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An introduction to the book
Colin Coulter

in those various trends and indices that register at the more immediate level of everyday experience. The official contention that the 1990s saw the most successful programme of job creation in the history of the state seems more credible when one constantly passes the windows of retail outlets carrying advertisements for new staff. The declaration that the former scourge of mass emigration has been vanquished, moreover, appears persuasive when friends and family are no longer compelled to leave the country and when some of those who left in previous times begin to

in The end of Irish history?
Emigration and the spread of Irish religious influence
Sarah Roddy

, tempered as they were by widespread knowledge of the more mundane and often precarious fates of most Irish emigrants, were the least of it, however. Religious commentators had begun offering a more unambiguously glorious narrative some time earlier. Broadly speaking, this narrative involved the interpretation of mass emigration from Ireland as the fulfilment of a specific, divine ‘destiny’, which had been specially accorded to the Irish ‘race’. God had chosen the Irish to be, in a repeated phrase, a ‘martyr nation’12 whose millions of exiled children were to form the

in Population, providence and empire