When the Irish Studies Centre was established in the mid-1980s, there was very little published work about the Irish in Britain. It has been one of our key goals to transform this situation and in so doing, contribute to the documentation and analysis of Irish migration and the wider field of research on the Irish diaspora.

Research initiatives over the years include: 

  • Irish in Britain Research Forum / Seminar Series (1986-present)
  • Occasional Papers Series (1990-97) – a series of research papers on the Irish in Britain published by the Irish Studies Centre 
  • Northern Ireland: What Next? (1995) – a major conference at which key players in the emerging Peace Process participated, including John Hume (SDLP); Mo Mowlam (Labour Party); Mitchel McLoughlin (Sinn Fein); David Ervine (Progressive Unionist Party).
  • Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain (1997) – a landmark report for the Commission for Racial Equality
  • The Irish Diaspora: Writing, Researching, Comparing (2000) – an international conference (in association with the British Association for Irish Studies) with leading scholars in the field including Luke Gibbons, Avtar Brah and David Lloyd.
  • The Second Generation Irish: A Hidden Population in Multi-Ethnic Britain (2000-02) – extensive ESRC-funded research project into British people born of Irish parentage.
  • “Suspect communities”? Counterterrorism Policy, the Press, and the impact
 on Irish and Muslim Communities in Britain (2008-10) – ESRC-funded research project (in association with the Institute for the Study of European Transformations)
  • Cyprus and Ireland: Interactions and Parallel Journeys (2014) – a cross-community research seminar (in collaboration with the Cyprus Centre)