Friday, 13 June 2014

The New London Irish - The Latest Wave - But This Time It's Different

Some Come From Ireland - Some From Deepest, Darkest Peru

* HI - as you may know, I've recently moved from Dublin to London. I'll be aiming to work between the two, but for the moment, London is where I'm at and I really like the city. It's one of the world's greatest and you could spend years exploring it.

I did live here briefly a good few years ago. And back then, there had been a wave of emigration thanks to the crippling recession that hit Ireland in the '80s.

They had joined the Irish who came here after the second world war - the '50s generation who colonised Camden & Kilburn and raised kids like George O'Dowd - AKA Boy George - as tough a London Irish kid as you'll ever find. They were working class, rough, tough, close-knit, with strong connections to Ireland. Most gave their kids the best education they could afford, and planned for them to get on in the world.

·      And Second and third generation Irish are still making their mark felt in Britain. The incoming director of GCHQ, the UK’s secretive cyber-spying agency, is Robert Hannigan, the son of Irish parents who settled in Yorkshire. Not much is known about the career civil servant, beyond the role he played in the Good Friday peace talks. But Hannigan is said to be a GAA fan who regularly watches hurling and football games on TV and he is married with two children.  

The UK's top spy - Robert Hannigan - The Man Who Came In From Kilcoe

The numbers of Irish living in the city and the rest of the UK had actually started to decline sharply in the noughties, as those who came after the war died off and many of those who came in the '80s moved back to Ireland, drawn by our Celtic Tiger, economic miracle. Which, of course, turned out to be a lie, told by thieves, morons and spivs. Or in the case of Bertie Ahern, our former Great Leader, a deeply strange, strange man.

Now that I'm in London, I cannot believe the amount of Irish people that are here. You see them everywhere, hear them everywhere. I'm constantly running into my fellow countrymen and women. But this is a different generation from the ones that came before. They are mostly bright, confident, well educated and have high expectations. They value themselves and their skills. But they also do their best to help out other Irish, newer arrivals, friends of friends. There is still a major Irish network, or series of networks all over the city.

I think that's great - but we should worry that for Ireland - many of the best and brightest - those who got sick of the corruption, the dysfunction, the rank stupidity and paralysis in much of the way Ireland is run, well, they voted with their feet. The young people with get up and go have got up and gone.

Anyhow! I talked to some of the New London Irish and wrote a piece about it for The Irish Independent Newspaper.

And if you click the link below - you can read it....

The New London Irish - Irish Independent


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Hi - I welcome comments - even if they don't agree with what I say or simply don't like it. But I always try to treat people with respect and I would appreciate the same in return. There's no point in calling me names or getting into personal abuse because there are only a handful of people in the world whose opinion of me I respect and - no offense - you are unlikely to be one of them.