How the Irish in Liverpool shaped Merseyside and continue to do so

The Irish people have left their mark in Liverpool, and here is what you need to know about their influence in the region.

How the Irish in Liverpool shaped Merseyside and continue to do so.

The Irish people are a nation that has shaped many parts of the world. For instance, it is not uncommon to visit Boston, USA, and see the Irish flag flying proudly from houses and bars.

In other parts of the world, such as Newfoundland, Canada, and Argentina you will find streets named after Irish people who have influenced their history. Liverpool, Merseyside, is one such place.

This mark can still be seen today as strong as ever, especially as the region is just a short boat ride or flight away. For this reason, it has become one of the top university cities for Irish students studying abroad.

A visit to Liverpool will surprise you with the many aspects that relate to the Irish culture because this was one of the main places the Irish fled to over the years to call their new home.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at how the Irish in Liverpool have shaped Merseyside.

The history of Irish people on Merseyside – over the years from their arrival

How the Irish in Liverpool shaped Merseyside and continue to do so.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Commonly known as the second capital of Ireland, Liverpool is a city in England that is different from all the rest, so much so that Irish pride is alive and well here, and the Irish flag can be seen flying proudly around the area.

The Irish fled to Liverpool during the famine, and to this day, three-quarters of the city’s population is said to claim Irish roots. Did you know that The Beatles even claimed Irish roots too?

As we mentioned, Liverpool also became known as the capital of Ireland because of the vast numbers of Irish immigrants that set up a base in the city and, in turn, influenced the whole region.

In 1851, more than 83,000 Irish-born people were recorded in the Liverpool census. This was a whopping 22% of the population at that time. To this day, the Irish people continue to shape their surroundings, which can be seen all around the city.

The Irish in Liverpool – how the Irish have shaped Merseyside

How the Irish in Liverpool shaped Merseyside and continue to do so.
Credit: Flickr/ Peter Morgan

While there are plenty of ways to see how the Irish in Liverpool have shaped the region, there are a few things you might not be aware of. For instance, an Irish man founded the Liverpool police force in 1833.

As well as this, a host of other influential Irish people have made their mark on the city. So it is no wonder the Irish are well respected for what they have done in the past and continue to do.

Here are some of the main reasons why the Irish in Liverpool have made this city the second capital of Ireland:

  • William Brown of County Antrim was behind the Liverpool Central Library and Worl Museum Liverpool on William Brown Street.
  • Paul McCartney of The Beatles, who hailed from Liverpool, is of Irish descent. Music, of course, is a massive part of Irish culture.
  • Did you know that Liverpool is the only city in England to have had an Irish Nationalist MP? T.P. O’Connor was an MP from 1885-1929.
Paul McCartney is a Liverpudlian with links to the Emerald Isle.
Credits: commons.wikimedia.org; Internet Archive Book Images
  • The Irish heavily influenced the Scouse accent, also known as Merseyside English or Liverpool English. Welsh and Norwegian immigrants have also influenced the accent over the years.
  • There were once specific Irish-speaking districts of Liverpool, unique across England. These areas included Crosbie Street, now the Baltic Triangle, and Lace Street.
  • Of course, during the famine there was mass immigration to many parts of the world. While many fled to the USA and Canada, over one million Irish migrants made the short journey to Liverpool.
  • Apart from Liverpool, the rest of Merseyside has many relations with Ireland. This is apparent when travelling since the Irish also chose to live outside the city when immigrating.

Ireland and Liverpool – an enduring friendship

The friendship is an enduring one.
Credit: Flickr/ Elliott Brown

So, if you wondered where the Scouse accent came from or why many areas in Liverpool hold vital Irish significance, now you know. The Irish in the city helped shape the city we see today.

Liverpool is a vibrant city known for its friendly residents, historical landmarks, and rich history. The Irish have played a considerable part in this.

So, next time you visit Merseyside, watch for aspects of Irish history in the region, especially when there is sports going on.  

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