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Thread: Andy Bielenberg's latest research on Protestant migration from the Irish Free State

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    Default Andy Bielenberg's latest research on Protestant migration from the Irish Free State

    I've just read a very good article by Andy Bielenberg of UCC (Cork) in the journal Past and Present, on the vexed question of the experience of the southern Ireland's Protestant minority during the Irish Revolution of 1916-23. It has been claimed that republican violence at times amounted to ethnic cleansing of Protestants. Commentators such as Eoghan Harris have claimed that up to 70,000 Protestants were forced out of the new state.

    Bielenberg shows that, the Protestant population of the 26 counties fell from 1911-1926 by 106,000 and that this peaked in 1921 and 1922. But on the other hand, he calculates that no more than 16,000 and perhaps as few as 2,000 were forced to leave by violence (which intentionally or otherwise killed about 100 Protestant civilians). A total of the 20,000 'southern loyalists' sought refuge in Britain but many of these were Catholics.

    The remainder is accounted for by the withdrawal of the British Army and civilian administration (30,000 plus unspecified number of secondary workers), First World War deaths (5,000 Protestants), voluntary migration, c.40-50,000, based on a 10% share of total emigration in those 15 years. Though some of the Protestant migration in the latter was caused by dislike of Irish independence and accelerated land reform taking away the remaining estates of the gentry and associated jobs.

    In short Protestants were vulnerable in this period, especially in rural areas, but not subject to systematic campaigns of ethnic cleansing or murder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD66 View Post
    I've just read a very good article by Andy Bielenberg of UCC (Cork) in the journal Past and Present, on the vexed question of the experience of the southern Ireland's Protestant minority during the Irish Revolution of 1916-23. It has been claimed that republican violence at times amounted to ethnic cleansing of Protestants. Commentators such as Eoghan Harris have claimed that up to 70,000 Protestants were forced out of the new state.

    Bielenberg shows that, the Protestant population of the 26 counties fell from 1911-1926 by 106,000 and that this peaked in 1921 and 1922. But on the other hand, he calculates that no more than 16,000 and perhaps as few as 2,000 were forced to leave by violence (which intentionally or otherwise killed about 100 Protestant civilians). A total of the 20,000 'southern loyalists' sought refuge in Britain but many of these were Catholics.

    The remainder is accounted for by the withdrawal of the British Army and civilian administration (30,000 plus unspecified number of secondary workers), First World War deaths (5,000 Protestants), voluntary migration, c.40-50,000, based on a 10% share of total emigration in those 15 years. Though some of the Protestant migration in the latter was caused by dislike of Irish independence and accelerated land reform taking away the remaining estates of the gentry and associated jobs.

    In short Protestants were vulnerable in this period, especially in rural areas, but not subject to systematic campaigns of ethnic cleansing or murder.

    The above facts will be a big disappointment to the many historical revisionists in this Flawed State.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD66 View Post
    I've just read a very good article by Andy Bielenberg of UCC (Cork) in the journal Past and Present, on the vexed question of the experience of the southern Ireland's Protestant minority during the Irish Revolution of 1916-23. It has been claimed that republican violence at times amounted to ethnic cleansing of Protestants. Commentators such as Eoghan Harris have claimed that up to 70,000 Protestants were forced out of the new state.

    Bielenberg shows that, the Protestant population of the 26 counties fell from 1911-1926 by 106,000 and that this peaked in 1921 and 1922. But on the other hand, he calculates that no more than 16,000 and perhaps as few as 2,000 were forced to leave by violence (which intentionally or otherwise killed about 100 Protestant civilians). A total of the 20,000 'southern loyalists' sought refuge in Britain but many of these were Catholics.

    The remainder is accounted for by the withdrawal of the British Army and civilian administration (30,000 plus unspecified number of secondary workers), First World War deaths (5,000 Protestants), voluntary migration, c.40-50,000, based on a 10% share of total emigration in those 15 years. Though some of the Protestant migration in the latter was caused by dislike of Irish independence and accelerated land reform taking away the remaining estates of the gentry and associated jobs.

    In short Protestants were vulnerable in this period, especially in rural areas, but not subject to systematic campaigns of ethnic cleansing or murder.
    Sounds like an interesting piece of literature that will no doubt provoke huge, mostly illogical, debate here on p.ie.

