NI question on religion

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Virgil, Feb 28, 2008.

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  1. I was surprised to find a comment on another forum about the NI troubles that stated a large number of Catholics are descendants of Scottish Catholics that had fled Scotland. I'd always--and I'm sure the Boston Irish--always assumed the Catholics were all ethnically 'Irish'.

    How much truth is there to this?
  2. Very little, there are some Catholic families in NI who are descended from Scottish families but the vast majority of people in NI who are of Scottish descent are Protestants.

  3. I wouldnt listen too much to what 'American-Irish' say. Most aren't even related to anyone Irish. Most who say their roots are from Ireland, aren't. Many who where from different ethnic backgrounds who had no real groupings in the USA would latch into the Irish community because no other fecker would touch them. Quite a few like the romantic idea of being from an Irish background because they think its like that poncy film Cruise and Kidman were in a few years ago.

    If it were true that all those in the USA who state they are from an Irish background, the population of Ireland would have been in the region of 50 million! It's a bit like 'first on the balcony' I suppose. ;)

    To answer your question.


    Get your arse to a Celtic-Rangers match.

    It was of course, two way traffic. When some of the bog trotters couldn't even grow potatos (you'd think they would have diversified their crop ffs?), they poked off back to jockland.
  4. Hello Virgil,

    the whole of the United Kingdom was at one point largely Catholic and Irish is a nationality not an ethnicity.
    A fact which is lost in an immigrant society where their forsaken nationalities became their new identities.

    There are many protestants of Scottish lineage who consider themselves to be Irish,just as there unionist English Catholics of Irish lineage.

    Far from the reality of Ireland a certain view of the old world became part of Irish American mythology.
    Later that view became enshrined in American politics and was exported back across the seas.

    Bostonians might be surprised that not too long ago fourty percent of the British Army was made up of Irishmen.

  5. I would say that the vast majority of Protestants in Northern Ireland can probably trace their family roots back to the Plantation, although my family can trace ours back to the time of Elizabeth I.
    The majority of Roman Catholics are from old Irish Families, but there are a lot of English names in there like Adams.. :D
  6. I disagree. (Im not Irish by the way).

    To define ethnicity is difficult, are you defining it solely on physical
    charectaristics or colour?

    It would be my interpretation that ethnicity is a set of beliefs and values that define the parameters of a homogenous group, and that whilst physical charectaristics are a part of this, they are not overriding.

    An example would be Augustus Spence (UVF and CLMC founder/leader). Considers himself to be ethnically Irish, and has spoken on the fact, but British as a nationality.

    I can see this being a good thread!

    Prae('s Intelligent evil twin)
  7. From memory, the Cunard Line sailed from Liverpool via Ireland to Boston, hence a lot of Irish people settled in Boston. These were the second wave of Irish to arrive in the new world and were mainly catholics who were fleeing the potato famine.
    During the 17th century a lot of lowland Scots were "planted in Ulster. This was the traditional Ulster that included Donegal. The Scots who settled here had a very hard time form the displaced Irish and were not natural farmers and the land was not very productive. In short they did not make a success in Donegal. By this time the British Crown were making grants of land in the American Colonies and needed new people to "tame" the wilderness. When they were given a chance to go to the American Colonies a lot of these Ulster Scots went. They tended to be independant rough and ready fighters and the authorities in the colonies found it hard to control them and tended to treat them badly. They were pushed to the fringes of the colonies and tended to settle in remote areas where they scraped a living and fought the Native Americans. In reality they were the original Hillbillies and their music can still be heard in so called Hillbilly music. They produced a number of Generals and Presidents such as Grant, Jackson. I assume that some of the Scots Irish MAY have become Catholics but doubt in any of the Irish Catholics became protestants.
  8. Hello Praetorian,

    no,I was not thinking of ethnicity physically or genetically but in much the same way you defined it.

    Those who consider themselves Irish often have widely divergent sets of beliefs and values.
    Hence they would fall ouside that interpretation of Irish ethnicity but would fall within a geographical or political definition of Irishness.

    Irish-Americans would of course fall outside the geopolitical definition but then they are oxymorons.

  9. AT55 if you know that much you surely know enough to be able to distinguish between Ulster and Northern Ireland.
  10. I certainly do. Ulster is one of the four traditional / historical provinces of Ireland and includes nine counties including Donegal. Northern Ireland is one of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The northernmost part of Donegal although part of "Southern" Ireland is more northerly than any of the mainland of Northern Ireland.
  11. Ulster refers to the province of Ulster, six counties of which are in "Northern Ireland," with the other three (Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) in the Republic. The 9-county Ulster was drawn up by English officials in Elizabethan times.
    Which is why Nationalists always refer to Northern Ireland as the "six counties"
  12. A lot of Catholics in Antrim, Londonderry and Donegal are of Highland or Island origin. the Prods are usually of Lowland Scot or English origin.
  13. Thanks for that Murphy. The drawing of the border of N Ireland is covered by that well know Irish historian Spike Milligan in his book Pukoon . Many "republicans" including that nice Mr Adams and the younger of the one of the chuckle brothers always talk of the north of Ireland instead of Northern Ireland. As you no doubt know historically it is only fairly recently that Irish Nationalism and the Catholic religion have generally come to be regarded as one and the same thing. Wolfe Tone, the "father of Irish nationalism" was a protestant as was Parnell. A fair number of Irish prods took part in the Easter Uprising of 1916. They just wanted to get the Brits out of Ireland and let the Irish govern themselves. Although there had been many promises of Home Rule for Ireland they did not trust the British government to come up with it. But those days of having un-trustworthy governments are thankfully long gone. In 1921 estimates were that 20% of the newly independent Irish Free State were Prods and now I think it is down to around 6% whilst in the N Ireland the percentage of Catholics has risen - spooky or what? Add to that that birth control has been freely available in the North for a long time but not in the Republic. Thankfully things are fairly quiet and hopefully they will remain that way. I always have in the back of my mind what that nice Mr Adams said on TV about the IRA when things were not going his way "They haven't gone away!" As a good friend of mine who has doctorate in history, is an ex- Lt Col and is of Irish catholic stock say says, "if you have an answer to the Irish Problem, you don't understand the question."
  14. According to what J. O'Farrell wrote in his book "An Utterly Impartial History of Britain", once upon a time Ireland was overwhelmingly Catholic, and then England (largely Protestant) did a bit of ethnic cleansing and invited Scottish Protestants to settle on freed land.
  15. Can't argue with Mr O'Farrell's fact there Domovoy. Prior to King Henry VIII, England was predominantly Catholic.