Far From Home...

Emigration has been a feature of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  Many people have made the choice to leave Northern Ireland in search of better employment and a better way of life.  There are those however, who have been forced to flee the country by paramilitaries and were left with no choice but to leave their homes and their families in order to protect their own lives.

I got a job in London; 
that was in '86,
I've been here ever since.
I think when you are subjected to the Irish abuse
that reinforces and makes it more concrete.
I think that's why a lot of people
from the North of Ireland
continually think about going home.
One incident which after 11 years,
 put extra pressure on me.
I was arrested by the police,
walking down a road hailing a cab.
I was surrounded by police officers
who were calling me an Irish Bastard
basically being thrown in the cell
and being denied a solicitor.
They never even asked me my name,
in the whole duration of the situation.
Then let me go without charge
after I'd been subjected to all that abuse.
They basically were out to get a Paddy that night

Additional extracts from:  a young man forced to leave Northern Ireland by Republican paramilitaries; a man who left because of a good job offer, a young man who left because of deaths in his family and the violence in general.

Proceed to next section 'Making Ends Meet'

Return to main exhibition page