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Irish Catholic Identities$
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Oliver P. Rafferty

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097317

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097317.001.0001

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Irish diaspora Catholicism in North America*

Irish diaspora Catholicism in North America*

(p.211) 12 Irish diaspora Catholicism in North America*
Irish Catholic Identities

David Doyle

Manchester University Press

Irish diaspora Catholicism was already widespread before the Famine, but in the wake of that catastrophe millions migrated to the USA and the far flung reaches of the British Empire. Some churchmen saw emigration as a panacea for Ireland’s ills, others warned of its dangers as the Irish seemed to be over represented in the criminal classes of their host countries. The North American experience especially that of the USA is particularly important for consolidating one interpretation of Irish Catholic nationalist identity. But such identity was also constructed within the terms of American Catholic experience as a whole. The Irish competed with the Germans, Poles, Italians and other Catholic immigrant groups for a sense of what it was to be Catholic in a non-denominational, and frequently hostile culture.

Keywords:   Diaspora-identity USA anti-Catholicism Irish-dominance

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