The Irish in Canada is the podcast exploring the lives and legacies of Irish immigrants and their Canadian descendants. The podcast was created, and is researched, written, and narrated by Jane McGaughey, the Johnson Chair of Québec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University’s School of Irish Studies. The show is edited and mixed by Patrick McMaster and produced by Marion Mulvenna. Our theme music was composed and performed by Kate Bevan-Baker. Our logo was designed by Claire Macaulay.
The podcast began as a series of lectures from “The Irish in Canada – IRST210/HIST212,” an undergraduate course offered by the School of Irish Studies — and a class that Jane has taught since 2012. There were so many intriguing, complex stories about the Irish who came to Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario, and elsewhere that her students had never heard before, even though many of them had grown up in Canada and studied Canadian history in school.
The late author Hilary Mantel wrote that “history is not the past — it is the method we have evolved of organizing our ignorance of the past. It’s the record of what’s left on the record.” One of the chief aims of this podcast is to add to that ‘official record’ of what we do know about the Irish who came to Canada in previous centuries — how they lived, what they experienced — and to make those stories better known to a wider audience.
About Jane McGaughey
Jane McGaughey joined the School of Irish Studies in 2012 as the Assistant Professor of Diaspora Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Birkbeck College, University of London where her thesis examined the relationship between public masculinities and warfare in Ulster before, during, and after the First World War. Prior to her arrival at Concordia, Jane taught at the Royal Military College of Canada and was the 2009-10 National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellow at the Keough-Naughton Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Jane’s first book, Ulster’s Men: Protestant Unionist Masculinities and Militarization in the North of Ireland, 1912-1923 was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2012. She was a co-editor of Ireland and Masculinities in History (Palgrave, 2019).
Her second monograph, Violent Loyalties: Manliness, Migration, and the Irish in Canadas, 1798-1841, was published with Liverpool University Press in 2020. This was the first dedicated history of Irish male migration to Canada, questioning the validity of the “wild Irish” stereotype in Canada in the decades before the Great Irish Famine, and examining connections between the Irish Rising of 1798 and the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-38. Much of the primary material for The Irish in Canada podcast comes from Jane’s research for this book and from her lectures at Concordia University on the history of the Irish in Canada since the 1750s. You can read more about Jane’s career, courses, and publications here.