Post 9/11 Tensions between Irish and Irish Americans

Thanks to the University of Southern California's Public Diplomacy Twitter feed, there is an almost daily stream of links to diverse online news and analysis from around the globe. Yesterday, there was one from The Irish Times, touching on Irish economic interests and relations with the Irish American diaspora after the tragedy of 9/11. See .

Author Joe Breen provides an excerpt of his Master's thesis on media and international conflict. He frames the initial Irish government-media response to 9/11 as "consolation diplomacy" toward the U.S.  Indeed, as much as 25% of the 9/11 victims were of Irish descent. However, he writes, homeland-diaspora tension emerged in the weeks and months thereafter. Irish analysts began to criticize "America's appetite for war and revenge" and Irish Americans objected vociferously, including in an Irish American newspaper.

This is an interesting story about the place called "home" in one's national identity and perspective about the world. In my anthropology class on diasporicity, the professor asked each of us what home means. There was a variety of responses. Mine was that home is where my family is. That's complicated, because they are scattered around the U.S., and I also identify strongly with my Lebanese roots and the broader Middle East  generally.

By the end of the article I felt the author's message was that Irish Americans post 9/11 showed that they identify primarily with the U.S., at least in the situation of post 9/11 U.S.-Irish relations. If I were to have a conversation with the author, though, and read his thesis, I would be curious about the nuances of Irish American identity, e.g., across the U.S. and among generations.