Date(s) - 18/10/2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Categories No Categories
Lecturer: Dr Marie Coleman,
Reader in Irish History at Queen’s University Belfast.
Subject: Demographic change in Longford’s Methodist population, 1869-1926
The decline by one-third of the non-Roman Catholic population of the twenty-six southern Irish counties recorded between the last pre-independence census of population in 1911 and the first conducted in the Free State in 1926 constitutes one of the most significant demographic changes in modern Irish history. Historians have debated the reasons for this and have largely arrived at a consensus that ‘most of the net population loss … may be explained by … factors such as the departure of the British-born military personnel, “normal” or “economic” migration, low or negative natural increase, and a top-heavy age-structure’. Nevertheless, debate remains as to which of these factors was the more significant, with some favouring the explanation of voluntary migration and others focusing on the loss of numbers through declining birth and marriage rates. All agree that the context of revolutionary violence, in particular between the years 1920 to 1923, was a contributory factor but that there is little evidence to sustain emotive claims of depopulation having been caused by a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing by republicans.
Dr Marie Coleman is a Reader in Irish History at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of County Longford and the Irish Revolution, 1910-1923, The Irish Sweep: A history of the Irish Hospitals Sweepstake, 1930-1987 and The Irish Revolution, 1916-1923, and also serves as joint editor of the journal, Irish Historical Studies.