Top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week
Hating 'Englishness', London-Irish LGBT stories, and Oz working holiday visas for up to 35s
The Abroad section is very London-centric overall this week.
“I’ve lived in London for three years. I hadn’t spent much time in Britain before my arrival and had no particular feelings toward the English. I expected them to react to me with similar neutrality. What I didn’t expect was the toxic mix of dismissal and casual disdain. It would have been easier, perhaps, if it was all as overt as potato jokes. But what kills you is the ignorance; what grinds you down is how much they don’t know about the past and, if they do know, how little they care,” wrote Megan Nolan in an article published on Irish Times Abroad on Monday, which originally appeared in The New York Times. The article prompted thousands of reactions and comments on social media, and has since become our most-read ever in this section online, with many Irish people living in Britain agreeing with her observations and experiences, and others disagreeing completely. We asked her to write a second piece on the reaction to her first, which is published online today, in which she makes “no apologies for relating historical abuses to current day dynamics” between Britain and Ireland. “What I meant then was this: I don’t hate “the English”, but I do hate the myth of “Englishness”, which has always been more of a dangerous fantasy pursued by a dangerous ruling class than a reality.” Both are worth a read.
The Abroad section is very London-centric overall this week. Patrick Kelleher is writing about new Irish language classes for older children starting soon at the London Irish Centre; Joseph Healy and Orla Hillary share their personal stories of growing up gay in Ireland and finding a new place to feel at home in London, ahead of the first London-Irish LGBT conference this week; and Jeanette Farrell visits the Migration Museum Project as a fascinating new exhibition opens featuring the stories of ordinary immigrants in ordinary domestic spaces - you can listen to one of them, Cathy Robinson, telling her own story here.
Looking a little further afield, there’s good news for some who thought they were too old for a working holiday visa to Australia, as the age limit is upped by five years to 35; and Gabrielle Campion meets Irish vet Oisin Treacey, aka the “Pawsome Doctor”, who has become an Instagram sensation in Perth posting photographs of himself with his cat Oliver and the wild animals he helps to heal at Native Animal Rescue AU.
You’ll find plenty more stories by and about the Irish diaspora this week on irishtimes.com/abroad.
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Thanks for reading.