early modern and modern clannish ireland

the medieval irish, then, mated closely and were clannish right up to at least the late-1500s.

even if the theory that close matings lead to clannishness (because they set up positive selection pressures for clannish behavioral traits) is wrong, i think it still would be important to consider, given their family types and structure of society, what sorts of selection pressures for what sorts of behavioral traits might’ve existed for the irish over the course of those ca. 1000 years — at least.

the mating patterns of the irish should’ve come into line with the rest of northwestern roman catholic europe in the 1100s when the invading normans tried to get the irish (celtic) church to follow rome’s teachings. unfortunately, the normans “went native,” and the promises made at the synod of cashel (1172) do not seem to have been enforced.

from jack goody [pgs. 44-45 — see also previous post]:

“But as far as the family and marriage were concerned, the wishes of the Church did not always prevail and resistance was often prolonged. The difference between ‘local custom’ and ecclesiastical law is nowhere stronger than in Ireland, even as late as the Norman period. It was then, during the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, that English (or Norman) influence came to play a dominant role in reshaping the Irish Church. The archbishops of Canterbury, Lanfranc and Anselm, both protested against the Irish customs of marriage and divorce. From the seventh century Irish Church legislators had recognised only four degrees of kinship within which marriage was prohibited (and the law tracts fewer), whereas the papacy acknowledged seven…. ‘Native law’, comments Hughes (1966: 260), ‘triumphed over the stricter provisions of the church, to the disgust of the Anglo-Norman prelates, who were used to very different customs.’

“In theory, this state of affairs was altered by the first of the reforming synods, held at Cashel in 1101. However this conclave did not introduce the full requirements of the Roman Church, and, although it did forbid a man to marry his step-mother (or step-grandmother), or his sister or daughter, his brother’s wife, or any woman of similarly near kinship, it said nothing of the ‘Irish practices of concubinage and divorce.’ Even so, the legislation seems to have had little effect on social life, for some time later Pope Alexander III [pope from 1159 to 1181] was told that the Irish ‘marry their step-mothers and are not ashamed to have children by them; that a man may live with his brother’s wife while the brother is still alive; and that one many may live in concubinage with two sisters; and that many of them, putting away the mother, will marry the daughters’ (Sheehy 1962: I,21; Hughes 1966: 265).”

and, as we saw two posts ago, rome’s marriage regulations seem to have been largely ignored by the irish right up until the late 1500s.

unfortunately, i don’t know what happened next. (argh!) i know that by the 1800s the roman catholic irish did, generally, obey the church’s teachings on cousin marriage, etc., but i’m not sure what happened in the intervening centuries from the late 1500s until the 1800s. i think (i hope!) the answers lie in this book…

Marriage in Ireland (1985)

…but it’s not available anywhere online (dr*t!), and i don’t have a copy of it. one of these days, i just might have to (*gulp*) turn off my computer, temporarily sever my connection to the innnerwebs (ouch!), and move myself physically to the library. theoretically that is a possibility (so i’m given to understand), but it probably won’t happen in the next couple of weeks. so, until then, these centuries will remain a mystery!

what did obviously happen in ireland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were the plantations. the new arrivals were, unlike the natives, protestants, who, except for the scots-irish, likely came from a long line of outbreeders (it would be interesting to know from where in england the anglo-irish in southern ireland came!), and while the authorities tried to introduce protestantism to the native irish, they were having none of it. there was something of a counter-revolution in ireland which was supported from outside — even from rome (they sent in the jesuits!) — so perhaps as part and parcel of all that, the irish church got more in line with rome wrt marriage, etc., etc. not sure. just guessing. i’m hoping Marriage in Ireland will tell me!

what i do know is that the early modern and modern irish were still clannish in their behaviors. actual clans (*fines*) were no longer the organizing principle of irish society — the protestant ascendancy ran the show politically and economically for a couple of centuries — but the native irish still behaved in clannish ways.

one of the easiest ways to spot clannishness is to look for feuding, a la the hatfields and the mccoys. that’s not the only way for clannish peoples to express their clannishness (look also for nepotism and certain other types of corruption), but it is one of the most obivous ways.

from a previous post:

“they sound like they were rather clannish as recently as the mid-1800s — right around and after the time of the potato famine there (1847) [pgs. 57-58]:

