'Just asking questions' is no defence of stoking anti-immigration feeling
False information linking refugees and asylum-seekers to crimes have been found to be baseless
Some years before the Great Famine sent one million Irish people across the Atlantic, rumours began spreading about the growing Catholic community in New England.
In 1834, a novice nun named Rebecca Reed left the local Ursuline convent in Charlestown, just outside Boston, and began spreading false allegations that the sisters were trying to kidnap her. When a nun later did leave, it confirmed all the worst rumours in the district.
Nuns were murdering people ...