Selected Comments on

the Myth of
the Black Irish

Spanish syntagonism
and prethetical salvation

by tpkunesh

1) Fri, 18 Oct 1996, Melvin J. Laney, J.D.
Yesterday I was asked by a non-profit educational group called KULANU to establish a Home page for the "Black Irish" and I immediately found your excellent article and the many references to your research work in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.
You may find a short exposition on my ancient Black Irish family entitled "The Sons of Joseph and the Diaspora" by searching under the name KULANU.
You and your colleagues have also obviously been doing a lot of research on the subject of the Black Irish for many years, and I would be very interested in following your research and learning whatever I can from your work.

MY FAMILY TRADITIONS: The Sons of Joseph and the Diaspora
c 1995 by Melvin J. Laney
extract: "Rabbi Avichail's book, The Tribes of Israel, refers to the Sons of Joseph on page 43, and includes a source stating that the Yusuf-Sai (Sons of Josef) are among the bravest of the Afriti families in Afghanistan. ... My ancestors claimed to be descendants of the biblical Joseph who was sold into Egypt. ... According to my ancestors, for many generations a branch of the Sons of Joseph transported the King of Spain and his troops to Ire (Ireland). Eventually the King of Spain was defeated and an Irish chieftain married his daughter into the Sons of Joseph to keep the peace beyond the Slaney River in Southern Eire. In Gaelic the Sons of Joseph were called Dubslaines, "the dark-haired ones of Slaney." Their English surname was Laney." [the original link to Laney's Kulanu/Sons of Joseph site is]

2) Thu, 31 Oct 1996,
Don't believe it. The red hair-green eyed genome is fragile enough. They never made it to shore.

3) Sun, 3 Nov 1996, Ray Marshall
I just read your "Black Irish" essay and enjoyed it very much. As a 4th generation person of Irish descent through my mother, I am self-educated as to Irish History and am only recently becoming aware of how much "power politics" played a role in the English attitude towards the Irish.
Your work does a good job of summarizing 16th century attitudes, which carry on til this day.
Come to think of it, if one does, why would England have spent so much money defending an island with no resources, if it were not for protection from Spain and later France.
I am on the board of the Irish Genealogical Society International based in St. Paul and would like to place your essay in our historical link area if you have no objections.
Thanks again for making the essay available to all.

4) Wed, 06 Nov 1996, Subject: Irish history (Sullivan-Tye(Tighe) families
From Knoxville, Tn. Seamus UaSuillabhain, Have been intriged in Irish history and would love to make the familly connection of the O'Tighe (tye) or the Sullivan ,Lawson or Owens families.

My comment: Sorry, but i'm not in the business or avocation of Irish history or genealogy. My primary interest in this essay is the use of myth for political purposes.

5) Thu, 07 Nov 1996, Ed Austin
Born and raised in the Isle of Man, I am surprised that I have not heard about the "Black Irish" before reading your excellent rendition on the Net. I am also surprised that no reference to the Isle of Man, which is so close to Ireland, appears in your text or bibliography.
There is at least two Manx stories connected with the Spanish Armada. One concerning the swarthy natives in the South of the Island (The Black Manx!) The other story suggests that the Manx tailess cat could have originated from cats which came off the Spanish ships. The fact that there are stumpy tailed cats in Borneo and the Philippines gives this yarn some credence.
I can't quote you any references, but I'm sure the Manx Museum and National Trust in Douglas could assist you.

6) Tue, 12 Nov 1996, Peter C. Holloran
Your very interesting web page does not mention the story that Christopher Columbus landed in Galway City before he went to America. i think I saw a chapel and an arch in Galway City saod to be the place where Columbus landed and worshipped. Any comment on this tale would be appreciated. Very nice work! Thank you,

7) Fri, 15 Nov 1996, John Whitehouse, Jr.
It is a fascinating subject. I have been in search of some reference to differentiate between red haired green-eyed Irish, usually with freckles, on the one hand, and the blue-eyed with black hair and very pale skin. These are, to my observation, the prevalent Irish types. My question is: what is their prevenance, what was the difference between the cultures from which they hail? I've been wondering about this for years, particularly since both the "red" and the "black" appear to be Catholic. By the way, I have heard this black-haired, PALE, blue-eyed type as "Black Irish", also.
If you even have a clue as to the answer to my question, I'd greatly appreciate it.
[p.s.] I forgot to say that I find your paper to be an excellent piece of research. well-written and well-researched. It's relatively rare to find something of such quality in cyberspace.
[p.p.s.] One question, though. Do you have any knowledge or suspicions concerning the place of origin for the red-haired green-eyed Irish phenotype?

