Emigration has become a major part of Irish life. Willie O'Reilly has spent 35 years going back and forth to England. On the boat once again he talks of his experiences as an emigrant.

Emigration, it is a word we don't like, a cold abstract word. Better to say going over the other side, going to England like Willie O'Reilly and 20,000 others this year alone. Taking the mailboat from Dun Laoghaire as he has done on and off for thirty-five years. Ten years ago 60,000 went only one-third of that number this year but all those thousands mount up to one million people who left this country since it became a free nation. Poets, writers, ballad singers, all have placed this boat in our consciousness. It is part of our Irishness this movement of people.

Willie O'Reilly talks about the changes he has seen in travelling to England since his first trip thirty five years ago.

Another passenger Mr O'Brien wearing a badge of the Irish Guards Association talks about his career as a soldier in the British army and later as a policeman.

It is not far in miles from Ireland to England but for some the distance is too far. Most after years still show signs of stress. For a few born in a more uniquely Irish tradition the sense of loss can never be repaired.

'7 Days', for ten years RTÉ television's flagship current affairs programme, began broadcasting on 26 September 1966. The programme's young production team was made up of producer Lelia Doolan, directors Eoghan Harris and Dick Hill, and reporters John O'Donoghue, Brian Cleeve and Brian Farrell.

Muiris Mac Conghail became producer of '7 Days' in 1967 when the programme was merged with another current affairs programme, 'Division'.

The extract shown here is from a special edition on emigration to London broadcast 10 October 1967.