‘Clark affirms that “neighbourhood and kinship ties formed the basis of ‘primary’ groups in pre-famine Ireland” (such as “factions”) but concentrates upon “social interaction…beyond the primary group.” After the Famine, though communal and kinship ties continued to influence the composition of “collectivities”, “associational organizations was clearly predominant…during the entire second half of the nineteenth century”….'”

so perhaps towards the end of the 1800s, clannishness amongst the irish — in the sense of actually being tied to fellow extended kin members in daily life — did start to wane somewhat. but…

‘Arensberg and Kimball, by contrast, stress the strength and flexibility of kinship bonds among Claremen of the 1930s. Family links took precedence over bonds of class or occupation, while family members were remarkable for their co-operation and mutual supportiveness rather than competitiveness. The cohesion of kinship groups had been strong enough to survive profound changes in economic and social structure since the Famine….”

here come the feuds:

‘The outrage reports for pre-famine Cloone confirm the importance of “neighbourhood and kinship ties” in aligning the factions involved in “party fights”. Thus at Drimna, in 1838, “a faction fight took place between two hostile parties, named Deignan’s and Mullin’s, respecting the right to the possession of a small portion of land”. Other such confrontations were of a ritual rather than material character, providing an occasion for “long-tailed” families to assert their corporate identity and importance through trials of strength. Indeed market-day brawls could be provoked merely by the affirmation of family affiliation, as when a certain Cooke of Carrigallen “retreated towards a Public House where a party of his friends were drinking and when near it he called out ‘Who dared say anything against a Cooke…?'” It is clear that the ceremonial grappling of factions became unusual after the Famine, despite occasional reports throughout the century…. Familial networks, though, in less overt fashion, never ceased to lend cohesion to rural associations ranging from the Society of Ribbonmen to the United Irish League or Sinn Fein.'”

again, then, towards the end of the 1800s, the clannishness — the feuding — starts to die down. but the irish were still feuding as late as the mid-1800s. to find evidence for such feuding amongst the english, you need to go back to around ca. 1000-1100, i.e. 700-800 years earlier.

btw, the name “outrage reports” just cracks me up! i can imagine the very civilized, non-feuding english just thinking that the irish were “outrageous” with all their feuding! (~_^)

here’s some more from Melancholy Accidents: The Meaning of Violence in Post-Famine Ireland from the chapter entitled “Recreational Violence” (heh) … the entire chapter is quite an entertaining (if sad) read — i’ll just reproduce a couple of bits for you here [pgs. 17-21, 24 — links added by me]:

“The most remarkable thing about violence in late nineteenth century Ireland was not its political manifestation, but its recreational aspects. Rather than brutal assassins, the characters who emerge from the criminal records are more often people who enjoyed fighting as a sometimes lethal, but rarely malicious form of entertainment. Recreational violence includes incidents in which a challenge was issued and a fight agreed upon but no serious grounds for malice existed. The confrontation occurred most often at fairs, markets and other social gatherings and usually involved alcohol [thnx to the person who sent me that!]. Over 42 percent of all homicides were recreational in origin. In the four counties for which full records exist, at least 58 percent of violent crime fell into the recreational category.

Recreational violence was a long-established cultural tradition in rural Ireland. The overwhelming concern with physcial bravery, the relative indifference to homicide, the willingness to do battle with and even kill loved ones, and the comic buffoonery sometimes demonstrated by Cuchulainn and his cohorts in ancient legends are all echoed in nineteenth century court records. These patterns had continued as fundamental parts of Irish life over the centuries….

“The defense attorney in a case in which more than a hundred men had been involved in a fight ‘alluded to the very few recreations which the country people had to amuse themselves with….’

“In many cultures violence is associated with the lower classes. However, in late nineteenth century Ireland rowdy recreation was not limited to the lower orders. Twenty-eight percent of homicides in brawls involved farmers or their families…. Though it might be argued that such rowdiness was a holdover from earlier times in which political and economic success were effectively denied to Irish tenant farmers, it is difficult to explain why it was in the most prosperous areas of the countryside that the violent traditions were longest-lived. As the ‘Munster News’ pointed out when discussing the violence in the eastern section of Limerick: ‘There should be less cause of atrocity here than in other places. The country around is fertile; the farmers are in comfortable circumstances and a barefooted boy or girl is seldom observed.’

