PM,” she wrote on Twitter. “Also just want to stress again I’m totally grand. This stuff just NEEDS to be highlighted not pushed under the rug.

However, she did receive this email from a sad man called Barry complaining that if anyone can claim to be Irish, “being Irish becomes meaningless” – a “crime against humanity”, apparently. Úna-Minh responded to his claims that to be Irish you have to be a product of “the Irish environment” – entirely as Gaeilge (in Irish).

It’s clear that you have some strong opinions. In relation to racism… there isn’t another side, as you said. It’s a pity that you don’t see how narrow-minded your points are. You have a rotten, negative, gloomy outlook on life with no happiness. I am not responsible for your feelings of insecurity. I’m not to blame for having confidence in myself (something you do not have, it seems).

“Just do me a favour, please don’t tell me to just ignore them because that’s easy to say when it’s not happening to you online and offline.” Ms Caomhánach previously wrote about a sickening assault on Parnell Street, Dublin, when a young boy grabbed her face and spat at her. The group of boys also shouted at her that she was “a f**king chink”.

Ms Caomhánach, a mental health ambassador for See Change Ireland, said she has become desensitised to all the racial comments thrown at her, but it was the first time she was physically assaulted because of her race, saying the incident, in June 2013, “shook me to the core. What these teenage boys did was unacceptable, disgusting and foolish,” she said. “I shouldn’t need to hide or feel scared in my own country. I’ve the right to be able to call myself Irish; sure, if anyone talked to me they’d hear a strong Kerry accent. I am an Irish citizen, and nothing will change that.”

She said it wasn’t the first time she has been racially abused. “I couldn’t even count how many times ‘ching chong’ or ‘slanty eyes’ insults have been thrown my way,” she said.

A big bualadh bos for Úna-Minh, Ireland does have a race problem conditioned by the years of thought control and insularity and, dare I say it, a certain stupidity among a begrudger class which goes some way to explaining how the British ruled us for so long?


The Skibbereen Eagle

The Skibbereen Eagle

In 1898, to widespread bemusement, a small Provincial Newspaper in an equally small town in the South West corner of Ireland sonorously warned the Czar of Russia that it knew what he was up to and he should be careful how he proceeded for “The Skibbereen Eagle” was wise to his game and in future would be keeping its eye on him! It is doubtful that Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, even noticed the Eagle’s admonitions but as history soon proved he should have paid closer attention to the Eagle’s insightful opinions!

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