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Immigration and Integration The Irish in Wales 1798-1922 by Paul O'Leary

Immigration and Integration The Irish in Wales 1798-1922


Immigration and Integration The Irish in Wales 1798-1922 by Paul O'Leary

In this work, Paul O'Leary examines the causes of emigration and seeks to understand the experience of Irish immigrants in Wales. Initially, there was little evidence of Celtic solidarity and the Irish often met with violent hostility from the Welsh. Nevertheless, by the late 19th century the tortuous process of integration was well under way and appeared to be relatively trouble free in comparison with the Irish experience in many other parts of Britain. The author considers key aspects of immigrant life in depth: pre-famine immigration; the role of the Irish in the labour force; criminality and drink; the establishment of community institutions ranging from Catholic churches and schools to pubs and bookshops, from friendly societies to political organizations; the mobilization of support for Irish nationalist organizations; and Irish participation in the labour movement. In each case the author links the distinctive experiences of the Irish to developments in Welsh society.


'This is a well-written, carefully analysed and perceptive study of the experiences of the second largest group of immigrants into Wales.'
www gwales

.com 'a confident and comprehensive study of an area largely neglected by historians...essential reading.
Irish Post

'A scholarly, comprehensive, entertaining account of a fascinating subject.'
Western Mail

'...[a] well researched study...most welcome...a refreshing addition to our understanding of the complexity of Welsh politics.'
Albion This is a work at the cutting edge of scholarship but it is written with a grace and fluency which is not always associated with books derived from PhD theses. One of its strongest features is the way in which meticulous examination of the internal history of Wales is combined with a clear sense of the world beyond Wales. It is clearly part of the new British history which takes as its subject the totality of relationships in these islands. Throughout the book the distinctive experience of women in the migration is given full attention. Clearly this is a work which anyone with a claim to know about modern Wales must read and it shows that younger scholars are adapting to a new agenda formed by issues such as ethnicity and gender.


About the Author

Dr Paul O'Leary is a Professor in the Department of History and Welsh History, Aberystwyth University. He is joint editor of the Welsh History Review.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th April 2002


Paul O'Leary

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University of Wales Press


356 pages


Social & cultural history
Migration, immigration & emigration
Cultural studies



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