The Irish in Post-War Britain by Enda Delaney

By Enda Delaney

Exploring the overlooked historical past of Britain's greatest migrant inhabitants, this new significant ancient learn appears to be like on the Irish in Britain after 1945. It reconstructs the histories of the misplaced iteration who left self reliant eire in large numbers to settle in Britain from the Forties till the Nineteen Sixties. Drawing on quite a lot of formerly missed fabrics, Enda Delaney illustrates the complicated strategy of negotiation and renegotiation that was once concerned with adapting and adjusting to lifestyles in Britain. much less noticeable than different novices, it truly is largely assumed that the Irish assimilated with relative ease almost immediately after arrival. The Irish in Post-war Britain demanding situations this view, and exhibits that the Irish frequently perceived themselves to be outsiders, positioned at the margins of this their followed domestic. Many contemporaries often lumped all of the Irish jointly as all being basically a similar, yet Delaney argues the stories of Britain's Irish inhabitants after the second one global warfare have been even more different than formerly assumed, and formed through social classification, geography and gender in addition to nationality. This book's unique strategy demonstrates that any knowing of a migrant team needs to take account of either components of the society they'd left, in addition to the social panorama in their new nation. Proximity ensured that although those humans had left eire, domestic as an imagined feel of position was once by no means far-off within the minds of these who had settled in Britain.

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Ireland’s geographical location next to one of the world’s most advanced economies underscored the contrasting lifestyles available in the two countries. ⁵² Newspapers and radio offered glimpses of a different way of life based on material wellbeing, a consumer-based social scene organized around ⁴⁶ Elizabeth M. Thomas-Hope, Explanation in Caribbean Migration, 1st edn. (London, 1992), 159–60. ⁴⁷ Mary Chamberlain, ‘Gender and the Narratives of Migration’, History Workshop Journal, no. , Narratives of Exile and Return (London, 1987).

Clearly the Catholic curate was venting his frustration at the culture of ‘dependency’ in this particular parish, a dependency fed by the sense of duty and obligation of friends and relatives living overseas. Data on migrant remittances from the United States and Britain were collected by the Irish state by monitoring the amount of money and telegraphic or ‘wire’ orders. ¹⁴⁶ British currency was exchangeable in many shops in Ireland and there was therefore no need for this type of transaction to attract the attention of the prying eyes of the world of officialdom.

Arensberg and Kimball, Family and Community in Ireland, 150. Leaving Home 39 small farm communities in the subsistence farming regions of the west of Ireland. ¹²⁸ What changed, however, from the Second World War onwards was the rural economy of the west and north-western counties. ¹²⁹ By the early 1970s such areas were identified in a plethora of surveys and reports as a ‘problem’, echoing earlier reports from the Congested Districts Board in the 1890s. ¹³⁰ The simple life of subsistence farming had little to offer this generation.

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