A Swiss magazine ‘Die Weltwoche’ [‘The World Week’] has published an outrageous article entitled “Ireland? Forget It!” slamming the Irish as incestuous, having bad teeth, and being a fraud.
The Irish Sun reports on German writer Antje Joel’s assertions about the Irish population, including that “70 percent of the adult population [in Ireland] has hardly any teeth in their mouth.”
When reported on Cork 96FM’s radio talk show, listeners slammed Joel’s article as “racist.” Later, the radio show posted a translated version of the article on their Facebook page, which was met with characterizations of the author as “deranged,” “bitter,” and “biased.”
It appears that Joel has been living in Ireland for some time with her children, which left some commenters on the Facebook page begging the question - if she doesn’t like Ireland, its people or culture that much, why doesn’t she just leave?
Nothing was safe from Joel’s criticisms. While some may have fair points - including her report that more Irish spend money on beer than education - some are outrageous, especially her understanding and perception of Irish music as “queer,” calling it “Psycho Diddelidi.”
Joel went on to write about her understanding of Ireland’s general dental health, saying “One owner of one of these dental deformities once told me that it was the result of incest. To prove that, he threw back his head, opened his mouth and showed me his rodent-like, narrow upper jaw.”
“This man was a scientist, he must know. He also said that young couples have been advised by the government over the last few years to have an DNA test done before marriage, in order to prevent a further spread of this dental deformity.”
Joel then went on to state that the Irish characteristic of being warm and welcoming is nothing but a fraud: “In Ireland they will affectionately welcome ambassadors of other cultures in for a cup of tea and biscuits,” wrote Joel, “only for the reason to check them out for possible exploitation.”
In the wake of the backlash to the article, the magazine’s editor David Schnapp said: “The article is the personal view of Mrs Joel and does not reflect the views of the editors.”
Similarly, WorldIrish reports that Swiss Club Ireland, a social group in Ireland, is equally as angered by Joel’s comments. Swiss Club Ireland was formed in 1947 and aims to promote and foster Irish-Swiss relations.
Chantal Nash, president of Swiss Club Ireland, said, “I am really shocked and outraged to hear about it. It is not our experience as Swiss people living in Ireland. We greatly appreciate the Irish and we have never experienced anything like what the author is describing. It is shocking that she can write such ignorance.”
“I am in shock that anybody could say such things about Ireland and the Irish. The author appears to be misinformed and the things she is saying are simply not true.”
“In fact we have many Swiss retirees and students coming over to Ireland to live because they love the country so much. I can assure you that as the President of Swiss Club Ireland, none of our members have come across anything like what the author is describing.”
What do you think of Antje Joel’s ‘Ireland? Forget It!’ article?