Identity is contingent and dynamic, constituting and reconstituting subjects with political effects. This book explores the implications of Protestant and 'British' incursions for the development of Irish Catholic identity as preserved in Irish language texts from the early modern period until the end of Stuart pretensions. Questions of citizenship, belonging, migration, conflict, security, peace and subjectivity are examined through social construction, post-colonialism, and gendered lenses from an interdisciplinary perspective. The book explains the issue of cultural Catholicism in the later middle ages, by way of devotional cults and practices. It examines Catholic unionism vis-a-vis Victorian politics, military and imperial service, the crown, and the position of the Catholic Church with relation to the structures of the state in Ireland. In particular the North American experience and especially the importance of the USA for consolidating a particular interpretation of Irish Catholic nationalist identity, is explored. Children studied in English Catholic public schools like Stonyhurst and Downside where the establishment Irish Catholics and rising mercantile classes sought to have the characteristics of the Catholic gentleman instilled in their progeny. The book sets out to detect the voices of those Catholic women who managed to make themselves heard by a wider audience than family and friends in Ireland in the years between the Act of Union of 1800 and independence/partition. It considers what devotional interests both Gaelic Irish and Anglo-Norman actually shared in common as part of a wider late medieval Catholic culture.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores the implications for the development of Irish Catholic identity as preserved in Irish language texts from the early modern period until the end of Stuart pretensions. It examines the issue of cultural Catholicism in the later middle ages, by way of devotional cults and practices. The book demonstrates that certain sections of the Catholic clergy and laity were prepared to welcome and implement the militant and warlike aspects of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. It points to the fact that some of the settlers were Catholic, most significantly the earl of Abercorn from Scotland and the earl of Castlehaven from England. The book examines Catholic unionism vis-a-vis Victorian politics, military and imperial service, the crown, and the position of the Catholic Church with relation to the structures of the state in Ireland.
One of the most iconic images to emerge from the thirty-year history of the recent Northern Ireland Troubles is that Fr Edward Daly leading a group of people carrying the mortally wounded body of Jackie Duddy in Derry. This chapter provides a summary of the Catholic Church's relationship with its own community in the context of the wider Troubles between 1969 and 1994. Large sections of the Catholic population were at loggerheads with the hierarchy over the analysis of the extent and causes of the problems facing the Catholic community in the early stages of the Troubles. In particular as the purely defensive arrangements as represented by the 'Defence Committees' in Belfast gave way to the murderous activity of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The rhetoric in justification of violence was one of defence of the community against the state, aggressive and violent Protestants, and, from 1970, the British army.