In Ennis, County Clare:
Irishman sentenced to jail for being “offensive”
[Michael Hoffman’s Letter to the Editor follows this report]
The defendant offended against “the greatest crime perpetrated...in the history of mankind.” — Judge Patrick Durcan
Man put axe through TV in town square in 'performance art piece' to further his claims Holocaust did not take place
By Gordon Deegan | Irish Independent | October 29, 2015
A judge has jailed a “Holocaust denier” for five months for using performance art in the public square in Ennis to further his claims that the Holocaust did not take place.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan jailed 49-year old Dermot Mulqueen of Steele’s Terrace, Ennis for five months for the lunchtime public performance on January 23rd of this year where he put an axe through a TV at the Daniel O’Connell monument in Ennis town centre.
Judge Durcan jailed Mr Mulqueen for five months for breaching Section 9 of the Firearms Act and two months for breaching Section 6 of the Public Order Act.
Mr Mulqueen told the court that the performance art entitled ‘Liberation of the Mind’ was carried out to launch International Holocaust Hoax Day.
Prior to carrying out the performance in front a crowd of mainly teenagers in Ennis, Mr Mulqueen informed his Twitter followers what he was about to do.
In front of a crowd at the monument, Mr Mulqueen had erected a sign entitled ‘International Holocaust Hoax Day’.
Sentencing Mr Mulqueen, Judge Durcan said that Mr Mulqueen “may have a view and an interpretation of history, but it is an historical fact that the Holocaust was the greatest crime perpetrated against a section of mankind in the history of mankind”.
Judge Durcan said that by his actions, Mr Mulqueen "behaved in the most offensive way, not merely towards a particular section of society but towards society generally".
The judge said that Mr Mulqueen's behaviour on the day “would be regarded with abhorrence and repugnance by any reasonable minded human and by the vast, vast majority of people”.
Judge Durcan said that Mr Mulqueen “engaged in the most reckless behavior”.
He said: “Mr Mulqueen was reckless and offensive in the extreme. He was gratuitously insulting not merely to a section of society who we know were most directly affected by the Holocaust but he was gratuitously insulting to most reasonably minded men and women who maintain civic society.
The judge remarked: “I am only surprised that he has not been charged with other offenses."
He said: “I regard his behavior on this occasion as one of the most serious breaches of the Criminal Justice Public Order Act that I have come across."
Judge Durcan asked: "Does Mr Mulqueen have any comprehension of the huge sense of outrage and insult that his behaviour would cause to so many people?”
Solicitor for Mr Mulqueen, Patrick Moylan said that Mr Mulqueen “is not in any way racist and has no problem with the Jewish community. His views are based on something he has read and now believes and he created a work of art on the back of that."
Garda Michael Daniels said that Mr Mulqueen was taking photos of what the accused called ‘a conceptual work of art’ and uploading the photos on to his Twitter and Facebook accounts while at the monument.
Garda Daniels said that local Gardai were monitoring the event through CCTV and moved in to arrest Mr Mulqueen after he smashed the TV with the axe.
Mr Moylan said that his client “was taken aback” to be arrested in the first place. He said that his client is single with no children, has no previous convictions and is currently on social welfare after previously working in Dublin as a taxi-driver.
In his statement to Gardai, Mr Mulqueen said: “I found out that the Holocaust was a hoax in August 2013 after coming across a video by David Cole on Auschwitz on YouTube.”
Mr Mulqueen told Gardai: “I am not a racist but I have found out that the Holocaust was a hoax and I wanted to highlight this so that other people would realize this.”
He said that “people are not aware that Jews declared war first on Germany in 1933” and that putting the axe through the TV was an act against “Zionist Holocaust brainwashing.”
He said: “I had no intention to harm any member of the public.” He confirmed to Gardai that he was not on any medication or suffering from any mental illness.
Mr Mulqueen said that the Nazis had no plans to exterminate the Jews but had a territorial final solution to move the Jews from German held territory “and I have problems with this Holocaust religion.”
