Immigration to Scotland

As the industrial revolution progressed and urbanisation increased, new housing had to be built to meet the demand of the newly arriving workers from the countryside, as well as from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe.

Irish and Jewish groups settled in close proximity to each other, more so with Catholic immigrants. This often happens with immigrant groups, especially if the host nation is hostile towards the immigrant group.

Why did they live in close proximity?

  • For practical support - the Irish and Jewish people gave each other practical help to find housing and work.
  • A familiar culture and language helped immigrants to settle their families and find moral support.
  • The Irish native language was Gaelic and many could not speak English. They settled together as these were often the only people they could communicate with.
  • Jewish people were often fleeing from violence and would have felt more secure in large numbers.
  • A celebration of Irish culture was prominent in the Irish communities. This included song, dance, food and stories from home.