Confounding Crusaders: The Protestant Friends of Ireland in Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism

Confounding Crusaders: The Protestant Friends of Ireland in Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism

Presenter: Mary Kelly

One of the most striking aspects of the Irish-American historical landscape is the enduring bond between immigrant community and ancestral home. Predictably, this transatlantic narrative is dominated by Catholic-centered political activism and expression. However, the history of Irish-American nationalism should also acknowledge the contribution of Protestant advocates for the cause. This talk focuses on Protestant involvement in 1916-era nationalist activism. The Easter Rising prompted Protestants of various denominational affiliations to stamp their imprint on the nationalist narrative at a crucial juncture in its evolution. In addition to addressing 1916-centered campaigns, this talk probes Protestant deliberation on thorny issues of Ulster's fate and Ireland's contending religious traditions, and culminates with the concerted labors of these partisans in the Protestant Friends of Ireland organization of 1919-22.

This program is also available as an online presentation.