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Discourses of diasporic responsibility in Ireland: The modern moment and the discursive costs of moving

Aaron Thornburg


In this paper, I offer a critical reflection regarding the rhetorical employment of an analogy between mid-nineteenth-century, Famine-age emigrants from Ireland and non-Irish-national immigrants that have been increasingly present in the Republic of Ireland since the mid-1990s. While this discursive device is considered to be politically correct, cosmopolitan, and/or accepting of recent migrants to Ireland, I maintain that drawing the comparison between Famine-age and earlier emigrants from Ireland and current-day immigrants to the island supports the characterization of non-Irish-national residents as less than modern and incapable of integration into Irish society. 


Celtic Tiger; diasporic responsibility; immigration discourse; Irish emigration; immigration to Ireland

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