In evidence, Mr Mulqueen told Judge Durcan: “I never realized you could get arrested for swinging any axe into your own TV.”
Mr Mulqueen said that the YouTube video he watched show that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were actually a bomb shelter converted into a gas chamber after WWII.
Under cross examination from Insp. Tom Kennedy, Mr Mulqueen said: “I wasn’t breaking the law - I was breaking a taboo. There was nothing threatening about what I did.”
Asked by Insp. Kennedy did he realize how his “performance” would be so offensive in his claim that the Holocaust was a hoax, Mr Mulqueen replied: “There is a whole industry out there that have made a fortune out of putting forward the Holocaust hoax. The legal profession has made a fortune and it it offensive to all the people on the gravy train. The Germans never had a extermination final solution - they had a territorial final solution.”
In response to a plea by Mr Moylan to suspend the jail term, Judge Durcan refused by virtue of Mr. Mulqueen’s behavior.
After imposing sentence, Mr Mulqueen was released on bail pending his appeal to the circuit court.
Letter to the editor
News of the sentence of Dermot Mulqueen to five months imprisonment for smashing a television in the public square in County Clare has reached us in the United States.
This surrealistic jail sentence belongs in a novel by Franz Kafka or George Orwell; not in Irish jurisprudence.
It seems that presiding Judge Patrick Durcan based his ruling entirely on the principle that the defendant gave “offense.” The Irish people are allegedly so utterly offended by Mr. Mulqueen’s blasphemous action and speech concerning facets of World War II history, that he is to be confined in jail for five months.
Is the prevention of “giving offense” the foundation of truth-seeking? It seems to be more in line with the stifling conformity of Stalinist and Islamic-fundamentalist societies, where protest and satire are heavily repressed.
With all the hubbub in Irish media now about the alleged thought control and censorship of the Catholic Church of the past, how is it that the heresy-hunt continues in the present, only this time in the secular sphere, and waged by the government itself?
Shall Irish Zionists be imprisoned for giving offense due to negative characterizations of Palestinians, or has a special category of the offended been created for what the judge in this case hyperbolically termed, “the greatest crime perpetrated...in the history of mankind”?
It seems that formerly protected sacred Catholic dogma has been replaced with newly protected sacred World War II dogma. What does it say about the merits of any dogma when it requires the protection of the state in order to maintain its cachet?
Perhaps some day soon the Irish will purge themselves of the need to erect any doctrine maintained by the state, and instead tolerate all dissidents whose “offensive” behavior may actually lead humanity to an encounter with uncomfortable thoughts and new perspectives which advance knowledge and which government-enforced conformity can only suffocate.
Is there to be freedom only for daring to mock and satirize Catholic Christianity, while satire directed at Holocaustianity results in freethinkers being imprisoned by judges who have a religious-like awe for disputed aspects of secular history?
Two days after the Irish Independent reported Mulqueen’s conviction, your paper published an essay, “The menace of censorship still surrounds sexuality.” I quote, “It is 55 years since (Edna) O’Brien published The Country Girls....O’Brien’s literary debut challenged the sexual and social repression of 1950s Ireland. For daring to speak the truth to that culture of fear and repression, much of it aligned to the then omnipresence of the Catholic Church, The Country Girls was banned by the Irish Censorship Board and copies burned by her local church.”
Can Irish society be so blind as to issue encomiums for O’Brien’s right to offend conservatives, while handing down a jail sentence to Mulqueen for “daring to speak” what he believes is true? Who has the authority to sit in judgment and decide which controversial (“offensive”) expression is deserving of protection or imprisonment?
There should either be freedom of speech for all or freedom for none. The conviction of “Holocaust” heretic Dermot Mulqueen ought to be quickly overturned in the spirit of Irish independence of mind.
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Mr. Hoffman is an independent scholar. His writing is made possible by donations from readers and the sale of his books, pamphlets, newsletters, CDs and DVDs.