July 23, 2024

Maybe Its Because I’m an Irish Londoner

The BibleCode Sundays are a London based band.

Maybe It’s Because I’m an Irish Londoner is a call to Irish people living in London, to feel proud of their identity.

Some of the Irish Diaspora have found it difficult at times to feel like they belong to any particular group.

Sometimes they feel rejected from the town or place they grow up in.

Sometimes they feel that people ridicule them if they claim they are Irish, principally because they lack the accent. This can happen in Ireland as well as outside of Ireland.

Londoner Rob Brennan penned a really interesting article on the struggle for identity for an Irish Londoner. The letters that followed in response were as equally interesting.

During the latter half of the twentieth century the London born children of Irish parents often lived an Irish kind of life, going to a Catholic school, mixing with the children and families of Irish parents, going to see Irish bands and spending summer holidays in Ireland. Living such a life posed a conundrum for them about whether they were Irish or English. Some settled for Irish, others for English, some a bit of both.

In some cases the reactions of others play a role. Rob Brennan recounted how it was the occasion of the 1990 World Cup match between England and the Republic of Ireland, and his family’s reactions to his support for England, which cemented his decision.

My hero then was John Barnes, who was in the England team alongside the likes of Gary Lineker, Peter Shilton and Paul Gascoigne – players I’d been watching on the TV every week… When England raced into an early lead through a Gary Lineker goal, I cheered. But the reaction in the room was anything but celebratory…. My family wound me up until half time then said, seriously, it was okay if I supported England. But for some reason it didn’t sit right with me…. On 72 minutes I found out why. Packie Bonner, one of only three Irish-born players in the starting 11, launched a long punt forward. The ball dropped for Kevin Sheedy (born in Wales), to drill home. The room erupted. Pure joy. “You’ll never beat the Irish.”

Stephen Morrissey has also produced a song for the Irish Diaspora, Irish Blood English Heart.

Stephen Morrissey, Johny Marr, Shane McGowan and Paul McCartney are all second generation Irish Diaspora, a fact highlighted in Sean Campbell’s Irish Blood English Heart, a book about the role played by second generation Irish people in the British music industry.





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