About

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Íde B. O’Carroll’s Bio

Íde B. O’Carroll, PhD is a social researcher, writer and adjunct professor who lives in Amherst, Massachusetts (USA), and summers in Lismore, Waterford (Ireland).

As a consultant researcher (O’Carroll Associates International Consulting), Íde worked for many years on some of the key social change issues in Ireland and America (see Commissions & Reports).  In 2014, she wound up her consultancy firm in order to concentrate on writing. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Public Policy, University of Massachusetts-Amherst from 2012-2103, and a Visiting Scholar at Ireland House, New York University, from 2013-2017. In 2018, she was appointed Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Íde’s non-fiction writing now explores matters relating to migration, in particular Irish-US migration, social inclusion, and social movements such as marriage equality

Irish Transatlantics, 1980-2015 (Cork Uni. Press)

June 2018 marks the launch Irish Transatlantics, 1980-2015. It tells the story of 1980s Irish migrants who lived through a time when Irish-US migration became transnational aided by return migration and technological advances that enabled them to maintain transatlantic connections. Resident now in Ireland or America, the people profiled describe how they lived their lives ‘here’ and ‘there’ in ways unimaginable to earlier generations. Though many were ‘illegal’, they successfully organized and lobbied to reform US immigration in their favor. Since the US is no longer the primary long distance destination for departing Irish, theirs is a unique story.

In 2017, she published ‘Across the pond: Connections to Marriage Equality Ireland’ in Crossing the Threshold: The Story of the Marriage Equality Movement (Merrion Press).

In 2015, Cork University Press released a revised twenty-fifth anniversary edition of her book Models for Movers: Irish Women’s Emigration to America.  This edition offers a critical gender analysis of Irish society during the three migration waves in the twentieth century, 1920s, 1950s, 1980s, to illustrate conditions for women prior to departure.  The oral histories detail how each woman created an independent life for herself in America, often in the face of multiple challenges there.

Íde writes fiction in English and in Irish/Gaelic. Her short story “EyeOpeners” was short listed for the Francis MacManus Short Story Competition and broadcast on Irish radio, RTÉ (2003).  Her poetry has been published on both sides of the Atlantic: A Mighty Room: A Collection of Poems Written in Emily Dickinson’s Bedroom (The Emily Dickinson Museum, 2015), The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Vol. IV, 2002), and The Turning Tide: New Writing from County Waterford (2002).

2018 – Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Undergraduate Course – Sociology of US Immigration.


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Íde’s Recent & Upcoming Work

2018 (Book) Irish Transatlantics, 1980-2015 

This book tells the story of 1980s Irish migrants who lived through a time when Irish-US migration became transnational aided by return migration and technological advances that enabled them to maintain transatlantic connections. Resident now in Ireland or America, the people profiled describe how they live their lives ‘here’ and ‘there’ in ways unimaginable to earlier generations. Though many were ‘illegal’, they successfully organized and lobbied to reform US immigration in their favor. Since the US is no longer the primary long distance destination for departing Irish, theirs is a unique story that marks the end of Irish emigration to America as we have known it.

Íde B. O’Carroll is an Irish-born social researcher and writer who lives in Amherst Massachusetts, and summers in Lismore, Co. Waterford (www.ocainternational.com). Visiting Scholar at Glucksman Ireland House, NYU from 2013-2017, she currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

“Íde introduces us to the next iteration of bonds that tie the present to the past and the here with the there. Modern Irish immigrants are ‘transatlantics,’ bridges connecting Ireland and the US who can live in two places simultaneously and contribute significantly to both.”
Prof. Marion R. Casey, Ireland House, New York University

At turns uplifting and, at others, heart breaking, Íde creates a compelling portrait of how this generation of Irish families live their lives across borders. Researched with empathy and care, their stories suggest new insights about earlier migration and foreshadow future trends.”
Peggy Levitt, Trasnational Studies Institute, Harvard, author of Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display:

“A centry ago, when people left the west of Ireland for Boston or New York, they held wakes for them, booze-soaked, mournful farewells, because the presumption was they would never return. The modern Irish do return, then go back, and have a foot and a piece of their heart and soul on both sies of the Atlantic. It is Lanigan’s Ball made real: they step in and they step out again. They are Transatlantics. No one is better suited to tell this important story of changing cultures than Íde B. O’Carroll.”
Kevin Cullen, Columnist, Boston Globe Newspaper:

“With Models for Movers, and Irish Transatlantics, O’Carroll has compiled a rich and textured account of mobility between Ireland and the USA from 1920 to 2000s.”
Breda Gray, author, Women and the Irish Diaspora.

Irish Transatlantics, 1980-2015 book launch on June 22nd, 2018, 6pm, Faculty Room, University College, Cork, during the annual conference of the American Conference for Irish Studies.


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2015 (Book) Models for Movers: Irish Women’s Emigration to America

(Cork University Press, www.corkuniversitypress.com) This revised twenty-fifth anniversary edition offers a critical gender analysis of Irish society during the three migration waves in the twentieth century, 1920s, 1950s, 1980s, to illustrate conditions for women prior to departure.  The oral histories detail how each woman created an independent life for herself in America, often in the face of multiple challenges there.