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Harris, Mary N.
European Migrants, Diasporas and Indigenous Ethnic Minorities
Irish Americans and the Pursuit of Irish Independence
Edizioni Plus - Pisa University Press
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Irish Americans diaspora Northern Ireland
This chapter examines the role of Irish Americans in supporting and initiating a rangeof political campaigns in Ireland since the early 19th century. Some had previously beenpolitically active in Ireland; others, fleeing famine and destitution, arrived in Americaembittered towards the British government, their sense of victimhood reinforced byhostility towards Catholic immigrants. Such immigrants readily supported politicalventures in Ireland and the American tour became an important source of financial assistancefor Irish campaigners. However, power struggles sometimes occurred betweenIrish American and Irish leaders, also divided among themselves in terms of aims andstrategies. During the recent conflict in Northern Ireland, nationalist supporters ofnonviolent politics and proponents of the armed struggle competed for Irish Americansupport. Ultimately, Irish Americans played a significant role in the peace process, particularlyby winning President Bill Clinton’s support.
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