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Shinty, Nationalism and Celtic Politics, 1870-1922

Reid IA (1998) Shinty, Nationalism and Celtic Politics, 1870-1922, The Sports Historian, 18 (2), pp. 107-130.

Introduction: Amongst the growing body of literature on sport in Scotland a number of studies have examined the history of shinty, its national governing body and specific clubs. Like other sports, shinty emerged as a modern institutionalised sport during the last quarter of the nineteenth and the early decades of the twentieth centuries, which was a period of radical social and political change throughout the UK state. The Scottish Highlands are the heartland of shinty, yet the radical social and political activities of land reform and Celtic national and cultural identity which was a feature of Highland society a century ago, has been omitted from previous literature on the sport. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the relationship between shinty, nationalism and Celtic politics during the period 1870 to 1922 and to highlight some of the similarities and differences between sport, politics and nationalism in two connected Celtic cultures - Highland Scotland and Ireland. The analysis here demonstrates the connections between sport and political and cultural nationalism, and affirms that such connections must be examined in terms of specific content, time and place. To address these issues the paper has been divided into four sections: (i) a critical overview of literature about sport and nationalism in Scotland; (ii) a consideration of the place of shinty as the sport of apan-Celtic nation linking the Scottish Highlands and Ireland; (iii) illustrates some connections between shinty and the issues which contributed to radical Celtic politics of land reform in the Scottish Highlands and Ireland during the late nineteenth century; (iv) examines some evidence about the relationship between shinty and nationalist politics during this period.

AuthorsReid Irene A
Publication date11/1998
PublisherTaylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN 1351-5462

the Sports Historian: Volume 18, Issue 2 (NOV 1998)

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