Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

The Irish in Coventry: the Social Geography of a Relict Community

Russell King, Ian Shuttleworth, Alan Strachan


Few studies have been made of the social geography of recent Irish migration and settlement in Britain. This paper presents the results of an exploratory investigation of the evolving character and spatial distribution of the Irish community in Coventry. The Irish-born in Coventry have settled almost exclusively as part of the ‘second wave’ of Irish immigration to Britain, during the period between the 1930s and the 1960s. Census data enable the evolving spatial pattern to be described and some possible explanatory factors behind the changing distribution are discussed. Diocesan and school records arc used to supplement the census data, especially for the period since 1981. The suburbanisation of the Irish-born and the second generation has led to a decline in the Irish character of certain inner city neighbourhoods which have been recently resettled by Asian immigrants. The character of the community depends largely on its institutional expressions in the Catholic church and in various clubs. However, given the ageing character of the Irish-born, most of whom settled in Coventry in the 1950s, and the apathy of most of the second generation towards their Irish heritage, it is difficult to foresee a vibrant future for the community.

Full Text:






  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © Geographical Society of Ireland | Home | Contact us | ISSN: 0075-0778 (Print), 1939-4055 (Online) | Last Update: November 10, 2021