Aughnacliffe native Jim Curran at an earlier Black Lives Matter protest in London
Aughnacliffe native, Jim Curran, recently addressed a rally of 30,000 Black Lives Matter supporters in London’s Hyde Park.
Mr Curran outlined the racism meted out to Ireland and the Irish.
Responding to comments on the Black Lives Matter campaign, Mr Curran pointed out that “the Irish Famine holocaust was the first holocaust”, described as such by Michael Davitt, Irish Land League Leader in 1903, and again in his book in 1904.
“The former Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence McSweeney, wrote a play in 1910 called The Holocaust,” Mr Curran explained.
He went on to say that the worst of all the holocausts was “the slavery holocaust”, in which over 20 million black people died, and that it lasted for several hundred years.
“The suffering that black people endured was the most horrible of all suffering,” he said. He outlined other holocausts, including the Congo Holocaust, in which 10 million black people died between 1891 and 1911, and which was exposed by Irish Republican, Roger Casement.
He also mentioned the Armenian Holocaust and the Bengal Holocaust, in which four million people died, and from which he said Winston Churchill diverted away 100,000 tonnes of rice from a starving people, and also several other holocausts.
His statement that “slavery was a holocaust” went viral, securing international publicity.
Leading British historian, Dr David Starkey, in an interview with Tory, Darren Grimes, and broadcast on J-TV, when asked on Mr Curran’s Black Lives Matter statement, said, “slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many blacks in Africa or Britain, would there?”
Responding to these comments, Mr Curran said, “I could not believe that Starkey would make such a racist statement.
“I did 34 interviews on international radio and TV stations about his remarks.”
Mr Curran was one of the oldest participants in the rally and he appeared to all the young people attending the rally to campaign in a peaceful, lawful and democratic way and not to get engaged in any form of violence.
“I appreciated the support from Longford people,” said Mr Curran, who is a former London correspondent for this paper.
“I received hundreds of messages of support from readers of the Longford Leader from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States of America, Ireland, the UK and even from Belgium, Spain and France.
“It is wonderful to know that a small paper in a remote county in the middle of Ireland has such an international connection and interest.”