“For all classes brawling could be entertainment and violence viewed as comic. English journalist Bernard Becker observed during a tour of Ireland in 1880 that, ‘Nothing is more amazing to serious people than the light and easy manner in which everybody takes everything on this side of the Irish Sea.’ At least thirteen homicides were the result of practical jokes gone wrong. As usual the courts gave more weight to the intent than the consequences. The longest sentence for a homicide caused by a joke was nine months given a drunk whose ‘joke’ was stabbing a child in the rear end with a hot poker.

“Faction Fights

The most obvious examples of recreational violence were faction fights…. A formal faction fight, which might involve hundreds of men on each side, usually began with the ritual of wheeling which included chants, stylized gestures and insults. In the traditional wheel, the chant included the name of the faction issuing the challenge as well as the intended opponent. For example, a faction fight might begin when one side chanted ‘Here is Connors and Delahanty. Is there any Madden will come before us…?’

“Faction fighting enjoyed its heyday in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By the 1860s the incidence had declined considerably though factions seem to have been under-reported in official returns. The outrage returns report only forty faction fights between 1866 and 1892, but there are sixty faction fights mentioned in the surviving court records. At least thirty of the homicides reported as outrages between 1866 and 1892 were faction related though not all of these deaths were the result of formal, ritualized, large-scale fights….

“Factions were particularly strong in the New Pallas and Cappamore districts of Limerick where the Three Year Olds and Four Year Olds had battled for generations. The names stemmed from a fight held decades earlier over the age of either a colt or a cow. The feud had lasted so long nobody remembered which. These factions were contributing factors in over a quarter of all indictments for assault and 8 percent of homicides in Limerick between 1866 and 1892. The ‘Limerick Reporter’ lamented, ‘There was not a fair or market, petty sessions or quarter sessions in which these horrible feuds and party disagreements were not found to prevail.’ In May 1871 the Limerick chief inspector of police reported that over half the indictable offenses in Pallas could be attriubted to factions. Even though arrests had been made, he feared ‘in every case of faction fight retaliation may be expected….’

“More than any other form of recreational violence, factions resemble organized sports. Not only do factions resemble other forms of leisure found in medieval and early modern societies, such as the battles of the bridges in Venice, they also have parallels to modern team sports. Such organized violence provides entertainment, a path to status and an outlet for communal loyalties.

so this (see steve sailer)…

fightin' irish

…is really just another confirmational stereotype. (~_^)

previously: what’s this all about? and clannish medieval ireland and early and late medieval irish mating practices and inbreeding in europe’s periphery and meanwhile, in ireland… and inbreeding in ireland in modern times

(note: comments do not require an email. fightin’ irish?)

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56 Comments

  1. I said to a liberal once that most police officers in England were murdered by non-natives. His immediate response was: “Dale Cregan.” It was a stupid response in two ways: a) exceptions don’t disprove rules; b) Cregan isn’t an exception anyway.

    The Irish name Cregan has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Cregan is O Croidheagain…

    Cregan is from a feuding clan:

    The crown had alleged that last summer’s violence was sparked by a “longstanding feud” between two rival Manchester families…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/13/dale-cregan-life-police-killing

    And when another group targeted his family, they paid for it:

    He put his arms out to be handcuffed and told the counter clerk: “I’m wanted by the police and I’ve done two coppers.”

    He then told an officer: “I dropped the gun at the scene and I’ve murdered two police officers.

    “You were hounding my family so I took it out on yous.”

    He later expressed remorse the officers he murdered were women.

    “… sorry about those two that have been killed, I wish it was men,” he said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-22594211

    Reply

  2. @villodavisp – “Dale Cregan”

    ugh! i’ve only read a little about this cregan crew in the daily mail, but they sound like a scary bunch! =/ you should deport the lot of them! (i don’t care if any of them were born in england.)

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  3. I am reminded of the story of Sawney Bean – in its clannishness and violence, not so much in the cannibalism.

    Wasn’t Scotland settled by the Irish?

    Reply

  4. @ hbd chick – “you should deport the lot of them! (i don’t care if any of them were born in england.)”

    lol. I don’t know if this Cregan psychopath is of recent Irish stock, the Irish migrated to Manchester and nearby Salford in very large numbers from the 1780s right through to as recently as the 1980s..

    http://www.prideofmanchester.com/mancirish/history.htm

    “By 1841, a tenth of the city’s population was Irish and many lived in the district known as “Little Ireland”, a slum area in the Ancoats area of Manchester which Engels labelled in his 1845 ‘Condition of the Working Class In England’ as “the most disgusting spot of all!”. This area of the city was so overcrowded that the sudden Irish influx during the Potato Famine could not be accomodated and had to turn to other English cities, notably Liverpool and Birmingham.”