My comment:There are red-haired green-eyed people up in Galicia in the north of Spain who, i understand, are Celts and were the ones who first developed the celtic bag-pipe. Apart from that, i do not know.

8) Wed, 27 Nov 96, Richard Meehan Organization: Stanford University
This is a great piece of work.
Any thoughts on contemporary redactions of the Lebor Gabala?
I like your stuff, but can you send some info on who/what you are?

My comment: Me? Check out my homepage.
Another good way is to search for "tpkunesh" on a search engine such as AltaVista. Plenty (maybe too much) info there.

9) Fri, 13 Dec 1996, Teresa Gard
I found this essay quite interesting, but I do have to make one important point. In the essay, you stated that Mary Tudor was murdered by Elizabeth. This is untrue. Elizabeth, who during Mary's reign was imprisioned in one castle or another (including the Tower of London) simply had no opportunity to murder Mary herself. Yes, Elizabeth was suspected of being part of numerous (real and imagined) plots against Mary, but Elizabeth had a strong desire to rule, to do so she had to live, in order to live she had to keep herself clear of any conspiracies against her sister.
Mary was sickly from birth. The intrigue surrounding her father's attempts to divorce her mother added to her health problems. One must also remember her "pregnacy" which lasted far longer than the usual nine months due to the fact that it was a hysterical pregnacy.
Mary Tudor, "Bloody Mary", died a natural death, and I belive that she was in her mid to late forties. A ripe old age in those times.

10) Wed, 15 Jan 1997, Scott Locklin
Interesting article.
A few comments: firstly, my family tradition was that the Black Irish were desccendants of Spanish who escaped during the Moorish invasions of Europe. Second, I have read a number of older sourcebooks who identify the Firbolgs as the Black Irish; the race prior to the Tuatha de Dannan. They were supposed to have been swarthy types, and were identified with Iberia (which supposedly had a linguistic link with the word for the underworld, as opposed to the "sun people" - the Tuatha de Dannan), and were supposed to have retreated to the present day areas of "black irish" enclaves.
There's also a reference in Tacitus' "Germanica" to swarthy "Iberian" welshmen.
I'll be digging into primary sources as soon as I get my library ID, if you're interested in references.

My comment: Send them on! I'm always interested in references.

11) Thu, 16 Jan 1997, Ron Taylor
I really enjoyed reading your material.
My Great-grandmother (whose maiden name was Beamish) and of Irish descent (probably County Cork) said the family were known as the "Black Beamishes" and were Pirates of a kind. ...
Would you have any insights on the "Black Beamish" term? ...
I believe that line was Roman Catholic which may make the perjorative term "Black" applied to Protestant collaborators with the English less likely.

12) Thu, 30 Jan 1997, Betty Massman
Hi ....... I enjoyed your article on the "Black Irish", but I'd like to know if there is any connection between them and the "Black Dutch" who descended from the Sephardic Jews of Spain? The Black Dutch seem to display the same characteristics as the Black Irish ...... dark hair, dark eyes, dark complexion. They were in Spain at the time of the Inquisition in the 1400's/ 1500's, and I am curious as to whether or not the Black irish descend from the same bunch. Do you know?
I haven't done a lot of research on the Black Dutch, mainly because I don't have any in my ancestry as far as I can tell, but I'm a genealogical researcher and some of my clients have asked about them. I understand that there is a Black Dutch Research Project underway through Gelee Corley Hendrix, C.G., F.A.S.G. at 3 Acorn Court, Greenville SC 29609-3111. I will get in touch with this person and see what's been done, and I will keep you posted. One friend has Black Irish in her background, but so far, she has batted zero in finding out anything about them ... she was very happy to see your article. I will also get in touch with M. J. Laney and see if he knows of any connections. The Black Dutch also went up into Germany and Russia, and maybe some other countries too, then emigrated to America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Very interesting.

Fri, 7 Feb 1997, John Ryan Gunning
I have just downloaded and printed your work as noted above. In just skimming the paper, I find that this is quite a scholarly work into which you have invested much. I thank you for your efforts and look forward to gaining significant knowledge from them.
Mon, 7 Sep 1998, Marvin C. Shaw
None of the above. Black Irish refers to a physical type including milk-white skin, often with freckles, blue eyes, and jet black hair, found among most Celtic peoples.

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