The Scots worried about the large numbers of Irish immigrants arriving in Scotland.
Lots of the Irish immigrants were Catholic, especially before 1880. Scotland was a Protestant country and the Scots worried that Catholicism would return to Scotland.
The Church of Scotland, newspapers and political leaders tried to convince Scots that they were in danger of losing their identity and their religion.
Many Irish people were very poor when they arrived in Scotland and were without any money. The Scots worried that the Irish immigrants would drain the Poor Law provision, costing them more in taxes.
Many workers felt that the Irish immigrants took their jobs. The immigrants were willing to work for lower pay and in poor conditions and the Scots felt that this put them out of a job.
If the Scots tried to fight for better conditions, the Irish immigrants were brought in as strike breakers.
Irish immigrants were seen to ‘bring down the moral standard’ of Scotland and were blamed for bad behaviour for a number of reasons:
On the other hand, many Scots made Irish immigrants settlers feel welcome.