Bradley G Wilde, Deputy Chief of the Consular Section, US Embassy, Dr Bernadette Whelan, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Dr Seán Donlon, former UL Chancellor at the launch of Dr Whelan's book 'American Government in Ireland 1790-1913, a history of the US consular service'
UL academic explores role of US Government in Ireland during the Famine, Fenianism and mass emigration
Dr Bernadette Whelan, Department of History at the University of Limerick is the author of American Government in Ireland 1790-1913, a history of the US consular service. The book was launched (2nd February) launched by renowned Irish diplomat and former UL Chancellor, Dr Seán Donlon. The event held at the University of Limerick was attended by Bradley G Wilde, Deputy Chief of the Consular Section, US Embassy and UL President, Professor Don Barry.
Speaking at the book launch, Dr Donlon described the publication as "an eye-opening and fascinating account of American consular representation in Ireland. In the 19th century, there were US consular officials or agents in sixteen cities and towns in Ireland ranging in size from Dublin and Belfast to Crosshaven and Lurgan. With this account of a previously ignored link, Dr. Whelan enhances her reputation as a leading historian of Irish-American links."
The book explores American consular activity in Ireland from 1790 to 1913 explains the connections between America's foreign interests, Irish nationalism and British imperialism.
Dr Whelan said; "the book is based on research of over 100 years of American, Irish and British relations and uncovers the consul's role in events such as War of 1812, the 1845-51 Irish famine, the American Civil War, Fenianism and mass Irish emigration." Dr Whelan describes how American consuls recognised from early on that the 'tide of emigration' was set and that the very 'bone and sinew' of the country was leaving from Ireland for the United States and also that as many women as men were leaving.