    Would you by any chance have a link for the article or where can it be accessed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD66 View Post
    I've just read a very good article by Andy Bielenberg of UCC (Cork) in the journal Past and Present, on the vexed question of the experience of the southern Ireland's Protestant minority during the Irish Revolution of 1916-23. It has been claimed that republican violence at times amounted to ethnic cleansing of Protestants. Commentators such as Eoghan Harris have claimed that up to 70,000 Protestants were forced out of the new state.

    Bielenberg shows that, the Protestant population of the 26 counties fell from 1911-1926 by 106,000 and that this peaked in 1921 and 1922. But on the other hand, he calculates that no more than 16,000 and perhaps as few as 2,000 were forced to leave by violence (which intentionally or otherwise killed about 100 Protestant civilians). A total of the 20,000 'southern loyalists' sought refuge in Britain but many of these were Catholics.

    The remainder is accounted for by the withdrawal of the British Army and civilian administration (30,000 plus unspecified number of secondary workers), First World War deaths (5,000 Protestants), voluntary migration, c.40-50,000, based on a 10% share of total emigration in those 15 years. Though some of the Protestant migration in the latter was caused by dislike of Irish independence and accelerated land reform taking away the remaining estates of the gentry and associated jobs.

    In short Protestants were vulnerable in this period, especially in rural areas, but not subject to systematic campaigns of ethnic cleansing or murder.

    "......but not subject to systematic campaigns of ethnic cleansing or murder...."

    Very important information - thank you for bringing this article to this Forum.

    Very relevant too in terms of looking at what will the unionists/Protestant population of the North do after re-Unification.
    Hopefully, the above message gets through and unionists understand there is nothing to fear from a Re-United Ireland - but one wonders will there be a "PfP" ** factor based on the fact that some unionists will simply not be able - or willing - to stomach it - and if so, how large will this PfP** factor be ?


    **PfP ("Packing for Perth" (Australia)) - a term used by white South Africans in describing the white exodus/emigration in post-Apartheid South Africa.

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    As if actual historical research will be enough to stop Harris, Myers et al. From preaching their anti Irish hate speech.

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    Ireland between 1916 and 1923 was a remarkably sedate place where the numbers killed as part of the conflict were extremely small by comparison to other countires in Europe, not to mention the horrors that were later attendent on totalitarianism.

    Ireland does not even rate a mention in statistical studies of conflict casualties. Having had a relative killed in those years is still a matter of comment - and indeed pride - now, whereas for a Latvian, not having lost a grandparent to either the Soviets or Nazis would probably be unusual. And they certainly don't get all sentimental about it!

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    Sounds like a interesting article that's worth reading.

    But on the other hand, he calculates that no more than 16,000 and perhaps as few as 2,000 were forced to leave by violence
    Does the article say whether this was overall, or whether there were particular areas where this happened (*cough, cough, West Cork?*)? Or the social demographs of those who left?

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    Quote Originally Posted by harshreality View Post
    Sounds like an interesting piece of literature that will no doubt provoke huge, mostly illogical, debate here on p.ie.
    Amen, Harsh!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD66 View Post
    In short Protestants were vulnerable in this period, especially in rural areas, but not subject to systematic campaigns of ethnic cleansing or murder.
    That is a resonable conclusion. In terms of being vulnerable though, this was probably expressed best in how the Anglo-Irish suddenly became as exposed to Irelands' under development, in the same way native Irish always were. The collapse of British rule removed at a stroke many guarenteed careers, financial securities and social status that were previously enjoyed.

    Those best able to reconsile that part of their identity with the new Irishness of the state, probably has less inclination to leave a place they saw as their homeland. Certinaly there is still a large and well established 'Anglo-Irish' minority in Ireland today. Others, who saw themselves as Irish only through the lense of being British, no doubt had a lot less inclination to stay.

    All in all, given how few Anglo-Indians stayed on after India gained its independence, and similarly in other ex-British Imperial dominions, there can be no claim that those who saw themselves as British left because they were persecuted. All in all the 'Anglo-Irish' seem to have weathered the upheaval of independence pretty well.
    Last edited by Thac0man; 31st January 2013 at 03:17 PM. Reason: paragraphs

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    Irish Protestants are still disproportionately represented among certain professions. Banking has traditonally been one, hence the historical lack of support by the Irish banks for indigenous development as opposed to stocks and shares and property. They also directed much of their business through the London Stock Exchange.

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