An Irish vessel labelled 'Poor House from Galway', a political cartoon illustration from Harper's Weekly, by W. A. Rogers.
Mar 09 2016 Posted: 14:04 GMT

NUI Galway to host public talk titled ‘Leeches upon our tax payers: The Deportation of Irish Migrants from America and Statelessness in Irish Diaspora 1840-1880’ 

Dr Hidetaka Hirota of Columbia University in NewYork will give a public talk titled ‘Leeches upon our tax payers’: The Deportation of Irish Migrants from America and Statelessness in Irish Diaspora 1840-1880’ at NUI Galway on Monday, 14 March.

The story of Irish emigration to America in the nineteenth century is well known, before, during and after the Famine. What is less known is the fate of destitute Irish migrants who were deported from the United States back to Ireland and Britain in the period from the 1840s to the 1880s.

In this public talk, Dr Hidetaka Hirota will discuss the state policy of Massachusetts in arranging these deportations. Anti-Irish attitudes in nineteenth-century America were stronger than we have realised, leading to harsh practices of physical removal. This policy formed part of a broader system of making poor Irish migrants stateless people in the nineteenth-century north Atlantic World.

Professor Daniel Carey of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, commented: “The hardship faced by Irish immigrants to America did not end on their arrival in the New World. For some, the ordeal continued in subsequent deportation when their meagre funds ran out.”

Dr Hidetaka Hirota is a postdoctoral researcher in the Society of Fellows at Columbia University. He took his first degree in Japan and developed his interest in Irish migration as a PhD student at Boston College. His book Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Origins of American Immigration Policy will be published in 2017.

The talk will take place on Monday, 14 March at 4.15pm in the Seminar Room of the Moore Institute, Room G010 of the Hardiman Research Building. All are welcome and admission is free.

ENDS

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