Irish diaspora ( ) consists of Irish emigrants and
their descendants in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, New
Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and states
of the Caribbean and continental Europe. The diaspora, maximally interpreted, contains over 80
million people, which is over thirteen times the population of the
island of Ireland itself,
which has just under 7 million in 2009.
'Emigrants Leave Ireland', engraving
by Henry Doyle (1827-1892), from Mary Frances Cusack's
Illustrated History of Ireland
The term Irish
diaspora is open to many interpretations. One, preferred by the
Government of Ireland
defined in legal terms: the Irish diaspora are those of Irish
nationality who habitually reside outside of the island of Ireland.
This includes Irish citizens who have emigrated abroad and their
children, who are Irish citizens by descent under Irish law. It
also includes their grandchildren in cases where they were
registered as Irish citizens in the Foreign Births Register held in
every Irish diplomatic mission. (Great-grandchildren and even more
distant descendants of Irish emigrants may also register as Irish
citizens, but only if the parent through whom they claim descent
was registered before the younger descendant was born.) Under this
legal definition, the Irish diaspora is considerably smaller - some
3 million persons, of whom 1.2 million are Irish-born emigrants.
This is still an extraordinarily large ratio for any nation.
However, the Irish diaspora is generally not limited by citizenship
status, leading to an estimated (and fluctuating) membership of 80
million persons - the second and more emotive definition. The Irish
Government acknowledged this interpretation - although it did not
acknowledge any legal obligations to it - when Article 2 of the
Constitution of Ireland
(Bunreacht na hÉireann) was amended in 1998 to read
"[f]urthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity
with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural
identity and heritage."
The Irish government recognises all
people with a heritage on the island of Ireland.
The right to register as an Irish citizen terminates at the third
generation (except as noted above). This contrasts with citizenship
law in Italy, Israel, Japan and other countries which make no legal
reference to cherishing special affinities with their diasporas but
which nonetheless permit legal avenues through which members of the
diaspora can register as citizens.
10% of the British population has one Irish grandparent and
approximately a quarter have some Irish ancestry they're aware of.
The Irish have traditionally been involved in the building trade
and transport particularly as dockers, following an influx of Irish
workers, or navvies
, who built the canal,
road and rail networks in the 19th century. This is largely due to
the flow of immigrants
during The Great Famine
of 1845 -
1850. Many Irish servicemen, particularly sailors, would settle in
Britain; during the 18th and 19th century a third of the Army and
Royal Navy were Irish. Since the 1950s and 1960s in particular, the
Irish have become assimilated into the indigenous population.
Immigration continued into the next century; over half a million
Irish came to Britain in World War II to work in industry and serve
in the British armed forces
the post-war reconstruction era, the numbers of immigrants began to
increase, many settling in the larger cities and towns of Britain.
According to the 2001 census, around 850,000 people in Britain were
born in Ireland and much of the working class has some Irish
London once more holds an official St.
. St Patrick's Day, public celebration of which
had been cancelled in the 1970s because of Irish Republican
violence, is now a national celebration, with over 60% of the
population regularly celebrating the day regardless of their ethnic
largest Irish communities are located predominantly in the cities
and towns across Britain, with the largest by far being in London,
in particular from Kilburn (which has
one of the largest Irish-born communities outside of Ireland) out
to the west and north west of the city, closely followed by the
large port cities such as Liverpool, Bristol and Portsmouth. Big industrial cities such as Coventry, Birmingham and Manchester also have large diaspora populations due to the
Industrial Revolution and in the case of the first two the strength
of the motor industry in the 1960s and 1970s.
As with their
experience in the U.S, the Irish have maintained a strong political
presence in the UK, most especially in local government but also at
national level. Prime Ministers Callaghan and Blair have been amongst the many in Britain of
part Irish ancestry, with Blair's mother coming from County Donegal.
Central to the Irish community in Britain was the community's
relationship with the Roman
, with which it maintained a strong sense of
identity . The Church remains a crucial focus of communal life
among some of the immigrant population and their descendants . The
largest ethnic group among the Catholic priesthood of mainland
Britain remains Irish and in the United States, the upper ranks of
the Church's hierarchy are of predominantly Irish descent. The
current head of the Catholic Church in Scotland is Cardinal
experienced a significant amount of Irish immigration, particularly
in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Coatbridge.
