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Dublin’s Gaelic Middle-class Identity

Celt in the City

Dublin's Native Mid-class

We knew relatively little about this identity

James Joyce was the primary representative of Dublin’s native middle-class identity in terms of artistic expression (article #8 GKIS). The class was composed of Gaelic merchants, traders and professionals. But we know relatively little about them:

  • When did they emerge in Dublin?
  • Where did they come from?
  • How did they grow and develop in the city?
  • What contribution did they make to the social and political history of Ireland?
  • Why is relatively little known about them?

An Impasse

During the writing of Shelter and Shadows here while trying to define the point in time at which his ancestors—and others of Gaelic origin—first came into Dublin, Raymond Keogh encountered an impasse, which he describes as follows:

“It is exceedingly difficult to come up with hard data on which to answer the [above] question. Unfortunately, the majority of academic studies that deal with the history of urban populations in Ireland tend to lump Catholics into a single category rather than examine the Gaelic or Old English segments separately.” [1]

Recently Published

As a result Raymond undertook his own research which resulted in an article entitled: The Emergence and Growth of Gaelic Merchants and Traders in Dublin 1660-1911. It has just been published by the Dublin Historical Record (Autumn/Winter 2015).[2] See article #9 here


[1] Keogh, R. M. Shelter and Shadows (to be published in September 2016 as part of The Gerald Keogh Identity Series).

[2] _________ 2015.  The Emergence and Growth of Gaelic Merchants and Traders in Dublin 1660-1911. Dublin Historical Record. Vol. 68 (2): 149-162.