Irish in Britain aims to celebrate our county connections

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A BRAND new initiative by Irish in Britain, will see the diaspora taken on a virtual tour throughout Ireland and allow them to connect with their home counties.

The new digital series—which has been launched in the run up to St Patrick’s Day—is called We are the Irish in Britain: County connections and comprises 32 short videos where participants talk about the Irish county, or counties, they have a connection to, sometimes sharing a favourite spot from their county and a message for other Irish people in Britain after a year like no other.

The series is about celebration and connection, as well as reflection. Participants include poets and politicians, campaigners and comedians, nurses and newsreaders, as well as business, GAA and charity leaders. They weave an impression of the many ways Irish people contribute to the rich tapestry that is Britain in 2021.

Among those taking part are broadcaster Andrea Catherwood (Antrim), chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan (Meath), Conor McGinn MP (Armagh), comedian Alison Spittle (Westmeath), Bridgerton actor Jamie Beamish (pictured above-Waterford) and Tim O’Sullivan (Kerry), managing director of the Danny Sullivan Group.

Many of Irish in Britain’s membership organisations are also involved, including the Traveller Movement, the Association of Mixed-Race Irish, IAmIrish.org, Leeds Irish Health and Homes, Council of Irish County Associations, and Innisfree Housing Association.

The messages include calls for diversity and inclusion, recognising the difficulties of the last year in terms of mental health, getting involved in your local community, and looking ahead to next year’s St Patrick’s Day when restrictions will have hopefully be reduced.

“St Patrick’s Day is a time for Irish people everywhere to renew and affirm our connections to each other, a remembering and celebration of kinship,” Irish in Britain CEO, Brian Dalton, said. “We thank everyone who has contributed to this different but important St Patrick’s Day project.”

Mayo representative Caroline Brogan, trustee at Birmingham Irish Association and part of the legal team supporting the family of Margaret Keane, said: “This is Irish in Britain at its best—bringing the diaspora together, even when we’re apart. It’s been great to take part and celebrate the heritage and culture of every Irish county.”

Conor McGinn MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ireland and the Irish in Britain, added: “The new County Connections initiative is a wonderful way to celebrate the strong links we all share with places that are special to us in Ireland. When many of us are missing loved ones and have not been able to get home for a year, it’s a nice way to bring together our Irish community here in Britain as we approach St Patrick’s Day.”

Irish in Britain will be sharing the videos on their website and social media channels from Wednesday March 3.

Irish in Britain is a national membership organisation for the Irish community in Britain. It campaigns and advocates for the Irish community on a range issues—from welfare reforms to dementia services. It provides support for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain and provides advice, guidance and support to Irish organisations, groups and societies across Britain to help ensure their sustainability and growth 

For more information contact Ruairí Cullen: policy@irishinbritain.org or call 020 3903 0994. Visit the Irish in Britain’s website: www.irishinbritain.org, like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/irishinbritain and follow them on Twitter: @irishinbritain

gerard@theirishvoice.com

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