Lecture 22: Failed Plan to settle Irish in Colonial Algeria by Dr Dónal Hassett


When the Colonised Become the Coloniser: The Failed Schemes to Settle Irish Peasants in Colonial Algeria

In October 1869, a passenger ship set sail from the Co. Cork port of Queenstown (now Cobh) destined for the Algerian port of Bône (now Annaba) with 131 Irish men, women, and children aboard. While the late 19th century had seen a number of projects for Irish settlement in Algeria floated, some more practical than others, the 1869 expedition was the first time Irish migrants had been successfully directed to France’s North African colony. Although the settlement scheme was both short-lived and disastrous for all involved, it tells us a great deal about the intersections between migration, colonialism and the racial hierarchies that underpinned them both.