Some People Lose Their Irish Accents



Others hand them down.

A Radharc clip from 1976 of heavily Irish-accented residents in Montserrat.

As You Tuber Darzo notes: “Irish people exiled by Cromwell and African slaves arrived on Montserrat at about the same time.”

Helping to produce some fine, if hammy, tenors (2.17)


16 thoughts on “Some People Lose Their Irish Accents

  1. cionn

    Listen to the descendants of Irish slaves known as the redlegs in Barbados and you soon realise the barbados accent is an only slightly modified irish one. TG4 had a documentary on them last year

  2. Eamonn Clancy

    There’s a powerful book out too, “to hell or Barbados”. Thousands of Irish went shipped out as slaves to work on sugar plantations.

    1. Rob

      Excellent book – read it for the first time last year. It’s incredible that so many Irish people haven’t a clue that we were once hunted down, rounded up, shipped across the Atlantic to be sold as slaves in exactly the same way as African slaves were.

      Many people confuse this with endentured labour. Endentured labour existed – but it was seperate from the trade in captured Irish slaves.

      On the video, I remember hearing a recording of a group of people from an Irish outpost in Argentina speaking – all of whom had thick irish accents but had never set foot in Ireland.

      Then, of course, there are the Newfoundlanders –

      Makes you wonder if there’ll be a community of Australian-born head-the-balls running around Bondi with Irish accents in 100 years time.

  3. Ian King

    I was in Montserrat in 2007 and you can still hear the Irish accent from the locals. The volcano is still active though, so most of the island is still off-limits

  4. Phil T. Rich

    The Irish were sent as slaves, to the Caribbean. When they had worked a certain number of years, they were freed. But few places would take them (depended on the governor). Monserrat welcomed them, so they settled there from many nearby islands.
    There were plenty of irish cailins sent over too, and used to breed new slaves. Hooking up with the local lads meant the next generation were more suited to working in the heat (and used less factor 50).

    1. Rob

      You’re mixing up endentured labour with slavery. Slaves were not freed – they were worked to death. Also, your description of Irish girls ‘hooking up’ with locals is a bit off colour. These were defenceless women and children hunted down, kidnapped and sold into slavery. They were seen as the lowest of the low, and were raped and abused by everyone from the white landowners to the mixed race overseers who worked them in the sugar fields. They were forced to work in brothels or used, like cattle, as breeders. Picture the women in your life being put in that position.

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