Danish apology a hard act to follow..!

ARE the Danes trying to put pressure on the British to follow their example?! In a curious statement yesterday, according to the Evening Echo, the Danish government “expressed its regret over the Viking invasion of Ireland more than 1,000 years ago”. The story continues: “In a fit of diplomacy sparked by the sense of occasion, Danish Culture Minister Brian Mikkelson was moved to extend a surprise olive branch. In Denmark we are certainly proud of this ship, but we are not proud of the damages to the people of Ireland that followed in the footsteps of the Vikings,” Mr Mikkelson said. “But the warmth and friendliness with which you greet us today and the Viking ship show us that, luckily, it has all been forgiven.” It reminded me of the Harry Enfield character Jürgen The German, the German tourist in England who can’t stop “apologising for his country’s actions during ze Var”. The belated near apology came as thousands gathered to watch a replica Norse warrior ship pull into Dublin’s Docklands after an epic voyage across the North Sea (see Pete’s posts).

  • DC

    Yea all very cute but I wonder if the next step will be to offer such an apology to European Jews for aquiescing in the face of Nazi expansionism.

  • gerry enabler

    DC: The Danes, like the Bulgarians and finns, had an exemplary record regarding the Jews. Howeve,r the Danes should pay reparations for their savagery. The VBikings were savages and should be remembered as such.

  • wise up

    Hang, this is MOPERY taken to extremes I thought even Irish Republicans would see the hilarity of!

    If that’s the case, is the Republican Movement going to make good ‘the hurt’ caused by supporting the Nazis during the war, and the Irish Government going to apologise for DeVelera expressing his condolences to the German people when Hitler died and after it was CLEAR TO SOMEONE IN HIS POSITION THAT JEWS HAD BEEN SLAUGHTERED WHOLESALE?
    Of course not. The world’s only victims are the Irish.

  • less whining

    You know, what with the Viking invasion having taken place ONE THOUSAND YEARS AGO and the war much less than ONE HUNDRED??
    The Irish craving for victimhood is truly beyond parody. And the true irony is that they’ve consistently caused more misery for others and themselves than has been been caused to them by anyone else. Pathetic.

  • DK

    I think that the French should apologise for the Norman invasion of England and, subsequently, Ireland that kicked off all the trouble here in the first place.

    But wait a minute, the Normans were originally vikings, so we can blame Denmark for them as well. It’s not the Brit’s fault – it’s the Danes!

    800 years of oppression – c’mon Denmark: apologise for that, or we’ll torch your embassy.

  • Rory

    Where do I put in my claim for compo? I think I’ll use it on a fact finding mission to check out the health and fitness of those who work in Danish massage parlours. That should demonstrate my willingness to forgive and forget.

  • IJP

    I demand the Vikings pay reparations to the English for their barbaric imperialist invasion.

    Also, the Danes should apologize to the people of Denmark for their savage invasion of their country. There must have been someone there already…?

  • password

    The danes protecting the Jews during WWII is a myth just like Dutch resistance.

  • Dawkins

    Is it too late for me to apologize on behalf of Homo Sapiens for the extermination of the Cro-Magnons?

  • Rory

    I don’t see why the Danes simply didn’t claim that the invasion was necessary to counteract the threat from weapons of mass destruction (shillelaghs) and to impose a necessary regime change by ousting the Druid dictators.

    It worked for the Yanks.

  • Prince Eoghan

    How so password?

    Deary me! The Danes show a bit of class with an off the cuff remark about their murderous slaving ancestors activities in Ireland. And what do we get? Knee-jerk anti-Irish reactions from a coupla fannies. I take it that you guys believe that like the British, the Danes behaved impeccably.

  • Cruimh

    England, Scotland and Wales have a right to an apology form the Irish for their aggression – colonisation and slave raids – that predate the cwmru-norman invasion and the arrival of the vikings. Of course the reality is that Ireland should thank for Vikings and other later invaders for civilising them – even if it did take many centuries 😉

  • Cruimh

    “murderous slaving ancestors activities in Ireland.”

