Until relatively recently, immigrant and ethnic minority groups were relegated to one of the silences in the history of modern Wales. Where they were mentioned at all it was as outsiders who added a dash of colour and exoticism to the story of the majority but who had little to contribute to our understanding of developments in the ‘mainstream’ of society. In recent years this picture has begun to change, and historians, sociologists, novelists and the media have all given sustained attention to the immigrant and ethnic minority experience. The essays in this volume examine the experience of Irish migrants to Wales, comparing their experience with that of other migrants and offering case studies of Irish settlement in a number of Welsh towns. Attention is also given to anti-Irish protest movements in the late nineteenth century and to the later imprisonment of Irish Republicans. The essays examine in depth the social and cultural impact that Irish migrants have made on Wales, and show more broadly the ways in which the study of such migrant groups poses searching questions about the nature of society as a whole.
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