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No Irish need apply

Nathaniel Gotcher | Monday, February 8, 2010

In the mid-19th century, an infamous sign could be seen in American cities: “No Irish Need Apply.” It was one manifestation of hibernophobia or anti-Irish sentiment. In a predominantly English Protestant country, the Irish Catholics were looked down upon for their religion, culture and economic status. This bigotry against Catholics and the Irish continues today. Notre Dame is both Irish and Catholic. However, the academic community has seen to it that Notre Dame can not fully participate unless it gives up its strong Catholic Cultural roots. There was a time when Notre Dame wasn’t even on the radar, but the football team changed that. Now even the football team is looked down upon.

Notre Dame is trying to be thought of as a great American research institution. One of the ways to do this is to join the AAU, the Association of American Universities, which is an organization for just such universities. Looking at the list however, one notices that it is devoid of Catholic universities. Notre Dame isn’t a member of this association, and one wonders why, with it’s renown as the top Catholic American university. Could it be that hibernophobia is striking again and the bigotry of atheist academia is telling Notre Dame that until it parts itself from its Catholic Identity, “No Irish Need Apply?”


Nathaniel Gotcher


Morrissey Manor

Feb. 7