    Clans, feuds, and vendettas sort of exist among some working-class communities in a few British cities today among the criminal fraternity and their extended families, and I wonder to what extent this could be a remnant of a culture brought over with the Irish immigrants that these communities absorbed?

    From the Wikipedia page on “Feud”:-

    “Vendetta is still practiced…between white or black British working-class families (especially in the East End of London, Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow),..”
    [To which you can also add Manchester]

    Reply

  5. I wrote something and clicked ‘post comment’ and it vanished

    [edit: sorry! wordpress stuck it in the spam box. no idea why! and then wp lets all sorts of spam through. *facepalm*]

    Reply

  6. Wow. Looks like the Irish really were savages as the English claimed. Of course the way the English treated them was pretty savage too — maybe more savage, I think they practiced genocide sometimes at the local level, but not sure about that. The story linked to in the Irish Examiner is really incredible, especially if no money was involved.

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  7. @Luke

    Thanks for especially that link.

    Shades of Joyce those Irish are so literal!

    “It is understood that the two women involved, both aged in their 30s, were friends but have had a serious falling out in recent times.”

    (Slow Friday in Arkansas.)

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  8. “Wasn’t Scotland settled by the Irish?”

    Indigenous Picts then Gaels from the west, Saxons from the east and Norse from the north.

    Reply

  9. @luke – “Of course the way the English treated them was pretty savage too — maybe more savage, I think they practiced genocide sometimes at the local level, but not sure about that.”

    yeah, well, humans are jerks.

    (i like to have — and focus on — one simple yet profound life lesson every year or so. you know, something to contemplate every morning when i’m brushing my teeth. a couple of years ago it was “people are stupid.” this year it’s proving to be “humans are jerks.” i find that in remembering these life lessons, the world makes a lot more sense … unfortunately.)

    Reply

  10. http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/limerick-gang-war-marks-its-10th-year-136082.html

    A lot of these crime families have gypsy roots for the reasons explored on this blog: large, closely related families have a competitive advantage in small-group violence (hence why that family form is the human default i guess).

    Anyway just to illustrate the point i quickly googled the family names mentioned along with “gypsies” and got a thread full of hubchik theory win.

    http://honestlk.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/limerick-scumbags-whos-related-to-who/

    Reply

  11. Still only halfway through that thread but i’m pretty sure it’s the best thread on teh interwebs.

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  12. @grey – “Anyway just to illustrate the point i quickly googled the family names mentioned along with ‘gypsies’ and got a thread full of hubchik theory win.”

    i was just going to ask that — are some/all of these limerick gang families irish travellers? are the cregans, for that matter?!

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  13. “are some/all of these limerick gang families irish travellers?”

    the limerick ones yeah. read the thread i linked – it’s this blog in liquid form :)

    .
    “are the cregans, for that matter?!”

    i don’t know about the Cregans but they nearly always are. i was about to google but i got side-tracked by that thread.

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  14. @grey – read the thread i linked – it’s this blog in liquid form :)”

    let me pour myself a glass of guinness first. (^_^) and hide my keyboard on myself so i can’t leave inebriated comments all over the internet! (~_^)

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  15. General interest maybe.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Travellers

    “The birth rate for the Traveller community for the year 2005 was 33.32 per 1,000, possibly the highest birth rate recorded for any community in Europe.”

    “On average there are ten times more driving fatalities within the Traveller community. At 22%, this represents the most common cause of death among Traveller males. Some 10% of Traveller children die before their second birthday, compared to just 1% of the general population. In Ireland, 2.6% of all deaths in the total population were for people aged under 25, versus 32% for the Travellers.[35][36] In addition, 80% of Travellers die before the age of 65.”

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  16. The significance of that last point was to do with

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajnal_line

    “To the west of the line, marriage rates and thus fertility were comparatively low and a significant minority of women married late or remained single; to the east of the line and in the Mediterranean and select pockets of Northwestern Europe, early marriage was the norm and high fertility was countered by high mortality.

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  17. Sorry for the flurry of posts but the blog from Limerick touches every base mentioned on here.

    http://honestlk.wordpress.com/2013/05/

    “I passed two young Caseys in the street today with a buggy. They looked like brother and sister but that’s illegal so they must have been cousins. First cousins.

