Irish Catholics are an
ethnoreligious group An ethnoreligious group (or an ethno-religious group) is a grouping of people who are unified by a common religious and ethnic background. Furthermore, the term ethno-religious group, along with ethno-regional and ethno-linguistic groups, is a s ...
native to
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the sec ...
whose members are both
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
Irish Irish may refer to: Common meanings * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ***Éire, Irish language name for the isle ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit ...
. They have a large diaspora, which includes over 36 million American citizens and over 14 million British citizens (a quarter of the British population).

Overview and history

Divisions between Irish Roman Catholics and Irish Protestants played a major role in the history of Ireland from the 16th century to the 20th century, especially during the
Home Rule Crisis The Home Rule Crisis was a political and military crisis in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that followed the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in 1912. Unionists in Ulster, d ...
the Troubles The Troubles ( ga, Na Trioblóidí) were an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted about 30 years from the late 1960s to 1998. Also known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict, it is sometimes described as an "i ...
. While religion broadly marks the delineation of these divisions, the contentions were primarily political and they were also related to access to power. For example, while the majority of Irish Catholics had an identity which was independent from Britain's identity and were excluded from power because they were Catholic, a number of the instigators of rebellions against British rule were actually Protestant Irish nationalists, although most Irish Protestants opposed separatism. In the
Irish Rebellion of 1798 The Irish Rebellion of 1798 ( ga, Éirí Amach 1798; Ulster-Scots: ''The Hurries'') was a major uprising against British rule in Ireland. The main organising force was the Society of United Irishmen, a republican revolutionary group influenc ...
, Catholics and
Presbyterians Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that broke from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland by John Knox, who was a priest at St. Giles Cathedral (Church of Scotland). Presbyterian churches derive their na ...
, who were not part of the established
Church of Ireland The Church of Ireland ( ga, Eaglais na hÉireann, ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Kirk o Airlann, ) is a Christian church in Ireland and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. It is organised on an all-Ireland basis and is the second ...
, found common cause. Irish Catholics are found in many countries around the world, especially in the
Anglosphere The Anglosphere is a group of English-speaking nations that share historical and cultural ties with England, and which today maintain close political, diplomatic and military co-operation. While the nations included in different sources vary, t ...
. Emigration exponentially increased due to the Great Famine which lasted from 1845 to 1852. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
anti-Irish sentiment Anti-Irish sentiment includes oppression, persecution, discrimination, or hatred of Irish people as an ethnic group or a nation. It can be directed against the island of Ireland in general, or directed against Irish emigrants and their descendan ...
anti-Catholicism Anti-Catholicism is hostility towards Catholics or opposition to the Catholic Church, its clergy, and/or its adherents. At various points after the Reformation, some majority Protestant states, including England, Prussia, Scotland, and the Uni ...
was espoused by the
Know Nothing The Know Nothing party was a nativist political party and movement in the United States in the mid-1850s. The party was officially known as the "Native American Party" prior to 1855 and thereafter, it was simply known as the "American Party". ...
movement of the 1850s and other 19th-century
anti-Catholic Anti-Catholicism is hostility towards Catholics or opposition to the Catholic Church, its clergy, and/or its adherents. At various points after the Reformation, some majority Protestant states, including England, Prussia, Scotland, and the Uni ...
and anti-Irish organizations. By the 20th century, Irish Catholics were well established in the United States and today they are fully-integrated into mainstream American society.

See also

* Catholic Church in Ireland *
Celtic Christianity Celtic Christianity ( kw, Kristoneth; cy, Cristnogaeth; gd, Crìosdaidheachd; gv, Credjue Creestee/Creestiaght; ga, Críostaíocht/Críostúlacht; br, Kristeniezh; gl, Cristianismo celta) is a form of Christianity that was common, or held ...
* Cultural Christians *
Irish Americans , image = Irish ancestry in the USA 2018; Where Irish eyes are Smiling.png , image_caption = Irish Americans, % of population by state , caption = Notable Irish Americans , population = 36,115,472 (10.9%) alone ...
Scotch-Irish Americans Scotch-Irish (or Scots-Irish) Americans are American descendants of Ulster Protestants who emigrated from Ulster in northern Ireland to America during the 18th and 19th centuries, whose ancestors had originally migrated to Ireland mainly from ...
* Irish migration to Britain *
Irish Canadians ga, Gael-Cheanadaigh , image = Irish_Canadian_population_by_province.svg , image_caption = Irish Canadians as percent of population by province/territory , population = 4,627,00013.4% of the Canadian population (2016) , po ...
** Irish Newfoundlanders ** Irish Quebecers * Irish-Scottish people *
Irreligion in the Republic of Ireland Ireland has been traditionally devoutly Catholic throughout most of its modern history. Church attendance is declining in Ireland, and currently they rank in the Top 10 Atheist Populations in a survey which questioned 50,000 people from 57 count ...
* Penal Laws * Religion in Northern Ireland * Religion in the Republic of Ireland *
Saint Patrick's Day Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick ( ga, Lá Fhéile Pádraig, lit=the Day of the Festival of Patrick), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (), the foremost patr ...
* Ulster-Scots people


