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Jewish Trade In Limerick: Strong Accusations By Rev. Father Creagh, C.SS.R. |

Jewish Trade In Limerick: Strong Accusations By Rev. Father Creagh, C.SS.R.

During the weekly meeting of the Arch-Confraternity, Rev. Father Creagh, the Spiritual Director, addressed the members with a controversial discussion on Jewish trade in Limerick. Father Creagh opened his remarks by raising concerns about the concept of Christian charity and its relationship to self-preservation. He reminded the audience of their duty to love all individuals and treat them as brothers, as instructed by Jesus Christ. However, he also emphasized the need to balance this charity with a sense of caution and protection for the community as a whole.

Father Creagh acknowledged the long-standing tradition of Irish hospitality and sympathy towards the oppressed, which has characterized the nation’s history. He stated that while charity is a fundamental principle, it should not undermine the laws of nature and self-preservation. Individual acts of self-sacrifice may be commendable, but the well-being and safety of the community cannot be compromised.

Drawing attention to a perceived danger, Father Creagh expressed his concerns about the influence of Jewish usurers in Limerick. He reminded the audience of the historical conflicts between Jews and Christians, highlighting instances of persecution and violence directed towards followers of Christ. Father Creagh asserted that the Jews, who were once the chosen people of God, had rejected Jesus and brought a curse upon themselves. He claimed that they had scattered throughout the world with an unquenchable hatred towards Christ and His followers.

Father Creagh went on to criticize the Jews’ involvement in various trades and businesses in Limerick. He claimed that they had enriched themselves and accumulated substantial property within the city. He cited examples of Jews engaging in the furniture trade, mineral water trade, milk trade, and drapery trade, often operating under Irish names. He portrayed their methods as manipulative, peddling goods at inflated prices and employing aggressive sales tactics. Father Creagh expressed his concern that the Jews were exploiting the people through weekly payment systems, trapping them in cycles of debt.

Father Creagh continued by focusing on the specific danger he wished to bring to light—the alleged enslavement of the people by Jewish usurers. He reiterated his belief that the Jews, who were once chosen by God, had turned away from Jesus Christ and subsequently brought a curse upon themselves. He emphasized the historical persecution of Christians by the Jewish people, citing instances of violence and cruelty, such as the martyrdom of St. Stephen and St. James.

While Father Creagh acknowledged that modern-day Jews may not engage in the abduction and murder of Christian children, he asserted that they still inflict harm upon them through different methods. He accused them of exploiting vulnerable individuals and trapping them in cycles of debt. Father Creagh claimed that the Jews employed manipulative sales tactics, offering goods at inflated prices, and utilized weekly payment systems to ensure prolonged financial dependence.

It is mentioned that two decades ago, Jews in Limerick were associated with a negative reputation. However, over time, they have apparently acquired wealth and substantial property in the city. Father Creagh pointed out that they have integrated themselves into various businesses, sometimes even operating under Irish names. To support his claim, Father Creagh referred to a recent article describing a Jewish wedding, which allegedly showcased a stark contrast between the impoverished Jews outside the synagogue and the well-dressed individuals attending the ceremony.

Father Creagh further elabourated on the methods he believed the Jews employed to accumulate wealth. According to his account, they engaged in door-to-door peddling, pretending to offer goods at low prices while actually charging significantly more than the items were worth. He emphasized that the Jews were persistent and shameless in their sales tactics, targeting anyone without discrimination. To support his claim, Father Creagh shared a personal experience where a Jew approached him and three other priests, attempting to sell them the latest modern songs—an example he used to highlight their audacity and pushiness.

Father Creagh continued his account by asserting that the Jews also employed a weekly payment system to further exploit people. He claimed that they would offer goods at inflated prices and allow payment in small installments. As a result, individuals would end up paying significantly more than the actual value of the items, subsequently becoming ensnared in a cycle of debt. When individuals refused or were unable to make payments, Father Creagh alleged that the Jews would resort to legal measures, summoning them to court.

According to Father Creagh, the main victims of this alleged exploitation were typically the women of households. He described them as silently suffering, trying to conceal their dealings with the Jews from their husbands.

Father Creagh further shared his observations regarding the Jews’ business practices. He claimed that the Jews operated discreetly, making secret visits at night to collect payments from their clients. They preferred to conduct their activities covertly, aiming to evade detection and scrutiny. However, when legal proceedings arose, Father Creagh asserted that the Mayor’s Court often became inundated with cases related to Jews and their debt collection practices.

In support of his claims, Father Creagh mentioned possessing an authentic document that contained a list of summonses issued by Jews over a two-year period. He implied that this document served as evidence of the extensive involvement of Jews in debt-related court cases.

Creagh perused the document containing the weekly returns of the Uouttr, taking note of the concerning figures. In 1902, a total of 337 summonses were issued, amounting to £303 1s 1d. The following year, 1903, saw 226 summonses issued, with a sum of £172 11s 4d involved. These figures painted a bleak picture of the situation at hand. The fact that so many individuals had to be taken to court for relatively small amounts, under £1 5s 81d, suggested that a significant number of people were constantly grappling with financial difficulties. Furthermore, these numbers only accounted for cases in one court, disregarding any proceedings taking place elsewhere.

The Jewish community did not limit its activities to the confines of the city; they had established Limerick as their base of operations, enabling them to cast their predatory nets across the surrounding countryside. Initially burdened with carrying their belongings on their own backs upon their arrival, they now had the means to employ horses and carts for transportation, even utilizing trains to cover long distances. In doing so, they succeeded in ensnaring not only townspeople but also unsuspecting farmers, thereby facilitating their commercial endeavours. To facilitate their trade, the Jews were willing to engage in barter instead of monetary transactions. They would accept items such as hens, geese, turkeys, eggs, or butter, paying individuals only half the market value for their poultry and dairy products.

Furthermore, the Jews, instead of purchasing goods from local traders, preferred to acquire them from fellow Jews residing across the Channel. Week after week, tons of goods of various descriptions arrived in Limerick from Jewish merchants abroad, consequently stifling local trade and industry. For example, furniture produced in London deprived local tradesmen of their work and the weekly wages required to support their families.

Although the Jews provided loans during times of need, the interest rates charged were exorbitant. Let us consider a few figures to illustrate this point. If one needed £5, they would receive not the full amount but rather £4 1s 3d, a reduction of 1s 9d or 75 percent at the end of the year. Conversely, in the Pery Jubilee offices, the charge was only 4d in the pound. Banks charged a rate of five percent, resulting in a payment of £5 5s at the end of the year, considerably less than what one would have to repay when borrowing from the Jews. This exploitation constituted nothing short of robbery, and it was unacceptable for the people of this country to be continuously taken advantage of. The question was posed: did the Jews contribute positively to religion? It was stated without hesitation that the Jews were among the most significant adversaries of the Catholic Church. France served as an example of the detrimental influence exerted by Jews. In that country, the education of young children was being compromised. Neither nuns, monks, nor priests were permitted to teach in schools, forcing these young souls into Godless educational institutions. The Jews were aligned with the Freemasons in France, successfully orchestrating the expulsion of all nuns and religious orders. If allowed to gain power in our own country, the Jews would likely employ the same tactics. In conclusion, it was strongly advised to refrain from any dealings described in the manner above with the Jews. If any transactions had already taken place, it was imperative to extricate oneself as soon as possible and thereafter maintain a safe distance from them.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 12 January 1904

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