    They both had the standard Casey head on them but the male was prettier and a good bit thinner, as you would expect, and he wasn’t orange.”

    .
    Also i just thought – the point above about the high mortality outside the hajnal line and the high mortality of Irish travellers may relate to genetic defects like they get in the muslim world?

    (And for Linton possibly also the very high fertility?)

    Reply

  18. Ireland (the island as a whole) hasn’t just had serial killers: it’s had serial killer gangs:

    The Shankill Butchers is the name given to an Ulster loyalist gang, many of whom were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The gang conducted paramilitary activities during the 1970s in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was most notorious for its late-night kidnapping, torture and murder (by throat slashing) of random Catholic civilians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shankill_Butchers

    Liverpool is a very Irish city. It also has a bad reputation for violence, criminality and self-pity. But this is a stereotype, so can’t be true (Scouser = Liverpudlian):

    In a lot of the episodes, a slight dispute results in violence, in the screen shot above, from an episode of The Scousers you can see one of the men pointing a ketchup bottle in the other one’s face and the other is pointing the finger. Shows they are angry with each other but over something so trivial. This portrays Scousers being easily irritated by the slightest thing and therefore becoming violent.

    http://daniellamediaclasswork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/harry-enfield-scousers.html

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  19. There are a small number of HLA haplotypes which appear to have spread from Algeria to the Basque Country in Spain, and on to the western British Isles including Ireland. I think that these might track the migrations of pastoralists in the Neolithic.
    My theory is that in addition to pastoralism, they also brought close cousin marriage, clans, vendettas, and feuding. And that modern day terrorist organisations found in these regions are simply a channeling of the clan/vendetta/violent feuding/revenge type mindset (which may have a partly genetic basis as well, who knows).
    So in Algeria there is the ‘Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat’ [since renamed Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb]; in the Basque Country there is the terrorist group ETA; in Wales there used to be ‘Meibion Glyndwr’ [sons of Glyndwr] who firebombed English-owned holiday homes; and in Ireland of course there is the IRA and its various splinter groups, and loyalist terrorist groups also.
    Maybe this is far-fetched but I definitely believe that where you find a long tradition of clans, close cousin marriage, and feuds/vendetta, you are quite likely to also find terrorist organisations as well.
    People pay far too much attention to their political or religious motives, when I believe there is something else behind it all. If their motive wasn’t X then it would be Y instead. The motive or cause is secondary to their real need for being in a clan and finding an outlet for their violent tendencies. In western countries, urban gangs or football hooligan groups are other manifestations of the tendency.

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  20. This reminds me of the striking difference between the Polish and Irish contractors present here in Sweden. The Poles have a great reputation for doing a good job at a reasonable price but the Irish are infamous for offering incredibly low prices and doing a horrible job, often causing damage to the property or just taking off without having done the job at all.

    Perhaps they are Travellers who represent a more clanish and inbred branch of the population? The Irish don’t seem very inbred in general according to Consang.net.

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  21. Hi Staffan. Yes it is the Irish travellers who are the ones doing the shoddy tarmac laying, building work, driveways, roofing, paving, windows, etc. They are famous for it, they travel all over Ireland, Britain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden. They cause mayhem wherever they go. Their motto seems to be “take the money and run”! Yes their prices are cheap, but its a false economy because you will need to spend more money getting somebody else back to do the job properly. You are right the Polish are far better. I have personally had business dealings with Irish travellers, and can say that if you are on good terms with them they are some of the warmest, most hospitable and friendly folk. But you don’t want to get on the wrong side of them believe me. The latest thing here in the UK seems to be theft of scrap metal, for which they compete with Romanian Roma gypsies and native British criminals.

    Here is a story about modern day slavery in the traveller community, shocking stuff:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16836065

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  22. Thanks for the link, much worse than I expected. But I guess there is no reason to assume that White people should be immune to inbreeding or whatever is causing this kind of behavior.

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  23. If you want to study the effects of inbreeding on a population’s culture, social capital, trust etc then Limerick is your lady. “Stab city” is it’s international moniker, earned from the local savage’s preference for knives and swords. It’s noble really.
    State sponsored ghettos are positioned around the city, enclosed enclaves of generational inbreeding the denizens of which bear such a striking troglodytic similarity that the word phrenology unacceptably flashes through your mind.
    Family connections and the rule of violence are the force majeure of these estates. Existing in some cases side by side to decent working middle class areas, full of as they’re known “foreigners”, meaning anyone whose extended family tree isn’t common knowledge.

