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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: October 4, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    Tommy Tiernan: It Won’t Go Away

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    I see from today’s Sunday Tribune that the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland has called on comedian Tommy Tiernan to apologise for his rant about Jews and the Holocaust. There are many critics of Israeli policies towards Gaza and the West Bank but they should not allow those matters to detract from the point at issue here.


    Are we really supposed to think this is funny? Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto 1942 (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

    One of the depressing features of this controversy  is the failure of non-Jewish people in this country to come out and demand that Tiernan do the decent thing and issue a full and wholehearted apology for his obscene outburst.

     Apart from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the only other public objectors I am aware of are the Jewish Representative Council, Deputy Alan Shatter of Fine Gael and the film producer Louis Lentin.

    It would be nice if some of the broadcasters who have given Mr Tiernan a platform over the years were now to say to him, in unequivocal terms, “Cop yourself on, Tommy.”  Who are Tiernan’s advisers or does he listen to anyone on an issue like this?

    Ambassador Evrony sums it up: “When the topic is that of mass murder and genocide based on the propagation of racial hatred, the right of humorous comment cannot be absolute.”

     In other words, freedom of speech does not include the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. 

    • Aidan says:

      Mike, you said yourself earlier on, and on repeated occasions, that there is no evidence here that Tiernan is an Anti-Semite. Therefore there is no case. End of Story.

      You’re not trying to say that this is circumstantial evidence, and that previous utterances should be admitted. This is in direct contradiction to your and Deaglán’s insistent that this rant doesn’t make him an Anti-Semite. You think it’s offensive, and out of line, but you’ve already thrown your cards in on the Anti-Semite question. You can’t now pick them back up. Nice try though.

      And I’m not saying that you aren’t a paedophile, but I willing to give you the benefit of the doubt given that there is no evidence. We can’t dismiss the possibility though, can we?

    • mike says:


      Your latest response again fails to address the issues at hand, and instead you again embark on twisting what I have written re TT. I have really and earnestly tried to debate with you in a civilised fair way, but you repeatedly distort what I have posted. I previously registered with you my taking exception to your misrepresentations of my points, and decided to give you another chance. But after this latest travesty of yours at distoting what I said re Tiernan, I give up, as it is obviously pointless.

      I wish you well, and do admit that you are a good and able debater.

    • Aidan says:


      I did my best to be clear, and I’m sorry you feel that I have distorted. You did seem to me to say on Oct 9, 11.34am that you were wrong to say that this incident was not evidence Tiernan was an anti-Semite, but perhaps I got that wrong.

      Thanks for the compliment, and the same to you. Bye.

    • Jim says:

      Colin says that, “he mentioned that nothing that he ever said is meant to be taken seriosly, a statement that is true of all comedians”.
      So we can add stupidity to his other faults if he genuinely believes that.

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