20th century Irish boycotts: Jews and Limerick 1904

Announcement Date: July 17, 2014


I protest as an Irishman and as a Catholic against the barbarous malignancy of anti-semitism which is being introduced into Ireland under the pretended regard for the welfare of the Irish people.‘ – Michael Davitt

Thursday 16 June 1904 is recognised as Bloomsday, in James Joyce in his masterful Dublin novel, Ulysses. The work concerns a daily wander round Dublin by an Irish Jew, who by his background is neither quite Irish or Jewish to satisfy the criteria for respective tribal membership.

In a talk to the Jewish Historical Society, Yanky Fachler initially addresses the Limerick Boycott in its Irish historical context of struggle against oppression. In a piece of original research he traces its genesis to the Dreyfus case in France, with all the echos of anti-semitism from that event.

1904 is also the year of the “Limerick Pogrom” and even though Joyce did not publish Ulysses for another 18 years, he still chose that year as the setting for his revolutionary novel. Co-incidence or what?