Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Henrietta Ewart

I am currently a part-time PhD student in the Department of History working on responses to mid-twentieth century Irish migration to Britain in both Ireland and Britain. My interest in this area grew from my Masters dissertation. This explored concepts of identity and community in Irish migrants to Coventry, drawing on written records and oral history.

The existing literature on twentieth century Irish migration mainly focuses on the lived experience of migrants themselves. However, in talking with migrants and in reviewing contemporary documentary sources, it becomes evident that this experience was set within an environment where a range of institutions had a 'stake' in migrant issues. These included the Irish and British governments, the Catholic Church in Britain and Ireland and a variety of voluntary organisations. My current study looks at the ways in which these organisations conceptualised Irish migrants and their needs (often expressed as 'Irish problems') and the ways in which they sought to address them. Differences of opinion occurred both between and within organisations and activities 'on the ground' could differ from stated policy positions. My study also looks at the extent to which migrants themselves were involved in assessing need and planning services.

Supervisor: Professor Maria Luddy

Funding: AHRC and British Association of Irish Studies Bursary

Conferences: I have presented papers on 'Coventry-Irish Community and Identity' at the 2007 Social History Society Conference, the 2007 Anglo-American Conference and at a de Montfort University Seminar in 2008.

Contact me: