‘Oh, Oh Rodeo!!’: American Cowboys and Post-Independence Ireland

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In 1924 Tex Austin, an American showman, brought his world travelling Rodeo to Croke Park in Dublin. Coming at a time of significant social and political upheaval in Ireland, Austin’s rodeo promised an entirely new kind of spectacle which was free from imperial or British connotations. Austin’s rodeo, and cowboy paraphernalia in general, seemed largely immune from cultural suspicions despite the fact that few citizens knew what a rodeo actually entailed. The purpose of the present article is twofold. First it provides a detailed examination of Tex Austin’s Dublin Rodeo, an event previously alluded to but never fully discussed. Second, it uses Austin’s Rodeo and its aftermath, to discuss the growth of American popular culture in the Irish Free State. While this interest has been discussed in the past, the importance of the cowboy and American frontier culture has often been overlooked. As is shown, the cowboy and western media was readily welcomed by many within the Irish Free State during the 1920s and 1930s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalIrish Economic and Social History
Early online date10 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2022


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