This led to the formation of the Celtic Football Club
(as today close to
50% of the Glaswegian population has some Irish ancestry ) in 1888
by Marist Brother
, to raise money to help the community. In Edinburgh
were founded in 1875 and in
1909 another club with Irish links, Dundee
, was formed. Likewise the Irish community in London
formed the London Irish
The 2001 UK Census
people born in Ireland as living in Great Britain, with over 10% of
the population (over 6 million) being of Irish descent.
Irish links with the continent go back many centuries. During the
early Middle Ages, many Irish religious figures went abroad to
preach and found monasteries in what is known as the Hiberno-Scottish mission
Saint Brieuc founded the city that bears his
name in Brittany, Saint Colmán founded the great monastery of
Bobbio in northern Italy and
one of his monks was Saint Gall for whom
the Swiss town of
Gallen and canton of
During the Counter-Reformation
Irish religious and political links with Europe became stronger.
Louvain) in Flanders (now northern
Belgium) grew into an important centre of learning for Irish
The Flight of the
, in 1607, led much of the Gaelic nobility to flee the
country, and after the wars of the 17th century many others fled to
Spain, France, Austria, and other Catholic lands. The lords and
their retainers and supporters joined the armies of these
countries, and were known as the Wild Geese
. Some of the lords and
their descendants rose to high ranks in their adoptive countries,
such as the French royalist Patrice de Mac-Mahon
became president of France
Cognac brandy maker, James Hennessy and Co., is named for an
In Spain and its territories, many Irish
descendants can be found with the name Obregón
), including Madrid-born actress Ana Victoria García
During the 20th century, certain Irish intellectuals made their
homes in continental Europe, particularly James Joyce
, and later Samuel Beckett
(who became a courier for the
). Eoin O'Duffy
led a brigade of 700 Irish
volunteers to fight for Franco
during the Spanish Civil War
Frank Ryan led the Connolly column who fought on the opposite side,
with the Republican International Brigades
. William Joyce
became an English-language
propagandist for the
, known colloquially as
19th and early 20th centuries, over 38,000 Irish emigrated to
Distinct Irish communities and schools
existed until the Perón era in the 1950s.
there are an estimated 700,000 people of Irish ancestry in
Argentina, approximately 15.5% of the Republic of
Ireland's current population; however, these numbers may be
far higher, given that many Irish newcomers declared themselves to
be British, as Ireland at the time was still part of the United
Kingdom and today their descendants integrated into Argentine
society with mixed bloodlines.
Despite the fact that Argentina was never the main destination for
Irish emigrants it does form part of the Irish diaspora. The
Irish-Argentine William Bulfin
remarked as he travelled around Westmeath in the early 1900s that
he came across many locals had been to Buenos Aires. Several families from
Cork were encouraged to send emigrants to Argentina by
an islander who had been successful there in the
, whose grandmother's surname
was Lynch, was another famous member of this diaspora. 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". However, Che Guevara considered himself Latin American,
Argentine and Cuban, and his connection with Ireland was remote.
13, 1965, the Irish Times journalist
Arthur Quinlan interviewed Che at
Airport during a stopover flight from Prague to Cuba.
talked of his Irish connections through the name Lynch and of his
grandmother's Irish roots in Galway.
Che, and some of his Cuban comrades,
went to Limerick
City and adjourned to the Hanratty's Hotel on Glentworth
According to Quinlan, they returned that evening all
wearing sprigs of shamrock
, for Shannon and
Limerick were preparing for the St. Patrick's Day
Widely considered a national hero, William Brown
is the most famous
Irish citizen in Argentina. Creator of the Argentine Navy (Armada de la República
Argentina, ARA) and leader of the Argentine Armed Forces in the wars
against Brazil and Spain, he was born in Foxford, County
Mayo on June 22, 1777 and died in Buenos Aires in 1857.
The is named after him, as well as
the Almirante Brown partido
, part of the Gran Buenos Aires
urban area, with a
population of over 500.000 inhabitants.
entirely Catholic English language publication published in Buenos
Aires, The Southern
Cross is an Argentine newspaper founded on January 16,
1875 by Dean Patricio Dillon, an Irish immigrant, a deputy for
Province and president of the Presidential Affairs
Commission amongst other positions.
The newspaper continues
in print to this day and publishes a beginners guide to the
, helping Irish Argentines
keep in touch
with their cultural heritage. Previously to The Southern
Dublin-born brothers Edward
and Michael Mulhall
published The Standard
, allegedly the first
English-language daily paper in South America.
Between 1943 and 1946, the de facto
President of Argentina
, whose paternal
ancestry was Irish.
Early in its history, Bermuda had unusual connections with Ireland.
It has been suggested that St. Brendan
discovered it during his legendary voyage, and a local psychiatric hospital
was named after him. In 1616, an incident occurred in which five
white settlers arrived in Ireland, having crossed the Atlantic (a
distance of around ) in a two-ton boat. By the following
year, one of Bermuda's main islands was named after
By the mid-17th century, Irish indentured servants
or slaves, probably
expelled during the Cromwellian conquest of
, were present in the colony. Relations with the local
English population were strained. In 1658, three Irishmen — John
Shehan, David Laragen and Edmund Malony — were lashed for breaking
and being suspected of stealing a
boat. A Scottish indentured servant and three black slaves were
also punished. Several years later, in 1661, the local government
alleged that a plot was being hatched by an alliance of Blacks and
Irish, one which involved cutting the throats of all the English.
Governor William Sayle
prepared for the uprising with
three edicts: the first was that a nightly watch be raised
throughout the colony, second, that slaves and the Irish be
disarmed of militia weapons and third, that any gathering of two or
more Irish or slaves be dispersed by whipping. There were no
arrests, trials or executions connected to the plot, though an
Irish woman named Margaret was found to be romantically involved
with a Native American; she was voted to be stigmatised and he was
whipped. In 1803, Irish poet Thomas
arrived in Bermuda, having been appointed registrar to
there. Irish prisoners were
again sent in Bermuda in 1823, where, alongside English convicts,
they were used to build the Royal Naval Dockyard
Although there is little surviving evidence of Irish culture, some
elderly islanders can remember when the term "cilig" was used to
describe a common method of fishing for sea turtles. The word
appears to be meaningless in English, but in some
dialects of Gaelic is used as an adjective meaning "easily
deceived". Characteristics of older Bermudian accents, such as the
pronunciation of the letter 'd' as 'dj', as in Bermudjin
(Bermudian), may also indicate an Irish origin. Later Irish
immigrants have continued to contribute to Bermuda's makeup, with
names like Crockwell
now being thought of, locally, as
names. The strongest remaining Irish influence
can be seen in the presence of bagpipes in the music of Bermuda
, which stemmed from the
presence of Scottish and Irish soldiers from the 18th through 20th
centuries. Several prominent businesses in Bermuda have a clear
Irish influence, such as the Irish Linen Shop, Tom Moore's Tavern
's Irish Pub and
The 2006 census by Statcan, Canada's Official Statistical office
revealed that the Irish were the 4th largest ethnic group with
4,354,155 Canadians with full or partial Irish descent or 14% of
the nation's total population.
Newfoundlanders are of Irish
It is estimated that about 80% of Newfoundlanders
have Irish ancestry on at least one side of their family tree.
family names, the features and colouring, the predominant Catholic religion, the prevalence of
Irish music – even the accents of the people – are so reminiscent
of rural Ireland that Irish author Tim
Pat Coogan has described Newfoundland as "the most Irish place in the world outside
Newfoundland Irish, the dialect of the
Irish language specific to the island
of Newfoundland was widely spoken until the mid-20th
century. It is very similar to the language heard in
the southeast of Ireland centuries ago, due to mass immigration
from the counties Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Cork.
New Brunswick, claims the distinction of being Canada's most
Irish city, according to census records. There have been Irish
settlers in New
Brunswick since the
early 1800s, but during the peak of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1847), thousands
of Irish emigrated through Partridge Island in the port of Saint
Most of these Irish were Catholic, who changed the
complexion of the Loyalist city. A large, vibrant Irish community can also
be found in the Miramichi region of
Scotia has many rural Irish villages.
(which means Irishville), Salmon River, Ogden, Bantry (named after
Bantry, County Cork, Ireland but now abandoned and grown up in
trees) among others, where Irish last names are prevalent and the
accent is reminiscent of the Irish as well as the music,
traditions, religion (Roman
), and the love for the old country of Ireland itself.
the Irish counties from which these people arrived were County Kerry (Dingle
Cork, and County Roscommon, along with others.
County, next to Guysborough County in Nova Scotia there
are a few rural Irish villages despite the predominance of Scottish
in most of that County.
Some of these villages names are
Ireland, Lochaber and Cloverville. Antigonish Town is a fairly even
mix of Irish and Scottish
Quebec is also home
to a large Irish community, especially in Montreal, where the Irish shamrock
is featured on the municipal
flag. Notably, thousands of Irish emigrants passed
Isle, where many succumbed to typhoid.
Ontario has over 2 million people of Irish descent, who in
greater numbers arrived in the 1820s and the decades that followed
to work on colonial infrastructure and to settle land tracts in
Upper Canada, the result today is a countryside speckled with the
place names of Ireland.
Ontario received a large number of
those who landed in Quebec during the Famine years, many thousands
died in Ontario's ports. Irish-born became the majority in Toronto by 1851.
In the wake of the mid 17th century Cromwellian conquest of
, Oliver Cromwell
deported many Irish prisoners of war into slavery or indentured
labour in Caribbean tobacco
these forced migrants ended up in Barbados, Montserrat or Jamaica (Tom McDermot was an Irish campaigner there against
colonialism and slavery).
This became so prevalent that a
term "Barbado'ed" was coined to mean someone deported to Barbados.
Most descendants of these Irishmen moved off the islands as
was implemented and
blacks began to replace whites. Many Barbadian-born Irishmen helped
establish the Carolina colony
in the United
In addition, many of the Irish Catholic landowning class in this
period migrated voluntarily to the West Indies to avail of the
business opportunities there occasioned by the trade in sugar,
tobacco and cotton. They were followed by landless Irish indentured
labourers, who were recruited to serve a landowner for a specified
time before receiving freedom and land. The descendants of some
Irish immigrants are known today in the West Indies as redlegs
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
(notably at the siege of Drogheda
in 1649), Irish
political prisoners were transferred to Montserrat. To this day,
Montserrat is the only country or territory in the world, apart
from the Republic of
Ireland, and the Canadian province of Newfoundland to observe a public holiday on St Patrick's Day.
The population is
predominantly of mixed Irish and African descent.
Irish immigrants played in instrumental role in the Puerto Rico's
economy. One of the most important industries of the island was the
sugar industry. Among the successful businessmen in this
industry were Miguel Conway, who owned a plantation in the town of
Hatillo and Juan Nagle whose plantation was located in
Río Piedras. General Alexander O'Reilly, "Father of the Puerto
Rican Militia", named Tomas O'Daly chief engineer of modernizing
the defenses of San Juan, this included the fortress of San
Tomas O'Daly and Miguel Kirwan were
partners in the "Hacienda San Patricio", which they named after the
of Ireland, Saint Patrick
. A relative of O'Daly, Demetrio
O'Daly, succeeded Captain Ramon
Power y Giralt
as the island's delegate to the Spanish Courts.
The plantation no longer exists, however the land in which the
plantation was located is now a San Patricio suburb with a shopping mall
by the same name. The Quinlan family
established two plantations, one in the town of Toa
Baja and the other in Loíza.
Puerto Ricans of Irish descent were also
instrumental in the development of the island's tobacco industry.
Among them Miguel Conboy who was a founder of the tobacco trade in
Many of the Wild Geese
expatriate Irish soldiers who had gone to Spain, or their
descendants, continued on to its colonies in South America. Many of
them rose to prominent positions in the Spanish governments there.
In the 1820s, some of them helped liberate the continent.
Bernardo O'Higgins was the first Supreme director of Chile.
Chilean troops occupied Lima during the
War of the Pacific in 1881, they put in charge certain Patricio Lynch, whose grandfather came from
Ireland to Argentina and then moved to Chile. Other Latin American
countries that have Irish settlement include Puerto Rico and Colombia.
Probably the most famous Irishman ever to reside in Mexico is the
Wexfordman William Lamport
known to most Mexicans as Guillen de Lampart, precursor of the
Independence movement and author of the first proclamation of
independence in the New World. His statue stands today in the Crypt
of Heroes beneath the Column of Independence in Mexico City. Some
authorities claim he was the inspiration for Johnston McCulley's
, though the extent to which this may be
true is disputed.
After Lampart, the most famous Irishmen in Mexican history are
probably "Los Patricios". Many communities also existed in Mexican Texas
until the revolution
there, when they sided with
Catholic Mexico against Protestant pro-U.S. elements. The
Batallón de San
, a battalion of U.S. troops who deserted and
fought alongside the Mexican Army
against the United States in the Mexican-American War
of 1846 to 1848,
is also famous in Mexican history
Álvaro Obregón (possibly O'Brian)
was president of Mexico
during 1920-24 and Obregón city and airport are named in his honour.
served as President from
2000 to 2006. Mexico also has a large number of people of Irish
ancestry, among them the actor Anthony
. There are also monuments in Mexico City paying tribute
to those Irish who fought for Mexico in the 1800s. There is a
monument to Los Patricios in the fort of Churubusco. During the
Potato Famine, thousands of Irish immigrants entered the country,
today, over 90,000 Irish descendants live in Mexico. Other Mexicans of
Irish descent are: Romulo O'Farril,
Juan O'Gorman, Edmundo O'Gorman, Anthony Quinn, Alejo
Bay (Governor of the state of Sonora), Guillermo Purcell a businessman, former
Miss Mexico Judith Grace
Gonzalez, among many others. Today, the Irish
community in Mexico is a thriving one and is mainly concentrated in
City and the northern states.
The diaspora to America was immortalized in the words of many songs
including the famous Irish ballad
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 Americay.
The experience of Irish immigrants in America has not always been
harmonious, however. Irish newcomers were sometimes uneducated and
often found themselves competing with Americans for manual labor
jobs or, in the 1860s, being recruited from the docks by the
to serve in the American Civil War
. This view of the
Irish-American experience is depicted by another traditional song,
- Hear me boys, now take my advice,
- To America I'll have ye's not be going,
- There is nothing here but war, where the murderin' cannons
- And I wish I was at home in dear old Dublin.
The classic image of an Irish immigrant
led to a certain extent by racist and anti-Catholic
stereotypes. In modern times, in the
United States, the Irish are largely perceived as hard workers.
Most notably they are associated with the positions of police officer
, Roman Catholic Church
politicians in the larger Eastern-Seaboard metropolitan areas.
number over 44
million, making them the second largest ethnic group in the
country, after German Americans
Historically, large Irish American
communities have been found in Chicago, Boston, New York City, New
England, Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Paul, Minnesota, Cleveland and the Bay Area.
Many cities across the country have
annual St Patrick's Day parades, the nation's largest in New York
- one of the world's largest parades. The parade in Boston
is closely associated with Evacuation Day
, when George Washington
and his troops forced
the British out of Boston during the Revolutionary War
. At state level,
Texas has the largest number of Irish Americans .
percentage terms, Boston is the most Irish city in the United
States and Massachusetts the most Irish state .
Before the Great Hunger
") in which over a million died and
more emigrated , there had been the Penal Laws
which had already resulted
in significant emigration from Ireland .
According to the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic
, in 1790 there were 400,000 Americans of Irish birth or
ancestry out of a total white population of 3,100,000. Half of
these were descended from Ulster people, and half were descended
from the people of Connaught, Leister and Munster.
According to U.S. Census figures from 2000, 41,000,000 Americans
claim to be wholly or partly of Irish ancestry, a group that
represents more than one in five white Americans.
form the second largest ancestry
group in Australia, numbering 1,919,727 or 9.0 per cent of
respondents in the 2001 Census.
It is not clear whether the Irish-born are considered "Irish
Australians" or if the term only refers to their Australian-born
descendants. The 2001 Census recorded 50,320 Irish-born in
Australia, although this is a minimal figure as it only includes
those who wrote in "Ireland" or "Republic of Ireland" as their
country of birth. Responses which mentioned "Northern Ireland" as
birthplace were coded as "United Kingdom". This interpretation may
omit as few as 21,500 Irish-born present in the country, as many as
29,500, or possibly even more. Nevertheless the number of persons
born in Ireland, north and south, resident in Australia in 2001 may
be confidently extrapolated at around 75,000.
According to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs
White Paper on Foreign Policy
, there were 213,000 Irish
citizens living in Australia in 1997; nearly three times the number
of Irish-born immigrants to the country. Most Irish Australians,
however, do not have Irish
and define their status in terms of
self-perception, affection for Ireland and an attachment to
Irish settlers - both voluntary and forced - were crucial to the
Australian colonies from the earliest days of settlement. The Irish
first came over in large numbers as convicts
(50,000 were transported between 1791 and
1867), to be used as free labour; even larger numbers of free settlers
came during the nineteenth
century, partly due to the Donegal
. Irish immigrants accounted for one-quarter of
Australia's overseas-born population in 1871. Their children, the
first Irish Australians in the sense we understand the term, played
a definitive role in shaping Australian history, society and
culture. The Irish heritage has also had a significant influence of
the Australian accent and slang words.
Historian Patrick O'Farrell
in The Irish in Australia
(1987) that the term "Australia
first" became "what amounted to the Australian Irish Catholic
slogan". These Australians of Irish background did not tend to
regard Ireland as their "mother country" - primarily because few
had a wish to return to a home they had left in search of a better
life. Rather, they tended to identify themselves as
According to census data released by the Australian Bureau of
in 2004, Irish Australians are, by religion, 46.2%
, 15.3% Anglican
, 13.5% other Christian denomination, 3.6%
other religions, and 21.5% as "No Religion".
The high percentage of Catholics is largely the result of
descendants of Irish immigrants.
Nineteenth-century South Africa did not attract mass Irish
migration, but Irish communities are to be found in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and
third of the Cape's governors were Irish, as were many of the
judges and politicians. Both the Cape Colony and the Colony of Natal had Irish prime ministers:
Sir Thomas Upington, "The Afrikaner from Cork"; and
Sir Albert Hime, from Kilcoole in County
Irish Cape Governors included Lord Macartney
and Sir John Francis
. Irish settlers were brought in small numbers
over the years, as from other parts of the United Kingdom.
Henry Nourse, a shipowner at the Cape,
brought out a small party of Irish settlers in 1818. In 1823, John
Ingram brought out 146 Irish from Cork. Single Irish women were
sent to the Cape on a few occasions. Twenty arrived in November
1849 and 46 arrived in March 1851. The majority arrived in November
1857 aboard the Lady Kennaway
. A large contingent of Irish
troops fought in the Anglo-Boer War
on both sides and a few of them stayed in South Africa after the
war. Others returned home but later came out to settle in South
Africa with their families. Between 1902 and 1905, there were about
5,000 Irish immigrants. Place names in South Africa include Upington, Porteville, Caledon, Cradock, Sir Henry Lowry's Pass, the Biggarsberg Mountains,
Donnybrook and Belfast.
: Irish Police in SA
& Research in SA
Irish bishop Paul Cullen set out to spread Irish dominance over the
English-speaking Catholic Church in the 19th century. The
establishment of an 'Irish Episcopal Empire' involved three
transnational entities - the British Empire, the Roman Catholic
Church, and the Irish diaspora. Irish clergy, notably Cullen, made
particular use of the reach of the British Empire to spread their
influence. From the 1830's until his death in 1878, Cullen held
several key positions near the top of the Irish hierarchy and
influenced Rome's appointment of Irish bishops on four
Walker (2007) compares Irish immigrant communities in the United
States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Great Britain
respecting issues of identity and 'Irishness.' Religion remained
the major cause of differentiation in all Irish diaspora
communities and had the greatest impact on identity, followed by
the nature and difficulty of socioeconomic conditions faced in each
new country and the strength of continued social and political
links of Irish immigrants and their descendants with the old
country. From the late 20th century onward, Irish identity abroad
became increasingly cultural, nondenominational, and nonpolitical,
although many emigrants from Northern Ireland stood apart from this
Famous members of the diaspora
See also Notable
Americans of Scotch-Irish descent
- Thomas Brady, 19th century Justice
of the Peace of Upper Canada
- James Callaghan was Labour Prime
Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979.
- Jean Charest, born of an
Irish-Canadian mother, is Premier of Quebec, Canada.
- Richard J. Daley, former long-serving mayor of
- Richard M. Daley, current mayor of Chicago.
- Éamon de Valera, Prime
Minister and President of Ireland, born in New York City.
- Helen Douglas, Actress and
Congresswomen from California defeated by Richard Nixon.
- James Duane, Mayor of New York City 1784,
son of a Galway man.
- Edelmiro Farrell, former
President of Argentina.
- Che Guevara, Argentine-born
- Chaim Herzog,
6th President of Israel, born in
- Paul Keating, former Prime Minister
- John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United
States, also Robert F.
Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy,
members of the Kennedy
Family, originally from Wexford.
- Ricardo López Murphy,
Argentine politician and presidential candidate.
- Patrice MacMahon,
duc de Magenta, first President of the Third French Republic.
- D'Arcy McGee, former Young Irelander, Father of Canadian
Confederation who was assassinated for his criticism of the Fenian
raids on Canada.
- Dalton McGuinty, Premier of
- Brian Mulroney, 18th Prime Minister of Canada, child of
- Richard Nixon, 37th President of
the United States
- Barack Obama,
44th and current President of the United
States whose great-great-great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney,
was born and raised in Moneygall, County Offaly
- Álvaro Obregón,
President of Mexico
O'Brien, former head of government of
O'Donnell, 1st Duke of Tetuan, Spanish general and statesman, a descendant of Calvagh O'Donnell, chieftain of Tyrconnell.
O'Higgins, first President of
Chile, and his father, Viceroy of
O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno, a Sligoman.
- Ronald Reagan, 40th President of
the United States.
- Louis St. Laurent, 12th Prime
Minister of Canada, mother an Irish
- Pierre Trudeau, 15th Prime
Minister of Canada
Isadora Duncan, legendary dancer
Artists and musicians
- Lucille Ball, actress and
- Lara Flynn Boyle, actress
- Kate Bush, Singer and songwriter
- Mariah Carey, best selling female
- George Carlin comedian, ranked
second greatest of all time by Comedy
- Raymond Chandler, writer of the
Marlowe series. Irish mother.
- George Clooney, actor
- Stephen Colbert, comedian
- Robert De Niro, two-time Academy
Award and Golden Globe-winning American film actor, director, and
producer (his father was half-Irish, half-Italian).
- Kevin Dillon, actor
- Matt Dillon, actor
- Patty Duke, actress
- Isadora Duncan, dancer
- Everlast & Danny Boy, succesively members of Hip-Hop group
House of Pain and of La Coka Nostra.
- Michael Flatley, dancer and
creator of Riverdance
- Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher of Oasis.
- Judy Garland, actress and great
- Merv Griffin, television host
- Lafcadio Hearn, known as 小泉八雲
(Koizumi Yakumo) in Japanese, early 20th century writer.
- Paul Hogan, actor.
- Marian Jordan, Molly of long-time hit radio program Fibber McGee and Molly.
- Mike Joyce, member of
- Gene Kelly actor and dancer
- Princess Grace of Monaco, actress
(as Grace Kelly) and noblewoman.
- Kennedy family
- Jamie Kennedy, actor
- Dennis Leary, actor, musician and
- Bill Maher talk show host,
- Johnny Marr, member of The Smiths.
- Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles.
- Rose McGowan, actress, born in
Italy to an Irish father and French mother
- Colin Meloy, lead singer and
songwriter of The
- Alyssa Milano, television
- Steven Morrissey, singer, member of
- Mary Murphy,
- Katie Noonan, Irish-Australian
- George O'Dowd, pop singer, also
known as Boy George
- Juan O'Gorman, a 20th century
Mexican artist, both a painter and an architect.
- Maureen O'Hara, Irish born
actress and celebrated Hollywood beauty.
- Eugene O'Neill, writer.
- Peter O'Toole, actor, Lawrence in
Lawrence of Arabia.
- Aidan Quinn, Emmy Award-nominated actor
- Anthony Quinn, Oscar-winning Mexican actor.
- Johnny Rotten (b. John Lydon),
lead singer of the Sex Pistols.
- Kevin Rowland, lead singer of
Dexys Midnight Runners.
- Andy Rourke, member of The Smiths.
- Justin Sane, lead singer of Anti-Flag
- Dusty Springfield,
- Bruce Springsteen, songwriter,
performer and political activist.
- John Wayne, actor, enduring American
- Catherine Zeta-Jones,
- Anne Boleyn, Queen consort to King
Henry VIII of England; Irish paternal
grandmother Margaret Butler
- Anne Bonney,
pirate, born in Cork.
- James J. Braddock, boxer, also known as The
- Molly Brown, the "Unsinkable Molly
- Nellie Cashman, "The Angel of
- Diana, Princess of
Wales, noblewoman, her mother, Frances Burke Roche was a
descendant of the Earls of Fermoy
- John Dunlap, printer of the first
copies of the American Declaration of Independence
- Margaretta Eagar, governess to
the last Russian Royal Family
- Sarah Ferguson, former wife of a
British prince, her paternal ancestors came from Northern
- Henry Ford, businessman and founder
of the Ford Foundation.
- Cardinal James Gibbons, Roman
- Kathy Griffin, standup comic and
TV personality (both parents Irish immigrants)
- Mary Jemison, Irish captive adopted
by Native American Seneca tribe.
- Dorothy Jordan, mistress to
William IV of the
- Ned Kelly - Australian farmer and
- Eliza Lynch, Irish born mistress of
President Francisco Solano
Lopez of Paraguay
- Martin Maher,
instructor at the US Military Academy at West Point
- Mary Mallon, also known as
Typhoid Mary, a notorious cook
- Lola Montez, mistress to Ludwig I of Bavaria
Moore, first immigrant to USA to be processed at Ellis Island
- Anne Mortimer, Irish born English
- Eddie Murphy, comedian
- Evelyn Nesbit, model and
- Mario O'Donnell, historian
- Marie-Louise O'Murphy,
mistress to King Louis XV of
- Shaquille O'Neal, American
Lola Montez, Irish-born mistress to
King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
Her real name was Eliza Gilbert
See also - Irish Brigade
See also - Causes of Irish emigration
See also - General
- Akenson, Donald. The Irish Diaspora: a Primer.
(Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, 1993)
- Bielenberg, Andy, ed. The Irish Diaspora (London:
- Campbell, Malcolm. Ireland's New Worlds: Immigrants,
Politics, and Society in the United States and Australia,
- Coogan, Tim Pat. Wherever Green Is Worn: The Story of the
Irish Diaspora (2002)
- Darby, Paul, and David Hassan, eds. Sport and the Irish
Diaspora: Emigrants at Play (2008)
- Delaney, Enda, Kevin Kenny, and Donald Mcraild. "The Irish
Diaspora," Irish Economic and Social History (2006):
- Fanning, Charles. New Perspectives on the Irish
- Gray, Breda. Women and the Irish Diaspora (2003)
- Gribben, Arthur, and Ruth-Ann M. Harris. The Great Famine
and the Irish Diaspora in America (1999)
- Kenny, Kevin. "Diaspora and Comparison: the Global Irish as a
Case Study," Journal of American History 2003 90(1):
134-162, In JSTOR
- Lalor, Brian, ed. The Encyclopedia of Ireland (Dublin:
Gill & Macmillan, 2003)
- Mccaffrey, Lawrence. The Irish Catholic Diaspora in
America (Washington: Catholic University of America,
- O'Day, Alan. "Revising the Diaspora." in The Making of
Modern Irish History, edited by D George Boyce and Alan O'Day.
(London: Routledge, 1996), pp. 188-215.
- O’Sullivan, Patrick, ed. The Irish Worldwide: Religion and
Identity, vol. 5. London: Leicester University Press,
- Walker, Brian. "'The Lost Tribes of Ireland': Diversity,
Identity and Loss among the Irish Diaspora," Irish Studies
Review; 2007 15(3): 267-282
- The article "More Britons applying for Irish passports" states
that 6 million Britons have either an Irish grandfather or
grandmother and are thus able to apply for Irish citizenship.
- One in four Britons claim Irish roots
- Crowley, Ultan (-?) The Men Who Built Britain: a History of
the Irish Navvy
- British military presence in Bermuda,
Royal Gazette, February 3, 2007
- Tim Pat
Coogan, "Wherever Green Is Worn: The Story of the Irish
Diaspora", Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
- New York Times - The Buried History of America's Largest
Slave Rebellion and the Man Who Led It
- Remembering the Past
- Emerald Reflections, Retrieved November 7,
- Colin Barr, "'Imperium in Imperio': Irish Episcopal Imperialism
in the Nineteenth Century," English Historical Review 2008
- Glazier, Michael (ed.) (1999) The Encyclopedia of the Irish
in America. Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame Press ISBN
- Flynn, John & Kelleher, Jerry (2003) Dublin Journeys in
America; pp. 150-153, High Table Publishing ISBN
- The Encyclopedia of the Irish in America (1999) ISBN
- The Encyclopedia of the Irish in America (1999)
- Flynn, John (2003); pp. 148-149
- Ronan, Gerard The Irish Zorro: the Extraordinary Adventures
of William Lamport (1615-1659)
- Murray, Thomas (1919) The Story of the Irish in
- Glazier, Michael (ed.) (1999) The Encyclopedia of the Irish
in America Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame Press ISBN