Protestant depopulation in county longford during the irish revolution, 1911-1926

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The first census of the newly independent Irish Free State, conducted in 1926, showed that the Protestant population of the twenty-six counties had declined by one-third since the previous Irish census of 1911. There is a broad scholarly consensus that this depopulation was the result of 'a wider spectrum of forces', including the socio-economic factors of emigration and fertility and marriage patterns, as well as dynamics relating more specifically to the revolutionary violence and political change that saw the withdrawal from Ireland of British (and largely Protestant) civil servants and soldiers, as well as the departure of some Irish-born Protestants.1 This article will apply a localised analysis to existing hypotheses about the causes of Protestant depopulation. As a county that experienced intense violence during 1920-21 as well as the ravages of emigration, Longford offers considerable scope for assessing the impact of both revolutionary and socio-economic factors on demographic change.2 The county's suitability as a case-study is enhanced by the availability of detailed records for all three principal Protestant denominations, a wealth of documentation which compensates for the absence of census data between 1911 and 1926.




Coleman, M. (2020, August 1). Protestant depopulation in county longford during the irish revolution, 1911-1926. English Historical Review. Oxford University Press.

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