    Limerick is an extreme example but it’s indicative of Ireland as a whole. Traditional Brehon values in direct conflict with more progressive liberal values being imported from the E.U. and the States. The liberal intelligentsia will change the laws but people will do what they’ve always done and look after themselves and their family.

    It’s not a great country for national cooperation but on the other hand i’m not too worried about Islamic jihadists. They’ll be treated like everyone else.

    http://www.academia.edu/1198328/_Begrudgery_and_Brehon_Law_A_Short_Literary_History_of_Resentment_in_Ireland._
    .

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  24. @jn – “If you want to study the effects of inbreeding on a population’s culture, social capital, trust etc then Limerick is your lady.”

    i read Angela’s Ashes (i remember that i read the entire thing in one sitting, it was so compelling) — and i remember thinking the whole time — wtf?! i should read it again given what (i think) i now know about clannishness, etc.).

    thanks for that link about begrudgery in ireland! interesting! (^_^)

    Reply

  25. @chris – “Maybe this is far-fetched but I definitely believe that where you find a long tradition of clans, close cousin marriage, and feuds/vendetta, you are quite likely to also find terrorist organisations as well.”

    oh, yes! i think that that absolutely makes sense. have thought the same thing myself!

    @chris – “People pay far too much attention to their political or religious motives, when I believe there is something else behind it all. If their motive wasn’t X then it would be Y instead. The motive or cause is secondary to their real need for being in a clan and finding an outlet for their violent tendencies.”

    YES! exactly. it’s more important — MUCH more important — to watch what people do and not listen to what they say.

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  26. @villodavisp – “The Shankill Butchers is the name given to an Ulster loyalist gang, many of whom were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).”

    those folks would be scots-irish+the descendants of border reivers (with some mixing in with native irish and normans, too), and i want to keep them a bit separate from the native irish for now. they’re clannish, too, all right, but they’ve got a slightly different history from the native irish — i.e. the lowland scots were probably less clannish — so, i’ll get to them later.

    messy business, northern ireland. clannish peoples vs. clannish peoples. never good. =/

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  27. @villodavisp – “This portrays Scousers being easily irritated by the slightest thing and therefore becoming violent.”

    yup! see this comment (if you haven’t already).

    scousers. heh! where did that nickname ever come out of? (^_^)

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  28. “scousers. heh! where did that nickname ever come out of? (^_^)”

    From ‘lobscouse’, Norwegion word for a type of meat stew, which the Liverpool seamen, some of whom were Norwegion, would eat

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  29. @grey – “Sorry for the flurry of posts but the blog from Limerick touches every base mentioned on here.”

    i still haven’t had a chance to go through that whole thread/blog, but that IS a great thread, thanks! reading it makes me want to draw out — map — the genealogy of that whole clan(s) that they’re talking about. it’s hard to follow!

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  30. @chris – “From ‘lobscouse’, Norwegion word for a type of meat stew, which the Liverpool seamen, some of whom were Norwegion, would eat.”

    heh! how funny!

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  31. Staffan
    “Perhaps they are Travellers who represent a more clanish and inbred branch of the population? The Irish don’t seem very inbred in general according to Consang.net.”

    Yes.

    “but the Irish are infamous for offering incredibly low prices and doing a horrible job, often causing damage to the property or just taking off without having done the job at all”

    That’s standard traveller behavior. It’s generally a smoke-screen for burglary.

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  32. “I have personally had business dealings with Irish travellers, and can say that if you are on good terms with them they are some of the warmest, most hospitable and friendly folk.”

