Ireland and its inhabitants have often been described as being ‘sports mad’. As a relatively small geographical entity, Ireland, north and south, has produced a disproportionately high number of world class sports men and women who have excelled at the highest levels of their chosen sport. The significance of sport in Ireland though extends far beyond the achievements of such individuals. Sport has historically assumed a centrality in the lives of the island’s inhabitants, a fact that can be measured by the numbers and commitment of participants as well as the emotional and financial investment of fans.
This book seeks to address the ways in which Irish aptitude and ebullience for sport has manifested itself in those parts of the world that have or have had relatively large Irish communities. The first part of the book explores the diffusion of Gaelic games to a number of centres of Irish immigration and examines the social, economic, political and psychological impact that these games had in helping the Diaspora adjust to life in what were often inhospitable environs. The second part of the book extends the analysis by examining the contribution of Irish sports men and women to the sports culture that they encountered in their new homes and assessing the ways in which their involvement in these sports allowed them to come to terms with and make their way in their new locales.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the journal, Sport in Society
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Irish contribution to the ‘world’ of sport (Paul Darby & David Hassan)
Part 1: The Irish Diaspora & Gaelic Sport
1: The diffusion of Gaelic games to Europe (David Hassan)
2: The GAA in Scotland (Joseph Bradley)
3: The GAA in England (MU contact?)
4: The GAA in Australia (Nick McCarthy)
5: Gaelic Games, Ethnic Identity and Irish Nationalism in New York City c.1880-1917 (Paul Darby)
6. The Development of Camogie in Britain (Helena Duignan)
Part 2: The Irish Diaspora & Global Sport
7: The Irish contribution to Baseball in the United States (Ralph Wilcox)
8: The Irish in Cricket in Australia (Alan Bairner)
9: Liverpool Football Club’s Irish Connection (John Williams)
10: John L Sullivan, Boxing and Identity amongst the Boston Irish
11: The Irish contribution to Basketball in the US
12: Rugby and the Irish Diaspora (Katie Liston)
Paul Darby is a senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise in the University of Ulster (Jordanstown). He is author of Africa, Football and FIFA: Politics, Colonialism and Resistance (Frank Cass 2002) and joint editor (with Gavin Mellor and Martin Johnes) of Soccer and Disaster: International Perspectives (2005). His current research, funded by the ESRC, concentrates on football labour migration from Ghana to Europe and he is completing a book for University College Dublin Press on Gaelic games and the Irish Diaspora in the United States. He sits on the editorial board of Soccer and Society and Impumelelo: The Interdisciplinary Electronic Journal of African Sport.
David Hassan is a senior lecturer in the politics of sport at the University of Ulster (Jordanstown). He is also Deputy Executive Academic Editor of Sport in Society. He conducts research on the interplay of sport and national identity in Ireland and the political economy of sport on a global scale. In addition, forthcoming collections on football governance (with Sean Hamil, University of London, UK) and sport labour migration (with Carlos Henrique de Vasconcellos Ribeiro, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) will be published in early 2009.