I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Uncategorized Becoming One of Us

Becoming One of Us

Martin Maguire
Migration and the Making of Ireland, by Bryan Fanning, UCD Press, 300 pp, €25, ISBN 978-1910820254 With this book Bryan Fanning, professor of Migration and Social Policy at UCD, adds to his already extensive publications on immigration and social change in Ireland. Here he takes a long historical view of the phenomenon of migration both into and out of Ireland. The long view is indeed very long, beginning with the first peopling of Ireland after the last Ice Age. The first chapter, Invasions, moves from the Neolithic to the beginning of the seventeenth century. The following four chapters keep to an historical sequence. The chapter on plantation schemes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Munster and Ulster, which caused large-scale inward migrations, is followed by the outward migration of Irish Catholic clergy and soldiers to continental Europe and the transplantation of poor Irish to the English colonies in the Americas. The inward migration of Huguenot religious refugees (a loan-word from French first used in 1651) is then covered. The German Protestant Palatines who migrated to Ireland in the first decade of the eighteenth century receive an entire chapter of historical discussion. From the early eighteenth century until the end of the twentieth, as Fanning notes, most migration that affected Ireland was outward emigration. But, as the latter half of the book shows, inward migration has exerted a powerful and growing influence in the making of modern Ireland as the experiences of Jews, Africans and Polish, along with expatriate and return migrants, are surveyed. A key objective of the book is to assess to what extent our history of emigration, which scars the Irish experience, informs reaction to the arrival of immigrants driven by the same experience of poverty and dispossession. This leads to some intriguing parallels, such as the experience of Catholic Irish refugees in Spain and of the German Palatine Protestant refugees in Ireland. After the disaster of Kinsale, Catholic nobility and their retinues, their troops, along with priests and scholars, arrived into the Galician port of La Coruna as refugees. Initially welcomed as fellow-Catholics, as the numbers swelled they came to be seen as a nuisance. By the end of 1605 the repatriation of the poorest women and children back to Ireland was approved by the Spanish court and the Irish Catholic clergy and nobility. None were actually deported, but the message went out, and an Irish…

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