A new Queen's University study of migration from Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s is seeking participants in London and Glasgow
by Democrat reporter
WHILE MUCH has been written about migration from the island of Ireland in the 19th Century, a new research project at Queen's University is seeking to investigate migration relating specifically to Northern Ireland. In particular, researchers are hoping to gain an insight into the reasons why some of those who migrated in the 1970s and 1980s have chosen to stay away, while others have returned home.
Recently awarded a research grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Professor Liam Kennedy and Dr. Johanne Devlin Trew, the team behind the venture entitled, Northern Ireland Emigrant Narratives, are currently appealing for people originally from Northern Ireland,** now residing in the greater London and Glasgow regions.
Interviews have already been completed in Liverpool and Ontario, Canada. These interviews will form a valuable oral archive which can be listened to via the Centre for Migration Studies webpages on the Queen's University website.
Johanne Trew writes:
"The project follows on directly from an earlier study entitled, Narratives of Migration and Return, for which interviews were conducted with returned emigrants to Ireland, north and south. It served to highlight shortages in our knowledge of the Irish migration experience, especially relating to those who had left Northern Ireland. Therefore, in this new project we are targeting London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Ontario as they are traditionally areas to which people from Northern Ireland migrated."
"As well as revealing a range of common themes amongst returned emigrants, the original study raised a number of questions. In Áras an Uachtarán, for example, a candle is kept lit in recognition of the high levels of emigration from Ireland and to welcome it's people back, while the newly revamped Article Two of the Irish Constitution also promises the Irish State will 'cherish' its Diaspora.
"This led us to ask about Northern Ireland? Does it cherish its Diaspora, or even recognise it in any way? What is the view of home now from an emigrant's perspective and how do Northern Catholic and Protestant migrants negotiate their identities abroad, particularly in England, Scotland and Wales?
"We hope to discover the answers to these questions and of course uncover many more views about issues surrounding migration from the island of Ireland in the new project. We would encourage those people living abroad to contact us and to participate in the project so they can share their valuable perspectives. Their stories will help form a significant oral archive about migration from Northern Ireland and the material will form the basis for the first major book on the subject."
Anyone interested in participating in the project or seeking further information can contact Johanne Devlin Trew on 028 8225 6315 or via email via HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com or consult the project webpages at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/cms/NIEN/Press_Release06.htm
** The project is looking for participants raised in Northern Ireland, though not necessarily born there
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