I forgot to add this in at the time. Had a conversation with B who has been asked to do some work in Ireland. He was over in Dublin at a conference around issues of identity and diversity.

He said it was a very strange country in terms of racism becuase they're very in your face, more abrupt and open than here. He then said it's because they never had any immigration until 10 years ago so now they're freaking out at having 'different' people there.

Firstly, I could point out that James Joyce wrote about a central character who is Jewish but secular - but Irish - in Ulysses so clearly there were Jewish people who had migrated to Ireland longer ago than the last 10 years... butI remember when I was there myself - about 10 years ago - it was a strangely racist place then.

I was travelling with a friend who is vehemently Jewish, fiercely, proudly. She doesn't try to pass and will bring up Jewishness in any context - unlike me. We had gone on a walking tour of Dublin, seen the churches, etc and at the end, when we were invited to aske questions, F asked about the Irish Jewish people - where they were, etc. The tour guide claimed that in 1948 they all left for Israel and now there were none. Even at the time that didn't ring true. No country had that kind of mass exodus, even from countries where there was dangerous violent anti-semitism - so I knew it wasn't true.
and I wondered whether it was wishful thinking.

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