London has always been home to many an Irish ex-pat. And they're a unique and diverse bunch, so the London Irish Centre is looking to celebrate that with London Irish Stories.
The community-led, mixed-media project shines a spotlight on the individuals who make up the diverse ‘London Irish’ community – from the generation who arrived in the mid-20th-century, to those who have just arrived in recent months, from London-born second and third-generation Irish, who feel strongly connected to their Irish identity, to those with no connection through heritage but are avid Irish dancers or Gaelic footballers.
Matthew Dunne-Miles, Journalist and Digital Content Editor London Irish Stories, explains, "We’re looking for people from all backgrounds to share their stories and update the narrative of being ‘London Irish’".
Gary Dunne, Director of Culture at London Irish Centre, said, "The Irish in London are a diverse, rich, multigenerational group, with all kinds of ties and relationships across the city and over the Irish Sea. Through this new online initiative, we want to explore and celebrate these identities, and move beyond tired, reductive stereotypes."
He adds, "Over time, London Irish Stories will document the rich, real-lived experiences of four generations of Irish people right across the city, and will present them in an engaging, accessible way."
Some of the opening stories include Laura Fay, a nurse dealing with the pressures of a taxing profession while adapting to a new city during a pandemic. There's also Nicholas Fitzgerald, a chef from Dublin who quit his job to set up his own taqueria in London’s Borough Market.