Tiernan: outburst

A former head of drama in RTÉ has compared comedian Tommy Tiernan to a Holocaust denier and said he should be denied a visa to perform in the US next month.

Louis Lentin, a leading Jewish documentary-maker, says comments made by Tiernan about Jewish people at the Electric Picnic music festival this month were “extraordinarily racist”.

Tiernan was due to perform four shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco next month, but last night a spokesman for the Memorial Theatre in San Francisco told the Sunday Tribune that Tiernan’s two shows at the venue have been postponed indefinitely because of a schedule clash with another comedian.

Lentin said: “Tommy Tiernan should not be granted a visa for the United States because his remarks were extraordinarily racist. I would hope the American authorities give serious consideration to what he has said. It seems to be he is aligning himself with Holocaust deniers.

“His comments were disgraceful and he doesn’t realise what he has said. He doesn’t realise the seriousness of it. You can’t make a joke about the Holocaust and just because you say it is a joke does not make it funny or acceptable.”

First reported in the Sunday Tribune last weekend, Tiernan’s outburst provoked a worldwide storm of protest leading archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin to describe his comments as “offensive to the Jewish community and offensive to all who feel revulsion concerning the holocaust, one of the most horrific events in human history”.

Tiernan, in a reference to the Holocaust, said: “I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that. No f**king problem! F**k them. Two at a time, they would have gone. Hold hands, get in there. Leave us your teeth and your glasses.”

Tiernan issued a statement on his website saying he was “greatly upset by the thought that these comments have caused hurt to others as this was never my intention”.