Irish diaspora

From Academic Kids

The Irish diaspora consists of Irish emigrants and their descendants in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa and nations of the Caribbean. The diaspora contains over 80 million people.

There are also large Irish communities in every EU member state as well as Japan, Argentina and Brazil. The classic image of an Irish immigrant is led occasionally by racist and anti-Catholic stereotypes. In the US, the Irish are perceived as hard workers. Most notably they are associated with the position of policeman, Catholic Church leaders and politicians in the larger Eastern-Seaboard metropolitan areas. Irish Americans number over 44 million. They are the second largest ethnic group in America, after the Germans. The largest Irish American cities by population would be New York, Chicago and Boston. California has the largest number of Irish Americans. In terms of proportion of the surrounding population as opposed to raw numbers, Boston is the most "Irish" city in the U.S.

In the United Kingdom the Irish are viewed by some with derision, due in part to the late twentieth century IRA bombing campaign there; a perception exists that the Irish are involved in the building trade, probably because of the influx of navvies to build the canal, road and rail networks in the 19th century. The Irish are the largest immigrant group in Britain. There are close to 1 million Irish born immigrants in the United Kingdom. Some estimates have put the Irish diaspora figure in the United Kingdom at about 20 percent of the population or about 12 million. This could be possible due to the massive flows of immigrants from Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840's. Immigration continued for the next century, when the numbers of immigrants during the 1950's and 1960's began to resemble those figures from the Great Famine. The 1980's brought massives numbers of Irish immigrants to the UK. A majority ended up settling in the Greater London area. London had its first official St. Patrick's Day celebration, as the Mayor of London wanted to pay gratitude to the enormous contribution of the Irish over the years to the city of London. In years to come, it is hoped it can rival that of New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is watched by over 2 million spectators.

Over the centuries, political oppression, joblessness, and hunger in a sometimes harsh land have forced the sons and daughters of Irish parents to leave to other shores, particularly the shores of America (commonly referred to as "Amerikay") where a livelihood was (it was hoped) easier.

This experience was immortalized in the words of many songs including the famous Irish ballad, "The Green Fields of America":

So pack up your sea-stores, consider no longer,
Ten dollars a week is not very bad pay,
With no taxes or tithes to devour up your wages,
When you're on the green fields of America.

See also - Biography


Obregón's grandfather is said to have been an Irish railroad worker named O'Brian. Mexico's Obregón city and airport are named in honour of the president.
Guevara's father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch, said of him: "The first thing to note is that in my son's veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels". On March 13th 1965, the Irish Times journalist Arthur Quinlan interviewed Che at Shannon Airport during a stopover flight from Prague to Cuba. Guevara talked of his Irish connections through the name Lynch and of his Grandmothers Irish roots in Galway. Later, Che, and some of his Cuban comrades, went to Limerick City and adjourned to the Hanratty's Hotel on Glentworth Street. According to Quinlan, they returned that evening all wearing sprigs of Shamrock, for Shannon and Limerick were preparing for the St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Artists and Musicians


See also - Irish Brigade

See also - Causes of Irish emigration

See also - General

External links


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