Storm over Tiernan's Jewish jokes

Holocaust comments 'unacceptable'

Tommy Tiernan has sparked another controversy after ranting against Jews, and claiming he would have killed twice as many in the Holocaust.

His provocative comments came at the Electric Picnic festival in Co. Laois, when he was asked a question from the audience about people who took offence at his jokes.

In a tirade designed to spark reaction, Tiernan raged: ‘These Jews, these fucking Jews come up to me. Fucking Christ killing bastards. Fucking six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that. No fucking problem. Two at a time they would have gone. Hold hands, get in there, leave us your teeth and your glasses…’

His comments were picked up by Jewish politician Alan Shatter, who said the outburst was ‘disgusting and unacceptable.’

The Fine Gael TD said: ‘He has quite clearly brought to the surface his own prejudices.

‘It sounds more like the deranged, demented ramblings of a complete fool…Quite clearly what he had to say goes beyond the bounds of anything that is acceptable and certainly doesn't deserve being described as comedy.’

Tiernan had prefaced his comments by saying that what was said on a comedy stage should be sacrosanct, because of the unwritten agreement between audience and performer created a ‘special protected environment where people know that nothing they say is being taken seriously’.

However his hopes of protecting that context were dashed when his comments were picked up by the Irish press yesterday, prompting a flurry of complaints on internet bulletin boards that Tiernan was racist, anti-Semitic and unfunny.

Published: 21 Sep 2009

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