October 31, 1923: Targeted shooting in the Irish Free State

On 31 October 1923 a 42-year old jeweller and father of four was shot and killed on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin in what was likely an anti-Semitic attack.

DUBLIN, IRELAND – Why is it that those who fought so hard for their independence take it away from others so easily?

Has there been a people that has suffered as much historically as the Irish? On second thought, don’t answer that question! I am sure we all have a list of those whom we see as having been dealt a lousy hand by fate.

Still, the Irish have to rank up there for sure. Ruled by the British for what seems like forever. Gained independence (in the south at least) only after WWI. And the north remains under UK rule despite efforts, including those of terrorists like the Irish Republican Army (IRA – and its many transfigurations).

We can debate the meaning of freedom and its price until the cows come home (what about bovine independence from the farmer/slaughterhouse?). Nevertheless, these campaigns to be set free are inspiring on many occasions. Who doesn’t want to see the ‘little guy’ win?

Ya gotta admit: the ‘luck of the Irish’ has been mostly bad! (Photo: Umberto Salvagnin on flickr, CC BY 2.0)

What happens then when independence is gained? Do groups that fought for it become the quintessential liberators, wanting to spread freedom far and wide? Or do some people still not ‘qualify’ for this gift?

On this day in 1923

A 42-year old jeweller and father of four was shot and killed on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin after three men had stopped him and his brother Samuel and demanded their names. The incident is widely seen as one that was anti-Semitic in nature.

Come along this way.

The last words spoken to Bernard Goldberg on a Dublin street before he was shot five times with a revolver

Why is it that this killing reminds of of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (“All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”)? Having attained an independent state from the Brits, some Irish wanted to keep their homeland ‘free’ from others? Is that how this is supposed to work?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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