19th century Irish history – help needed

I’ve been researching my family for a few years with a view to writing their story. My mother’s family were the Bolands – major figures in the Irish revolutionary movements pre-independence and government ministers in the decades afterwards.

I’m trying to go back over four generations. The more recent generations – Kevin Boland and his father Gerald and uncles Harry and Ned and aunt Kathleen – are fairly straightforward. Much has been written about their lives, including by themselves. And there’s no shortage of information about 1916.

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Last “whites” of the East End

So, after a great NUJ meeting with a brilliantly ethnic diverse turn-out, I turn on the TV and the BBC is showing “Last Whites of the East End“. Despite being fully aware it would annoy me, I watched it. I’ve been trying to think of something to blog about, so here’s another blog about history.

According to the programme, “white British” people are leaving the East London and it’s the end of the “good old East End”. This needs serious unpicking.

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Slaveholders in Ireland

After yesterday’s popular blog about Irish slavery, I wanted to write a short one about another issue with Liam Hogan’s work.

Another thread of his work is researching Irish slaveholders. Where he’s traced information those who left Ireland and “became white” and bought into the slave owning population, that’s all well and good.

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Irish slavery – fact or myth?

There has been a stupid debate going on for over a year now about whether Irish slaves existed or not. Irish historian Liam Hogan has made a name for himself condemning those who talk about the Irish history of slavery.

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A history lesson for Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith has attempted to appeal to the Left with today’s argument that the EU and “uncontrolled immigration” has caused a downward pressure on wages. Despite being at the forefront of taking from the have nots and giving to the haves for years, he’s now blaming the EU.

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The Cromwellian logic of the Israel debate

The debate about Israel is one of the most stark and heated, if not violent, in modern politics. The rights of Palestinians to life and self-determination are set against the right of the state Israel to defend itself and its population. Israel is touted as the only liberal democracy in a Middle East full of dictators and absolute monarchies, justifying anything the state chooses to impose on its stateless neighbours.

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The history of anti-Irish racism

The following article appeared as the foreword to Phil Mac Giolla Bháin’s book “Minority Reporter”.

There’s nothing new about anti-Irish racism. In fact, some of the language of racism in general can be found far back in Irish and British history. Gerald of Wales accompanied the anglo-Norman invaders who first subjugated Ireland to rule under the king of England in the 12th Century. He wrote, in The History and Topography of Ireland (PDF), of the native Irish:

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