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Picture of Irish Government Policy and Public Opinion towards German-Speaking Refugees, 1933-1943

Irish Government Policy and Public Opinion towards German-Speaking Refugees, 1933-1943

Author(s): Siobhán O’Connor
Subject: Irish Studies

Book Description

This book investigates the first time Ireland, with an autonomous legislative parliament, met with large inward migration in the modern era.

In 1933, Ireland was a young state in its turbulent teens attempting to establish itself on the international stage. The people were scarred by recent memories of revolution, a War of Independence and a civil war, but they had lived through 10 years of relative peace. Two influential statesmen came to power in their respective countries: de Valera in Ireland and Hitler in Germany. Due to the latter, a large scale movement of people began. Ireland, under the leadership of de Valera, with the civil service established before him and a diverse population living there, had an unprecedented inward migratory issue to address.

This book looks at the role of the civil service at home and abroad, its development and implementation of government policy and its involvement with international efforts to address the movement of German-speaking exiles fleeing the expanding National Socialist territory. It also explores the experiences of people around Ireland as they learn about the people fleeing and their responses to them. This study lays bare the foundation stone in the history of Ireland’s policy and public opinion toward inward migration, and allows us to understand the treatment of and reaction towards migration today. The impact of that fledgling refugee policy as examined here continues to echo in the current experiences of those fleeing persecution and war and those set to receive them.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5193-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5193-0
Date of Publication: 01/04/2017
Pages / Size: 320 / A5
Price: £64.99


Dr Siobhán O’Connor has researched and published both nationally and internationally on historical and contemporary migrant issues, including government policy and public opinion, racism, direct provision, violence against women and gaps in the Irish state’s international obligations. Although a qualified secondary school teacher, Dr O’Connor has worked as a professional social practitioner for the past fourteen years. Her practice focuses on the work of the community/voluntary sector in Ireland and its relationship to the implementation of government policy at a local level. Her specific interest is ethnic minorities and the problems of trafficking, domestic violence and racism as well as the primary healthcare needs of the Traveller community. She is currently focusing her practitioner work on social exclusion and advocates for equality and social justice for those most at risk of discrimination. She received her PhD in Exile Studies from the University of Limerick, Ireland, in 2010.