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Title: Ireland and the Irish in post-war British politics
Author: Shaw, D. J.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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Despite the research that has been previously published concerning both the Irish in Britain and Ireland in British politics little of this examines the reaction of the Irish in Britain to events that bring Ireland into British post-war politics. Neither does this work place Ireland within a British context. Whilst some authors have not ignored those in Britain that wish to raise the saliency of Ireland in British politics, most have either reduced it to a few paragraphs or sentences. This is especially true within popular British historiography which dislikes challenges to the many warming myths found within Whig narratives. However, myths concerning the Irish in Britain can be found in Irish historiography as well, such as those concerning the power of Irish voters in Britain. There remains a tendency to look at Irish political activity in post-war Britain in a thin and superficial manner. This study is intended to fill several gaps. It will examine the reaction of the Irish in Britain as it emerges from beneath the surface of British politics. It will look at those groups that attempted to put pressure on successive British Governments even when Ireland was not in the public eye. This will also include those that wanted to protect Northern Ireland’s position within the Union. Another goal of this research is to place Ireland within a wider British context. Previously when the importance of Ireland has increased in British politics, it has been studied within a strictly Irish context. This thesis will show that the British response to Ireland is framed as much by British issues as Irish ones. This research will also seek to debunk some of the myths concerning the Irish vote in Britain, showing that they are a modern European population, making deliberative decisions that reflect this. It will conclude that despite the many myths, Ireland has little political saliency for British politicians and for all but a small section of the Irish population in Britain. The Irish in Britain are a modern, deliberative civic population, not a 5th column ready to rise in the name of Irish nationalism.
Supervisor: Bean, Kevin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral