Dean Griffin calls Irish 'myth-fed mongrels'


The former Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, the Very Rev Victor Griffin, has described the Irish as a "mongrel, mixed-up and myth-fed people". He has also dismissed the idea of "one true authentic Irish tribe" as "a romantic fallacy".

He makes the comments in a new book he has written, which was launched at the Deanery of St Patrick's in recent days. The book Enough Religion to Make Us Hate: Reflections on Religion and Politics, from a quotation by Swift, was launched by Senator David Norris.

Calling for a more pluralist Ireland, Dean Griffin writes that identity in Ireland has been too narrowly defined, and too negatively. For the sake of simplicity, or prejudice, Irish people close their eyes to how much the Irish and British owe one another. And "the child of intolerance is hate", he says.

He criticises leaders of both the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland for attempting to achieve "some political fix to satisfy the warring parties in the North", rather that spelling out "clearly, concisely and courageously the demands of the gospel and its total condemnation of those who, while professing to follow Christ and his teaching, blatantly oppose it by their words an actions".

The church leaders' policy has been not to do anything which might offend the "anti-ecumenical sectarian segregationists or political activists", he says. He criticises the anti-ecumenism of the Orange Order as "contrary to the witness and practice of the Church of Ireland today".