chapter  1
16 Pages

Building Fences in Viking Dublin: Exploring Ireland’s First Urban Community

In Canada today, Irish-language learners may avail of a variety of formal and informal contexts. The School of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montreal focuses on both the history and culture of Ireland and the contribution of Irish immigrants in all regions of Canada to the social, cultural, economic, religions, educational and political life of the country'. This chapter offers a sociolinguistic and historiographical critique of the Irish language in Canada. It describes the beginnings of that language shift in Ireland and the stigmatising effects of it on the Irish-speaking rural populations who sought to migrate. The chapter investigates historical aspects of Irish migration and the Irish language, seemingly contained in the diasporic memory of many learners and speakers of Irish abroad. The chapter provides a discussion of the historical contingencies that underlay migration to the New World and an appraisal of the Anglophilia that has informed the historiography of the Irish in Canada.