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Title: The Irish in Bristol, 1938-1985
Author: Conway, Nick Christopher Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 1913
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2018
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The main focus of this thesis is the Irish population of Bristol from 1938 to 1985. Up to now, the twentieth century Bristol Irish have been largely absent from the historical and sociological discourse on both Bristol and the Irish in Britain. This thesis seeks to address their absence as well as to locate the experiences of the Bristol Irish within the context of the Irish in Britain through comparisons to similar studies conducted in other British cities. In addition, it seeks to ascertain to what degree the Bristol Irish have integrated or been assimilated into the native populace. It centres on several key issues such as the lived experience of the Bristol Irish, as well as the homogeneity of the migration process and the Irish experience in twentieth century Bristol. This necessitated an in-depth investigation relating to residential patterns in the city and the predominance of traditional Irish occupational groupings such as nursing for females and building work for males. It was also necessary to ascertain the importance of Irish spaces in the city. These include pubs, clubs and associations as well as the role of the Catholic Church. This was achieved through several strands of investigation, which included several types of primary and secondary sources, as well as both quantitative and qualitative analysis. As we will see in Chapter Four, Bristol's Irish population have not always had the same level of cultural organisation as exists in British cities with higher Irish populations such as London and Birmingham. As a result of this, individual experiences became vital to the research. In fact, several historians have argued that the true details of migration can only be revealed by the migrants themselves. To this end, new interviews were undertaken with Irish-born people living in Bristol contacted through friend and family links as well as the snowballing technique. This allowed for a qualitative analysis of individuals' experiences of migration, housing, employment as well as social and cultural life in Bristol. This included an examination of the extent to which the Bristol Irish have integrated or been assimilated into the native populace. This original material was supplemented by previously overlooked archival material which casts light on the experiences of Irish nurses and building labourers in post-war Bristol. These data also revealed further detail on the migration process during the Second World War, before any of the research participants came to Bristol. In addition to this, a quantitative investigation of two local newspapers allowed for an analysis of public opinion in Bristol on key points in twentieth century Anglo-Irish relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Irish ; Bristol ; 20th century