Placing the Irish Diaspora in Place and Time in Europe

  • Sean O’ Dubhghaill


This chapter examines the role played by the Irish college in Leuven in the ‘Europeanisation’ of the Irish community in Belgium. This is undertaken by way of a historical analogy being drawn between the exiles who arrived to the present-day site of the Irish college in Leuven in the past and the arrival of present-day expatriates (usually temporarily as students of the local university, staff members of the Irish college and others). The Irish college (founded in 1608) attempts to ground a clear-cut trajectory between past and present. The conjoining of these two people groups (exiles in the past and those living in Leuven in the twenty-first century) has been so seamless at times that Ireland’s belonging to Europe throughout history has been taken as a foregone conclusion. This chapter interrogates the claim of continuity and others that surround Ireland’s historical belonging to ‘Europe’ in terms of the Irish language, the veracity of some historical claims made about the Irish college, who exactly owns the premises and others. The work also examines practices of ‘homing’, Irish pubs and roots.


Irish languages Irish college Home Becoming 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean O’ Dubhghaill
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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