Emigration to England from Ireland, and from Scotland too, was crucial to the IR in England.
The life expectency in most industrialising cites was so low that from 1800 through to probably the 1870’s these populations could not maintain or expand their numbers. The lower order workers were dying out too fast. This was at a time when the populations of English cities was exploding, however this expansion only took place as a result of inward migration to the cities.
I have one book about the provision of sanition in 19thC Leeds that maintains that the average lifespan for workers was less than 20 years, for artisans this rose to 27 and for the gentry this was 44 years. The actual death rate rose from 20.7 per thousand in 1831 to 27.2 per thousand in 1841.
You can look this up in “*The Sanitation of the labouring classes”*E Chadwick 1842. This work builds upon previous reports such as that of Dr Robert Baker who carried out what was to be pioneering work in epidemiology.
This is well worth looking up if you wish to understand some of the implications of the Industrial Revolution
Even up until the the early 1900’s the survival rate for children was such that up to 33% did nt make it to their teens.
The result of this extremely high infant mortality rate and inward migration into English cities is that you will often still find districts named for the people who settled there, such as ‘Little London’, ‘Scotland Lane’, and any number of Irish counties used to name certain districts.
The tendency would be that immigrants would settle in towns where others from their home district had begun to live, so you get quite localised populations of Irish immigrants, for example in Leeds the vast majority of Irish immigrants came from County Mayo, and in other cities they would have been concentrated from various other Irish counties. The numbers of Irish and Scottish immigrants in Brtish cities was such that there was genuine fear of Fenian revolt and troops were called out in all the industrialising cities to put down any possible insurrection.
The point I am making is that there was little need for Ireland to have an Industrial Revolution, since a large chunk of its population was in England working as part of it. Victorian industrialists would send out recruiters for immigrant labour all around the UK and Ireland. Once they had built their factories at huge cost, it was much easier to move workers to them, than to move the factories to the workers. A reasonable case could be made that the industrial revolution in England would have been seriously hampered if it had not been for the tragic history of Ireland through the 19thC which prompted mass migration.
Some of this takes a lot of work to read and understand, due partly to the language and also because the original report was 3 volumes.
The report is incredibly illuminating, life for most workers was nothing like the image of landed aristocracy, or the middle class world of the Brontes but I guess the living conditions of the lower orders were not exactly something that would be likely to inspire popular books.
Far from being the exploiters of Ireland, the vast majority of English population were living and enduring conditions as bad as Ireland, I just wish the anti-English folk in Ireland would recognise that, and direct their ire toward the proper target, instead of blaming the English as a whole.