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Irish, Catholic and ScouseThe History of the Liverpool-Irish, 1800-1940$
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John Belchem

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846311079

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313363

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

‘The Lowest Depth’: The Spatial Dimensions of Irish Liverpool

‘The Lowest Depth’: The Spatial Dimensions of Irish Liverpool

(p.56) 2 ‘The Lowest Depth’: The Spatial Dimensions of Irish Liverpool
Irish, Catholic and Scouse
Liverpool University Press

This chapter addresses the ‘low Irish’ as a designation carrying topographical as well as socio-economic and cultural connotations. The Irish in Liverpool were placed at the bottom of the labour market and the residential hierarchy. The ‘low’ Irish were a contaminating presence responsible for the notoriously high mortality rate in Liverpool, which became ‘the hospital and cemetery of Ireland’. Moreover, the Irish were considered to be barbarously primitive into the 1880s. The ‘low Irish’ had been familiarised in various ways to urban living by the early twentieth century, although militant cultural nationalists thought that much needed to be done through ‘a non-political and non-sectarian Irish society of social workers in Liverpool to enhance the conditions of slum life’.

Keywords:   low Irish, Liverpool, labour market, residential hierarchy, hospital, cemetery, Ireland, urban living, Irish society

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