University student Barry Ryan gives a guide to the numbers of Irish people emigrating to London.
London University student Barry Ryan's parents emigrated to England in the 1950s. In 1989, 60,000 people left Ireland for work and a new life elsewhere.
London is alluring offering Irish people the potential to work without the need for work permits. Barman in Biddy Mulligan's pub in Kilburn Dave Murphy left Tramore in County Waterford a year ago. Helena Bonner went to London to find work because she did not want to stay on the dole in Donegal.
Joan O'Flynn of the Action Group for Irish Youth (AGIY) in London says the experiences felt by the current wave of Irish emigrants, is the same as those who left in the past.
They’re going to lose their family, their community in Ireland and come abroad to a new country, different culture, face new experiences, not always good experiences and probably for most people, you return to Ireland on sort of a part time basis for the rest of their lives.
A high number Irish emigrating to London are completely unprepared for the realities of life abroad. Many of them end up sleeping rough, in temporary accommodation or find themselves homeless.
Father Frank Ryan, is manager of Conway House, London's largest Irish hostel, in Kilburn. Conway House caters for over 100 men, most of them originating from Ireland. The average age for somebody arriving in London is 19 and the average amount of money they bring with them is £5.
Accepting that there has to be emigration, then there ought to be better programmes for educating those who intend leaving, and more support for them while they are abroad, particularly during the initial couple of months, couple of years.
The AGIY has produced a survival handbook for people when they arrive in London. The guide will be distributed in Ireland so potential emigrants will be fully aware of what to expect.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 April 1990. The reporter is Barry Ryan. He received assistance on this report from RTÉ London editor Brian O'Connell.