    How come St Patrick first arrived in Ireland ?

    Murderous and slaving paddies rampagng round the neighbouring island …..

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    A friend of mine who lived in Denmark just told me that apparently the Danish National Museum is full of Irish gold and treasure.

    Apologies are all well and good but as Lord Turtle says “Fine words butter no parsnips!”

  • Ahem

    Golly, the self-pity (or in the Glaswegian Prince Eoghan’s case, the, uh, other-pity) has smashed through the parody sphere good and early today. In other news, it’s a pity historical illiteracy isn’t just something for MOPErs to practice on themselves – suggesting that the Vikings were the Danes of today is absurd. If you really want engage in that sort of ahistorical renaming, they’re far closer to being Norwegians. And I defy even the most plastic of Paddies to blame them for something.

  • Cormac


    Norwegians. And I defy even the most plastic of Paddies to blame them for something.

    They came last in the Eurovision TEN TIMES. Surely they should apologize for repeatedly inflicting such heinous aural crimes on the rest of us.

    OK, we’re bad, but they’re worse.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Golly, the self-pity (or in the Glaswegian Prince Eoghan’s case, the, uh, other-pity)<< Not got a clue auld chap! Have you? Madradin. All the native peoples of these islands were partial to a little raiding, the vikings changed everything. Interestingly enough Iceland is believed to have in her female population something like 60% native British(Celtic) DNA and 20% male. As a result of the slaves taken probably from up and down the western seaboard of Britain, and of course Ireland. Anyway I am interested in how the Danes never protected the Jews, as is claimed here?

  • George

    It seems to many that it’s the fault of the Irish that the Danes have some sort of guilt complex over their Viking past.

  • Cruimh

    “All the native peoples of these islands were partial to a little raiding”

    can we deal with the underlying issue – It is the Irish Narrative that Ireland has always been passive, always the victim – and hence demands for apologies from neighbours – yet the reality is that Ireland was the aggressor – both with slaving raids and colonial actions long before Viking or ‘Norman’ invasions.

    Now that the Danish apology has been received the President of the Republic should apologise to the people of England, Sctland and Wales for Irish acts of aggression.

  • Mayoman

    Exactly George! The DANE says something and the IRISH are the MOPERs. Just shows the mentality of some hey.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Now that the Danish apology has been received the President of the Republic should apologise to the people of England, Sctland and Wales for Irish acts of aggression.<< You like taking things to their illogical extremes. This apology that you are after, is this another pipe dream that your 'nice Unionist community' is exempting itself from? The mutual raiding amongst the native peoples of these islands would I imagine be too hard to work out who done what to whom. I reckon you are the right man for the job Cruimh, see you next millenium ;¬) Good man!

  • Cruimh

    “You like taking things to their illogical extremes.”

    Sauce for the goose – If Ireland thinks it is due an apology for past agressions, surely it too should apologise for it’s own misdeeds?

  • Prince Eoghan

    C’mon man! illogical extremes again!

    How far back into history do you want to go to avoid British culpability in Ireland.

    Remember, the Irish are not after apologies by the British(or Danes) The Danes showed some class by throwing a gesture at their hosts. Wouldn’t it be nice in a civil democracy for the British government to even give us a chance to find out what they were upto all these years. We know what the Vikings were upto, any similarities would be accidental I’m sure.

  • Cruimh

    “Remember, the Irish are not after apologies by the British”

    Ya what ???

  • protorious

    Ireland gets an apology but not Lotharingia, West Francia or the Low Countries?

    Despicable! If I was a citizen of Francia Occidentalis I would be mighty pissed.

  • “murderous slaving ancestors activities in Ireland
    How come St Patrick first arrived in Ireland ?
    Murderous and slaving paddies rampagng round the neighbouring island”

    Wow Maddy, are you basing your deamands that:

    “The President of the Republic should apologise to the people of England, Sctland and Wales for Irish acts of aggression”

    On the contested origins of the patron saint of Ireland?

