Jewish council ‘deeply disturbed’ by delivery of anti-Semitic material to Shatter

‘Highlights a growing trend across Europe’


The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland has expressed its "revulsion and abhorrence" at the delivery of anti-Semitic material to the home and department of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter this week.

Council chair Maurice Cohen said it was ironic this incident should occur on the day following a reception held in Áras an Uachtaráin by President Michael D Higgins to honour the occasion of the eighth meeting of the annual Anglican/Jewish Commission being held in Dublin. The commission, under the auspices of the Archbisho p of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, met for the first time in Dublin between Monday and yesterday. Proceedings were chaired by the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson.

At the Tuesday evening reception Mr Higgins welcomed Anglican and Jewish members of the commission as well as leaders of other faiths including the papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, and Sheik Halawa of the Islamic Cultural Centre at Dublin's Clonskeagh.


Mr Higgins praised the commission’s work which includes encouraging dialogue and deeper understanding between different faiths and traditions.

Mr Cohen said the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland was " deeply disturbed" by the delivery of such material to Mr Shatter's home and his department.

Growing trend
He said it highlighted a growing trend across Europe where political discourse and support was growing for parties and groups who adopted racist views in politics.

He noted how “in stark contrast to these trends, Ireland through its Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, had organised naturalisation ceremonies for applicants seeking citizenship in Ireland, where he stresses the importance of a common Irish citizenship drawn from diverse cultures, creeds and previous nationalities”.

Mr Cohen added: “The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland wishes to express their support for the Minister and his family following this incident.”

The council, he said, “encourages all those in the political process, from whatever persuasion they may come, to put politics aside and stand collectively in solidarity with the Minister against all forms of racism, religious abuse or intolerance.”

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times