Exhibition telling story of Irish in Britain comes to Holbeck

An oral history exhibition celebrating 50 years of Irish in Britain, the national membership organisation for the Irish community in Britain, is visiting Holbeck next week (15-19 November 2023).

The stories within the exhibition are as inspirational as they are heart-breaking, and most importantly, will never be forgotten. From the construction worker who stepped onto English soil speaking only Irish, to the daughter of one of the falsely accused Birmingham Six fighting to free her father; to the woman who had no choice but to leave the institutional Ireland she grew up with, and another who helped organise lesbian and gay ceilidhs when she moved to Britain.

The exhibition also features contributions from notable Irish cultural figures, actors Siobhán McSweeney, Adrian Dunbar and Aisling Bea, broadcaster Terry Christian, musician Jah Wobble and Moth Poetry Prize Winner Laurie Bolger, who has composed a bespoke poem.

Irish in Britain has trained volunteers from the Irish community in heritage skills so it can record its own history, capturing at-risk testimonies from the last half century which speak of the sacrifice, joy, challenges, and crucial role the Irish have played in modern Britain.

Irish in Britain’s CEO Brian Dalton:

“There has never been a more important time to celebrate our unique history. With the invaluable help of countless volunteers and our member organisations, we have faithfully captured the stories and individual histories that have shaped the last 50 years of the Irish in Britain, creating a research and educational legacy for generations to come.”

Look Back to Look Forward’s Project Manager, Dr Susan Cahill:

“This project is a testament to the passion and real hunger within the Irish community to share and preserve stories that will resonate within all migrant communities.”

Look Back to Look Forward: 50 Years of the Irish in Britain will be at Slung Low’s Warehouse in Holbeck, Crosby Street, LS11 9RQ from Wednesday 15 to Sunday 19 November:

Wednesday 15 November – 11am-6pm
Thursday 16 November – 11am-7pm
Friday 17 November – 11am-6pm
Saturday 18 November – 11am-6pm
Sunday 19 November – 11am-5pm


This post is based on a press release issued by Irish in Britain


While you’re here, can we ask a favour?

South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 83% in the last 12 months.

Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?

Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at bit.ly/SLLsubscribe

Thank you for your support