Between the early 1920s and the end of the twentieth century, two million people left the island of Ireland. For many this continued exodus of mainly young men and women represented damning evidence of economic and political failure. Yet the reasons behind the decision to emigrate could be far more complex than simple economic necessity. Moreover the meaning of emigration for the individual was also changing radically, as Great Britain replaced North America as the destination of the majority and affordable air transport revolutionised travel.
Drawing together the results of the latest research, in Irish Emigration since 1921 Enda Delaney offers a comprehensive survey of the causes, chronology and character of emigration from Ireland, north and south, from the troubled aftermath of the First World War to the end of the twentieth century, when what had long been a nation of emigrants became for the first time host to a growing immigrant population of its own.