In different ways the authors in this edited collection address key themes – networks, belongings and intersections – to show how understanding the story of migration in Ireland is not best understood by identifying and describing different historical epochs of emigration and immigration or complex typologies of ‘kinds’ of migrants. Instead this collection of chapters shows how at different points in time and space the lives of migrants intersect with their various identities (e.g. racialized, ethnic, gendered, class-based, sectarian or aged identities) to negotiate multiple experiences of (not) belonging within networks of connections between different places, groups and communities.
While each author focuses on a specific group or groups of migrants to (or from) Ireland at specific points in time, when taken together this collection reveals the fluidity and multivectoral nature of migration (re)shaping places and connecting yet other places. Moreover, the chapters reveal Ireland’s complex relationship with migration in the historical and immediate past, in the present and into the future. Ultimately we return to Solnit’s (1998) argument that migration is one part of the story about place and identity in Ireland. We argue that the story of migration in Ireland is one of a series of stories about places – the places people move from, the places they and others move to, the places that are connected through the mobility of migrants, the real, the virtual and the mediated places used by migrants as part of their everyday lives both in Ireland and in other parts of the world.