Little Brazil


About this Item

A portrait of Brazilian immigrant life in Ireland today and how the town of Gort, Co. Galway has coped with a huge influx of Brazilian workers and their families.

  • Title
    Little Brazil
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Jim Fahy (Reporter)
    Caroline Bleahen (Producer)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Clip title
    Little Brazil
  • Extended description

    Formerly a sleepy west of Ireland market town, Gort in Co. Galway is now Ireland's 'Little Brazil'.

    "If the Brazilians were to leave Gort it would be like a wedding party that finished early" according to community worker Frank Murray. The town of Gort has become a centre point for the 20,000 Brazilians who have come to live and work in Ireland over the last few years. One person in three in this Galway town is Brazilian.

    Gort's Brazilian story started ten years ago when the town of Villa Fabril, a small rural village in central Brazil, was devastated by the collapse of their local meat plant, owned by the major international beef company Reiboi. Over 900 men and women were left with no work.

    The closure triggered a totally unexpected wave of emigration that would in time completely transform everyday life in the market town of Gort. Within months of the shut down, the company's Cork born export manager Jerry O'Callaghan had stepped in and set in train a series of events that would change forever the lives of many of the redundant workers and their families.

    At first, just a trickle of young men left Villa Fabril but within a year a rapidly growing exodus of Brazilian emigrants was heading for Ireland to work not just in meat factories but also on farms, building sites, shops, factories and nursing homes.

    The documentary 'Little Brazil, Gort, Ireland' produced by Caroline Bleahen and presented by Jim Fahy tells the sometimes heart warming, at times heart breaking, story of the first generation of factory workers from Villa Fabril who set out to build new lives for themselves in Ireland.

    Filmed in Brazil and in South Galway the documentary is both a portrait of Brazilian immigrant life in Ireland today - mirroring many of the past experiences of Irish emigrants to England and the US - and an analysis of how the town of Gort has coped with a huge influx of South American workers and their families.

  • Information

    This documentary 'Little Brazil, Gort, Ireland' was presented with a 'Silver Angel Award' by the California-based 'Excellence in Media' Foundation. Presented to films and television programmes "of outstanding moral, ethical or social impact". The programme was  described as "a wonderful piece of television programming".

  • Local keywords
    Emigration, Brazil, Brazilians, Factories, Meat, Gort, County Galway, Anapolis, Jerry O'Callaghan, Dermot Duffy, Renaldo Dias de Assumcao, Luciano de Castro, Brenno Ramos, Leandro Lopez, Vilton Gomes, Angelia Maria Gomes, Maria Amanso Barbosa, Maria Josie Barbosa, Mary Cal
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Society and Social Issues
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ One
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item colour
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
    16:9 (widescreen)
  • Language used
    English (eng)
  • Original language
    English (eng)