The simian negroid Irish depicted in English and American cartoons

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ANGLO-Irish Relations have been strained for years. Ever since the Earl of Pembroke became involved in a local matter in Leinster in 1170, the English have played a role in Irish affairs. When John de Courcy seized control of Ulster 1177, the English became the self-styled civilising force. The Irish were the bestial savages. As these cartoons show, the Irish were portrayed as low-browed, wire-haired simians, More ape than man.

The lead picture (above) was published in American magazine, Harper’s Weekly. The Irish were the negroes, a lesser strain of humanity.


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The feckless “white Negroes” were heading to the USA.


the irish monkey

Florence’s London is about 280 miles from Bridget’s Dublin. That’s around 2.3million years in evolutionary terms.. This image originally appeared in 1866.

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The English woman is the one not raising her voice. Her opposable thumbs are clasped in reason.


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It’s the Lion King prequel.

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The Irishman has not buttoned his collar.

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The Irish negro.


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An Irish riot (1867). It’s Planet of the O’rangutans.

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Look out, America!

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Michael O’Malley on the above image:

In this cartoon, captioned “A King of -Shanty,” the comparison becomes explicit. The “Ashantee” were a well known African tribe; “shanty” was the Irish word for a shack or poor man’s house. The cartoon mocks Irish poverty, caricatures irish people as ape like and primitive, and suggests they are little different from Africans, who the cartoonists seems to see the same way. This cartroon irishman has, again, the outhrust mouth, sloping forehead, and flat wide nose of the standard Irish caricature.


It wasn’t all monkey. The Irish wer also pigs:

the irish pig



And if you thought depiction of the sub-human Irishman ended eons ago, enjoy this gem that appeared in the Daily Express, London, 12 August 1970. If those brows were any lower, they’d be chins.



Spotters: herehere, herehere

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