CFP: Irish People in Great Britain (1689-Present) Interdisciplinary Symposium

Tues., 12 March 2024 from 9am-6pm
Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick
(Room JHN221 on the John Henry Newman campus)

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Sonja Lawrenson (Manchester Metropolitan University)

People from Ireland have been settling in the countries of Great Britain throughout recorded history. Famously, during the fifth and sixth centuries, Irish monks set up important monasteries all over England, Scotland, and Wales. And, between the twelfth and mid-seventeenth centuries, important Irish figures, from Isabel de Clare (c. 1172-1220) and poet Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh (c.1180– c.1250) through scientist Robert Boyle (1627-1691) and Mary Rich (1625-1678), spent much of their lives in Britain and ultimately died there. During and just after the Williamite War (1689-1691), a number of Irish Protestants traded turbulent Ireland for “safer” Britain, including celebrated writers such as Jonathan Swift, William Congreve, George Farquhar, and Mary Davys.

The “Irish People in Great Britain (1689-Today)” Symposium, which is to be held on Tues., 12 March 2024 at Mary Immaculate College, UL, will explore the lives, struggles, and achievements of the Irish people who have settled in Britain, as well as their descendants, since the time of the Williamite War. We especially welcome papers concerned with any of the following cohorts of Irish – and Irish Diasporic – people in Britain:

• The great Irish Protestant writers who made their names in England

• Irish migrants (mainly Catholic and working-class Protestant) who moved to Britain to escape privation in Ireland

• Irish people serving as soldiers, sailors, pilots, and nurses tied to the British military

• Important Irish political figures, who – at key points in their careers – served as parliamentarians in Westminster, worked in the various offices attached to the British government, or played an integral part in activist organisations

• Popular British writers of Irish descent (e.g. the Brontë sisters, Arthur Conan Doyle, Martin McDonagh, etc.)

• The astonishing number of great British musicians over centuries who were/are of Irish descent

• The highly-successful, British-born directors, scriptwriters, actors, and comedians with strong Irish roots

• Mid-twentieth through early twenty-first century visual artists and designers who were born and raised in Ireland but who chose to make Britain their home

• British sports figures of Irish descent

This list is not exhaustive; indeed, we welcome proposals for papers from ANY academic discipline, covering ANY topic concerned with the Irish Diaspora in Britain, post-1689.

Please email a 300-word abstract, plus a short bio (max. 150 words) to MIC PhD candidate and Irish Research Council-funded scholar Ciara Moloney ( and MIC Drama Lecturer Dr. David Clare ( by 15 January 2024. To facilitate delegates having sufficient time to make travel plans, prospective speakers will be informed of the decision regarding their proposals by 31 January 2024 at the very latest.

Special thanks to the Irish Research Council and Mary Immaculate College for financial support