Irish in Britain: ‘I’m really worried about the future’
The top stories from Irish Abroad this week
An anti-Brexiteer holds an EU flag near pro-Brexit banners outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on October 17th, 2019. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
Brexit was hitting front pages again this week with British prime minister Boris Johnson’s deal and a request for a deadline extension. Abroad readers in Britain responded to our call-out on what they thought about Johnson’s Brexit deal. There were a mix of responses but in general, Irish people in Britain are worried about the future: “I have lived in England for 30 years. I feel like leaving now,” says one London reader. Another reader living in Winchester wrote: “This deal is awful for ordinary British people, but if it goes through then I will make my peace with it, mainly because it seems to guarantee no hard border on the island of Ireland”.
One of our most read this week was an article from Dundalk native Nicholas O’Connor on life in Santiago during the protests and clashes over the last week. At least 16 people have died and hundreds injured. “I, like thousands of others, am working from home ... things are tense, protests continue,” he says. "I look out my window and I can see a group of soldiers clutching M16 rifles while they watch over the subway station”. Back to Ireland, our article today is from Emma Prunty who shares that her children, who have grown up in Norway and Italy, will experience Halloween in Ireland for the first time this year. She wonders will it be the same as her childhood memories of celebrating Halloween in the 1970s/80s: “Is an Irish Halloween better than other countries? I’ve told myself it is”. Staying with the spooky time year we’re heading into over the next week, we looked at how tales of the headless horseman began in Celtic mythology. Irish ghost stories and traditions travelled with the Irish diaspora, and often became entangled with local customs to form entirely new traditions through the decades.
Back to the UK and Dubliner Finola O’Sullivan has written about her life in Cambridge working in law publishing. Over in the US, Seán Timmons has written about his life in Philadelphia as a DJ and filling the airwaves with new Irish acts: “I used to joke that I was the only Irish person in Philly I knew that didn’t own a pub. It’s only a slight exaggeration.”
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