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Welcoming the Stranger:  Irish Migrant Welfare in Britain since 1957

Welcoming the Stranger: Irish Migrant Welfare in Britain since 1957

Patricia Kennedy

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The untold human story of how the Catholic Church met the welfare needs of Irish emigrants in Britain since the 1950s

This lively book tells the untold story of the crucial work carried out by the Irish Emigrant Chaplaincy on behalf of Irish emigrants in Britain for over half a century. The service was established by the Catholic church in 1957 and the hidden history revealed by this book is one of political intrigue; economic booms and busts; MI5; international relations; miscarriages of justice; Papal Encyclicals; and the struggle for equality and justice. The work of the Irish Emigrant Chaplaincy was conducted against a background of battling against the odds and the establishment.

It’s the story of Irish and British migration history in modern times and Anglo-Irish relations unfolding over turbulent and politically sensitive decades, and comes at a time when the Catholic Church is under increased scrutiny in relation to child sexual abuse and more recently the scandal of the Magdalene Laundries. Based on archival research and over eighty interviews with those who benefited from or administered this vital service, the roll-call also includes the most prominent world & church leaders of the period: Margaret Thatcher, John Hume, Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese, and Cardinals Hume & Ó Fiaich.

Welcoming the Stranger is the first book to demonstrate how the Irish government was forced to take responsibility for the Irish abroad.

Additional Information

Author Patricia Kennedy
Publisher Irish Academic Press
Publication date 15 Mar 2015
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9780716532934

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