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Irish comic takes heat for Jewish rant

DUBLIN (JTA) — The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin has condemned an Irish comedian for delivering an anti-Semitic tirade at an arts festival.

Speaking from the pulpit Tuesday night, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Tommy Tiernan’s rant, in which he called Jews "F—ing Christ-killing bastards" and suggested he would have killed twice as many in the Holocaust as the Nazis did, was "offensive to all who feel revulsion concerning the Holocaust."

The archbishop then accused Tiernan of trivializing the Holocaust, which he said "can be as hurtful as denial."

Meanwhile, the Holocaust Educational Trust of Ireland said in a statement that it was "appalled" by Tiernan’s "racist comments" and equally concerned "about  the audience’s reaction, which appears to have endorsed, sustained and enjoyed his comments."

Tiernan’s statements Sept. 5 at the Electric Picnic Arts Festival in County Laois, in central Ireland, and reported in Dublin’s Sunday Tribune newspaper last weekend, provoked outrage among the Jewish community in the country. The lone Jewish representative in parliament, Alan Shatter, called the outburst by one of Ireland’s most popular comics "disgusting and unacceptable."

At a question-and-answer session on the boundaries of comedy, Tiernan was asked whether he had ever been accused of being anti-Semitic. He responded by launching into an imagined verbal attack on Jews who had once criticized one of his routines.

"F–ing Christ-killing bastards. F—ing six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that. No f—ing problem," he said in the session, according to the Tribune. "Two at a time they would have gone. Hold hands, get in there, leave us your teeth and your glasses."

Tiernan said in a statement Tuesday that his reply seems "callous, cruel and ignorant" because it has been taken out of its original context. He also said he was "greatly upset that these comments have caused hurt."
 

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