The ‘Irish in England’ is a 2-part series first shown on Channel 4 in 1983. The programmes tell the story of the generation of Irish men and women who came to England in the 1950’s and 60’s. Using in-depth interviews, they explore the economic, social and cultural factors affecting their and their children’s lives as they settled here.
Programme 1 explores the ‘push and pull’ forces which saw thousands of Irish people forced to leave Ireland because of a stagnating economy, to seek work in the post war reconstruction in England. Participants, including Mary Allen, Donal MacAmhlaigh, and Doris Daly, relate their personal stories, building a picture of a community that was valued for its skill and labour, but was not always made to feel welcome. They talk about the importance of music and the church in maintaining links with their culture, and ponder the question of where is ‘home’.
An Irish Video project Production.
Ken Lynam, Andy Porter