Bringing together leading authorities on Irish women and migration, this book offers a significant reassessment of the place of women in the Irish diaspora. It demonstrates the important role played by women in the construction of Irish diasporic identities, comparing Irish women's experience in Britain, Canada , New Zealand and the United States. The book considers how the Catholic Church could be a focal point for women's Irish identity in Britain. It examines how members of the Ladies' Orange Benevolent Association (LOBA) maintained a sense of Irish Protestant identity, focused on their associational life in female Orange lodges. The book offers a lens on Irish society, and on countries where they settled, and considerable scope for comparative analysis of the impact of different cultures and societies on women's lives. It reviews key debates in Transnational Studies (TS) and Diaspora Studies (DS) before discussing the particular contribution of DS in framing 1990s study of migrant and non-migrant Irish women. Feminist and queer theory scholarship in Irish DS has begun to address the gender and sexual politics of diaspora by attending to the dynamics of boundary expansion, queering and dissolution. The book suggests that religion can be both a 'bright' and a 'blurry' boundary, while examining how religious identities intersect with ethnicity and gender. It also includes the significance of the categories of gender and generation, and their intersection with ethnicity in the context of the official London St Patrick's Day Festival.
This chapter focuses on the significance of the categories of gender and generation, and their intersection with ethnicity in the context of the official London St Patrick's Day Festival. It reviews some of the literature about the representations and meanings attached to St Patrick's Day, especially as they may be relevant to Britain. The chapter examines the establishment of the Festival in London, thus covering the 'steering' of a major St Patrick's Day parade, planning liaison between local authorities and community organisations and representatives as well as the parade itself. It discusses the thoughts and reflections of the community members of the Mayor's St Patrick's Day Advisory Forum in London. The chapter considers some of the common goals and the tensions that were manifest in the Festival organisation through the lens of gender, generation and ethnicity.