    “All the native peoples of these islands were partial to a little raiding”

    Intersting:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1256894.stm

  • wise up

    No, the Danes apologised and then the true nature of Irish mopery was revealed by the poster way up there demanding reparations!?!

    Is there any other race on the face of the planet so lacking in self awareness, dignity or mettle? The Irish level of self pity and avarice is sickening and so obviously out of proportion to the suffering they actually suffered, much of which was actually facilitated by themselves. They have infliced far more misery than they have sustained.
    I notice that no republican has answered any of the points about IRA collaboration with the Nazis or DeVelera’s insult to the dead Jews. Funny, that.

  • nmc

    demanding reparations

    Learn how to take a joke.

    I notice that no republican has answered

    I don’t feed trolls.

    Cruimh,

    As regards the Irish, in the context of this thread, I think it’s obvious we’re not talking about northern Irish nationalists, but the government of the ROI, who have made no indications that they desire or expect apologies from anyone.

    I would imagine that most northern Irish nationalists don’t expect an apology and couldn’t care less whether they get one. That would be my own view at any rate.

  • Gréagóir O’ Franclín

    Anyone see the Norse artifacts unearthed at any of the archaeological sites throughout the country, but particularly Wood quay in Dublin. detailed metalwork, leatherwork, woodwork, earthenware, domestic tools etc…including a little childs leather shoe. The signs of a cultivated and well travelled lot. The ‘Vikings’ of yore have always got bad press from the British and Irish. Sure did’nt they establish our towns…Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, Limerick etc…In anyway they became an integral part of the folk living here. Such an apology about Viking raids is rediculous and I’m sure its a bit of a skit by the Danish government.

  • joeCanuck

    Apologies by present day governments for the actions of predecessors are totally meaningless and uncalled for in my opinion.
    If there are survivors from such actions, for example the Korean sex slaves of the WW11 Japanese army, they should be compensated and regret should be expressed.
    How can you apologise for someone else?

  • gerry enabler

    I don’t want apologies from the English. I just want more of them to suicide.

  • Dawkins

    Protorious,

    “If I was a citizen of Francia Occidentalis I would be mighty pissed.”

    On mead or vin? :0)

  • wise up

    If the Irish had a shred of pride or dignity, they wouldn’t repeatedly draw attention to the fact that their race has been invaded and successfully occupied for thousands of years by various people’s who have been more culturally, politically and militarily advanced. Thousands of British troops still dug into Irish soil to this day with no possibility of going.
    Each invading force has done nothing but cumulatively improve the lot of the ordinary Irish, who history shows us were incapable of advancing without being exposed to the ways of more sophisticated societies.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Wise up as a plastic Englishman. Does being conquered by the French and Dutch not enrage you?

  • Gréagóir O’ Franclín

    regarding the link above….

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1256894.stm

    Bob Quinn’s ‘The Atlantean Irish’ is a good read regarding the origins of such people along the western seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean, ie the Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, the Basque country, northern Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East. He makes the point that the earliest people to these shores sailed such sea routes, hence the cultural similarities that can be found between such folk today. ie Hence the similarities of the Galway ‘houcair’ boat and a ‘dhow’ of the Middle east, the similarities of ‘Sean Nós’ singing of the west of Ireland and that of the Arabic north Africa and the middle east. The similarities of the intricate weavings found from knitware to metalware and book illumination. And also that jet black hair a distinguisable feature of folk on the west coast of Ireland. Similar sounding words are common to all to.

    Scian = knife (gaelic)
    Skiana = knife (egyptian)

    Shamrock and Shamrakh (arabic)….same sounding word for the same plant.

    Facinating!…….

  • Fascinating indeed Gréagóir

    I’ve heard the comparisons between Sean Nós and middle Eastern culure before. As for the dark hair of the western coast one of the theories I previously heard was that it was a result of Spanish Armada survivors intermarrying with north-western coast natives.

    You may also find this link interesting

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7817

  • Cormac

    If you’re ever around the Stoneybatter area of Dublin you’ll see that a lot of the streets have Viking names – ie Harold Road, Olaf Road.

