Anti-Irish sentiment

hostility or prejudice towards Irish people

Anti-Irish sentiment (or Hibernophobia) may refer to or include racism, oppression, bigotry, persecution, discrimination, hatred or fear of Irish people as an ethnic group or nation, whether directed against Ireland in general or against Irish emigrants and their descendants in the Irish diaspora.


  • They use their fields mostly for pasture. Little is cultivated and even less is sown. The problem here is not the quality of the soil but rather the lack of industry on the part of those who should cultivate it. This laziness means that the different types of minerals with which hidden veins of the earth are full are neither mined nor exploited in any way. They do not devote themselves to the manufacture of flax or wool, nor to the practice of any mechanical or mercantile act. Dedicated only to leisure and laziness, this is a truly barbarous people. They depend on animals for their livelihood and they live like animals.
    • Gerald of Wales, Giraldus, John Joseph O'Meara. The History and Topography of Ireland. Penguin Classics, 1982. Page 102.
  • [The Irish] hate our order, our civilization, our enterprising industry, our pure religion. This wild, reckless, indolent, uncertain and superstitious race have no sympathy with the English character. Their ideal of human felicity is an alternation of clannish broils and coarse idolatry. Their history describes an unbroken circle of bigotry and blood.
    • Robert Blake (1960). Disraeli. pp. 152–53.
  • They (the Irish) live on beasts only, and live like beasts. They have not progressed at all from the habits of pastoral living. ..This is a filthy people, wallowing in vice. Of all peoples it is the least instructed in the rudiments of the faith. They do not yet pay tithes or first fruits or contract marriages. They do not avoid incest.
    • Gerald of Wales, In: Proclamation 1625: America’s Enslavement of the Irish, Jr, Herbert L. Byrd
  • I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black one would not see it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours.
    • Cambridge historian Charles Kingsley, letter to his wife from Ireland, 1860
  • Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows while Mr Haughey's [Irish] ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves.
    • Ian Paisley[ In Brewer, J.; Higgins, G. (7 September 1998). "Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland: The Mote and the Beam".
  • Marry those be the most barbaric and loathy conditions of any people (I think) under heaven...They [the Irish] do use all the beastly behaviour that may be, they oppress all men, they spoil as well the subject, as the enemy; they steal, they are cruel and bloody, full of revenge, and delighting in deadly execution, licentious, swearers and blasphemers, common ravishers of women, and murderers of children.
    • Edmund Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, 1596
  • Margaret Thatcher came up to me and she said, 'I’ve got one thing to say to you, my boy ... you can’t trust the Irish, they are all liars', she said, 'liars, and that’s what you have to remember, so just don’t forget it. With that she waltzed off and that was my only personal exposure to her.
    • Margaret Thatcher, to Peter Mandelson [1]
  • If anybody knocks on your door that has an Irish accent, automatically ask them to leave.
    •  Marlene Kairouz member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly and Minister for Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Yes, I am a Jew, and when the [Irish] ancestors of the Right Honourable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon. Benjamin Disraeli
  • I often wonder where they would have been / If we hadn’t have taken them in / Fed them and washed them. / Thousands in Glasgow alone. / From Ireland they came. / Brought us nothing but trouble and shame. / Well the famine is over. / Why don’t they go home?

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