Stuart Hall was undoubtedly one of the key theorists of late twentieth-century British politics and one of the most important leaders in the development of a serious understanding of race and racism in British society. This short review essay examines the odd ways in which Ireland and Irishness are only nominally present—and thus, in a real sense, absent—in his voluminous writings. Given the centrality of Irishness to the deep history of race in Britain and the role played by fears of Irish terrorism in Thatcherism, both central concerns of Hall’s, this is a major lacuna. This essay offers some speculative assessments as to why Hall generally ignored Ireland and draws a connection to the broad context of the British Left, which had (and still has) similar blind spots.

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