The Irish in Brussels: Culture, Language, Politics, Belonging
This chapter traces the contextual, social, political and historical developments of Ireland’s accession to the European Union, then the ECSC, from 1973 to present. It offers an overview of the developments in the four and a half decades that precede it which have been deemed necessary to understanding Ireland’s relationship to ‘Europe’. To this end, the chapter examines the specific events that are oriented towards the Irish community abroad, the difficulty in employing that term notwithstanding. It offers an overview of the conditions by which Ireland is thought to derive a ‘parity of esteem’ from its peers and whose examination will allow us to probe, conversely, the way in which ‘Europe’ has become Hibernicised. The chapter provides an anthropologically sensitive account of these phenomena by relating the experience of the conceptual-metaphorical levels of Ireland and Europe to how they are experienced by Irish people who reside in Brussels.
KeywordsEuropean Union Hibernophilia St. Patrick’s Day Irish language
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