Vol. 9 No. 9 (2019): Whose Homelands? Fictions, Facts and Questions of the Irish Diaspora
Sezione monografica / Monographic Section

Decolonizing the Irish: The International Resistance and Entrenchment of the Global Irish Diaspora

Aedan Alderson
Laboratorio editoriale OA / Dip. LILSI
Published June 12, 2019
How to Cite
Alderson, A. (2019). Decolonizing the Irish: The International Resistance and Entrenchment of the Global Irish Diaspora. Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 9(9), 369-386. https://doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-25580


Narratives of Irish decolonization often take up local (rather than global) arguments focused on the liberation of Ireland, instead of looking to the participation of Irish people in decolonization efforts internationally. This paper argues that the Irish diaspora, whose population has extended into all corners of the Earth, has a key role to play in decolonization not simply because of the history of anti-colonialism in Ireland and its role as a test site for British colonialism, but specifically because of the need to extend sentiments about national liberation to the nations whose oppression the diaspora has become entrenched in. Through examining on historical examples of Irish roles in the colonization of Canada, the United States, and Australia, this paper explores some of the ways that the desire to contribute to the liberation of Ireland within the Irish diaspora has often become linked to participation in colonization. In so doing, it argues that the Irish nation cannot become decolonized by liberating its own land alone; it must become a force for anti-colonialism by rejecting participation in colonial occupation wherever the Irish find themselves. Drawing attention to opportunities for advancing allieships between the diaspora and other nations struggling against colonialism, the author puts forth a call to action for decolonizing the Irish.


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