The lives, opportunities and challenges for the Irish in Britain which remains the main destination for Irish emigrants.

Many Irish emigrate to England to find work and for some like Joe Cox, they make their fortune. However, not all have the skills and many of those that do have the skills end up in the wrong job.

Mass at the beginning of Sunday and dancing at the other end. That's one way of recognising the Irish... In places like this they create a little bit of Ireland.

There are now different generations of Irish emigrants with different experiences of living in England.
Emigrant couple Mr and Mrs Lee highlight some of the changes that have taken place for emigrants during their lifetime. Mr Lee say there is a need for an active Irish organisation in England to create a sense of community for the Irish. The spirit of Cumann na mBan that existed in the early years of the century is now lacking.

The tradition of the Irish navvy, where emigrants came to work on the construction sites of England, is one that continues to this day. However, not all Irish people coming to England find work easily and many have difficulty adjusting to life.

Catholic priest Father Dore describes the problems of employment, housing and education facing Irish immigrants to London. He has been involved in setting up services such as Marion House to help the Irish to upon their arrival in England. The service also encouraged Irish men to look beyond the building sites for employment. Fr Dore says,

The idea is not to encourage emigration but rather to have responsible emigration... If they arrive in Euston Station... well somebody must look after them.

One Irish couple chat about the social life they have in London which centres around outings with the Pioneers, the Legion of Mary and trips to the theatre. They also say that they are fortunate to be able to send their five children to Catholic schools. If offered the opportunity to return to Ireland, they wouldn't take it.

This episode of 'Sixty Six' was broadcast on 17 March 1966. The reporters are John O'Donoghue and Cathal O'Shannon.