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This discrimination sometimes manifested itself in areas with large Puritan or Presbyterian populations such as the northeastern parts of Ireland, the Central Belt of Scotland, and parts of Canada.
Similar to other immigrant populations, they were sometimes accused of cronyism and subjected to misrepresentations of their religious and cultural beliefs.
Ireland, in his view, was rich; but the Irish were backward and lazy: They use their fields mostly for pasture. The problem here is not the quality of the soil but rather the lack of industry on the part of those who should cultivate it.
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In a "Brief Note on Ireland," Spenser argued that "Great force must be the instrument but famine must be the means, for till Ireland be famished it cannot be subdued. For instance, in 1305 Piers Bermingham received a financial bonus and accolades in verse after beheading thirty members of the O'Conor clan and sending them to Dublin.
In 1317 one Irish chronicler opined that it was just as easy for an Englishman to kill an Irishman or English woman to kill an Irish woman as he/she would a dog.
This wild, reckless, indolent, uncertain and superstitious race have no sympathy with the English character.
Their ideal of human felicity is an alternation of clannish broils and coarse idolatry.
In Tremayne's view the Irish "commit whoredom, hold no wedlock, ravish, steal and commit all abomination without scruple of conscience". There can be no sound agreement between two equal contraries viz: the English and Irish".
In A View of the Present State of Ireland, circulated in 1596 but not published until 1633, the English official and renowned poet Edmund Spenser wrote "They are all papists by profession but in the same so blindingly and brutishly informed that you would rather think them atheists or infidels". There can be no conformity of government where is no conformity of religion. This "civilising mission" embraced any manner of cruel and barbaric methods to accomplish its end goal.
When it comes to Irish marital and sexual customs Gerald is even more biting: "This is a filthy people, wallowing in vice.
They indulge in incest, for example in marrying – or rather debauching – the wives of their dead brothers".
Negative English attitudes towards the Gaelic Irish and their culture date as far back as the reign of Henry II of England.