A Nationalist Network in South America: Diaspora and Diplomatic Action

María Eugenia Cruset, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes — Universidad Católica de La Plata

The purpose of the present paper is to answer a topic that has not been yet extensively studied: Irish emigration to the Southern Cone countries — in its broad definition, the region comprises Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and southern Brazil — and their transnational political action in favour of Irish nationalism. This strategy– previous to 1921– is usually considered as “protodiplomacy” or “paradiplomacy” since it is developed by informal actors instead of states.The existing body of research on various aspects of the life of Irishmen in English-speaking countries, with a particular focus on those territories ruled by the British Empire, is rich and interesting. However, little is known about the characteristics, cultural and economic pursuits, and political action — both domestic and transnational — in the Spanish-speaking countries in the American continent.

It is true that some progress has been made in the last fifteen years, notably in regard to Argentina, the country that has received the largest community of Irish settlers. From Coghlan’s pioneering works (1982, 1987), though mainly genealogical in nature, to Korol and Sábato’s foundational volume (1981), which approached the topic with historical and scientific criteria, Murray’s substantial contribution (2004), Keogh’s comprehensive work (2016), Cruset (2006, 2015) and articles about some topics, and the newest by Patrick Speight (2019).In the case of Peru — though not strictly one of the Southern Cone countries but with a strong historical and cultural relationship with Chile — Gabriela Mc Evoy’s book (2018) merits a mention for its substantial contribution to the body of research.

Regarding the other countries in the region, Chile (Griffin 2006) and Paraguay, little research has been done. In Paraguay, Maria Graciela Monte de López Moreira (2020) has recently written an article on this topic as well4. However, in the case of Uruguay, no studies delved exclusively into the matter with the exception of one article by Murray about both Paraguay and Uruguay immigration (2006), and Tim Fanning’s book (2017), who writes about distinguished Irishmen who performed on both shores of the Rio de la Plata. In other words, there have been no specific publications on this topic. Therefore, it is my belief that this paper will be a contribution not intended to exhaust the subject; on the contrary, it aims at inaugurating a path of similar output5.With this paper, I aspire, the, to expand the analysis to new regions and countries — recip-ient of Irish immigration — in order to understand their particular traits and inner logic, thus being able to establish comparisons with the Irish circumstances in other countries. It is my hope that, in the future, it will lead to publications on a greater, global scale. Many unanswered questions remain, several of which we have put in writing, to be resolved at a later date. An essential reminder is that scientific knowledge advances further due to the questions posed than to the answers gathered. The following pages should be considered in the light of this assertion.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-12877

Read Full Text: https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-sijis/article/view/12877

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