    An archaeologist friend who lives in the area told me that it was one of the last original Irish-speaking areas of Dublin, interesting for such a Viking-influenced place. Worth a look on your way to the Guinness museum if you’re ever in the area!

  • wise up

    Not in the slightest, and Britain was the world’s greatest power for 500 years, which unquestionably made the greatest contribution to enlightenment, technology, democracy and the general advancement of the human race.
    The Irish ate potatoes and turned on those who did their best to help them out of the bog. To this day their defining trait is sticking the hand out with one arm, with a knife hidden behind the back in the other.
    No wonder the collective Irish inferiority complex is so out of control, its a logical reaction to the historial facts that face us all.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>I previously heard was that it was a result of Spanish Armada survivors intermarrying with north-western coast natives.< < Same here. >>No wonder the collective Irish inferiority complex is so out of control, its a logical reaction to the historial facts that face us all.<< Aye and you'd know about historical facts widye? not going by your last effort ye widnae!

  • Dewi

    Wise up wise up. Have a read about partition of India – great Imperial success…not.

  • Dewi
  • Rory

    Shouldn’t the Irish government (or Bord Failte at least) apologise to the Danes for the inhospitable treatment received by Viking tourists at Clontarf?

    In any case this thread has made me feel somewhat ashamed and I feel I should apologise, to Dewi at least, for a racous weekend I spent in Pontypridd in 1976. While not exactly an invasion it was, I’m afraid, the best I could muster at the time.

  • Dewi

    Rory – did u end up with a curry at Sweaty Betty’s in Ponty ?…Ah the sweet memories !!

  • Dewi

    I apologise unreservedly for having invited the Saxons over in the first place……

  • Paul McMahon

    “Not in the slightest, and Britain was the world’s greatest power for 500 years, which unquestionably made the greatest contribution to enlightenment, technology, democracy and the general advancement of the human race”.

    It’s rare that such low esteem and insecurity are so eloquently demonstrated in the absence of the physical person.

    Wise up indeed…

  • An Bearnach

    Prince Eoghan
    the Danes’ claim to war-time virtue rests on the story of them smuggling most of the Jews to Sweden to escape a Nazi roundup. the reality is that it was all arranged by Dr Werner Best, the chief German occupation administrator in Denmark, who actually contacted the Resistance and said they would look the other way for a couple of nights. He was engaged in an infight with Himmler on behalf of the German Foreign Affairs Ministry. Best reckoned the roundups would interfere with his primary job of keeping the Danish bacon and butter flowing smoothly into Wehrmacht stomachs. More than 90 percent of Danes who died in World War II were wearing German uniforms at the time.

  • Dawkins

    Dewi,

    Sweaty Betty’s?

    Best not to ask I think :0)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    An Bearnach: “the Danes’ claim to war-time virtue rests on the story of them smuggling most of the Jews to Sweden to escape a Nazi roundup. the reality is that it was all arranged by Dr Werner Best, the chief German occupation administrator in Denmark, who actually contacted the Resistance and said they would look the other way for a couple of nights. He was engaged in an infight with Himmler on behalf of the German Foreign Affairs Ministry. Best reckoned the roundups would interfere with his primary job of keeping the Danish bacon and butter flowing smoothly into Wehrmacht stomachs. More than 90 percent of Danes who died in World War II were wearing German uniforms at the time. ”

    A great many “foreign legions” existed in the German ranks, including Russian, Muslim and British formations (the so-called “Britisches Frei Korps. — little more than two platoons or so… they even had about 6 or 8 Americans in the “George Washington Legion.”)

    I’d be curious what that 90% is in real numbers, as opposed to a percentage, and what that number is as a percentage of the whole of the Danish population of the time.

    As for evacuating the Jews, the Danish resistance still deserves at least a hat-tip — German collusion or no, they still did the haeavy lifting.

  • DK

    “Have a read about partition of India – great Imperial success…not.”

    Funny then that both countries are celebrating it. And the British didn’t want to partition it – the locals did.

  • eranu

    “Interestingly enough Iceland is believed to have in her female population something like 60% native British(Celtic) DNA and 20% male. As a result of the slaves taken probably from up and down the western seaboard of Britain, and of course Ireland.”

    PE, that reminds me of a programme i saw a while back about DNA. think it was called ‘how english are you?’ basically they checked the dna of a few people. an english white racist type, a posh lady something or other etc. virtually everyone has DNA from places as far apart as north africa and the far east. far east dna is thought to have been brought west by mongol hordes.
    perhaps genghis khan should apoligise to all of us?? 🙂

  • Dewi

    “”Have a read about partition of India – great Imperial success…not.”

    Funny then that both countries are celebrating it. And the British didn’t want to partition it – the locals did.”

    Don’t dispute any of that but it was rushed, half a million people were killed and Kashmir split in two.

  • Cruimh

    “the contested origins of the patron saint of Ireland? ”

    I went to the horse’s mouth – the Catholic encyclopedia 🙂

  • Cruimh

    The armada and Ireland is looked at in some detail in this essay Paul

    http://www.johnriley-sr.net/Myth%20of%20the%20Black%20Irish.htm

    Thanks for the Link to Prospect magazine.

  • IJP

    We should introduce a thread like this more frequently. It’s a wonderful MOPEfest, and we can all get involved! 🙂

    Tough to beat an English friend of mine in Germany who, every time I visit him, complains about foreigners… 🙂

  • Rory

    I’m not so sure about all this DNA business that claims that nearly everyone (except Gay Byrne and Willie Frazer of course) are descendants of Genghis Khan.

    That might mean that eventually, because of my weekend invasion of Pontypridd in 1976, practically everyone in Wales would be claiming maintenance allownce from me. I wouldn’t have enough left over from the pension for my weekly therapeutic visit to Mlles. Fifi and Trixibelle.

    Dewi is already claiming ancestry through our common links with Sweaty Betty. My solicitor is robustly defending this and any such claims.

  • Dewi

    For the record Sweaty Betty’s was Pontypridd’s famous Indian Restaurant. The finest Curries this side of Amritsar….

  • An apology from Danish Culture Minister, Brian Mikkelson, is good enough for me. No bother mate, don’t worry your barey!! “It was probably the greatest invasion in the world – Mine’s a Carlesberg”

  • Dewi

    The Inuit beat them in Greenland u know – fascinating (to sad geeks) tale of how the Norse and Inuit cultures clashed in the 11- 15th centuries.

    http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland/

  • Cruimh

    “For the record Sweaty Betty’s was Pontypridd’s famous Indian Restaurant.”

    In a similar vein – Is The Rupali that features so frequently in Viz for real ?

  • páid

    Gréagóir,

    scríobh tú..”Hence the similarities of the Galway ‘houcair’ boat and a ‘dhow’ of the Middle east”

    Breathnaigh ar húlcéir. Breathnaigh ar dhow. Breathnaigh ar hoeker ón Ísiltír agus déanaigh suas t’intinn.

    Cupla focal eile

    dorú
    bád
    seol
    stiúr
    trosc.

    You’ll find their origins in the lonely fjords of Norway.

  • Doctor Who

    The Danes would be better off apologising for Carlsberg Special Brew.

  • joeCanuck

    There is a new book being issued in the fall;
    The Great Partition – India and Pakistan.
    I’ve read two very favourable reviews.

  • Rory

    “Is The Rupali that features so frequently in Viz for real ?”

    Oh, yes, Mr Cruimh, most assuredly so. Real hot curry, real poppadum, real special Indian lager and really free mango chutney for all orders over only £10. Plus many nice girls are also coming here. Very nice. (No dogs. No Irish after pubs close.) God bless you, sir.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Good to see you on form Rory! Funny enough my Ma was on holiday one weekend in Pontypridd in 1976. Are you worth a few quid, or would the inheritance have too many claimants to be worthwhile?

