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Irish People Settle in Scotland
Source 1 is data taken from the census about the people living in Britain which
takes place every ten years. This census includes information on where people
Year Number of Irish born in Scotland
This is not a fill record of the Irish people in Scotland. The historian James
Handley certainly did not think so when he wrote:
The census takes no account of Scottish born children yet children of Irish
immigrants were Irish too. Marriage between immigrants and Scots was
The numbers rose between 1841 and 1851 due to the potato famine. Irish
people came to Scotland before the potato famine in the hope of improving their
lives. The potato crop failure led many to escape and the death of 8 million
people. The historian J E Handley noted of the Irish immigrants:
Self improvement was the impulse that transported him to Scotland in
prefamine days. Self preservation was the urge that drove him onwards in the
black night of pestilence.
Some Irish came to Scotland for only part of the year mainly working on
farms e.g. harvest time
Some Irish travelled around due to their work e.g. navvies on the railway
A considerable number settled in Dundee and to Angus. The found work
in textiles e.g. Jute
Edinburgh offered a variety of jobs and attracted sizeable numbers.
South West Areas such as Ayrshire attracted people due to its proximity
Work opportunities led the Irish to settle in Paisley, Stirling, Kilmarnock
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A large number settled in Glasgow as this is where they landed and there
was plenty of work. During 1848 the number landing in Glasgow was
1000 a week.
In 1861 45% of the coal miners and 47% of ironstone mine workers in the
Coatbridge area were Irish.
Between 1876 and 1883 no less than 83% of Irish immigrants were from
Northern Ireland. This was to have important consequences for Scotland.…read more