Hiberno-Jewish Communities: Ireland, Zionism and the creation of Israel

Caroline Walsh

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis


    The main objective of this research project was to address some of the ‘gaps’ in the narrative of Ireland’s Jewish community. Although previous literature has contributed much to the account of this ethnic group, the research pertaining to this section of Irish society has for the most part remained underdeveloped. Therefore, to explore this narrative further the research project required that an archival based approach was utilised in order to examine the various historical eras discussed in this thesis. Moreover, this research project will illustrate how adopting an archival based research approach has facilitated the dissemination of new knowledge in relation to political discourse and policies during the Second World War era in Ireland. Our point of departure for this research study will commence with the early Jewish settlers who arrived from the 1880s onwards and conclude with the foundation of Israel in 1948. Although anti-Semitism was not as evident and widespread in Ireland as in other European countries, sporadic displays of antagonism towards the Jewish communities such as the Limerick pogrom in 1904 did occur. Whereas Catholicism was viewed as ‘the main ingredient in the Irish personality’ (McCaffery 1973, p.527), the nationalist cause was viewed as being exclusionary to minority groups such as the Irish – Jewish population. The World War Two era would also witness Ireland’s exclusionary immigration policies which were specifically implemented to keep Jewish refugees out of Ireland, regardless of the Irish government’s awareness to the use of concentration camps and the mounting refugee crisis. The end of World War Two left millions of displaced people across Europe and the Irish government’s solution to the crisis was to tighten further the immigration policies with the introduction of the Alien Order, 1946. In response to the founding of Israel in 1948, Ireland would withhold de facto recognition until 1949. Indeed, whilst Zionism was embraced by the Irish – Jewish community, conversely, immigration figures suggest, that Irish Aliyah to Israel was significantly lower than previously proposed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Culleton, Jonathan, Supervisor
    • Simpson, Peter, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2021


    • Hiberno-Jewish Communities, Zionism


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