Italian immigration to Ireland in the late 19th/early 20th century

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#1
First things first.
This thread isn't some veiled defense of mass immigration and the balkanisation of society -- two things I'm very much opposed to. Historical curiosity is what motivated me to start the thread.

Anyhow, the story of Italian immigration to Ireland is a very interesting and, sadly, a much overlooked one.
The initial wave of these immigrants, who arrived in the 19th century, worked on the construction of churches , which had picked up pace since the repeal of the penal laws.
Many were specialist craftspeople, such as marble workers and the like, who filled a skills gap.

The later wave, possibly following relatives who had settled into Irish society, tended to work in catering.
They went on to establish Ireland's first Chippers, a tradition that, quite visibly, continues to this day.

But their legacy goes beyond the echoey interiors of neo-gothic churches and the clogged arteries of late night dipsomaniacs. Many Irish people alive today, particularly in Dublin, have some Italian ancestry.
I happen to be one of these people.

I haven't researched the subject matter as thoroughly as I'd like, hence the brevity of the OP. But what I've learned so far is very intriguing.

Perhaps some of you have a few interesting factoids to add?

(Here's an old video from RTE archives that can't be embedded)

The Italians
 
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#2
But their legacy goes beyond the echoey interiors of neo-gothic churches and the clogged arteries of late night dipsomaniacs. Many Irish people alive today, particularly in Dublin, have some Italian ancestry.
I happen to be one of these people.
This is also true of the CNR tribe in Belfast. Brendan Hughes was part Italian.
 
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This is also true of the CNR tribe in Belfast. Brendan Hughes was part Italian.
I haven't seen the numbers, but it seems that more Italians settled in the north than the south.

Quite by accident, I happen to have some Italian ancestry on both sides.
One of my Italian ancestors, a woman born in Ireland to Italian parents, married an English merchant seaman who had a Danish father.
He remained in Ireland and converted to Catholicism before the marriage.

I'm a right Euro mutt :smiley:
 

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I know a lot of the Italians in Ireland- very good friends of mine.

All very Anti EU & no friends of Mass Immigration but there are exceptions to that.

Yes- the Provos were full of people of Italian descent, I think it was a Catholic thing.
 

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#9
Of course both are true.

When the Loyalists attacked Irish Catholics, the Italian's backed the Irish Catholics up- feeling that they were in the same Boat.
 
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I think it was more to do with the fact that Italian community nearly completely melded into the CNR tribe. Outside of Cardinal O'Fiach most of the Church's Officialdom was extremely against the PIRA.
In the south at least, Italian women seemed more likely than the native population to marry English seamen and soldiers.

This is what I've encountered anyway in the little research I've done. I could be wrong.
 
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#11
Of course both are true.

When the Loyalists attacked Irish Catholics the Italian's backed the Irish Catholics up- feeling that they were in the same Boat.
Actually in the run up to the Troubles Paisley made a big deal about an Italian family living on the Shankill. However there have been so many inter-marriages between Nordie CNRs and Italians that by the time of the Troubles they were basically the same tribe. The difference though today is that all immigrants are basically offered to integrate into is hedonistic consumerism. Ulster Catholics and Italians not only came from the same Cultural Sphere but shared the same Religion at a time when Religion was important.
 
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Actually in the run up to the Troubles Paisley made a big deal about an Italian family living on the Shankill. However there have been so many inter-marriages between Nordie CNRs and Italians that by the time of the Troubles they were basically the same tribe. The difference though today is that all immigrants are basically offered to integrate into is hedonistic consumerism. Ulster Catholics and Italians not only came from the same Cultural Sphere but shared the same Religion at a time when Religion was important.
The PUL community would likely have some Italian ancestry from the Waldensians who settled among the Huguenots.