    I’d agree with this. Some ITs are well off (often as a result of their excellent equestrian skills (breeding, training, etc.) I went to school with some of them, and they were solid guys, weak in every school subject but the shrewdest business people you could imagine. I was also once attacked by a 3 year old IT (less well off) at a local carnival run by his family. Comical in a way, and harmless too, having a toddler punch you, but less so when his extended family was watching and congratulating the boy for his vigor. They’re a mixed bag, for sure. Quite a few do manage to settle and get out of that world. The more striving sort will take elocution lessons to alter their speech. As for how they look, many are blonde haired, blue eyed angels. They’re definitely not from India. Compared to the Gypsies, they’re exemplary (not sayin’ much but still). No rape, no wanton murder of outsiders, no prostitution or gross maiming of their children (bar regular, alcohol-fueled DV), etc. There are old stories that they used to kidnap children, but that has happened in ages. Stealing and scamming and fighting amongst themselves, leaving rubbish, and ultimately not living up to what they could are their sins. Often, when they do go to school, they’re placed in classes where they are far older than everyone else. That, combined with their lack of schooling, make them classic bullies, which is why so many people despise them- they were beaten up by them in school. I’ve no doubt there’s a genetic aspect to all this, but there’s definitely a cultural one too.

    BTW, here’s a truly sad, recent documentary on them- , it’d be worth your while to watch.. it lays out all the relationships between them, etc. I won’t say enjoy it, it’s heartbreaking to see this behavior for me…

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  33. BTW that Limerick blogger thinks exactly what most people in Limerick do- they’re especially bad in ‘Stab City’. But it does vary

    Reply

  34. @me – “There are a small number of HLA haplotypes which appear to have spread from Algeria to the Basque Country in Spain, and on to the western British Isles including Ireland. I think that these might track the migrations of pastoralists in the Neolithic.
    My theory is that in addition to pastoralism, they also brought close cousin marriage, clans, vendettas, and feuding. And that modern day terrorist organisations found in these regions are simply a channeling of the clan/vendetta/violent feuding/revenge type mindset (which may have a partly genetic basis as well, who knows).

    The HLA haplotypes I mentioned seem to spread in this direction: Algeria->Balearic Islands->Catalonia->Basque Country->Western France->Brittany->Cornwall/Wales/Ireland/Western Scotland.

    Here is some information about terrorist groups in some of the regions (besides Algeria, Basque Country, and Northern Ireland which are already well documented):

    Catalan terrorism:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_Lliure
    http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data_collections/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=4281

    Breton terrorism:-

    http://www.questia.com/library/1P2-5073837/breton-terrorism-takes-nastier-turn

    http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data_collections/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=3548
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwenn_ha_du_(terrorism)

    Welsh terrorism:-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1450868/Welsh-militants-posed-IRA-style-terrorist-threat.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudiad_Amddiffyn_Cymru
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Wales_Army
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meibion_Glynd%C5%B5r
    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/book-once-dubbed-welsh-terrorists-2493973
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/english-ignore-welsh-threat-1494890.html

    Cornish terrorism:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_National_Liberation_Army
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Gof
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jun/14/terrorism.ukcrime
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/6287222.stm
    http://www.politicsforum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=102&t=34392

    Reply

  35. @chris – “Here is some information about terrorist groups in some of the regions (besides Algeria, Basque Country, and Northern Ireland which are already well documented).”

    oh, wow. thanks very much for that extensive list! (^_^) i didn’t even know that there was ever a cornish liberation army! (~_^)

    Reply

  36. @not a fair city – “BTW that Limerick blogger thinks exactly what most people in Limerick do- they’re especially bad in ‘Stab City’. But it does vary.”

    thanks for your thoughts/info! so, do i have it right, then? are all or most of the criminal element in limerick, then, travellers? or are there other non-traveller extended families involved, too?

    Reply

  37. @not a fair city

    “BTW that Limerick blogger thinks exactly what most people in Limerick do- they’re especially bad in ‘Stab City’. But it does vary.”

    Yeah i wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression. Irish Traveller families (or familes from that background who settled in the last 1-2 generations) make up a huge percentage of semi-organised crime families around the UK but that’s not the same as a huge percentage of Traveller families being gangsters. The critical factor in that low-rent mafia niche is small group violence so having a lot of close relatives gives a family a competitive edge so it’s no surprise populations which have a lot of families with lots of close relatives are over-represented in that niche.

    (In London that niche has been mostly taken over by other immigrant ethnic groups.)

    The most interesting part all this is how it might give an insight into earlier human history. Did people all used to be like this at one time?

    Reply

  38. “(In London that niche has been mostly taken over by other immigrant ethnic groups.)”

    e.g.
    Tamils
    Albanians
    Turks (except they often turn out to be Kurds)
    Somalis

    It’s almost like there’s a pattern to it.

    Reply

  39. @hbd- that’s an interesting question. I was going to say yes, but upon reflection I’m not so sure. Most of the sh*te areas of Limerick are the housing estates surrounding the city proper, or right next to it (that one blogger is angry for what they do there, but also because they successfully destroy a civic, safe center). Imagine a 7 yr old girl demanding cigarettes, money, and your pint from you while trying to enjoy a rare sunny day. Imagine getting slapped for refusing. That kind of thing happens. Many of those estates were built specifically to address social inequalities for travellers (they’re called knackers by most people), but I believe- as in don’t know 100%- that there has been a long standing, urban underclass in that city (also first soviet in the British Isles-1919!) that’s just ghetto-like (still not as bad as Caprini Green but…). That blogger is angry partially because they like to burn down those houses, and the govt. solution is to build new ones. I want to stress though, there are good people that live in those places, working class salt of the earth types who do their best and would give you the shirt off their backs. The lads racing horse-carts down the highway are definitely IT, but that girl, I’m not sure.

    A few other points: the IRA is utterly, especially despised in the region because they swim in this cultural cesspool. The IRA’s composition and behavior can vary from place to place, but there they are just gangsters pure and simple. Sinn Fein almost never do well in Limerick elections for this reason. In other places they can attract smart, articulate (oh that word!) followers and leaders, but not in Limerick. Lots of big Catholic farmers are very pro-British too, historically and still. A few of the soldier guards at the Queen Mother’s funeral were working class Limerick boys too. It’s an odd place.
    And… the whole politically correct thing has flopped when it come to the IT/underclass. If you were to say something bad about Africans, Brazilians (liked), Poles (liked), Chinese (liked/tolerated but still very separate), you’d get an earful. Not so with this crowd.

    I looked through some of your links; you mentioned that documentary already. Anyway, I don’t live there anymore, so treat my words as anecdata. I’ve been a lurker on this blog a while- it’s gold. You might enjoy siblingofdaedalus.wordpress.com.

    tl;dr there’s an urban, long-settled underclass that’s been in Limerick quite a while, and they’re part IT, but not wholly. There’s two separate streams joining together to muck things up.

    Reply

  40. @grey – “e.g. Tamils, Albanians, Turks (except they often turn out to be Kurds), Somalis

    “It’s almost like there’s a pattern to it.”

    huh. funny that! (~_^)

    Reply

  41. @not a fair city – “there’s an urban, long-settled underclass that’s been in Limerick quite a while, and they’re part IT, but not wholly. There’s two separate streams joining together to muck things up.”

    thanks! (i did actually read your whole comment, btw. your points about the ira/sinn fein and political correctness are very interesting!)

    @not a fair city – “A link from a commenter at westhunt… IT IQ is 87.4”

    oops! not too bright, then. =/
    _____

    btw, i was in limerick once! the only thing i remember (and i think i should get some points for actually remembering this) is puking my guts out at some seedy disco (too many vodka and oranges prolly!). (~_^) ah, my misspent youf! that is my one and only memory of limerick. (^_^)

    i think i deserve points, too, for getting into the general spirit of the place! (i didn’t stab anybody, though … not that i recall anyway …!)

    Reply

  42. “tl;dr there’s an urban, long-settled underclass that’s been in Limerick quite a while, and they’re part IT, but not wholly. There’s two separate streams joining together to muck things up.”

    The welfare underclass environment seems to create convergence to a standard pattern throughout the West (hence why wiser heads in the past supported full employment) which is similar in many ways to groups like Travellers or Gypsies except they don’t have family-based clans. (They generally have gangs instead).

    Reply

  43. I am Dianne Deignan Arthur doing genealogy especially on the Deignan /O’Brine (correct spelling), lines. Both came from Ireland, however according to John Deignan’s military records he was born in Dublin, Ireland. His father, according to the census, also John,
    said he was born in France. According to census records he married a Mary Dernin, Means, from Houlton, Maine, also born in Ireland, Parish records said Aroostook, ME.
    A annotation in the Autograph book of one of the son’s of John Wellington, the first John
    said his grandmother was Ellen, O’Brine. also a newspaper article out of Elkhorn, Wisconsin alluded to this. Extensive research has been done, and still we cannot
    get the connection back to Ireland. Can anyone advise?

    Reply

  44. […] this all about? – early and late medieval irish mating practices – clannish medieval ireland – early modern and modern clannish ireland – mating patterns, family types, and clannishness in twentieth century […]

    Reply

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