Later this month the London Meath Association will “go home” to celebrate its 60th anniversary, writes Anne Geaghan.
Its 60th anniversary dinner at the Trim Castle Hotel on Saturday 28 July will underline the connection between Meath Folk in the UK and their friends and families in the Royal County.
Irish County Associations in the UK are special in that they started in the 1950s and were well organised, at a time when it was not as fashionable or acceptable to be Irish here as it is now. Smartphones, Internet and cheap air and sea travel were decades away.
Irish people who emigrated, like those from other countries, were energised and applied themselves and their strong work ethic, to build decent lives in cities and towns all over the UK. In 1958 Meath folk were no exception.
Irish dance-halls were affordable meeting places, Gaelic sport was supported, religious traditions upheld and passed on to future generations. Those who prospered supported the less fortunate.
The result of that 60-year journey is that it is now far less traumatic for Irish people to leave home to seek employment or broaden their life experiences.
Meath’s close proximity to Dublin, the excellent roads, port and rail connections makes it an ideal location for a high quality lifestyle choice. Housing is available in all price brackets. The major towns of Navan and Trim are thriving and boast business parks and industrial estates with plenty of opportunities for those seeking employment.
The standard of schools and colleges is very high and leisure and arts facilities are well funded. Kells, Laytown, Ashbourne, Dunboyne, and Slane are familiar names because of their heritage links making Meath an important tourist and visitor destination.
In 2018, County Meath through its Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) is offering a Royal welcome home for people wishing to reconnect, invest or start their own business. Cause for celebration, indeed.
And to help start the celebrations we’ve included a photo montage of 60 years of the Meath Association London in honour of all it has done to keep links alive between London and the home county.+12