    Eranu

    I watched the programme it was hilarious! That eedjit Bushel’s from the Sun’s face was a picture when they told him he was 31.4589% African. You could almost here him mentally calling himself a jigaboom or however nice fella’s like him refer to blacks. I was in tears of laughter also at the shadenfraude of the white supremacist discovering she was part East/west Asian? Eerily enough Carol Thatcher was the whitest of white, wonder if Maggie had the power to change her genes as well as her accent.

    An Bearnach

    Thanks for the info! I am a bit of a WW2 buff but have never looked into this story. I knew of the story from a young age(my ma again) and enjoyed the romanticism of a smaller nation outwitting her evil bigger next door neighbour. I was also aware that many Danes who were attracted to the idea of a united Aryan Europe joined the SS Viking. I would still rather view the civil resistance of the Danes as my abiding memory rather than a few wayward sons exploits with the Nazi shilling. Much like I would rather keep to the black Irish/Spanish story. My belief in it has left me many happy memories of romancing Spanish/S. American ladies pre-present long term relationship.

    If you ever get a chance watch the blood of the Vikings series. Brilliant! And probably one of the last opportunities to trace our gene pool before it is submerged from eastern Europe and Africa.

  • Cynic

    Will first minister apologise to himself for what his ancestors did to themselves?

  • Harry Flashman

    On Viking placenames they aren’t all just down south you know, don’t forget there’s Carling fjord and Strang fjord up north too.

  • DK

    “On Viking placenames they aren’t all just down south you know, don’t forget there’s Carling fjord and Strang fjord up north too.”

    And not forgetting Løndønderryj too

  • Ste

    The minister is saying that he did NOT apologise for what the Vikings done then.

    http://havhingsten.weblog.dk (second posting – the “En undskyldning for vikingernes hærgen – eller hvad? Dag 46.”.

    Half way down that posting inbetween the start of it and the first image, he basically says the vikings done what they did, they were brutal but that is how you won wars at the time and he doesnt feel the need to apologise for what happened 1000 years ago. He says Ireland and Denmark are close culturally and in other ways, but there is no apology.

  • Dewi

    “And not forgetting Løndønderryj too”

    Now that was good.

  • Gréagóir O’ Franclín

    ‘Breathnaigh ar húlcéir. Breathnaigh ar dhow. Breathnaigh ar hoeker ón Ísiltír agus déanaigh suas t’intinn.’

    True Páid, there are similarities between the Galway húicéar and the Dutch bád.

    But have a look at these two links below.

    Galway húicéar:
    http://images.google.ie/images?gbv=2&svnum=10&hl=en&q=Galway+hooker&btnG=Search+Images

    Dhow of the middle east:
    http://images.google.ie/images?gbv=2&svnum=10&hl=en&q=Dhow&btnG=Search+Images

    What Bob Quinn suggests in his book ‘The Atlantean Irish’ is that Ireland was never an isolated island as such and that there was always a flow of people to and fro, visiting our shores, dating back thousands of years. That the La Tene/Halstatt ‘Celts’ just didn’t arrive into town around 500 BC bringing all the trappings of Gaelic language and culture. What he suggests is that there is a more exotic aspect to the ancient culture of the island; that people not only visited Ireland from Britain and Europe but as far afield as North Africa and the Middle East, via the sea trading routes. He does make reference of course to the ‘Vikings’ but that is later history.

    To reinforce that these ties existed there is the example of ancient stone carvings (the distinguishing spirals) found in Tassile, Algeria similar to those found on the great prehistoric stone at Newgrange. Also there is the example of the Barbery ape skeleton found during archaeolological excavations at the ancient fort at Emhain Macha (Navan Fort). How did it reach these shores?
    The Irish language itself is somewhat unique, like the other old languages of the Atlantic fringe; Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Manx, Basque etc…and there can be found no traces of such similar ancient ‘Celtic’ languages on mainland Europe, suggesting that such isolated languages are even older than what was thought.
    There is also the connection between the Coptic Christian monks seeking solace in such isolated place as Skellig Michael thus originally bringing their unique brand of Christianity to Ireland first, (before St.Paddy) thus heavily influencing the ‘Celtic’ church as it became known.