TheJournal.ie reports: “Dirty Irish bastards.” It was just over two decades ago that Brian Kennedy was listening to this abuse on the other end of a phone line at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester. The threats and the slurs have stuck in his memory.
The hostile phone calls followed an IRA bombing in June 1996 that injured more than 200 people and destroyed a large chunk of the city.
Although the Irish in Manchester have come a long way since then, they feel a resonance with the Muslim community this week following the bombing at the Manchester Arena.
They know what it is like to lower their voices in public to hide an accent. They know what it is like to suddenly feel tension in a place they call home.
They know being Muslim does not automatically mean you are a terrorist, just like being Irish did not mean they supported the devastation caused by the IRA more than 20 years ago. [Continue reading…]