Tag Archives: New York Public Libraries

Hall of Shame

This is a list of some of the many people and organisations who should be heartily ashamed of themselves for lending their support to this idiotic piece of trash. All of them are guilty of helping to make this book a commercial success. I should point out that it is not an academic success – Cassidy is quite rightly regarded as a joke by academics in the field of Irish linguistics.

Tom Deignan, writer of the weekly Sidewalks column in the Irish Voice and author of Irish Americans, who recommended this garbage as one of his 20 books all Irish Americans should read. Why?

New York Public Libraries for giving him a platform to recommend this nonsense to an unsuspecting public. This book and the vast majority of its claims are fraudulent. A library should certainly stock it and provide it if people want it (along with books on homeopathy and Young Earth Creationism) but no self-respecting educational institution should be recommending it to anyone, at any time, in any way. I love books but when I am finished with my debunking, I will quite happily dump my copy with the rest of the rubbish.

The New York Tenement Museum, which continues to sell this book through its shop. You are a museum, for God’s sake! That means you have a responsibility not to support intellectual fraud and lies. People should be taught the facts about their past, not a load of old nonsense.

Éamonn McCann, who is a well-known journalist and political activist in Ireland. I would admire a lot of what he does and says which is why it is so disappointing to see him lending his support to rubbish like this. A search on the internet shows that he appeared on a documentary about censorship in Ireland made by Cassidy in 1995, five years before Cassidy began to make up his ridiculous theories about Irish, so presumably he was a friend of his. Which would perhaps excuse a lukewarm thumbs-up. But this is above and beyond! According to McCann, ‘Cassidy’s ideas have rapidly gained academic respectability since the publication of his book early this summer.’ ACADEMIC RESPECTABILITY????

Educational Cyber-Playground. This is a really bizarre website which contains a large amount of Cassidese nonsense. I have no idea what this website is for but in my opinion, to put the words education and Daniel Cassidy in proximity is absurd. This site contains many of the wilder and dafter claims which never made it to the book, like the one that the phrase Jump Jim Crow comes from the Irish tiomp díomá crua, which Cassidy thinks means ‘thump hard disappointment’. (Although it would have to be díomá chrua in correct Irish and tiomp isn’t a verb, so it would just mean ‘a thump, hard disappointment’!) What about Jim Cuff or Jim Crow, the African-American man the song is thought to be based on? Isn’t he entitled to his place in history? Not according to The Great Fraud and his supporters! Cassidy wants that footnote for himself and to hell with an obscure black man in the early 19th century!

The New York Times, an American rag which published this toothless and uncritical article on Cassidy by Corey Kilgannon: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/nyregion/08irish.html?_r=0.

There are plenty more. I will be back with a Hall of Shame Part 2. Bígí ag amharc ar an bhlag seo! (Watch this space!)