Playing for Ireland in Foreign Fields: The Gaelic Athletic Association and Irish Nationalism in America

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Abstract

With a few exceptions, the existing scholarship on the relationship between the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and Irish nationalism has largely overlooked the experiences of the Irish diaspora. This article seeks to redress this neglect by exploring the ways in which Irish nationalism has historically been produced, reproduced and contested amongst members of the GAA in the United States. In light of their status as focal points of Irish immigration and as centres of Gaelic games activity in America, the article focuses on the cities of Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The article draws on extensive archival and interview research conducted in each locale since 2000 and reveals that while intensely politicised and ethnic versions of Irish nationalism have historically weaved their way through US branches of the Association, since the mid-1990s there have been a number of socio-economic and political developments both in Ireland and in America that have seen the GAA begin to articulate a more civic, less ethnically bounded version of Irish nationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-89
JournalIrish Studies Review
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Irish nationalism
  • Gaelic Games
  • Gaelic Athletic Association
  • GAA
  • Irish Diaspora
  • Irish America

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