It's not a coincidence that most of the "Irish slaves" depicted in these memes aren't actually Irish. It's also not a coincidence that you mostly see "I'm not racist, but" people sharing them. Irish historian Liam Hogan tracked down this myth to a 1990s book by Holocaust denier Michael A. Hoffman II, which was a big hit in white supremacist circles. In 2000, the myth was given more credibility by a book called To Hell Or Barbados, written by a non-historian who unfortunately wasn't too clear on the definition of "slavery." He also claimed, with zero evidence, that the Irish were branded like cattle, and that Irish women were sold to "stud farms" for breeding purposes, among other exciting details. Anyway, we're sure this clarification will make the people who shared these memes with no ulterior racist motives stop at once!