Absolutely! No, the land law reform and home rule and so forth is a part of what you can, I think, legitimately call a Pan-Celticism movement in the end of the nineteenth century. And that of course is in some sense evident in art and in literature but is very clearly rooted in a shared identity amongst, to use the term guardedly, ordinary Gaels and Highlanders and ordinary Irish concerned about the consequences of agricultural and industrial transformation. But again, this is a sort of class and caste movement, shared movement, rather than it being a sort of strict ethnic separation or ethnic affiliation. This is about a genuine and deep-seated grievance about the transformation, about culture and economy for which, of course, the only response when you have no other means of recourse is to leave.

  • Charles Withers
Thursday 17th June 2010