Have you ever noticed the similarities between the Irish and the Jamaican? It’s more than just the laid-back fun-loving attitudes. Our shared history began almost 400 years ago when England took over Jamaican from the Spanish and needed to populate their new colony. Our shared history began almost 400 years ago when the English began to deport men, women and children for little to no crimes to Jamaica. Large numbers of the Irish deportees died, their fair skin sizzled beneath the Caribbean sun. Cromwell realised that children would have a better chance of survival, at one point he sent 2,000 boys and girls between the age of 10 year and 14 years to pick cotton and, sadly breed. Cromwell’s letter to one of his planter friends survives, and so too the linage of those deported Irish. This deportation continued until the 1830’s, after slavery emancipation the Irish continued to emigrate to Jamaica as indentured servants where they brought with them their culture and intermarried to etch their own mark in Jamaica’s great motto “One People – out of many.”
25% of Jamaica’s claim Irish ancestors. Irish people are the second-largest reported ethnic group in Jamaica after Jamaicans of African ancestry.
The Jamaica accent share elements of the Irish accent. The Irish lived with the newly arrived African slaves. Some taught the slaves the English language. The Irish guttural accent is still evident today.
Both Ireland and Jamaica were British colonies. Ireland gained their independence in 1921 and Jamaica in 1962
Jamaica is dotted with Irish place names like Irish Town, Clonmel, Dublin Castle, Kildare, Sligoville, Belfast, Athenry.
Irish Moss is…exactly as it say’s – Irish. During Ireland’s famine in the 1850’s, to survive the Irish drank the seaweed. Those who emigrated to Jamaica during the famine found the same seaweed growing on the coast in Jamaica. Long before high-protein drinks or energy boosters, the Irish in Jamaica had their own supper fuel drink.
The Maroon Morris dance, brought to Jamaica by indentured servants from England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Although Jamaica and Ireland are small islands, both nationalities are identifiable worldwide, the Irish and Jamaican cultures and their people have made a clear stamp internationally. Jamaican’s who claim Irish heritage are, Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey, Donovan Bailey, Claude McKay, and the rapper SPOT.
About the Author:
Olive Collins is a bestselling Irish author. Her novel The Tide Between Us spans 170 years and is based between Ireland and Jamaica. The story follows Art O’Neill, a boy deported to Jamaica in 1821 and the following generations. It is dedicated to “The many Irish exiles and Jamaicans who continue to celebrate their Irish heritage.”
Olive grew up in Tipperary, Ireland. She has travelled extensively and continues to enjoy exploring other cultures and countries. Her inspiration is the ordinary everyday people who feed her little snippets of their lives.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/olivecollins