* *

Further reading

Catholic Irish

* Anbinder, Tyler (2002). ''Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections and Became the World's Most Notorious Slum''. New York: Plume * Anbinder, Tyler, "Moving beyond 'Rags to Riches': New York's Irish Famine Immigrants and Their Surprising Savings Accounts," ''Journal of American History'' 99 (December 2012), 741–70. * Barr, Colin (2020). ''Ireland's Empire: The Roman Catholic Church in the English-Speaking World, 1829–1914''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Bayor, Ronald; Meagher, Timothy (eds.) (1997) ''The New York Irish''. Baltimore: University of Johns Hopkins Press. * Blessing, Patrick J. (1992). ''The Irish in America: A Guide to the Literature and the Manuscript Editions''. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press. * Clark, Dennis (1982). ''The Irish in Philadelphia: Ten Generations of Urban Experience'' (2nd Ed.). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. * English, T. J. (2005). ''Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster''. New York: ReganBooks. * Ebest, Ron. "The Irish Catholic Schooling of James T. Farrell, 1914–23." ''Éire-Ireland'' 30.4 (1995): 18-3
* Erie, Steven P. (1988). ''Rainbow's End: Irish-Americans and the Dilemmas of Urban Machine Politics, 1840—1985''. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. * Fanning, Charles, and Ellen Skerrett. "James T. Farrell and Washington Park: The Novel as Social History." ''Chicago History'' 8 (1979): 80–91. * French, John. "Irish-American Identity, Memory, and Americanism During the Eras of the Civil War and First World War." (PhD Dissertation, Marquette University, 2012)
* Gleeson. David T. ''The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America'' (U of North Carolina Press, 2013)
online review
* Ignatiev, Noel (1996). ''How the Irish Became White''. New York: Routledge. * Jensen, Richard. (2002) "'No Irish Need Apply': A Myth of Victimization". ''Journal of Social History'' 36.2 pp. 405–42

* Kenny, Kevin. "Abraham Lincoln and the American Irish." ''American Journal of Irish Studies'' (2013): 39–64. * Kenny, Kevin (2000). ''The American Irish: A History''. New York: Longman, 2000. * McCaffrey, Lawrence J. (1976). ''The Irish Diaspora in America''. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America * McKelvey, Blake. "The Irish in Rochester An Historical Retrospect." ''Rochester History'' 19: 1–16
on Rochester New York * Meagher, Timothy J. (2000). ''Inventing Irish America: Generation, Class, and Ethnic Identity in a New England City, 1880–1928''. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. * Mitchell, Brian C. (2006). ''The Paddy Camps: The Irish of Lowell, 1821–61''. Champaign, Illinois:
University of Illinois Press The University of Illinois Press (UIP) is an American university press and is part of the University of Illinois system. Founded in 1918, the press publishes some 120 new books each year, plus 33 scholarly journals, and several electronic proje ...
. * Mulrooney, Margaret M. (ed.) (2003). ''Fleeing the Famine: North America and Irish Refugees, 1845–1851''. New York: Praeger Publishers. * Noble, Dale T. (1986). ''Paddy and the Republic: Ethnicity and Nationality in Antebellum America''. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press. * O'Connor, Thomas H. (1995). ''The Boston Irish: A Political History''. Old Saybrook, Connecticut: Konecky & Konecky. * O'Donnell, L. A. (1997). ''Irish Voice and Organized Labor in America: A Biographical Study''. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. * Rogers, James Silas and Matthew J O'Brien, eds. ''After the Flood: Irish America, 1945–1960'' (2009), Specialized essays by scholars * Sim, David. (2013) ''A Union Forever: The Irish Question and US Foreign Relations in the Victorian Age'' ( Cornell University Press, 2013)
The Irish Cultural, Political, Social, and Religious Heritages

Ireland: The Rise of Irish Nationalism, 1801–1850

Emigrants and Immigrants

Communities in Conflict: American Nativists and Irish Catholics

Irish-American Politics

Irish America and the Course of Irish Nationalism

From Ghetto to Suburbs: From Someplace to Noplace?


External links

The Irish Catholic Diaspora in America
describes the book
St. Colman Mac Duagh
(Popular Irish Catholic site)
On Irish Catholics of Australia
{{authority control Anti-Catholicism in Ireland Ethnoreligious groups in Ireland History of Catholicism in Ireland Irish diaspora Religion in the British Empire Catholic Church in Canada