Dublin gave subsidy to anti-Semitic publication

THE AUTHORITIES in Ireland have subsidised an anti-Semitic memoir in the Irish language, which may be in violation of international laws forbidding the incitement of racial hatred.

The book states that there was 'no proof that the Germans intended to exterminate' the Jews and that pictures of Nazi concentration camp victims were corpses exhumed after the 1945 Dresden bombing.

The grant of Ir pounds 1,000 ( pounds 1,095) has already been paid. Sean De Freine, secretary of Bord na Leabhair Gaelige - a quango which comes under the Department of the Arts and Gaeltacht and funds Gaelic books - denied that the book was anti-Semitic and said that any grant was a private contractual issue with the publisher, Padraig O Snodaigh.

Mr O Snodaigh said that though many of the author's views were 'ridiculous', he felt the memoir had been worth publishing. He has volunteered, however, to donate the grant money to any Jewish charity.

The subsidy has caused deep embarrassment to members of Ireland's ruling Fianna Fail-Labour coalition government, one of whom, Mervyn Taylor, the Minister for Equality and Law Reform, is Jewish. Mr Taylor expressed outrage over the book. It was 'reprehensible that a book of that nature should be aided from public funds', he said.

Ireland's President, Mary Robinson, a constitutional and civil rights lawyer, was said to be 'distressed and embarrassed' over the government grant, according to Dublin sources. The book's publication has also offended the Irish Jewish community.

The book Ce Hi Seo Amuigh? ('Who Is That Outside') was written in Irish by Roisin Ni Mheara, who was adopted into the family of General Sir Ian Hamilton in the 1920s. She later moved to Berlin where she joined William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) on propaganda broadcasts and was twice married to SS officers during the war years.

Mrs Ni Mheara, now in her 70s, lives in Germany and Austria, although she maintains close links with Ireland and recently founded a museum on one of the Aran Islands. She has translated books by Irish authors into German and has several influential admirers.

One of them, Ciaran O Coigligh, a lecturer in Irish at St Patrick's College in Dublin, says on the book's dust-jacket that the 'people of Ireland are indebted to Roisin Ni Mheara for this most unusual book in Irish'.

The book, he wrote, 'will attract comment and will be a source for reassessment of the mind-set of the Irish people and Irish-speaking people, especially during the World War II era'. Mr O Coigligh was referring to the fact that some Irish republicans sympathised with Hitler's national socialist philosophy during the Second World War.

The payment of the grant was revealed by a senior official in the Department of the Arts and Gaeltacht (Irish speaking areas). The minister responsible for the department, Labour's Michael Higgins, has refused to comment.

Bill Shipsey, a prominent Irish lawyer and former executive board member of Amnesty International, said that the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights provided that 'any advocacy of racial hatred shall be prohibited by law'.

Ireland also has a duty under the 1960 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to stop the publication of the book. 'It's clearly in breach of Ireland's obligations under the convention for the state to fund a publication which incites racial hatred.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Specialist - Document Management

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A leading provider of document ...

Recruitment Genius: Legal Secretary

£17000 - £17800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to work ...

Recruitment Genius: Ad Ops Manager - Up to £55K + great benefits

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a digital speci...

The Green Recruitment Company: Operations Manager - Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent