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Lecture 16: Emigration. Emigration: Statistics 2.5 million emigrants left Ireland during the last half-century of the union. In 1890 there were 3 million.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture 16: Emigration. Emigration: Statistics 2.5 million emigrants left Ireland during the last half-century of the union. In 1890 there were 3 million."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture 16: Emigration

2 Emigration: Statistics 2.5 million emigrants left Ireland during the last half-century of the union. In 1890 there were 3 million Irish people living outside of Ireland. 40% of all Irish-by-birth people in the world were living outside it in Ireland had the highest rate of emigration in Europe in the later nineteenth century. In the1870s the Irish rate was three times greater than its nearest rivals (Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish).

3 Emigration: Statistics The average annual emigration rate (per 1000 of the population), was about 14 between 1951 and It dropped to less than 5 between 1961 and ,427 emigrated in Only 12,226 emigrated in By 1966 the population had risen by 66,000.

4 Irish population Beginning of the 20th century: just under 4.5 million. Mid 1920s: the population of the island had fallen to about 4.2 million. It remained at approximately 4.2 till the early 1960s. 1961: The lowest level ever recorded, in the 26 counties - 2,818,000. Thereafter it began to rise again. 1993: the estimated total population level for the whole island was almost 5.2 million.

5 Destination Irish emigrant destinations have changed significantly over time Those who emigrated in the 19 th and early 20 th century mainly went to North America Distribution of the Irish overseas changed little between 1871 and : almost 90% of emigrants went to the United States : 175,000 Irish nationals migrated to Britain

6 Emigrants leaving Scott’s Quay, Queenstown

7 Assisted emigration Colonial governments offered selective subsidies to certain categories of immigrant whose labour was deemed essential. Land grants and inland transportation were sometimes offered in frontier regions such as Queensland and Manitoba. Lord Monteagle assisted over 800 people from west Limerick to emigrate to Australia between 1838 and Bishop Quinn brought 4,000 people from Donegal to Queensland between 1862 and 1865.

8 Emigration: counties worst affected Between 1926 and 1961 over half the total net emigration came from just 6 counties: Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal constituted 5 of the 6 in every period.

9 Women and emigration Among German emigrants to the USA, women constituted 41 per cent of the total immigrant population in comparison to 52.9 per cent of Irish migrants. Female Jewish migrants made up a considerable proportion of the flow into America, 28 per cent of them were children (compared to only 5 per cent in the Irish contingent), demonstrating their greater preponderance to migrate in family groups than Irish emigrants

10 Emigrants leave Ireland, Henry Doyle

11 Women and emigration Irish emigrant women's remittances were essential for keeping some families from becoming a burden on the state Female emigrants’ remittances helped keep rural households on unprofitable farms afloat. Commission on Emigration & Other Population Problems: 'Large numbers of girls emigrate to domestic service in Great Britain because they consider that the wages, conditions of work and also the status of domestic service in this country are unsatisfactory'

12 Women and emigration Resident maids with some experience received 1. 17s. 6d. per week in Britain in comparison to 25 shillings in Ireland. Irish expectant single mothers emigrated to Britain in significant numbers during the twentieth century. In 1939 the Crusade of Rescue, a Catholic organisation in the Archdiocese of Westminster, stated that ‘the problem of the Irish illegitimate child has now attained such proportions that we are incompetent to deal with it.’ The society had received 365 applications from single Irish mothers in during the year 1938 alone.

13 Women and emigration An article published in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record in August 1921 suggested that a considerable number of unmarried expectant mothers came to England from Ireland in order to ‘hide their shame.’ In 1929 the Liverpool and County Aid Society claimed that ‘very seldom these girls want to return – the reason is their people will not receive them.’

14 Emigration agents’ office

15 Austen Clarke, Selected Poems (London, 1992). In the Convent of the Sacred Heart, The Long Room has been decorated Where a Bishop can dine off golden plate: As Oriental Potentate. Girls, who will never wheel a go-cart, Cook, sew, wash, dig, milk cows, clean stables And, twice a day, giving their babes The teat, herdlike, yield milk that cost Them dearly, when their skirts were tossed up Above their haunches. Hook or zip Has warded them at Castlepollard. Luckier girls, on board a ship, Watch new hope spraying from the bollard.

16 Emigration: consequences Profound psychological and social consequences for those who remained in Ireland Depopulation during and just after the famine led to the reorganisation of the rural economy, consolidation of farms and the substitution of livestock production for tillage. Emigration may have retarding structural change in agriculture and rural organisation. Remittance money from overseas enabled small farmers in Ireland to satisfy their material expectations without radical domestic change.

17 Emigration: consequences Contributed to the agricultural prosperity of the years by making more land available to medium-sized and larger farmers Decline of the Irish language? Remittances helped sustain Irish speaking communities for several generations Continuous depopulation up until the 1960s


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