A bold examination of the Irish exodus to Britain in the twentieth century.
The process of migration is associated with longing, homesickness, the shock of exposure to a new culture, and, sometimes, escape and freedom. Between the foundation of the new Irish state in 1921-22 and the early 1970s approximately one and one-half million people left independent Ireland, the vast majority travelling to Britain. Demography, State and Society is the first comprehensive analysis of this exodus. Meticulously researched, using an exhaustive range of previously unused source materials, it provides a detailed examination of the many ways in which migration shaped twentieth-century Irish society.
Enda Delaney argues that migration to Britain was qualitatively different from that to North America and that transience was the overriding characteristic of Irish migrant experience in the twentieth century. He provides an analysis of reasons for large-scale migration, in the process answering the important question of why so many people left Ireland.
Demography, State and Society focuses on a number of vital themes, many rarely mentioned in previous studies: state policy in Ireland, official responses to migration in Britain, gender dimensions, individual migrant experience, patterns of settlement in Britain, and the crucial phenomenon of return migration. It offers much that will be of interest to scholars, students, and general readers in Irish migration as well as those in the wider fields of modern British and Irish history and migration studies.